When You Feel Unstoppable, Take Notice

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Creative Commons License photo credit: shoothead

There are times when you are doing very well, and feel like nothing can stop you in your quest. You feel like you are doing the thing that fits you perfectly. This could be during computer programming, shaking hands with customers, or when you’ve exercised for 50 minutes straight. Regardless of the activity that gives you this feeling, take a moment to look at whether that activity is your “thing”.

Chariots Of Fire Message

In the 1981 movie Chariots Of Fire, described to me by a certain individual, there are two men who are part of a race. There is a runner named Harold Abrahams, who works very hard to be as fast as he can be. Then, there is the runner named Eric Liddell, who feels as though running is his special thing. He doesn’t feel so much that he is training for the victory, but that he is doing what he is supposed to do in life. On a related note, these were two real runners in the 1924 Olympics.

When we do that thing that we feel we are made for, there isn’t much that other people can do to stop us. We don’t need much motivation there, because we quickly return to the activity after doing other things, because those other things don’t feel right to us.

Is there something that you do that takes nearly no motivation for you to engage in? It might seem too easy to you, but to someone else, it might be something they see as too hard to even try. If you are able to notice what this thing is for you, you can make use of it before it fades away. If you are already making use of it, you know all about the unstoppable feeling.

Phone Calling Example

Using the phone to call people might sound like a simple thing, but there are immense benefits you can get from routinely calling chosen people. You can become a networking maven. A person who is very comfortable using their voice, and who doesn’t back down from anyone, when they are talking with them over the phone, could open up a world of opportunities by taking their communication strength and putting it towards contacting prospects.

If they had a product to sell, this would be a no-brainer way to expand their sales business. If they didn’t currently have a product to sell, or a way to make use of this communication method to further their goals, calling a few folks every day could easily get them in gear. People are generally helpful when talked to, more so by phone than by more distanced methods, so this could be a route to figuring out what one’s product or service to put out would be.

The Film Conclusion And Message Conclusion

Back to the film, in the first race with those two athletes I mentioned, Liddell beats Abrahams. Abrahams feels disappointment from this loss because he trained hard, but he doesn’t understand that Liddell is a runner in mind. Abrahams later ends up with a victory in the 100-meter sprint, and Liddell also ends up getting a Gold in the 400-meter dash.

There is certainly more to the film than this summary I have provided, but I wanted to elaborate on that separating point between these two runners, which also separates you from someone else in a specific category or two. It is good to find these elements of yours that need very little motivation to perform, and exploit them to the best of your ability. It is a form of gratitude for the advantages of your current state of mind.

24 thoughts on “When You Feel Unstoppable, Take Notice”

  1. Eric Liddel’s house he lived in here in Tianjin, China is only a few kilometers away from where I’m living. He was killed by the invading Japanese army, while in China as a missionary. There is a plaque on the wall outside the house he lived in here. Great movie, too.

    I like your idea of doing what you’re made for. But Armen, how do we know and can it change?
    .-= Gordie´s last blog ..Lifestyle Design Begins at Home. =-.

    1. Hey Gordie.

      That is quite interesting. I sure left out the part about him later becoming a missionary, but I’m glad you brought it up. It is cool that someone who was doing his calling then went to help others with theirs. How cool is that that it right near where you are. Everything starts to connect.

      I would say that we know when we get that special feeling. I have gotten it a few times, realizing that everyone in a group wasn’t seeing what I was seeing, or when I had so much momentum I had to stay calm to maintain it. It is sort of like finding a strength we didn’t know was a strength of ours. It could change, but I don’t think they do change much. My main strengths have stayed similar for a long time.

      Cool historical addition there~

  2. Hi Armen,

    I love your last sentence: It [exploiting what is effortless] is a form of gratitude for the advantages of your current state of mind.

    When we express our gifts, and don’t keep them hidden, it is like saying a huge “thank you.” We cannot control what gifts we get, but we can certainly make the space for them to manifest – and shine. And we are all better off when we do.
    .-= Gail @ A Flourishing Life´s last blog ..Will These Memories Ever Go Away? =-.

    1. Hi Gail.

      Thanks about that last line. I almost ended it with a much less poignant ending, but I corrected that. Exploitation has a negative connotation, but if we are exploiting what is there and untapped, it certainly shouldn’t be described as negative.

      Good call about the “thank you” point there. When we do this, people also can see what we are thanking for, directing them to our strengths.

      Thanks for this.

  3. Great post. I see that same dichotomy in the way my fiance and I think about running. She just loves to run and will run long distances every day. I hate running, but I love competing, so I try to hack training so I can be competitive in the same way that she is naturally.

    1. Hi Dave.

      Thanks there. Cool deal there about you and your fiance. I bet she runs faster than you if she wants. Joking there sir. I like how it relates very similarly to the concept I brought up. She probably sees it almost as recharge time while you would see it as energy-usage time. What a difference that can make.

      That is sort of like how Chris Rock brought up the difference between those with a career and those with a job. He was saying those with a career always feel like there isn’t enough time, and those with a job feel like time is going too slowly(when they are at work). That relates well here.

      Cool real example sir.

    1. Hey Oscar.

      Good deal about programming there. I bet when you are programming you feel like you are in your fitting output mode. I like how you add that it isn’t preventing you from trying other things. Running might have been the big strength of Liddell in his life, but that didn’t stop him from later becoming an active missionary. We can use our big strengths to get ahead, and then work on other things we might not be top notch in(at first).

      Here’s some random code for all those coders out there:

      int i = 3;

  4. Hi Armen, this is quite interesting. I’ve never seen the movie that you mentioned, but the way you described it seems very motivational in the way that we don’t necessarily need motivation if we find what we are supposed to do, or do what we were meant to do in life. Great post man. Thanks for sharing this.
    .-= Hulbert´s last blog ..Finding Relief: A Painful Way to Get Out of Pain =-.

    1. Hey Hulbert.

      Thanks about that. I haven’t seen the movie either, but had it described to me, and also read some material about it. It sure is motivational for those aspects we are smooth and almost made for. When we find those things, people have to watch out for us like we are the bosses at the end of Super Mario Brothers stages.

      Good to hear from you.

    1. Hi Brett.

      Thanks for that. Interesting question. Well, it would certainly help to do that. At least that would remove some doubt, which would lead to a bit of improvement in those other aspects.

      One example might be a person who didn’t learn other languages when they were young wanting to now learn many languages. Since the neural connections for quick language learning weren’t created early on, they would have to learn them in a way that is described as more difficult than for those who did learn multiple languages very early on. They could still think of themselves as unstoppable, though, and could brute force their way into learning to speak multiple languages.

  5. Hey Armen,

    Great article, and very true. I see this same example in my life, however, some of the things I think are my “thing” sometimes hold me back. I think we all do that, define ourselves as something and live it until we change the definition.
    Being a fat guy and a “big eater” used to be my thing…now it’s not.
    Doing martial arts didn’t used to “be my thing.” now it is and I love it.
    I appreciate you bringing this up as we can certainly change our definitions in life and find ways to love something, then excel.
    .-= Ryan M Hall´s last blog ..The Power of Letting Go – A Sedona Method Test =-.

    1. Hi Ryan.

      Thanks about the article. Interesting how some of those items could hold you back. I agree about how we run into problems when we define ourselves as something that may not exactly be who we are.

      Nice move on the switch to doing martial arts, certainly improving your health in the process. Good to hear your thoughts.

    1. Hi Amit.

      Good call on taking note of those moments. When I remember those special times, I remember that I can be the person who was the person during those special times.

      I will keep that ending quote in my mind, as it is something I think of at times. It is cool that it was noticed.

  6. Great post Armen. This is what it is all about and what we should all be looking for…something that we can do and know that it will just flow. Where something is so right for us that we can easily tap into that part of ourselves that allows us to perform effortlessly. There really is a difference when we do those type of things that are just in tune with who we are and our strengths. Thanks for the message.
    .-= Sibyl – alternaview´s last blog ..How to achieve positive results…again, and again, and again =-.

    1. Hi Sibyl.

      Thanks there. Finding that activity we flow in sure is the key component. For one person, it might be memorizing definitions, and for another, it might be cooking vegetables. When we do that thing that energizes us, we turn into a large snowball rolling down a mountain, getting larger along the way.

  7. Hey Armen, sorry about not commenting for a long time, but here I am back after school started busily.

    I read your post, and I think it is a fantastic reminder to do what you intuitively love to do. You are describing passion which requires no forced motivation. Many people already has this, however many people struggle their whole lives trying to succeed realizing what they are “meant” to do.

    There are so many things that can “block” that passion. For example, a person can grow up in a “group operating” culture, where a person does not have say in what he/she wants to do. Their family and culture pushes them to do one certain thing when they feel like they are not meant to continue down that path.

    It is hard, which is why it is such a freedom to live in North America where an individualized culture continue to roam. One is able to choose freely of what they would like to do based on their passion.

    This is why I am glad to live in this part of the world – go personal power! 😀
    .-= Steven´s last blog ..Why You Shouldn’t Suppress Your Emotions =-.

    1. Hey Steven.

      That is fine and it is good to hear from you.

      I think you described what I was saying quite well there. It’s not worth the struggle to do things that aren’t suited or tailored to your mindset and knowledge base.

      Good point about “group operating” culture, because when a person doesn’t have say in what they do, most of their interests get mowed down, until the day when the group realizes their failure in inhibiting remarkable qualities.

      The place we live sure does impact how able we are to use our unstoppable traits. I appreciate the insight.

  8. Thought-provoking post in that we often ignore our natural abilities and gifts, and not use them to our best advantage. We think them as nothing special. Yet others wish for what we have. It will be a good idea to spend some time re-discovering what our natural gifts are and bringing them forward.
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..30 Power Words To Activate Intention Setting =-.

    1. Hi Evelyn.

      Welcome over here.

      We sure do sometimes think of them as nothing special until we compare. Spending some time thinking about them sounds foolish to some, but not to those who understand that 5 minutes of thinking can lead to hours of good results later.

      Good to hear from you.

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