Give First

This thought process all began over the past holiday season when I was on a flight home from Phoenix and picked Love the Coopers as my in-flight entertainment. There is a scene in the movie where Marisa Tomei's character has an epiphany about how she is constantly keeping track of what she is getting from people and experiences and only ever gives in return exactly what she feels she was given.

This moment in the movie really struck a chord with me. Was this internal "measurement" of what I was getting out of people, experiences, jobs etc. prevalent in my life? Upon becoming aware of this notion, the answer was a resounding 'YES'. Not consciously, but almost automatically I think 'what's in it for me?' (ya, you do this too).

I had never realized how I - and many others in the world around me - always wanted to know what they would get out of something before they put in anything. How much will I get paid for that job? (before they have even applied) How much fun will I get out of that trip? (before it's even booked) What will I get out of this deal/relationship/agreement? (before ever having a conversation with the others involved) What I found this thought process did was limit what was possible for me within these situations. It made me think only about myself (read: small).

What if we turned this on its head and asked instead: What can I give in this situation? What are my unique strengths to share? What ideas do I have that could make this really awesome? What if I lead with love first? What if I brought the fun to this trip and gave to the experience instead of trying to take, take, take? #gimme

As I thought more about this concept, I reflected on my own goals - in life and fitness. I quickly realized I am so programmed and conditioned to think about what I would get out of achieving something, that I won't even start or get involved if I don't think it's "worth it" - rather than giving of myself for the sake of the experience. Even if the experience is trying something and failing.

As a coach I ask people outright what they want to get out of their training. I do still believe there is value in having goals and being clear on what you want. But what if we all trusted something with a little bit of "blind faith" and gave first? What if our goals became about the experience and not the finish line? When I think about my own training, this new perspective makes me more encouraged for each individual training session, rather than the big daunting - sometimes seemingly impossible goal - sitting on the horizon. I can think about what I can give in my training session first, before thinking about what I'm getting out of it. Whoa. Game changer.

I have no doubt that this shift in perspective can and will help you towards your fitness (and other life) goals. Give first. Give often.

Bring it.

xo Syd

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Sydney Guevremont
Sydney Guevremont