Thursday, February 27, 2014

If Shackleton Can Do It

It's February 27, 59 days into your New Year's resolutions and it's time for a check in.
By now you've created a new habit, and that habit needs an energy boost. Being a regular intention-setting gal, I recharge by thinking about my favorite inspirational warriors. When I find myself chanting under my breath, “If Shackleton can do it, I can do it,” it's definitely time for a quick review of my hero's bio.

Ernest Shackelton was an explorer famous for his failure to find the South Pole. It was the early 1900’s. Though their ship, The Endurance, got trapped in pack ice, broke up, sank and had to be abandoned; under Shackleton’s leadership, all of the men survived and returned home safely—one year later.

The Endurance photo by Frank Hurley
In her book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander, page 94 offers this quote by one of expedition members, Macklin,.
As always with him what had happened had happened,” Macklin wrote. “It was in the past and he looked to the future without emotion, melodrama or excitement. He said, “Ship and stores have gone, so now we'll go home.”

Basically, the crew's survival came down to this:
  1. They did not get caught up in the story of the tragedy.
  2. They established a routine of work and physical activity to keep the monkey mind at bay.
  3. When the work was done; they played music, sang songs or ran around on the ice.
It's easy to abandon my intention to take the next step if I've had a lousy/grueling/long/stressful day. It's hard to unhook from an emotional day and allow the present to inform my next right move. But if Shackleton can do it, then I can do it. If Shackleton can do it, then I can do it.

Who is your inspirational warrior?

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