Stage 2: Why My Fitness Routine Helps Me Solve Everyday Problems and Will Help You Too
Now I don’t know if this goes for others but I’ve come to love lifting weights.
There are times when I’m on the bench and bench pressing what could be a new personal best. It’s great and the adrenaline is flowing and I’m excited. I love that feeling.
I’m ready to go and almost about to pat myself on the back out of acknowledgement for a job well done.
Then I get stuck. Then I think all the weight is going to crush me. I love this feeling more.
I put myself under pressure in the gym so real life is easy.
Starting my day in the gym is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I do the most difficult thing I’ll do all day right away — getting that weight up.
By doing that, I make everything else easier.
Now usually I write about something I’ve learned or experienced or put into practice recently.
This piece of writing though is different.
I got the idea for this piece on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 11:45 pm while brushing my teeth. I knew I had something I liked. So I grabbed my phone and typed.
I’ve been writing for just under 5 minutes now and I’m feeling like I’m off to a good start.
One of the carryovers from the gym is working under pressure. I work harder than anyone I know in the gym. I might not be the strongest person but I’ll work my muscles more than you do and in less time too.
I don’t take breaks. I keep my muscles under tension as much as possible.
So in the real world, I do the same with my brain and the way I execute things.
This piece of writing is actually the second stage of an application process for a role I’m interested in.
I’m keeping myself under tension, and stressing myself on purpose because I gave myself 10 minutes to write this article — 4 minutes remaining… make that 3, the clock just changed.
By keeping tension on our muscles in the gym — where the stakes are low, muscles grow.
By keeping tension on our brains when reading books or studying — where the stakes are low, our mind grows.
The most important habit I’ve developed from the gym is focusing on intentionally stressing myself to grow.
As the saying goes, pressure creates diamonds.
It’s a lot more difficult to learn how to present effectively when keynoting to 10,000 people than taking a Toastmasters class (just one reason it’s so popular).
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi(his last name is so difficult to spell I need to look it up again) mentioned in his book “Flow” that to experience flow one thing people do is challenge themselves. Washing dishes is not mundane but rather a competition against ourselves, to get the dishes clean quicker and at a higher level of cleanliness.
I’m at 10 minutes now so I just missed my mark but my thoughts are flowing quickly and concisely, I’m going to keep writing.
The most important thing I’ve gained from going to the gym is that I’ve learned how to best grow. Everyone is a little different but I’m extremely competitive by nature and I love winning.
I win against myself every single day in the gym that I lift more weight or for longer or at a higher level of intensity. That then sets the stage for the entire day, I began with a win.
Not only that, but then I’m required — because I am committed to myself — to give 100% every time.
It’s the same with writing these articles on Medium. They might not provide that much value to anyone else but I’m learning a lot and I’m sharing it. And now? I write most pieces in under 20 minutes… with no typos.
I couldn’t do that 12 months ago.
If I would’ve never put pressure on myself, I highly highly doubt I’d be at this level this quick.
So all you need to do?
Do you want to increase your knowledge about something? Read 5 pages of a book every night for a month.
Challenge yourself and keep pressure on yourself. Make ZERO excuses and when you’re reading your 5 pages (assuming you are currently reading 0 pages) those 5 pages are all you’re focused on.
Keep pressure on yourself during times you control and while the stakes are low.
Eventually, you’ll begin to notice that you feel less pressure when the stakes are high and the outcome affects more than just you.
Insert a quote here? Maybe. I’m at 15 minutes now and it is after midnight on Saturday.
I’ll revisit this piece on Tuesday when I go to post it. I might reread it and change a couple of words but we’ll see.
I put pressure on myself to write this in 10 minutes. If I didn’t do it in 10? I could add more time — the stakes were low.
But what happened was… I got the weight up. I finished the article and it looks good.
More than that, I accomplished my true goal. I increased the frequency of thought flow and put everything down on paper in an organized way in a short amount of time.
“Details matter. It may be insignificant to you but it could be the most significant thing to somebody else.” — Tim Grover
When is the last time that you put pressure on yourself on purpose? Let me know below.