I’ve posted about life lessons from working out here a while ago. Apparently I’m not done yet and I’m not sure if I will ever be. I find working out to be physically and mentally satisfying. Working out is not a no-brainer activity and that physical punishment it gives teaches us some valuable lessons of life. The more you work-out, the more you learn and the more your muscles mature.
1. Don’t only focus on the end
When bench-pressing, you shouldn’t be squeezing and focusing your muscles only at the peak of the movement. You have to consciously contract those chest muscles throughout the press. Then only you can feel the effect of the press.
What on earth does this have to do with life? Well, you need to focus consistently and it’s not easy. Yes, you should begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey), but don’t let that be the only thing in your brilliant mind. Honestly, I am a lazy student and I hate doing tutorials. I once received a bucket load of tutorial questions from my Fluid Mechanics lecturer and I despised it. Out of fear of failing, I did it nonetheless. I gave undivided attention to the questions and really took my time to understand the problem-solving methods. I looked up solutions on the internet but I didn’t blindly copy them. I studied them. Once I was done, I was actually quite thankful to my lecturer because everything became a lot easier to understand afterwards. If I just blindly copied the answers so I could hand-up my assignment, things wouldn’t have been easier to understand.
2. If you haven’t given your all, you’ve pretty much done nothing
If you don’t feel the burn, your work out probably won’t work out. That’s just the reality and the same goes about life. Are you thinking about having a successful business? Great, just don’t stop halfway. Do you want to be a great artist? That’s excellent; don’t stop when you get bad feedback about your work. Do you want your project to be successful? Don’t stop at being ‘good enough’.
Whatever it is that you are doing, never do it half-assed. If you’re halfway through and you’re feeling more comfortable than you should be, it’s time you step up your game. Get out of the comfort zone if you really want to see great results. Don’t be satisfied with a plateau because that’s the first step to failure. Don’t stop when you’re still capable of doing better. Trust me, you will never regret this.
3. Have the right mindset
Only when you’re about to reach failure in your work-out, you will feel the benefit of the right mindset. When doing pull-ups, tell yourself to pull your arms down instead of pulling your body upwards. When doing your bicep curls, focus on contracting your biceps instead of lifting those stupid weights. When doing your dips, focus on contracting your chest instead of pushing yourself upwards. Things will be a lot easier and more focused on the objective when you have the right mindset.
It’s all about having mind over matter.
How does this apply in life? When you’re faced with a problem, think about it as a priceless life lesson that you can’t get anywhere else. Personally I feel that the true measure of a man is how he deals with his problems. When you lose a competition, think of it as a good opportunity to set your ego to zero. When you’re sick, tell yourself that it’s a valuable lesson of the value of health. When you’re in argument with someone, think of it as an opportunity to learn to control your emotions. It’s all about the mindset, people.