Leave it all on the field

Leave it all on the field

Right now, you have a choice. You can live life partially closed, or wide open.

You can spend each day feeling completely spent, knowing that you gave everything. Or you can hesitate, hold back, and obstruct what you have to give.

The first path is where you let your heart guide you, immersed in a deep curiosity and with a sense of exploration. You smile at what you have yet to do, because you know that each step will be joyful and deliberate.

The second path is filled with second-guessing, what-ifs, and seeking approval from maps and nods of others. You cringe with each step; you feel tense and unsure.

One way leads you to feeling thoroughly used up, knowing that you gave everything and held nothing back. Like at the end of a good run, you’re tired, yet energized.

The other way leaves you with a feeling of fragmentation; a sense that part of you has been closed off and bottled up. You feel twisted and jammed, as if some part of you is being pinched off.

They have a saying in sports to “leave it all on the field.” It means: Hold nothing back, put it all on the line. Don’t end the game feeling like you could have given more. Don’t leave feeling like you played it safe when you had the opportunity for something greater.

If you give everything, there will be no questions about what you could or might have done.

I definitely relate to this when I’m running the San Gabriel trails in my backyard. Most of the time I don’t run all the way up the steep climb to the top (an elevation gain and drop of about 4,000 feet over 7 miles), but when I stop to walk I hear a call somewhere in me asking if I have anything left to give. I ask: Jonathan, is there anything left in there? And even though my lungs are on fire and calves are burning I always find that the answer is Yes, there’s something more to give.

It’s easier when I’m on the trail. I’m only thinking about the next few steps in front of me; the next bush, the next turn… just a few more feet. In life I find it to be a bit more tricky. The path isn’t always as clear. Goals change as you move toward them; life can be messy and unpredictable.

But I find the goal to be the same. Give everything, hold nothing back. Unrelentingly feed love into everything that you do, in every interaction, every step. Even the smallest things can be done with great love.

Of course there will be days where you stumble. Sometimes you will make things out to be bigger than you are and forget what matters. Something on the path will distract you and deter you from the direction you want to go. But then you will remember to retrace your steps and take notice.

And when you reflect you’ll remember: give everything, hold nothing back. End each day thoroughly spent.

That’s the way I want to end each day. How about you?

photo courtesy of josephrobertson

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Tom Meitner December 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

This is some good stuff, Jonathan. We seem to be conditioned these days to give it a good effort and then immediately reward ourselves by wasting time doing other stuff (watching TV, etc.), saying “Well, I did a good job today.” But we need to be aware of how much more we can do. There’s no sense in killing ourselves over some stuff, but there’s a difference between putting forth an effort and truly doing all that you can do. Nice work.

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Gordie December 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Very inspirational post. I think that I’m often guilty of not giving it my all, and to be honest, it’s mostly out of laziness. I think that I’m still a way off my goals because I haven’t given it my all yet. You have made me become aware of this. Thank you.

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Evan December 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I think life is a flow of opening and closing.

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Nea | Self Improvement Saga December 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Very, very motivating! This line said it all for me, “If you give everything, there will be no questions about what you could or might have done.”

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Persha -DumpedDays December 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

“Don’t end the game feeling like you could have given more.” Yes indeed. I guess we often feel that we could have done more.
I think some people genuinely do their best while others just “do things for the sake of doing”. Of course the later folks, should feel they could have done more :-)

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Jenny December 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

Holy cow did I need this today. Thanks Jonathan!

“But I find the goal to be the same. Give everything, hold nothing back.”

I’ve been struggling with the slippery nature of goals this week and letting it hold me back from being creative. What a lame-ass excuse LOL! You knocked it out of the park for me with that statement…now I’m off to catch up on my shit :D

<3
Jenny

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Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion December 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

But I find the goal to be the same. Give everything, hold nothing back. Unrelentingly feed love into everything that you do, in every interaction, every step. Even the smallest things can be done with great love.

You dang straight Jonathan. The word ‘unrelenting’, combined with ‘love’, has limitless capabilities.

Wonderful read man.

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Sean M Kelly December 30, 2010 at 7:49 am

Hi

This says it all for me!

?”Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad” ~Rumi

Enjoy!
Sean M Kelly

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Gilbert Ross December 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

Words of wisdom well written Jonathan! Nice post. I feel that the choice between the two is not always a definite one though. We generally tend to sway from one path to the other. We have to keep on pushing and reminding ourselves that going that extra mile is the life worth living.

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Diggy December 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Hey Jonathan!

Just wanted to stop by and wish you all the best for 2011! May you achieve everything that you set out to achieve and have a fantastic year!

Cheers
Diggy

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Laurie December 31, 2010 at 7:59 am

Hi Jonathan, found my way here thru Lach’s Art of Audacity…

“Of course there will be days where you stumble. Sometimes you will make things out to be bigger than you are and forget what matters. Something on the path will distract you and deter you from the direction you want to go. But then you will remember to retrace your steps and take notice.”

I’m at a place in life where I do this a lot. Wake up with purpose, get sidetracked 20 times, backtrack and start again. But at the end of the day, that feels better than hesitating to take the steps. This was a really inspiring post…I’ll be coming back for more! :)

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Steven | The Emotion Machine January 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I’ve been starting to run more on the treadmill and it is definitely testing my will-power and ability to push to that extra 110%. It also makes a great analogy to when you push yourself mentally and creatively.

Really nice article Jonathan!

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Clay Collins January 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Nice! I like it. Love it.

I kind of reminds me of this by David Deida. . .
——————————
Give Everything Now

Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are either stressfully waiting for something—more money, security, affection—or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.

If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer. Every moment is the most important moment of your life. No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.

Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.

Opening from heart to all, you live as a gift to all. In every moment, you are either opening or closing. Right now, you are choosing to open and give fully or you are waiting. How does your choice feel?

–David Deida

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Stephanie St.Claire January 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Way of the Superior Man is one of my favorite books. I love David Deida!

Fajr | Stylish Thought January 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Really need to read this after pulling an all-nighter and wondering if I’m cut out to part-time my passion any longer. This just gave me the push I needed to keep going and continue to leave everything on the field!

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jonathan figaro January 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

I think when you put your best foot forward each and every day. With a particular vision. There is no way you can say, ” i didn’t push the elements of myself. Mind, body and spirit.”

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Amanda - Choosing life My Way January 8, 2011 at 6:21 am

Living fully, living passionately, living authentically, living from the heart, living full on and flat out. I love this post and I wish you continued passion for living your way.

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Etienne January 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

“Give everything, hold nothing back. Unrelentingly feed love into everything that you do, in every interaction, every step. Even the smallest things can be done with great love.”

I love that! You are speaking from your heart, not from your mind.

Live from the Heart.

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Pieter March 7, 2011 at 3:24 am

why wait for love if you can go out and find it yourself? i’m gonna find her tonight! x

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mountaintopGrp August 9, 2011 at 1:29 am

I really love your spirit… your words… your drive… is one of your “keys” spiritual?

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AprilLee December 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm

*sigh* I really needed to read this. I do not give as much as I could every day. My boyfriend does though and it’s truly inspiring to me. It makes a huge difference to have someone like that around. I’ll do the same, too :)

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Nika November 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

This is the most awesome think I read all year!! Bookmarking!!

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