Becoming THE GOAT
I grew up in New York City, near the old Yankee Stadium. On the few occasions, I saw a goat in a children’s zoo or a petting zoo. That was what I thought of as a goat for most of my life. The Yankees were always world champions and I rooted for them with fervor. I remember pitching in the little league on the site of where the current Stadium is, hearing the roar of the fans after home runs occurred. That was the lot of New York sports fans at that time.
There is a difference between being a champion and being THE GOAT– The Greatest of All Time! I don’t know of anyone other than Ali, who proclaimed himself to be The Greatest of All Time. I do know many people who play small but think they are big shots professionally. Frightened to reach for the stars, they hold themselves back. It is sad to see people who could be much bigger, happier, and more successful, crippled by their self-imposed limitations. They live in cells, prisoners of their conditioning.
Are you one of them?
From the time we are small and go to school, they condition most of us to “shut up, do what you are told, regurgitate a bunch of staff when we tell you to do it, get good grades . . . or else.” Or else we won’t get into college.
The threats continue in college where we are threatened that we won’t get a “good job.” After college or serving in the military, we are threatened that unless we behave, we will be fired. Is it any wonder that people were (and are still) shocked when they do the right thing and are fired, anyway. You kept your end of the bargain, but the system spits you out anyway through no fault of yours.
To become THE GOAT, you need to stop believing the lies you are told and begin to dream again. Do you remember how to do that?
Becoming THE GOAT
Let me walk you through steps to help you become THE GOAT in whatever you set out to do. To be clear, although the steps will seem easy, in practice, they are very challenging. You will need to become a different person to evolve into THE GOAT.
There is a model I learned from Lance Secretan of The Secretan Institute called “The Castle Principles.™” CASTLE is an acronym that stands for Courage, Authenticity, Service, Truthfulness, Love, and Effectiveness. Each of these will be extremely important to you on this journey . . . but it starts with courage. You will need to be courageous in ways you don’t know yet in order to become THE GOAT. After all, when you think of Ali, his courage was not simply in the ring but outside of the ring where American society HATED him and tried to crush him for not conforming to what white America demanded of black men.
Friends and family may question your sanity for wanting to make a change. “You have such a good career. You have a good job and a good paycheck!” With love being professed but behind that their fear, they are telling you that you are wrong. Don’t leave the prison cell they are also in.
To become THE GOAT, you will need to
- Ask yourself, “What do I want to be?” This is the dream of what you want to set out to do. I beg you to take your time to think this through and, ideally, get some help sorting this through. A coach. A husband, a wife, a partner, a really good friend or friends can all be a great source for sorting though your thoughts about this. If they are the right people, they will help you recognize your blindspots but not talk you out of your choice to change.
- Next, ask yourself, “Why? Why is this so important to you.” In the face of your decision being called into question, you will need to summon up your courage AND you will need important reminders for why this is so important to you. Trust me when I say that making more money isn’t that important. The money is a byproduct but not the real truth for why you want to do this and change your life. What’s the truth? What’s the real emotional reason for this change.
- Conduct experiments that start to move the needle toward what you want to do and who you want to become. Do something tomorrow. Do something everyday. Initially, it doesn’t need to be big and bold. It just has to be something. Don’t worry about what people think about what your are doing (unless it is something that is going to jeopardize your life, your job, your family or others). Do something.
- Review. Did you do what you set out to do or didn’t you? Why did you do or not do? What did you learn from this? We have all learned that being “held accountable” is a way of spotlighting flaws, failures and imperfection. It is punitive and we don’t like it. We know how to do that to ourselves too well. Consider doing a simple review without judgement or self-criticism. Follow it up with asking what you learned from this.
- Ask for help. You probably don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes, there are skills or knowledge gaps. Sometimes, you are the crazy person in the room and need help getting control of your fears. All you need to do is contract or hire help if no one is readily available. Without help, you are learning through trial and error. It takes longer and mistakes can be avoided with another’s good questions and perspectives.
- See if you can make this fun. Bring a spirit of play into this! I don’t know how it was for you, but when I was young, I got a lot done when it was fun! Somewhere along the line, I was conditioned to think or things as “to do’s” or “jobs” and that came with a layer of difficulty or it being hard or unpleasant. If you are anything like me, try bringing a “spirit of play” into this. You might not be good at it the first time or the 41st time. Like everything, you’ll get better at it.
Remember, it starts with courage. The courage to re-awaken your desires and no longer succumb to a life time of conditioning.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2017, 2021, 2022
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
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