I have been described as many things, but the one adjective that seems to stick with me is “relentless”. Webster defines relentless as: showing no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace; unyielding. At first this descriptor upset me, it seemed so aggressive, so obtrusive, so NOT what I wanted to be. But as I continue on my journey through life I have slowly begun to realize that being relentless might not be such a bad thing after all. In fact, it might just be my greatest strength!
Being relentless has gotten me through a lot of tough situations. It has given me the grit to complete an ultra-marathon, the tenacity to become an entrepreneur, and the resolve to rebuild a life wherever and whenever the Army says it’s time. But let’s face it, being relentless can be a negative thing. When misapplied, the single-minded pursuit of a destructive behavior can lead to disorders, addiction, or even a criminal lifestyle.
The key to harnessing the positive power of relentlessness is unleashing its ferocity on a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (read more about BHAGs). A BHAG is a visionary goal that describes what you plan to accomplish (something big and previously thought to be unattainable) over the coming days, months or years. The combination of having a BHAG and being relentless is equivalent to both laying the track to success AND providing the engine to get there. The track (BHAG) is useless without the engine (relentlessness) to utilize it and likewise, the engine has no direction without a track. But when combined, the pair can help advance you through life achieving things never thought possible.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, sharing your BHAG with others can be an intimidating process; but it also creates accountability and helps recruit much-needed supporters. In that vein, I would like to share my BHAG’s.
BHAG #1 (Career Focus)- Help others leverage their natural talents to become more effective both professionally and personally
For me, maintaining a professional identity has taken an extreme amount of focus. Having a husband whose job requires our family to move to remote locations every few years has definitely tested my relentlessness. With each move, I question if the juice is worth the squeeze. It takes A TON of tenacity to scour the job market, explain a puzzle-piece resume to potential employers, and continuously reinvent oneself.
Over the past year, I have poured myself into Co-Founding Task Force 144, a company focused on developing exceptional leaders and great teams. In an unexpected twist, my Co-Founder felt called in a different direction and decided to end his involvement with the company. Instead of giving up on my dream, I am choosing to continue on with the mission by serving our existing clientele. In fact, I am so passionate about the mission that I have plans to bring similar offerings to North Carolina through a new venture- Activate Your Talent (AYT). Through AYT, I seek to be a catalyst for positive change in clients’ physical fitness, professional careers, and financial lives.
While daunting, this BHAG is slowly coming to life. It takes an extreme amount of work to stand up and run a company, but I trust that everyday is moving me closer to my goal of creating a satisfying career that is flexible enough to fit my life as a proud military spouse and mom of two.
BHAG #2 (Interpersonal Focus)- Love others as I want to be loved
Perhaps the greatest show of relentlessness is in the realm of love. Any parent can testify to the sheer amount of perseverance it takes to love another person, especially in the middle of a temper tantrum. That same parent can also describe the overflow of emotion when their child’s face lights up when you walk into a room.
I desire to have those in my life experience that same euphoria each time they interact with me. Every day I make a conscious choice to treat others how I want to be treated, even if that same sentiment is not returned. Am I perfect about this? Heck no! I screw up on a daily basis. But having a clearly defined BHAG in this realm helps keep my relentless nature focused on being the best mother, wife, daughter, and friend I can be.
BHAG #3 (Physical Fitness Focus)- Complete an Ironman
Aa an avid endurance athlete, the Ironman was always a bit of the Holy Grail to me. Although the thought of moving my body 140.6 miles in one day is terrifying at best, there is something about the epic adventure of the event that I can’t resist any longer. Unfortunately, a cross-country move reduced my race season down to one race, one race that happened to be completely sold out. Instead of giving up on my BHAG, I decided to put my relentless nature to work, press forward, and create my own race.
Completing the training has been a serious test of stamina and has required me to turn up the “relentless dial” quite frequently, so I can only imagine what the actual event will entail! Even though I am nervous, I can’t wait to test myself physically and mentally through this BHAG.
As you can tell, my BHAG’s are in various states of completion and it is still largely unknown if they will be successful in the traditional definition. But what I do know is that each step I take towards one of these goals is moving me in the direction I want to go and that is good enough for me!
I encourage you to spend time thinking about and defining your own BHAG’s. Once you have those goals in mind, start working on an action plan that will move you closer to your desired end state. Then recruit supporters- friends and family or even a professional coach- to help you in your quest. In fact, I would absolutely love it if this blog could become a place for everyone to post their BHAGs so we can support and encourage one other!