In the sport of dressage, the trainers’ adage is you are either training or untraining. Every step counts. Every step counts as it prepares you for the next. There is no middle ground. You are either training or untraining your horse and yourself with every step.
Dressage originates from the military. Horses were trained to carry their riders into battle and to serve as weapons before rifles and artillery made it onto the scene. In the pre-firearm days, armies rode into battle, charging into each other and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with knives and swords. A well-trained, responsive and agile horse was crucial for survival, and thus originated the sport of dressage.
Business is a bit more civilized…most days. We can still take a page from the basics of dressage and ask:
1. What are you preparing for?
2. Are you training or untraining?
The first question addresses the goal or objective. Is it clear and defined or is the desired outcome a bit fuzzy? If you don’t know very clearly what you are going for, it is very difficult to know the steps to take. And every step counts.
The second question addresses those steps. Is each step you take preparation for the next?
In dressage, we do not begin a movement and then change our mind. It is a recipe for disaster and injury. Instead, we commit to an action, a step, a movement and we complete it. We then evaluate. Did we get the desired result? Do we need to refine and attempt again? Or would a different step and movement generate the desired result? There is no middle ground unless we want to stay where we are and as we are. What then is the point? Are you training or untraining?
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