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I had this book in my library and I very much wanted to read it. The book on Malcom X was the read I just had to finish, before flipping the pages written by David Goggins. Sadly both books shared the societal norms and lives the blacks lived in America then. The blacks in America still live on the fringe and both individuals shared what they did to get past, bigotry, family circumstances and societal inequality. That aside what I really like about this book was the unfettered accounts by David, revealing that your circumstances need not define the story you want to write for yourself. His book talks about challenges and here is one challenge you may want to try if you are unravelling a mess like me.

Challenge 1 – Accountability mirror

We all live lives defined by successes, failures and perhaps disappointments along the way. I had my share too. Either you sit in silence, whine like a kid or do something about it. What is the story that will define you? David Goggins didn’t have a mentor, a father, an uncle or a coach, to guide him. The failures he had to confront and accept were reasons why he wanted to change. It was not about attending a magical course that will turn you around. It was all about establishing the reality you are in, without sugar coating the shit you have gotten yourself into. If we point every finger that led to a failed experience at ourselves, high chance we will start to unravel the mess we are in. Lets start with the accountability mirror. Yes, go to a mirror and take a real deep look at yourself.

Look at the mirror, if you are fat and unfit, dun attribute to anyone else. From failing high school, to running at night and waking up at 5.00 am in the morning to do weights, that was the change David was able to initiate. Look at the mirror, using post its, write down why you want to lose those pounds. If you have lost that job that you have worked for 30 years, call out yourself and define clearly what you want to do about it. There are times at night, I very much wanted to ride to get fitter, and on most days I stayed at home, telling myself, I can do that on another day. Day 2 may not come and everyday you sit mopping in your bed hoping to get fit is another step closer towards making your maker. I let fear get the better of me…. riding at night on my own, rationalised fear that has no place in logic. I have rode a racing bicycle from the age of 19 and during the 30 years, I have had 3 accidents, that didn’t cripple or maim me. That as a minimal average should get me out. The rides in the start were a pain and last night, I liked the ride I rode… it was slower, my heart was bursting, I averaged a decent cadence between 85 and 95 for my ride. Last night I won.

Challenge 1, was also all about articulating your purpose and facing the reality you are in. What do you want to achieve, in this short flippant stage of your life. If you define a purpose that transcends you, the very failures and disappointments that got you stuck in a rut will become rocket fuel to step out and make a change. Start by calling out yourself and all blames should start with you.

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About the Author: Ebnu Etheris Ma.IDT, B.Hrd

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Ebnu Etheris, holds a Masters degree in Instructional Design and was part of the pioneering team of executives who saw through the start up of Singapore’s first Budget Airline, Valuair. He was responsible for developing the airline’s Crisis planning systems and initiating blended learning in Flight operations. He works as a Partner with Teamworkbound.

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