Now Is the Time
Right now, during this world-wide pandemic when it seems that we almost have no life, is a perfect time to learn how to create the life that you want. I saw a meme that said that falling down is part of life but getting up is living. While we feel like we have fallen into the void, we can learn how to stand up and craft the life that we want. Learning this essential skill will not only help you through this difficult time, it will enable you to live so much better when life returns to the new normal.
Human beings usually resist change. In so doing, we stress ourselves out beyond our limits of tolerance. Life is , by nature, constant change. Every breath is a new beginning. I’ve heard people say things like, “That blood pressure reading can’t be right! My blood pressure was 120/80 last night!” For some reason, they think that their blood pressure is a fixed number. Our blood pressure is different with every heartbeat. Blood pressure is the force that the heart exerts on the arterial walls and it is affected by everything from our emotions to the environment that we find ourselves in at the time that it is taken. We are in a constant state of change. A key component to creating your life is to realize that change is constant. We must not only learn to tolerate it, we must learn to embrace it as a part of the flow of life. Growth is change. Achievement is change. When hard times come, we must find our normal within the abnormal. For me, that’s wearing a N95, covered with another mask to work 8 hours a day. It’s not particularly pleasant, but it can be somewhat amusing because it’s just so ridiculous. I have chosen to flow with it. We look like aliens and struggle for oxygen and are constantly rearranging the things to see but there is some humor in it. It is part of my new normal.
It’s All You, Baby
I get so tired of the “Poor Little Me” mentality. We seem to think that we somehow just deserve a great life without doing anything to achieve it. I can actually remember thinking that way about fitness. I thought that people who were fit were just lucky. I thought that they had good genes that allowed them to live any way that they chose and still be fit and healthy. If you’ve read much of my writing, you will remember “Janice”, the beautiful, fit young woman who ate wisely and exercised and had a knock-out body. When I realized that Janice worked for that body, it began to change the way that I lived. I was very young and that lesson began to change me. I have never again thought for a minute that fitness was just a gift. Even Marilyn Monroe worked out. She lifted weights and minded her nutrition. (If you don’t know who Marilyn is, google it. You need to know.) Our bodies, just like the rest of our lives are almost always a product of our choices. There are devastating circumstances that can befall any of us that can change this for anyone but unless you have had a devastating event that changed your body or your life, it’s all your decisions that decide what kind of body you will have and what kind of life that you will live with that body. Take responsibility and get the body and life that you want.
Have you ever known anyone who worked tirelessly but never achieved any substantial goal? That is usually because they have not decided what they want the most. There have been a few times in my life that I had a clear epiphany, those rare moments when you have a crystal clear revelation of exactly what you need to do. In those moments you have a decision to make. Those moments are meant to be life-changing. I have always gone with them. While those insights may take you down a long, convoluted road, they are roadmaps to your heart. It’s in those moments that you have a decision to make. Will you be true to yourself or will you just let that moment of insight drift by, unheeded? I have never let one slip by me. When they come, I act. It creates a path to my goals that is direct instead of wandering around in circles for the rest of my life never finding peace or achieving anything that is truly important to me. You alone are responsible for your happiness. Make wise decisions that always move you closer to your goals.
When I first began learning how to lift weights, I went to Dick’s and bought a 135# beginner set of weights and a barbell. David said that it wouldn’t be long before I needed more weight. While that was hard to imagine, I believed him. Since I believed him, I worked to do just that. The first time that I deadlifted 100#, I was terrified. Before long, I was buying more weight. It was surreal when I walked into Dick’s and found those extra plates and put them on the counter. Very soon, I was using them. My original weight set was a standard set and not long after buying those few extra plates, I bought an Olympic set with a barbell that weighs 45#. My first squat at the very beginning of learning to lift was only 35#, including the 15# barbell of the standard set, and it was hard. As I loaded plates onto the Olympic bar the first time to squat, I flashed back to that pitiful first squat and a wave of disbelief flooded over me. I had come a long way. If I had not believed that I could get stronger, I never would have. When we believe that we can do something, we work towards that goal. It’s the work that brings success. The body goes where the mind takes it. Believe big.
Set goals. Once we set goals, our minds will work towards those goals continually until they are realized. Without goals, we only have ideas. If we start on a road trip without a specific destination, we will just wander around and go nowhere. If we decide that we want to see the Grand Canyon before we leave the house, then we will check the map, fill up with gas, make sure that our finances will get us there and back and maybe even plan how to eat healthy and work out on our trip. Know where you want to go and gather your resources to get there. Nothing is as powerful as self-motivation.
If you want a different outcome, number on the scale, level of fitness or better numbers from the lab, change your behavior. Albert Einstein, who was probably smarter than a lot of us, said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I agree and yet, I can remember years of my life that I lived that way. A lot of us do. In this era of profound changes to what we know as normal, make some positive changes to be better. Take the new lessons learned from every day being different now and just let go of old negative behaviors and make the positive changes that will bring you out of this time as a better, more fit, healthier person. Go against the grain. Do healthy.