Three Things I Was Reminded Of While Re-Watching “Good Will Hunting”

Recently I found myself flipping channels trying to catch something to hold my attention and I came across the movie “Good Will Hunting”. I hadn’t seen the movie in years, but I was quickly reminded about some pretty interesting life lessons while enjoying it again. Advance warning – some of the scenes linked in the post below have explicit language.

Talent alone does not guarantee success

In the movie, the main character, Will (played my Matt Damon), has a natural talent and ability to solve complex mathematical problems with ease. He is extremely intelligent in general. There is a pivotal scene in the movie where he is providing solutions to a top, award-winning Mathematics Professor – solutions to problems that even the Professor hasn’t reached in terms of ability. The scene spoke to me in terms of achieving goals and daily choices. There are those that struggle with certain aspects of life and it is guaranteed that there will be others who find those same aspects of life trivial and something they can navigate with ease. Success is something that is defined by each of us. We may have the talent to reach our goal with ease, or we may have to work really hard to reach it. It’s our daily choices that will show our desire to reach our goals. In the movie, Will had his own definition of what success looked like – and it didn’t involve using the talent that others envied him for having.

Those who truly love you will want the best for you

A good part of the movie has Will spending time with his best friends. The bond between them is real, but those within the group that know Will’s ability and truly love him – wish the best for him, even if it means leaving them behind. They realize that he’s destined for more. A wonderful scene between two friends emphasizes this sentiment.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to act on our desires to move us closer to our goals. There are times when we choose the comfort of our current situation and those closest to us over what could potentially make us the best version of ourselves. Sometimes it’s fear of change, sometimes fear of failure. There are many reasons that come into play when we make our choices – but this was a reminder that there are those within my life that want me to look within myself for the answer and to take the chances to experience life to the fullest.

It’s not easy to leave things behind. Whether it be a physical move that causes us to leave others behind, or an evolution of our being that changes us in a way that no longer aligns with those around us in a way that would enable us to continue to grow / thrive in a healthy manner.

Life is meant to be experienced and shared

The last scene that jumped out at me was the one with Will’s therapist (played by Robin Williams) where he put’s Will’s knowledge in perspective as it relates to life experience. It’s a powerful dialog that reminds me that life experience and our individual perspectives on those experiences are what make us unique and sharing those with the world give us the opportunity to learn something from each other that isn’t written in some “effin” book. 🙂

I forgot just how much I enjoyed it. Or maybe I’m just at a time in my life where I’m open to hearing these lessons in a new light. Do you have a movie that you have watched recently that taught you something you ended up applying to your life? Tell me about it – I’d love to learn from you.

The Climb Begins… Again.

Sulphur Mountain, Banff, AB. Photo Credit: Jason Nadon

This week begins a new attempt at my most recent weight loss goal and making the choices needed to have success in my attempt. I haven’t done a lot different than what I’ve written about previously – I’m making sure that my daily affirmations are on point, I’m making time each night to capture what went well and where I find difficulty. I’m planning on reviewing the difficult spots and seeing if there is anything I can do week to week to plan better or adjust so that I’m prepared for those same situations if they happen to come back – which they most likely will at some point. Most of all, I make time at the beginning and end of each day to be grateful for the day and where I am in the process and as me. Being grateful for the day and my blessings hasn’t been an area that I’ve struggled with in the past – but being OK with me as I am, in the moment, has been. It’s a work in progress for me and is outside of my comfort zone.

I have made the choice to head back to a familiar place / plan and that is the ketogenic diet. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it, so I’ll save the details unless someone really wants to know specifics about what I’m doing – but it’s pretty much the normal – “limit carbs, lots of protein and some of the ‘good’ fats” type of diet. I know it works for my body – so I figure why fix something that isn’t broken. There are other areas of me that I would classify as broken or at least severely damaged – but my plan through this journey is to acknowledge and work through some of those areas in the hope that I can better adjust to the new me. I’ve told myself to pause on labeling any area where I think I need work – because I do believe that the power of choice allows me the freedom to adapt – and therefore – things can change. I fear that using labels and accepting them would put me in a spot where I feel that I’m unable to change things – and that’s just really not the case. Is change easy? Nope. Is acceptance of myself easy? Nope. But, I once knew someone close to me that wrote a lyric “Nobody gave you a promise that life would be breezy”, and I’m keeping that in mind.

I have worked on reframing my feeling about progress in a positive light – and I’ve decided that I can use the new year as my measuring stick. So far I have 6 days that I would call “off plan”, and 3 that I would call “on plan”. This means that after this week, I’ll have more “on plan” days for 2019. This change in perspective allows me to reach for a very attainable goal and will help with momentum into the second week. I decided to choose the year, but honestly – it could have been anything, a month, a week, even a day. There are times when I need to reframe my perspective to look at the day and just focus on making it the best I can because looking beyond that is too much to handle.

As of today, I’m enjoying feeling better than I have recently while avoiding sugar for the last three days. I’m finding strength in each positive choice that moves me closer to my goals. I’m working to remove stress in anyway possible, and when I feel overwhelmed – taking time to just breathe. I’m looking forward to testing tomorrow to see if I’ve officially reached into the fat burning state of ketosis.

Have you set any new goals recently? How are things going?  

It’s Just A Mountain

The thought of starting over with such a large journey in front of me is a bit scary, a bit frustrating, and a bit overwhelming. I recently heard a song on the radio and it has inspired me to adjust the message a bit and claim it as my mantra for the journey – “it’s just a mountain”.

When I think about it – sure my goal is huge and seems like it can’t be conquered – but I know that the desire to take one step, the commitment to repeat, and the patience to allow for time to pass as steps grow from the first one to the hundredth, thousandth and so on – will eventually see that mountain behind me (again).

There are many beliefs, and much has been written to show that planning your goals out in small, manageable chunks helps to keep the motivation going to set and reach new goals. Some folks call it “small wins”, others refer to it as a different name. The idea behind setting attainable goals is that each time you meet one – you’ll get that feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of confidence in yourself and all of these will lead you to look to the next goal with renewed passion and belief that you can succeed. I used this method when I set my goal to lose weight at the end of 2015. Had I chosen to set my first goal as “lose 200 lbs”, the likelihood that I would have struggle, became frustrated and quit would be certain. I mentioned some of the smaller goals that I had along the way to my main goal in this post about reflection. I plan to use the same method as I re-start, yet again to lose the weight. It’s tough this time around – because I achieved my goal – I made it to where I wanted to be – and then things happened in my life that caused me to question everything that I was doing, including the change to a healthier me. Here is my previous before and after.

Anxiety and depression have taken me back to a spot where I feel like all the work that I did has been undone. It was 14 months of hard work for me to lose over 200 pounds, a 7 month struggle to keep it off and once I felt I had lost the battle it was 8 months to put it back on.

Now I’m starting all over again. Many will tell me that since I’ve done it once, I can do it again. They are right – for it’s just a mountain and I’m mentally preparing myself to start the climb with my first step.

Here’s the song that inspired this post. I’m going to be keeping on high rotation through the journey and especially when I hit those tough spots!

Thanks for reading and following along with me on this new journey.

There’s Just Something About A New Year

New Year’s Eve and my birthday are the two days that I loath the most throughout the year. These are the days that I become hyper-analytical and reflective about the goals I have set and the progress made toward those goals. It is rare that I spend any amount of time reflecting on the good, I seem to spend the majority of the time and energy beating myself up over the lack of progress. Some reflection is good – and doing in a way that expresses gratefulness for the path, the journey and the progress is best, whereas the way I am doing it during my times on these days in particular – is unhealthy.

While these days are a struggle for me, the passing of them eventually leaves me with an emotionally worn-down, tattered soul that feels like it just survived a battle. I knew the fight was coming, I weathered the storm, and although I’m sore – the sun has risen the next day and there is a newness to it – one that whispers, “stand up”.

The start of a new year brings with it hope that I can write down new goals and do my best to make them reality.

I know in my heart (and my mind) that it is all up to me. Success or failure are destinations that only I define, and the decision to take the journey is one that only I decide.

With this in mind, I am moving forward with keen eye toward a new goal, a passionate desire within my heart to reach it, and a back pocket full of gentle patience – because we all know I’m going to need a ton of that along the way! 🙂

Happy New Year!