UNIVERSAL MAN – EP 9 – EPIC GOALS
In this episode, Pricey interviewed Grego about Epic Goals.
There is a difference between normal goals and epic goals. An epic goal normally entails some sort of adventure, journey or challenge that requires a total and all-out commitment of energy, learning and time.
These are things like climbing a mountain, writing a book, recording your first album, going on a Vipassana meditation retreat, running a marathon, walking the Camino trail.
The first time you write down this goal or think about committing to it you should feel a nagging sense of fear or nervousness about whether or not you can achieve it.
HOW TO ACHIEVE EPIC GOALS
Achieving epic goals takes intense physical, mental, spiritual, emotional energy and growth to achieve. Because of this, they aren’t always on the agenda and a rhythm of one every couple of years is generally more reasonable.
One of the greatest benefits of epic goals is that it often means you have to break the shackles of your own personal beliefs and comfort zone to enter a new level of performance and the beauty of that is the new level resets a whole range of limiting parameters in your subconscious mind.
WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS?
The pitfalls abound on epic goals, which makes sense; if they didn’t in some way carry risk, they wouldn’t be epic. One of the biggest mistakes is getting the timing wrong because you have a range of other commitments that already demand all your time and energy. But also at the same time be careful you don’t put it off forever waiting for the perfect time.
It is also important to confirm with dependants and loved ones the time and energy commitment. Explain to them the sacrifice required not just from you but also from them and reset the bar on some expectations. E.g. that you might have to be out training every Saturday for 4 hours.
A lot of people go for epic goals completely on their own and make all sorts of mistakes in their preparation. So get coached if you can by someone who really knows their stuff. And if you can join forces with a mate then you’ll find the commitment is a little easier to stick to.
THE BENEFITS OF EPIC GOALS
A totally new perspective on life
When I returned from the Gobi March my entire perspective on life had changed. Some of the blows life had dealt me pre-race had felt like massive uppercuts. But after the race, after I crossed the finish line, tears streaming down my dust-crusted face the world changed. Everything else in my life seemed easier.
Most of life’s challenges were now minor obstacles to be broken down and worked through. Many of the little things that used to bother me faded away. I didn’t concern myself with petty issues any more. And when big issues become small issues, life and work are set for big improvements.
Boosted confidence and esteem
This first race was the greatest personal triumph of my life because I did it alone. It wasn’t glorious. There weren’t throngs of people there to congratulate me. But the personal pride I felt as I stepped across the line felt electric. I developed a new inner confidence, one that I keep inside today and no one can touch.
Knowledge of the power of total commitment
During the peak of my training, I was running more than 100km a week. On a particular Wednesday, my schedule called for a half-marathon to be run. I didn’t have time after work which meant I needed to run 21.1 km before work. So I woke up at 5 AM and did just that. By 7:30am I was at my desk, eating my breakfast. I felt SO alive. I put in a full day’s work, went to a function that night, and then crashed into bed exhausted at the end of the day.
Doing something epic is like climbing without ropes—you have to go all-in or you perish. You have to continuously push yourself into new territory in order to survive and when that happens, your territory gets bigger. Forever.
A new and inspiring network
In the process of preparing and raising money for charity, I met dozens of really cool people that I still call friends today. And then in the race, it was like a haven for legendary people. Everyone there was a high-quality professional or all-round champion human being and we all sat around the campfire at night telling stories.
I never did this for reputation but it made a massive impact on people’s perception of me in my current network. I immediately had some of my oldest friends and colleagues introducing me as, “the crazy guy that runs across deserts.” Which I sort of didn’t really want but at least it started some conversations on an interesting note.
HOW TO SMASH EPIC GOALS
- Pick something big and pay for it immediately and then tell people about it
- Get a coach / mentor
- Build physical fitness sustainably over time. Manage recovery.
- Build technical skill / capability
- Plan it – training plan – that tracks results so you have mini-goals that you can tick off along the way
Most people never attempt big goals because their mind is full of objections like, “I’m not an athlete” or “I don’t have time in my life already so how would I do this?”
The thing about big goals like this is that you find a way to learn something new or get fitter so you can get a little further along the journey. You find something that inspires you—like climbing Kilimanjaro, or completing the Camino trail—and you find a way to get it done.
When you settle on something epic, make it congruent by involving your family in the training, doing it with your partner, or raising money for charity. I raised money for Bravehearts and it kept me going at least once or twice when the chips were down in training or during the run.
The greatest victories are closer than you think…but the window of opportunity for doing them gets smaller every day. Just do it.
Pricey & Grego