Last night I was in the locker room of the gym I regularly attend, gathering my things and preparing to leave when a gym-regular asks me, “you done?” I answered with a brief “yep, getting ready to head out” and then got a response of “lucky you!”
As he walked out I just stopped and really thought about that statement. How am I lucky? Why are you here? Why are you complaining about a situation you put yourself in? What is your motivation? And what does it mean to really want “it”?
I was almost offended by the statement because I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that he viewed his workout as a chore, and consequently thought that I shared his viewpoint. Working out, whether it is weight lifting, sports, cardio, is not a chore, but should be viewed as a privilege and something that you can take pride in!
And pride isn’t even the point or the issue, this statement is about a matter of perspective. He thinks I’m lucky to be done with my workout, but I think he’s lucky that he has a full workout ahead of him. He is there because of his health insurance, I am there creating my own. He is there to maintain, I am there to progress.
By no means do I believe myself to be superior to anyone for what I do, but what differentiates yourself from others is how you frame your life’s activities. Do you let life control you or do you take the reins?
Fast forward to my current situation – I am just now getting back to weightlifting after the last ~6 months being a patchy mosaic of consistency due to a shoulder injury (funny considering I said how I was “creating my own healthcare” ha!) – and I’m finally publishing this article after sitting in my drafts for nearly a year! This article has kind of been haunting me as I feel it sitting here waiting for completion; and that is where all of these lessons converge into one.
We all have passions & pursuits that we feel like we should go after, but aren’t sure where to start, if we know enough, or if we even have the talent. Here are the lessons I learned from “Wanting It”, but not allowing myself to attain it; of chasing it, but not with the correct ‘how of doing things’:
- Passion We all have different passions for different reasons. Joe may have a passion for data; Lisa has a passion for sales; Bill’s passion is gardening – whatever it is, LOVE WHAT YOU DO. Weight lifting is one of my passions and when I found I couldn’t continue with the trend of lifting consistently for a couple weeks, taking a couple weeks off because of extreme pain & discomfort – I stubbornly did something about it & ended up being referred to a surgeon.
- Pursuit Loving what you do is just part of the equation – without a constant pursuit of your passions, you have planted a garden to let it be devoured by weeds, bugs, and, the most easily controlled, Apathy. I was sick & tired of feeling sick & tired. My X-rays, CT scan, and MRI came back normal – no structural damage, no surgery needed, hallelujah! My issue came down to a lack of flexibility & mobility work. These were things I already did actively – but not consistently & not mindfully. Who wants to stretch for 30 minutes when stretching isn’t building any muscle??
- Maintenance “Practice? We talking practice?” Every single success in life stems from doing the maintenance: pulling weeds, practicing that jump shot, running an extra mile – whatever it is that you love to do will not flourish as a personal goal without tending to the smallest details. This does not mean to scrutinize every little thing that you do. To be the best at anything, we must do the fundamentals extremely well. For me, this meant re-adapting by waking up @ 5am, finding an awesome yoga video on Amazon, and doing this every single day along with other functional mobility. One does not become Mr./Ms. Olympia by simply loving to lift weights; they lift weights, but they lift them correctly. The diet is finely tuned, they stretch prior to working out, they focus on Every. Single. Rep.
- Life is about the Journey, not the Destination In our lives we tend to think of things in terms of the desired outcome we seek, but not imagine the path to attain those goals. Example: if I work out, then I will gain muscle & lose fat (or insert your goal). But we all know it isn’t this easy. Most people see it this way & don’t want to put in the work to get the results. In a results-driven world it is tough to enjoy the rocky ride on your way to your end goals. Trust in your processes & don’t lose sight of the important elements in the quest to fulfill your vision – those elements lie in the maintenance section. They are the least “fun”, but are the daily duties that will give you the yield you desire.
No matter what we do in life, we all strive to attain “It”. Whatever your It is, chase & attack it furiously and never let the Fear hold you back from your dreams.
10 thoughts on “What it Means to Want It & How to Get It”
I can relate to this article. I often hear remarks similar to that. All some people have to do is try to change their mindset. Grat article.
thank you so much for your feedback on this! And I agree, it’s all about how you frame your life’s activities
Thank you for liking my post about my pink lily sketches.
I really like your site tagline about sowing dream seeds to harvest tomorrow’s realities. So positive. Your post about cobweb gardens is also fascinating. I am working out to build strengh, through yoga and walking, to be able to enjoy longer stints of weeding in my garden and also to stand and draw or paint for longer periods, without back pain.
Your comment about framing our life’s activities to create the identity and future we want, really resonates. Thank you for your blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
Thank you so much for that feedback Peggy! Really great to know that this struck a chord with you! I love your artwork and hope that your gardening becomes easier as you practice yoga – namaste! 🙏
One resonating line: Do you let life control you or do you take the reins? Your point about exercise as privilege vs. chore really hit home. I stared at the 10 cubic yards of soil to shovel, wheelbarrow into backyard from front driveway and thought, “yick.” Then I remembered two friends who have had/will have surgery for back and neck stuff and thought, “Geez, T, what a weaselly wimp you are for groaning at the thought of good honest mindless grunt work.”
Keep up the good thoughtful commentary!
Wow thank you so much for that! Hard work is always tough to take on, but how rewarding is it after the fact?
Just received this thought from Seth Godin via email today—
“What if we take the responsibility instead of waiting for it to be offered?”
Love that line! Proactive over reactive
Well said, thank you for sharing this. It speaks to me regarding my personal thoughts and feelings. It is nice to hear another mention similar things 🙂
I’m glad it spoke to you – that means so much to me, thank you!