I'd like to talk about a feeling.
It's a very particular feeling.
I recently found this feeling, and I hope by the end of this post, that I can convince you to find it too.
I'm guessing it won't be too hard, because I know you've found it before.
First, let's talk about my love of rowing. Indoor rowing to be precise.
For close to two years, my goal has been to row two kilometers in eight minutes.
I came relatively close a few times, but until recently, I felt like the goal was still a bit out of reach for me.
The closest I had come until about a week before writing this post, was 8:25. Eight minutes, 25 seconds.
Then one morning, after a particularly bad sleep, when I wasn't feeling motivated at all, I just suddenly beat it.
I rowed two kilometers in 7:59:9, and then proceeded to keel over and gasp for every precious breath of air.
At first, I couldn't quite understand how I did it. 25 seconds is a lot of time to make up, or at least it felt that way to me.
I wondered if it was a fluke.
A few days later, I tried it again.
7:58:0 this time.
Still keeled over, gasping for that precious air.
A few days after that ... 7:44:6. This happened just a few hours before I started writing the first draft of this post.
I still can't quite explain what has changed. Perhaps it's compound effects working their magic, perhaps it's something else.
What I've come to realize, is that explaining it isn't really the point.
The point is, I've met the feeling.
What I'm talking about specifically is the feeling of the process.
It's the difference between working toward something hard and not achieving it (i.e. me rowing 8:25), and working toward the same hard thing and actually achieving it (i.e. all my sub-eight minute times).
I'm talking about the feeling of knowing we are a functioning at a different level. Accomplishing the goal is simply proof that the feeling was real.
I have no idea what time I will achieve on my next three attempts at rowing two kilometers.
What I have a bit more clarity on, is what it feels like to row that distance in under eight minutes.
This is still a new feeling for me.
I'm now working on making it a normal feeling.
For me, this practically looks like being able to row two kilometers in under eight minutes and not end up keeled over gasping for air.
I think this feeling can be a profound teacher.
Once it teaches us its lesson, we know we'll have graduated to a different level.
You've met this feeling already. It's what got you to where you are now.
I hope you'll meet it again soon, because we all still have many levels to go.
p.s. If you have two minutes, this post pairs well with A New Floor.