Good morning Tash Appreciators,
Some of you may have seen or heard about the Conor McGregor v. Jose Aldo UFC fight last weekend. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t, all you need to know is that McGregor predicted exactly how he would win and he delivered upon his prediction within 13 seconds.
He said after the fight:
“If you can see it – and you have the courage enough to speak it – it will happen.”
On its own, that’s obviously rubbish. I could say that I’d smash one of these UFC lads in 13 seconds (indeed, I frequently do say things like that!) but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen. However, in a facebook post the next day, McGregor said this:
“To the naked eye it was 13 seconds, but to my team and my family it has been a lifetime of work to get to that 13 seconds.”
It’s a lot easier to say that you’re going to do something – and then go out and do it – if you’ve done the work before-hand. It looks like clairvoyance but it’s actually just the culmination of years of training and the execution of a well-laid plan.
Some of you might remember that this approach is one that chimes with me. In January 2014 – there’s an edition of TF to prove it – I set out my plan for Operation Zorro.
I can’t remember if I stated the three goals explicitly in TF but I did mention them to plenty of people:
- get a job at a particular company doing a particular type of work;
- complete the Etape Caledonia in under 4 hours; and
- buy a flat with the other half of Tash Friday.
That was almost two years ago and the only part of Operation Zorro (Mark I) that didn’t eventually work out is that the quickest time I’ve managed for the Etape is 4 hours and 11 minutes. I’d be lying if I said that the 11 minutes doesn’t grate…
I know that plenty of you have had some exceptional experiences in 2015 which are lot more impressive than any of the Operation Zorro goals. Within this group we have folk who’ve started / are just about to start jobs which are extremely difficult to get into; backed themselves by taking roads less-travelled; started businesses; got engaged / married; moved abroad… the list goes on.
Set controls for the heart of the sun
So: what’s next?
I don’t want to stop at just one Operation Zorro: I want to see what else I can do; I want to develop Operation Zorro (Mark 2).
Pretty much my whole experience of the last two years can be summed up in one paragraph from this week’s Tash, Theodore Roosevelt. I’ve mentioned snippets of this quote before but the words “dare greatly” have been going round my head for a long time and it only seems right that I give them their proper context:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Regardless of whether you’ve known the triumph of high achievement in 2015, or you’ve stumbled, I hope that in 2016 you back yourself to dare greatly and fulfil whatever you have in mind for your own Operation Zorro
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a photo taken during this year’s pilgrimage to TF’s spiritual home. Like McGregor said, it’s the team and family which are ultimately responsible for whatever we as individuals achieve…
Have a great Christmas everyone!
A fundamental in a purposeful life. If you make something impressive look easy, it’s because you have worked seriously hard to achieve it. As Conor said – A lifetime of work!
As ever Tashman, a provocative and thoughtful essay. Well done on achieving your goals and a good season to set the next ones.