In order to achieve anything of great significance I believe we have to love or enjoy the day to day grind of it. So rather than purely focussing on the goal, simply be aware of it and focus on he steps. I’d like to give you a personal case study on it to hopefully allow you to reflect on your own experience.
Fitness has been a huge part of my life. I’d never call myself an athlete and I don’t have a trophy cabinet. I did start off at 145lbs and now I’m at 165lbs which is pretty good I think. I wanted to have definition, tone and muscle bulk and I have some of that now but I’m definitely no ‘Men’s Health’ model. I went through phases of getting big, trimming down, getting ‘fat’, doing no exercise at all and all the dieting or lack of it.
Now my focus is just maintaining my fitness and becoming a better surfer which means I have a training schedule at the gym, I eat healthily and of course heading out in the surf and giving it a good go. So over 8 years it’s been trying different things or nothing at all. The big question is whether I have enjoyed the actual process and in some areas I can say I have. Surfing is definitely one area where I actually like and look forward to. I have moments of course where I think it’s going to be miserable and cold or I think the session I just had was bloody average but generally the feeling is positive. When I go to the gym to do a bunch of exercise which are pretty boring, I do get a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of achievement in performing each exercise. And of course, there are plenty of times where I come away disappointed that I didn’t lift a certain weight or that I feel discouraged by how difficult a cardio session was but again the general feeling at the time is positive.
I realise I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking this is great or how terrible it will be. Once it becomes a habit, it doesn’t trigger as much thought and so I just get on with it. When I first start some new exercises then I’ll probably have a lil chat to myself about how difficult it is but if I have bad thoughts about it, I won’t get sad about it. For example, with my cardio which I do on the bike, there’s been numerous times where I have tried a new difficulty level and thought just kill me now because it’s too hard and gone back to an easier setting. I could be really disappointed by it, and tell myself what a failure I am but I try not to go down that path because I know it doesn’t help.
There’s also the point that I’ve always had a curiosity to try something different and if the workout doesn’t quite fit with me then I change it. I think that doing this over time has evolved into a path of what really fits my personality as I don’t recall a time where I’ve really had to trudge through something really unenjoyable.
I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy fitness as much as say, going on a roller coaster or having a hot shower on a cold day (odd example but it is enjoyable!). But there’s enough positivity in what I do to keep on going. Surely for anything worth pursuing there’s going to be parts of it you don’t like but you gotta trust the bigger picture and be curious in finding what suits you. Whether you’re going for fitness, being rich or finding the girl / boy of your dreams, I reckon it’s a process of discovering your own likes/dislikes and working on it until you find that point where it feels easy and it’s emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. It’s a very personal process where we need to sense what our intuition is saying and where it’s directing us.If you reflect on something you’ve been doing for a while, can you see these elements in that journey?