Today I watched CBS This Morning and they interviewed Jesse Itzler and retired Navy Seal David Goggins. Itzler, a successful entrepreneur who happens to be married to Spanx Queen Sara Blakely, hired Goggins as a 31-day live-in physical fitness coach. Goggins’ one condition for the arrangement was, “just do what I say.” Itzler wrote a book about the experience, Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet.
One thing resonated with me. Every day Goggins looks in the mirror … “the accountability mirror” he calls it and says to himself, “What have I done today to improve David Goggins.”
What have I done today to improve … Janine.
When I look at what people like David Goggins, Jesse Itzler and Sara Blakely have accomplished, I realize I have never had self-improvement in the forefront of my mind. Other than when I’ve been in school or have been working towards a very specific goal, I’ve not thought about improving myself, I’ve just coasted. Like most people, my days are filled with the mundane – gearing up for the day, working, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, tending to the garden, laundry, keeping up with friends and family, caring for the pets. Groundhog Day with no time or motivation to get off the infinite loop.
So when I hear someone say that every single day their mantra is “what have I done to improve myself” I’m flummoxed. Improving yourself every.single.day?
It’s funny that I saw this interview now – when G and I are working on being more mindful. I actually watched this piece when I was editing a blog post on mindfulness, and this took over my train of thought. (Yes, I know that wasn’t very mindful of me. I’m a work in progress!)
All of these things go together – living mindfully in the here and now, not in the future or past, being a better person, not letting things define my life, setting a course to find fulfillment each day.
Starting today, I’m taking 5 minutes and am adding David Goggins question to my daily to-do list, along with the vanity-fueled maintenance stuff, exercise, household tasks and the other things I check off in my mind as I’m lying in bed each night. Just thinking about it won’t make it happen, but at least it will be in my stream of consciousness.
A lot of things are starting to come together in my mind and I’m beginning to see a path to a better life. These past few months I feel like I just dumped a giant jigsaw puzzle out of the box onto the dining room table. The pieces are still all jumbled up, but the outside corners are beginning to come together. I don’t know what’s in the middle, but I have a feeling that when it all comes together it will be great …