Mental growth comes from persistence
"Don´t look back - you´re not going that way!
Dwelling on failing will only result in a lack of motivation. So if you failed on some tasks in the past, you can ask yourself...what went wrong. Maybe you as I tried the Agoge and failed. What is the lesson you learned? About yourself, about others.
Here is my perspective of why I failed over the weekend at the Agoge and how a group of eight started something really meaningful - Anoge. If you don´t know what the Agoge is please check here
There were 81 great personalities who showed up on the first day. After we got our instructions by the Krypteia we had a final 30 minutes to get prepared for the "entry" tests: Navigation, Waterproof test, tying the knots. For me it was over after the waterproof test. Would I have ever imagined that the Agoge ends here? For sure not. Do I accepted it? Yes! was I disappointed? Hell ya!
Here it became a real mindgame. What´s next? Haven´t I made a promise to my kids. I might fail but I´ll gever give up. Quitting is not an option even though I was struggling with the decision made in the beginning. Out of the 81 38 didn´t made it to the starting line. I was commited to spend my days here anyway but then Joe De Sena came up with the idea to start a parallel no "Hardware" event. It started 4am the next day.
After having a pleasant night on the graveyard in the pouring rain with 5 super cool individuals that shared the same fate as me. We all came here to be tested physically and mentaly to leave as better human beings. So when I woke up a 3.30 soaking wet and shaking due to the cold there was a short moment of thinking about why I came here: Face unpleasaant situations and work on myself to show especially my kids that learning from failure is already a step forward in the process of growing and that you have setbacks in your life that you don´t understand the moment they happen but might be the start of something great...
We started sharp a 4am in a bus shelter, where Johnny Waite spend his night after all his gear got lost on the plane. Out of the 38 who failed the test 21 showed up to go on a journey with no clear goal an no physical reward like medal or coin. Soon after we started some people dropped out because they thought this might be the path to get back into the main event which was clearly stated it´s not. We had the best weather conditions to be tested on mental and physical strength...it was raining like hell and it was windy. What made it even more difficult was the size of the group and the different fitness levels. For the first two hours it was stop and go which doesn´t made it a fun event. My body was shivering with a slight feeling of hypothermia. Within the next two hoursour group got halved and another 2 left shortly after noon.
Only eight individuals on their way two nowhere land, no clear goal where to go but a strong mind to get there. The mood went up even though the weather was completely unpredictable. One moment there was nice sunshine and light wind which changed to horizontal rain the next second. None of us ever had dry feet during the whole journey. The eight individuals grew together as a team which will later be known as the foundation of the ANOGE. We worked together in a team - 8 people on a mission that have never seen each other before. We started sharing food, laughs and moments to think about. Even as we made a navigational mistake and had to go back the same way for 3h nobody was pointing fingers. People simply took care of one another. We have been tired, one of the group started hallucinating. Finally after we came back to where we started 6h ago we set up our camp site next to a bridge with the hope to have a dry night...
We got up early in the morning soaking wet just to start the next day. Weather hasn´t changed that much. We didn´t care. We started the day like the last one ended...wrong turn. Instaed of moving the whole way back this time we decided to go cross the mountain throught the wetlands and crossed some rivers where I thought of my kids due to safety concerns but as a team we made it. Nobody was rushed into something and everybody was taking care and offered a helping hand where needed. One of my personal highlight was a bath in the Fairy Pools. We definetely had a good time. In the evening we scouted a nice forrest that should give us some protection from the wind and rain - turned out to be a bog. Plans were changed and we slept on top of a mountain which we claimed "Mount AGOGE". As it was getting dark we split the group with some responsible for setting up the camp and others collecting the wood. After having one of the most outstanding "dinners" ever ranging from horse meat, parmigiano and swiss chocolate we went to our tents just to get up early to enjoy the sunset knowing all will come to an end pretty soon...
A couple of hours later we met the finishers of the Agoge at a local distillery just to get back together again exchanging stories about our one in a lifetime journey...
My key takeaways are:
Stay motivated even though you´re out - you never know who you meet on the alternative route
Intrinsic motivation always beats extrinsic - ask yourself why you do what you do. Do you need something to show around or are you doing it for yourself?
Leave enough space for everyone in the team for personal growth. Strength develops over time and might be of use in an unexpected moment
Anoge started something really big with a lot of space. We just set the fundament. Currently working on some ideas to make it more meaningful...
Big thanks to my Anoge family: Kirsten, Graham, Alex, Johnny, Jeff, Tom, Marcius, Kalman
Some good reads I want to share with you