04 Jul What I’m Finally Learning and Why You May Need To Hear
What I’m Finally Learning and Why You May Need To Hear
Complicated. That sums up my thoughts on business, self-development, training, business. The pursuit of growing in each of these areas was supposed to make my life into something simple and manageable but this didn’t turn out to be the case.
I can remember reading a Bruce Lee quote a few years back:
Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum.
The words went into my head, I acknowledged the genius of them, I told others that I’d arrived at this understanding, and then I went about my business and disregarded the principle completely.
The years that followed were focused on accumulating, not minimizing, knowledge and experimenting with every system of operation.
Not only did I do this in my professional life as a strength and conditioning coach, but also in my vision to grow this here online business and in my journey to discover the best version of me.
The Problem with Loving the Ritual and Forgetting the Life
You should see it. I called it my goals folder. It’s a folder I created and saved in Evernote where all my goals were typed out. But not just immediate goals, that would be child’s play. There were goals for every category and area of my life with 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, and monthly breakdowns.
The folder also had my powerpoint slides that had pictures with captions written under that would serve to remind me of my goals. The pictures were of some material item I would someday own or a person/image that inspired me and was, in my mind, the ideal of the person I wanted to become.
This was a technique for success I had read in in one of the many books that I read and spit out on personal development during my sprint to become conscious and mindful of myself and my actions.
The time taken to write down all these goals and think about what I really wanted was time well spent for sure. The time that I devoted daily to re-reading these goals obsessively and skimming through all the pictures, visualizing myself enjoying whatever it was, not so well spent.
I spent a ton of time trading the thought of living the good life for actually striving to live the good life, everyday. I’d start every day with reading and thinking about these goals and no doubt it got me excited about the future, but it would also take me out of the moment. The moment, the only moment, where I could take action toward the goal.
Not only was I not acting, but I was putting off enjoying and experiencing life to some future time. Instead of enjoying life as is with whatever turns and unconstant way it showed up that day. I put off my life for the future instead of seeing the beauty and excitement in the present.
Rituals and ideas replaced living, feeling, and just being. I refused to just relax and be, happy in who I am.
The Simple Training, Coaching, Life
Along with my goal rituals, I created rules for myself so that my work had to be perfectly planned and carried out in some systematic order.
My work, whether it was programming for athletes or writing or projects had to be done a certain way and forced into a certain hole. I’d have to arrive at a certain mindset first and I was convinced this mindset was only through certain steps.
The process of writing training programs for me and my athletes became oh so complicated. Everything in my head had to be accounted for on paper. As I’d plan out a training cycle, I’d obsess about what exercises to include or leave out and how to progress. I’d go back and forth between how I was going to wave volume and intensity and if I was consolidating stress properly and blah, blah, blah.
This complication, although maddening, was not paralyzing enough that I couldn’t create programs to help my athletes but it was enough to sabotage my own training.
Surprise to me, every area of my physical performance suffered. I’d look at myself every few months and see that I lost muscle, gained bodyfat, was weaker, and less athletic.
So, I’d tinker with the plan again. The plan man, it must be the plan! Must be some aspect of training I’m leaving out, I thought.
But still, I’d often think back to when I was young and carefree…and strong as hell. Must be my age. The years or had training just caught up with me. I’m wasn’t old but I definitely wasn’t 21 anymore.
But I’ve realized that I was only partly right. Something definitely caught up with me. Something that catches up with all driven people who try to master a craft.
There it is again. Setting goals are great, I still believe in that. Learning everything you can and devoting yourself to master something is part of what I think it is to be happy. But when complication becomes a trap, you’re going to keep from doing what you can do and what you can be, right now, in this moment.
Those who go on to true mastery of a pursuit, create the life they want, and become truly conscious people peel away the layers of until all that’s left is simplicity. The simplicity of the task, the subject, the person, and life. And that’s where the art is.
Stepping Beyond and Feeling Better
This post may or may not do anything for you depending on on where you are in your own journey. I can point to specific moments and specific blog posts or books from specific people that spoke to me in a language that I could understand at the time. I can also think of specific times when I read something I brushed off because I wasn’t ready to hear it or it just wasn’t for me. We don’t all need to develop the same way.
So, I could keep writing now and try to make this post something that everyone could identify with or fall back into unproductive perfectionism, like I normally would. Or, I could choose to grow.
There’s plenty of other people, smarter and more enlightened than me, that have better things to say, but they may not be saying it right now or in the way that you need to hear it, right now.
They may never reach you, so here’s my story, for what it’s worth.
Have anything to add to the conversation? Do it in the comments.
Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam.(Thanks toTim Ferriss and Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)