Saturday, June 09, 2012

Seeking to improve

I signed up last night for the 100-Day Challenge with Gary Ryan Blair.

I have no question, it will be worthwhile. At the same time, Blair kind of drives me nuts with his sensei- [Japanese martial arts instructor] style aphoristic speech. Everything--or just about everything--he says comes across as some kind of pithy, final, distilled, definitive "word of wisdom." And he fills his speech with beautiful, high-sounding language: "Excellence. Dedication. Decision. Commitment. Persistence. Inspire. Promote. Celebrate. Define. Choose." Almost too dense for me to assimilate.

I can get over that stylistic problem. I "simply" have to take careful notes, or listen twice . . . or three or four times.

But what pushed me to blog here about his program was these three sentences that appear on p. 10 of the Orientation's (Day O's) MAP (Massive Action Plan) document.

Blair writes:
Our world is filled with people with every conceivable type of handicap and liability but who have gone on to build wonderful lives for themselves.

Often people around them have ascribed their good fortune to luck. But if you talk to these people and you trace their stories from where they began to where they are now, you will find that luck had nothing to do with their success, and it has nothing to do with yours.

As I wrote on his website,
I appreciate the intention to have me take responsibility for my actions, and the need to have me make a wholehearted commitment to pursue a goal. But philosophically and practically--and, let me say, religiously/theologically, not to mention historically--I am convinced that, in the end, none of us is the master of his or her own fate.
We all come up against events beyond our control--whether hurricanes or earthquakes, tsunamis or economic crises, or any of a myriad of different obstacles. OR, by contrast, sometimes God is simply extra generous to us and gives us breaks that no human being has the right to expect.

On at least one of his recordings, Gary acknowledges this. He speaks of “luck” and “Acts of God.” But yet, there is that prior statement: "luck ha[s] nothing to do with . . . success." And I say, "Not so!"

I am "lucky" I was born in the United States and not the son or daughter of an uneducated farmer in Madhya Pradesh, India. That, right there, puts me on a completely different path than the little boy who was born in Madhya Pradesh within hours of me back when I was born. . . .

So, while Gary wants me to sign some kind of (seemingly crazy) "faith" contract: "I am making a quantum leap. I know exactly where I am going. And I am open to the unexpected."

I will write a modified version of the same. Something about desiring to make a quantum leap and knowing exactly where I think or believe I want (and I believe God wants) me to go. But yet acknowledging that where I think I want to go may, somewhere in the middle of the path, turn out to be very definitely NOT where I want to go. And so, indeed, I want to be "open to the unexpected."

I don’t want to give myself a lot of wiggle room and opportunities for excuses or what we might call "justified failure." At the same time, I really do want my commitments to be solid and, if you will, sacred.
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