My Face-Plant, Sir Isaac Newton & Clearly Defined Goals – Lesson Learned

I recently attended a conference out of town and while traveling; I typically arise early and spend 40-60 minutes running on the treadmill. Not my favorite thing to do, but when time and familiarity with my surroundings are not on my side, a treadmill has become the acceptable alternative to my goals of staying healthy and in shape.

Man running in a gym on a treadmill concept for exercising, fitness and healthy lifestyle

Now, I don’t LOVE to run (I’d rather ride my bike) but what I do love is my physical health AND the feeding of my mind that happens each day when, while working out physically, I exercise my mind by listening to self-development podcasts and audio books. Plus, listening really helps to occupy my mind and re-direct my thoughts from the monotony and mindlessness of running in place.

So, my first morning on the treadmill I was about 10 minutes into my run, working up a nice little sweat and really starting to kick it in gear when the most totally unexpected thing happened. The treadmill’s power supply was cut. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but in an instant ALL MOMENTUM generated from the treadmill was brought to a screeching and abrupt halt. And when I say abrupt, that’s exactly what I mean. No coasting, no smooth transition – STOPPED!

And all of a sudden, the inertia created from my 185 lb body experienced the full force of Newton’s 1st Law of Motion. You know the one… A body in motion stays in motion… Uhh huh..

The track on the treadmill stopped instantly and so did I. Right after my torso slammed into the stationary control panel of the machine, which consequently caused an expelling of all of the air out of my vigorously pumping lungs. But that’s not all. The slamming motion of my body into the stationary object caused the buckling of my knees. After which I met another one of Newton’s Laws. GRAVITY.

That’s right, having no air in my lungs and no knees to hold me upright I collapsed onto the ground. And on the way down, racked my chin on the console of the treadmill. The entirety of the event would have made an absolutely hilarious YouTube video and Facebook post that would have instantly gone viral. But luckily, my dignity and pride were saved due to the fact that I had been willing to do what no one else in the whole hotel had been willing to do. Get up at 4:30 in the morning to accomplish my goals.

Now I tell you this story not because the vision of it is worth a great belly laugh, but because it’s what I decided to do next that made all the difference. You see, I still don’t know why or how the power to that treadmill was cut. And frankly, I don’t care. And it wasn’t my job to try to fix the treadmill. My purpose (and it was a clearly defined one) was to keep my body in great physical health AND to feed my mind. Nothing more, and definitely nothing less. So, I picked myself up from being prostrated on the ground, turned myself 90 degrees to the right, took a big step and picked up my workout on the adjacent treadmill.

I had a purpose, and I had a goal and despite an obstacle that came up unannounced that temporarily stopped my momentum, I didn’t spend any time complaining and moaning about it. Nor did I let it keep me down. I simply looked for and found another route to accomplishing my goal. A life lesson, yes. But, it’s also a great lesson to learn and use in business. Stuff is always going to happen that seemingly stops the business momentum. That is a definite fact. But whether or not that stoppage remains permanent or not is totally and solely determined on how you choose to look at it. Make sure you choose to look for and FIND another route to accomplishing your goals.

The take away– always remember, no matter what happens, get back on the treadmill (just not the broken one).

Have a tremendous Monday.


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