When I was a young boy one of my favorite activities was action. Anything that required movement and required me to concentrate my focus on my proprioceptive awareness was good. Apparently, when I would walk around, and this started when I first started talking, I would walk around and point my finger and say, “do.” I wanted to ‘do’ everything. I wanted to try and experiment with everything that caught my eye as interesting.
This doing has taught me many lessons because of the doing and the planning. When I look back, I see the anxiousness I felt when I was focused on something new, on some new achievement. Many of you know this for yourselves in terms of acquiring new movement, sticking with a new nutritional plan, and recovering from an injury of sorts. When I looked forward towards an outcome I had yet to achieve I felt eager anticipation. Often, when I looked forward to an outcome I felt motivated to achieve I would feel some yucky type of disbelief or doubt I would reach my outcome. Still, to this day, when I concentrate towards a direction that requires years of work, each day I battle these types of feelings.
Definition: Divert or modify (an instinctual impulse) into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity.
I realized the energy of closure I moved towards lead into certain behaviors. Thereby I would modify the energy of angst and doubt by searching within myself for some secure fantasy or fortunetelling. I would tell myself, “yes, this will work out because of and since that would likely happen.” However pleasing the story, I could only really rely on my exercises at the moment. I could only determine my progress after I completed each exercise and I could verify with my own experience I got better. Wherein you would think I would stop fantasizing about the successful progress of my exercises and start focusing on the grind of my exercises, you would be wrong. The promise of completion distracts me.
On the flip side, once I have completed a longer span of exercises, say a year-long program I created and executed for myself, I inevitably say, “I knew this was going to work.” When the truth is there was a part of me that thought success was possible, sure, otherwise I would not have continued. Yet, there was an inner battle that took place each day, before each repetition, and after each session. Is this actually working? Am I making progress? Can I actually see the result of my effort or am I tricking myself?
After I completed a long set span of exercises, most recently, I found myself ready for the next step. “Ok, now that I achieved this, I am ready to achieve this. It is time to make a great push forward to the next phase. I have no time to waste.” I eagerly and pressure-promptly tell myself. Does this mean I am not grateful for the support I received to get me where I am? No, it certainly means I spend time reflecting on the support I received that helped me successfully complete my long-term program. However, the child in me points into the future and says, “do.” Thereby, I am taking some time over the next couple of days to reflect on a couple of elements I wish to share with you.
For this go round, how am I going to learn to enjoy my exercises more? How can I subtly remind myself that it is ok to want more? It is ok to be content with what I completed and it is ok to want to achieve 5 % more with my effort and smart programming. How can I learn to become more efficient with my exercises? How can I study the progress from my exercises and programming this round in order to let my hardships be my guide?
Surely a weird place to be. In concentrating on finding the balance to progress, be content, and grateful for what you have all around the same time. How can you have a part of you that is detached an impersonal element that helps you stay objectively minded when you review your program’s progress? I think of it now as a sort of blind madness where through the repetition of mindful work you will reach your summit, the peak, and therefore your goal, while you enjoy the adventure at the same time.
Where are your exercises taking you? What is your plan for your body in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years? How are you charting your course, measuring your outcomes, and defining what it means to achieve those goals? Are your goals clear enough, tangible in nature, and realistically attainable? Do you honestly have the support system to sustain the effort you will need to achieve those ideals for yourself? There are times when just outlining the above is the exercise, in terms of outlining what it is you want in a specific fashion that helps to structure the next set of exercises, it is important to be as practically specific as possible. Wherein what you want is aligned with the process you are using to get you there.
One of the greatest gifts I give to myself is the gift of a mentor or guide who helps me to push myself and maintain a consistent line of effort to the objectives I have stated are meaningful to me. It is important to have a bigger picture in mind, not be pressure prompted to evade or avoid and therefore rush into action. You receive so much more from your self in terms of achievement and progress through a repeated and strategically aligned program, with your ideals at the center.
Wishing you well my friends.