Finality vs. Milestones: The Inner You Battle

I’m not sure many of you know, but I have a major affinity for fine dining. I mean – I just love food in general. However, there’s just more to it when you’re at a restaurant that is attempting to be a Michelin-rated restaurant. The ambiance. The detail in everything from the arrangement of utensils to exactly how things are plated. It’s just different. 

One of my favorite movies is “Burn” with Bradley Cooper. It’s about a 2-star Michelin chef, Cooper, who is opening a new restaurant after sentencing himself to years of hard labor for his transgressions to attain the elusive 3rd star. A 3-star Michelin chef is the highest honor a chef can attain. You’re essentially chasing perfection. Cooper is just a jerk in the movie and all throughout the movie fails to realize that he’s trying to go after his 3rd star for the wrong reasons. 

I recently watched a short “podcast” if you will about self-speak and self-affirmation and its importance. The discussions we have with ourselves about why we do things or why we HAVE to do things is really what determines our success or failure.

Cooper believes that when he finally gets his 3rd star that all his dreams and wishes will come true. He believes that EVERYTHING will be right in the world and that people will worship the ground he walks on. 

I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost 15 years and I’ve never, not once, thought about doing something else for my fitness. Even after all the surgeries I’ve had and all the just “ugggh” workouts, it’s never crossed my mind to maybe just go back to bodybuilding type stuff. Why?

The reason Cooper was destined to fail and the reason so many of us feel as though we’re falling short in reaching our goals is EXTERNAL affirmation. Cooper believed SO DEEPLY that once he obtained his 3rd star that people would treat him like a God. You might believe SO DEEPLY that once you lose all the weight you need to or when you finally get that muscle up that people are going to come running to celebrate you. 

I have NEVER thought to myself, “well, I guess I’m as fit as I’m ever going to be. I must be done.” I do CrossFit because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. The results be damned. I just enjoy doing it. I’ve never cared about what anyone thought about me doing it. I just liked doing it. 

Relying on the affirmation of others is futile. The moment you achieve your “goal” and you don’t get the validation you were seeking, you’re going to feel hollow. Is it good to have goals and MILESTONES? Of course. Those are for you though. It should be something YOU really want. Not what you think someone is going to applaud you for. 

I kinda don’t want to ruin the movie for y’all because it is great, but much like a 10-course meal this blog might not make sense if I don’t tie it all together with a spoiler. In the movie, the day the Michelin critics arrive, a chef in Cooper’s kitchen sabotages his dish. He goes into a drunken stupor even though he is a recovering alcoholic. He wakes up the next day and much to his surprise the sun has risen and it’s a beautiful day. A short while after he comes to find out that the people he thought were the critics were actually just a regular pair of guests. He remembers that he cooks because he LOVES to do it not because he needs a 3 star Michelin rating to validate that he does. 

He realizes there’s no point in chasing perfection because perfection isn’t real. Perfection is subjective.  The destination should never be the motivation. The motivation is that you stayed on the journey because YOU enjoy the journey.


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