THE SMALL PICTURE. THE BIG PICTURE.

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‘You know, Brigitte’, you tell me, ‘I will be happy once I get that damn Chopper (Shoulder Mount, Hand Spring, Invert, fill in the blank with any move of your choice)’.

No, no you won’t.

Let me back things up a little. When you think of your happiness as it relates to your training, there is the small picture and the big picture. The small picture is the little wins or goals you accomplish and the big picture is the overall feeling you get about your experience. Will you be happy once you get that particular nemesis move? Of course you will! And good on you for all the hard work, training and perseverance it took to get there. Absolutely 100% you will feel happy. However, it will not make you overall happy in the big picture. Why? Because that feeling will fade very quickly and you will move onto the next hard thing that you can’t get. Then the cycle repeats itself. For example, I will be happy when I get my invert. You get your Invert. You are excited for a couple weeks. Then you can’t get your Chopper and declare that you will finally be happy when you get it. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Yes, you had an impact on your short-term happiness but not long-term. If your happiness is like a pinball machine going from one short-term high to the other, that will soon fade fast when moves take weeks, months or even years to accomplish. Unfortunately, this causes many people to give up.

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So what’s a person to do? The best thing is to do a little compartmentalizing to create the whole picture or you can’t see the forest for the trees. For example, choosing to focus on those hard moves is a wonderful thing to do. It gives you something to work towards and can be a really big marker for your skills; however, if you become obsessed, frustrated, or put your whole self-esteem or experience on the fact that you can’t do one move out of all the other things you can, your overall experience is tarnished and not accurate to be completely honest.

Some self-help motivators teach people to assess areas of their life (family, work, health, etc), try do the same with your training. How is my overall experience? Do I enjoy training most of the time? How is my overall strength? Flexibility? Dance? This is a good thing to do because sometimes frustration or disappointment can completely drown all the other good things. If you can look at things separately to determine the whole picture, it may make those frustrating goals a little more manageable. For example, I still can’t get my chopper, but I feel like my strength is improving. Also, I had an amazing contemporary dance class this week, or I tried Barre for the first time. Overall this week has been an 8/10. Not, ohmygod I still can’t get my chopper, I suck at everything, it’s not fair, I should quit. One seems a little more rational than the other.

To reiterate, it’s awesome and necessary to want those short-term goals, but they should not be the total basis of your experience. They are a piece of the pie, not the whole damn thing. You are more than that.

Stilettos and sparkles,
-Brigitte

Sarah Longpre