- Friday, July 02, 2010

Peaceful Warrior

The best thing that has happened to me this week is watching this show called "Peaceful Warrior". It resonated so much with me. It reminded me of the moments when I went through Idea Rawkstarrs, planning for Sparks, calling each potential participant and listening to them about their concerns… It was like I saw a reflection of myself in the movie.

I am sucker for winning. I love to win. I need to win. But then, looking back at my life, at my journey in Idea Rawkstarrs, in Sparks, I realized that it’s not about winning or scoring or getting things done perfectly. It’s about surrendering control.

In the movie, this young man named Dan is a gymnast. He aims to represent his country in the Olympics. He was a winner. Day and night, he worked hard and partied hard, and still was at the top. Everything was going well for him. But Dan was not spectacular. He was not great.

Somehow along the way, Dan's feet shattered because of an accident. He gave up. And that’s when his mentor looked him in the eye and said, "You don't surrender your dreams. You surrender the one thing you never have and you never will have - control. Accept that you don't control what happens to you, that you may or may not compete in the Olympics. And that you are something exceptional, either way."

I found this very powerful, because throughout my journey in Sparks, I keep hearing how the lack of confidence stopped young people from getting their dreams. How the need to be safe is so important. And I found myself in that familiar spot where I used to be – the only difference is right now, I’m the spectator instead of the one worrying about what's right and what should be said or done. Right now, there’s no need for me to be in control of everything. Slowly, one step at a time, I let go, and surrender control.

But what struck out the most was this dialogue that happened when Dan was freaking out if he should pursue his dream of being a gymnast or not since his feet was shattered. With questioning eyes, he asked his mentor: "What if I can’t do it?" His mentor shot back, "That’s in the future! Throw that thought out!" "Then when do we stop?" "There’s no stopping. Only doing."

And then I found myself in this familiar spot again. My hands trembling, my heart wavering. I am supposed to make phone calls and ask people if they'd be coming for Sparks or not. What if I can't get people in? That's in the future! Throw that thought out. When do I stop? When do I know that it's time to pull back? There's no stopping. Only doing.

At the end of the movie, Dan's friend asked him what happened to him – just like how some of my friends asked what happened to me after Idea Rawkstarrs. Dan said this: "You make every move about the move. Not about the gold. Not about what your dad thinks about you. Not about anything. But that one moment in time." This made me think about how it was like in Module 2 of Idea Rawkstarrs when Peter started the module with – "I believe in living from moment to moment, because life is about moments. It’s made up of moments. And that’s why each moment is to be lived."

Since the universe is trying to remind me on and on that life is made up of moments that are to be lived, I guess it's true that each moment is meant to be cherished, breathed, lived. And maybe along the way, I have forgotten what's it like to live in moments. Instead, I've become so caught up with what needs to be done, what's right to say… This is, then, a wake up call – to live each moment for itself, because it is not the destination that brings happiness but the journey.

Finally, I found this particular quote in the movie very powerful...

Where are you, Dan?
Here.
What time is it?
Now.
What are you doing?
This moment.

Similarly,

Where are you, Jon?
Here.
What time is it?
Now.
What are you doing?
This moment.

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