SHOWING UP IS ALL YOU NEED !

I started cycling at the age of 50 . It was on my bucket list of things to do . It was not about getting fit or any of those reasons, it was just about reliving my childhood memories of cycling.

I remember the fun I had purchasing all the accessories and cycling gear. I started cycling a few kilometres on weekends.

I tied in another habit , going to Starbucks after cycling. Now that was the reward . So I would get dressed up every morning , start to cycle and feel the anticipation of being at Starbucks to have my favourite coffee.

Then I challenged myself with a tougher habit , to do long distance cycling starting with 25 km. The cycle I had was basic and would not help so I invested in a good cycle. And I started doing long distance cycling.

Now I was having fun , I loved the wind on my face , the feeling of freedom, the me time and to end the experience was a visit to Starbucks.

Today in the morning as winter has set in Mumbai ,it was chilly , tucked away under the blankets , I felt the desire to sleep a bit longer . But instead I just pulled myself up , put on the cycling dress and helmet and I got on my cycle.

The most important secret I understood of sustaining my cycling journey has not been MOTIVATION but SHOWING UP .

It is important to Show up , if I don’t show up I cannot begin. For me that is as simple as putting my cycling dress on . I have to wear my cycling clothes and the helmet and it pushes me to do the next thing , get on the cycle.

Once I am on my cycle, I have to cycle and then the next thing comes up , getting to Starbucks. That’s my reward .

Showing up and Reward are two things that keep me going and have helped me build my cycling habit .

And showing up is not about motivation , it’s about making a simple obvious process. I keep my cycling dress ready so I find it easily as I get up .

As I look at my another habit of learning guitar , I have just not progressed. I invested in a good guitar with the intention of learning to sing along with the guitar, but it’s not happened.

I realised I have put away my guitar in the closet and there is no reward that I have associated with the action .

Also my expectations are big , I want to start singing and play the guitar along and that looks difficult . Learning the chords and the strumming looks like a big effort.

For cycling I just begin with the simple idea of getting to Starbucks which is 5 kms away from my home , in the process many days I do 15 kms . So action step is simple.

The learning from my cycling habit which I have sustained is

1. For any new habit to form make it easy to take the first step . Putting on my cycling dress and helmet in the morning is the first step , I keep all cycling accessories within reach and visible.

2. Make a easy to take daily action . If you are trying to form the habit of reading books you can start with subscription to blinks which condenses books into short reads and then read one blink a day . For me it is just cycle 5 kms to get to Starbucks. ( and I also subscribe to blinks) .

3. Reward . For me Starbucks coffee is a reward ( I am trying to replace this )

4. Identity. I post pictures of my cycling journeys of social media and this has helped me build an identity as a cyclist. Don’t underestimate the power of identity for habit to become long term way of life.

I was not even aware of how I shifted my identity as a cyclist till I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend reading this book .

As James says in this book , It is not about just Inspiration it is also about a system you put in place to make it happen.

It is not just about having passion but taking small action steps every day to live your passion . It is not the Destination but the journey that matters .

Like it is for me writing this blog now .

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

Author: Sanjay Mudnaney

My favourite line is "Don't die with your song in your heart". Being aligned to Your 'Truth' is being in Integrity of existence. The future of Life and Work is being in Integrity. I believe that it is time for passion economy as a new world emerges where location does not matter , organisations and people will seek out passionate individuals who are living their calling and making a difference in our world. Experiments in Integrity and Future of Marketing are two themes around which I will share my thoughts . I am on a journey to explore being in Integrity with my 'Truth.'

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