If you could snap your fingers and instantaneously achieve every one of your fitness goals, would you? In these days of impulsive desires for instant gratification, I doubt anyone would say no to that question.
In fact, the most common question that I get asked is, “How can I (fill in your fitness goal) as easily and quickly as possible”? Loosely translated, this means that they want to achieve their goals “painlessly and instantaneously”.
Sadly, this is the mindset that keeps people agonizingly stuck right where they are, with no hope of ever achieving their fitness goals — or any other goal, for that matter.
The truth is, the road to achieving a worthwhile goal is rarely paved with the intention to avoid work and pain. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Any goal worth achieving usually involves exerting effort, overcoming adversity and rising to the occasion.
Trying to take the easy way out robs you of a potentially life-changing opportunity to:
1) Muster up the courage to face a challenge head on. This is an important step towards developing a genuine and deep belief in yourself and your potential.
2) Learn why you are where you are in your life. For example, why are you 50 pounds overweight? Believe me, it’s not just because you enjoy the taste of pizza. The real question is: why you are sabotaging yourself with the pizza?
Discovering the hidden truths is the ONLY way that you can achieve sustainable change.
3) Deeply value the goal you wish to achieve. The hard work and the sacrifices are what make you appreciate your goals — and your accomplishments. Without them, all of your victories (even the big ones) will be short lived.
4) Build your character and your inner strength. Without challenge and adversity, there is no personal development. Nothing comes for free.
5) Learn lessons from your life experience and give back to others. The lessons you learn are the gems of your particular journey. Everything I know that’s worth knowing and worth teaching comes from experiential knowledge. Without walking through my pain, adversity and personal challenges, I would be unable to give back to my clients and friends honestly.
6) Develop self-esteem. Chanting mantras about how great you are doesn’t develop genuine self-esteem. True belief in yourself comes from putting forth sincere effort, facing your demons and breaking free from your limitations.
These lessons are so powerful that I find them to be MORE important than the actual fitness goals that a client is trying to attain. Losing that 50 pounds of stubborn fat or squatting 500 lbs for the first time are awesome achievements, but it is the road that gets you there that develops your character as a human being. At the end of the day, this is what life is all about.
Now don’t feel bad if you’ve spent most of your life walking down the “quick and easy” road. I’ve been there myself — and I ended up achieving a whole lot of nothing.
My greatest achievements in life have always come from taking full responsibility for where I was and having the guts to do whatever it took to change my situation, regardless of how tough or painful the process was.
In fact, I apply these principles to all areas of my life. But staying on the topic of fitness, I currently have a goal to hold a one-arm handstand. And guess what? If I could magically wake up tomorrow and hold that pose effortlessly, I would absolutely decline.
I’d rather work to achieve my goals and feel the pride that only comes from true effort. I look forward to the challenge and everything that I will learn along the way. And you can bet that after I achieve this goal, I’ll be better able to teach you how to do it too.
So what are your fitness goals? How badly do you really want to achieve them? It’s time to get off the “fast and easy” bandwagon. Get ready to put in the hard work, face the obstacles before you, overcome them, and learn the invaluable lessons that you can only learn from a job well done.
I look forward to meeting a better and more evolved you on the other side of your journey. And always remember: it’s not your final destination that defines who you are — it’s the path you take to get there.
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