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It is inevitable. Not only is it inevitable, but also desirable. It is a wall. I hit a wall yesterday during my morning workout in the pool. After one particular turn, late in the workout, I suddenly felt as if I could go no further. This was a curious feeling because I was some 20 laps short of my normal total. In addition, the wall moved, traveled, reappeared as if by magic throughout the day, no matter what I was doing.

The necessary obstacle reared its ugly head and frustrated my reinvention on, of all days, the 4th of July, the ultimate day of reinvention.

I am in the throws of editing my book and the first goal was to cut the chaff! I worked one particular chapter yesterday for hours. I managed to effectively lose the non-essential drivel but found the embellishments to be heavy-lifting of the first order. It just wasn’t working.

This morning, during my second spinning class of the week, I struggled to maintain my pace. The class was demanding more of my body than it seemed to possess. I found myself in a funk riding home. The obvious explanation, and one which I fully understand, is that we are not as strong every day. Strength, both physical and mental, vacillates, ebbing and flowing with circumstances outside our ability to control. I wish it were that simple.

Thinking about what transpired yesterday and today, I realized that reinvention was not like checking a new book out the library. The X-Factor is passion. Need. Passion and need may well be the flip-side of the same coin. If I am truly creating new behavior patterns, the change will be tiresome, worrisome, or just plain difficult because I’m using different ‘muscles’. Fatigue will set in and only the passion or need to succeed will push me beyond this starting point.

Images came to mind of other experiences during my rehab of physical conditioning. One of my activities for physical rehab is swimming. I frequently saw an elderly gentleman in the pool swimming laps at the same pace for long periods of time. He was remarkably consistent and strong. The opportunity to meet him was a revelation. He is 96 years of age and swims every day! If you see him outside the fitness center, he is stooped over and appears to be in the process of toppling over! An inner-drive pushes him in the pool. He, no doubt, has similar issues with weak days, I just never saw it.

Nothing in this world can happen for you without passion. One can be a first-class passenger on the good-ship Serendipity, but that rudderless state of being is not recommended. The hidden element in this mission of reinvention, the X-Factor if I may, is my own passion. How badly do I need and want this outcome to fit my plan. 

Look around you. I’m sure you will find little insights to passion and need everywhere. I have seen it in the smallest of places. The next time the vicissitudes of strength strike me, I can recognize it for what it may be; but I really need to make a passion-check!

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