“Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh” might be a timely tribute to my Navy brothers in arms this Fourth of July Weekend, and I do salute you, but I have another agenda. I have been noticing a common thread, or to stay on metaphor, a common “line or rope” in my recent successes and I wanted to share a it with you.
In 2013 I chose a few words to direct my success, Health, Heart and Healing. Anchors, if you will, a place for me to retrain my focus throughout the year, but I must be honest when I chose the words I considered them more aspirational in nature versus anchors.
I actually began focusing on the “Healing” last year when I finally broke down after 6 years of pain in my right foot and had the necessary surgery to relieve the pain. Although the surgery has not been a 100% success it has allowed me to exercise with less pain. Surgery allowed me to notice my right knee was also sore, I had been so focused on my foot I forgot my knee was in pain as well. So, I trekked out to the knee doctor and she confirmed, yes your knees are aging and I started a rehab program.
Fast forward a few weeks and I started to notice I was not happy with the amount of caffeine in my system and cold turkey I decided to drop my 10+ a day Diet Pepsi habit. I quit so abruptly I still have two Diet Pepsi’s in the fridge. It was the easiest transition I ever made in my life. My wife and I are still in disbelief at the ease of my success.
Each subsequent week I returned to my physical therapy and my pain began to subside. This led to my physical therapist hinting that I might be able to take charge of my therapy with periodic check ins and I was like…”NOOOOOOOOO” I need you…I just realized, you are my anchor and the secret to my recent success. You can’t leave me now; Physical Therapy had become my “Samson’s Hair” if you cut it off, I might lose my secret powers. “PT” had become an anchor for my success a repetitive pattern and home base for my success in many areas of my life.
“Luckily” my knee started hurting again and we agreed I would just reduce the frequency of my visits versus drop them all together. Since my scare, I have contemplated this idea of “Anchors” and realized that PT is just one of my anchors. In fact, I had created some new anchors in the spring of 2012 by returning to a weekly habit of Sunday church service. I ultimately believe that God has been the true anchor through my recent successes but for those who are less spiritually inclined, the concept of anchor is a solid one.
Here is a practical application of “anchors.” Have you ever tried to build a family size tent without first anchoring down the corners? It’s doable but the tent seems to want to get all twisted and tangled, so I have found that by locking the tent to the ground it makes for easier assemble and overall speedier build. I would think this also applies to life. If you can find ways to anchor your life with accountability and consistency you can improve the speed of your results. In our instant age, who wants to wait?
I have continued to ponder this topic and I have noticed additional “Anchor Points” which have led to my recent success. Job changes, coaching, medical interventions and other minor adjustments have all influenced my success. It was an accident I quit drinking Diet Pepsi on a “whim.” It was actually tied to my anchors of Health and Healing.
So, if you are looking for a way to improve your odds for success, may I suggest “Anchors A Way” a way to hold you accountable and consistent.
Happy Fourth of July!