Musings on respecting people who workout consistently

What you are getting into: 622 words, 4mins read + 4mins video

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Our body reflects the lifestyle we lead, healthy or unhealthy.

To give an introduction to people who are new to working out, here’s a short paragraph.

Working out is being active. There are two main types of workouts. Cardiovascular and resistance training. Popular workouts for cardiovascular is running where resistance training is lifting weights. Key component for cardiovascular is raising the heart rate where resistance training is exerting substantial force by using pushing and pulling motions.

In order to improve the level of physical fitness in almost any field, it requires pushing past your limits. This, equals pain. In other words, in order to grow, you have to go through pain, every single workout. People who have good bods (#instabod) go through a lot of pain. Day in day out. They go through pain in a very consistent manner.

And if you aren’t getting my message by now, let me rephrase it: People who have good bods go through a lot of pain and suffering.

Many people coast through life. Many spend their lives looking for the one change, the one thing that will turn their life around. Many people spend a lot of time on the internet, then tell themselves that they are not distracted. Many people want to get instant or fast results without suffering tremendous amount of pain.

I say these people are lying to themselves.

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Anything that bestow you with pain and yet you have to push past it requires tremendous amount of focus. Without focus, it’s easy to give up. That’s the reason why people give up in the middle of a run while some are able to push through it. That’s the reason why some people don’t look you in the eye while passing you because they are so damn focused on getting to the finish line. Just look at the faces of those runners who are in a race. That’s all they think about — the finish line. Look at serious gym-goers during a workout, they don’t look at anyone else other than focusing on getting and maintaining perfect form.

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Because pushing past physical limits requires tremendous amount of focus, it takes a lot to maintain the state of focus. The act of staying focused trains the mind. That itself is the rep of staying focused. Top athletes stay focused during the game. How do they do it? They are trained to focus during the game. They don’t think about anything else other than winning the game during the game. Which is why when athletes get bad press their game is bound to drop in quality – level of focus is affected and thus unable to perform at optimum level.

Now, why do the above matter and why should you respect people who workout consistently?

  • Because these people practice and understand consistency.
  • Because these people practice and understand how to remain focused.
  • Because these people understand pain and discomfort is a necessity in pushing past their limits, day in day out.
  • Because these people overcome the resistance to go through pain and do it anyway.
  • Because these people prioritise health over other things just so they stay fit to protect their love ones.
  • Because these people understand what is consistency, staying focused, pain, discipline, and overcoming resistance.

With all these reasons, I present my main muse: People who work out consistently and have good bods will go far in life. They know having consistency, staying focused, pain, discipline, and overcoming resistance is key to success because by doing all these things, they push past their limits. And because they are used to pushing past their limits, such attributes will spillover to their professional lives where it’s a requirement to success.

With that, I leave you with this video:

Dealing with adversity

What you are getting into: 855 words, 5mins read

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In any era, the ability to deal with adversity is a key concept to understand, it can bring you far, recover from setbacks, and push one’s limits.

But how does one actually deal with it?

Let’s dive in.

We give up too easily

Most people give up easily. How many people actually accomplish their New Year’s resolutions? The number is not that high. The concept of goal setting sounds simple enough, you set a SMART goal, then work towards it. But why do we give up our diet like two days later when we attend our friend’s invitation for a pizza night? Aren’t we supposed to be dieting? Why do we give up and allow ourselves leeway to have that one cheat meal when we know we shouldn’t?

We let emotions cloud our judgement

Largely because we let emotions rule over our logical brain. We think that we will feel happy when we have that pizza, only to realise how much we hate ourself the day after. We want to fit in therefore we attend the pizza party. We need our social life right?

You see, emotions merely seek instant gratification. We want to feel fulfilled, therefore instant gratification > achieving our goal. The point of dieting is to maintain good health and maybe slim down, no? Yet we seek out immediate gratification when dieting is a long drawn process. And that wears us down.

We need to build up inner tolerance

To improve how we deal with temptations, we got to develop the ability to say no to things that are not aligned to our goals. We may setup rules and principles to follow, while providing some flexibility. We don’t want to be too rigid nor too flexible.

However, that’s just our inner battles. We have outer battles too. Some people are out there to pull us down. They tell us our goal sucks. We don’t need to diet. We can follow what they have done. Or some program/solution they think is better for us (but have never actually tried it and see substantial results). Then they tell us to cut ourselves some slack. That we can be a little bit more human. Enjoy life a little. But it’s not their goal to achieve..

We then politely decline their offer. We know what to do when we meet debbie downers. We acknowledge it’s their opinion, and it’s our job to discern if opinion is gold or just pure BS. We don’t want to be rude and shut out opinions right? That would just be a troll.

Let haters hate, imma hustle my way there.

There will always be haters. No matter what we do, there will always be people who disagree with our viewpoint or criticise our work. Instead of getting frustrated and underperform (thereby proving them right), we draw strength from them. We show em what we got. The only time when nothing is left in our tank is when we achieve our goal, when we give our all. We will never let haters get inside our head. The moment when we second guess ourselves is a sign that we should start hustling more.

Find your tribe

A good way to hustle more is to find people who share the same viewpoints, people who will support us. Collective strength is better than suffering in silence. Get people to help us, reinforce our strengths, correct our thought process. Rather than allowing unsolicited and unconstructive criticisms wearing us down, we seek our constructive criticisms from people who are better than us to improve our craft. We just can’t do it alone, it might just end up in an echo chamber.

Make and wear sandals

There’s this concept in the book The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin which describes the world as a jungle and we are thrown into the jungle (aka reality) barefooted. If we wish to explore the jungle, we need some form of footwear to wade through the dense treacherous forest. By making sandals, metaphorically speaking, we are preparing ourselves. We can train our ability to withstand adversity by welcoming adversity. The more we train, the tougher we get, then we can welcome adversity and explore the forest. Making sandals is akin to making armour, and the premise remains the same.

Armies don’t go to war without a strategy. They don’t send untrained soldiers. They train them. They train them to have a particular set of skills for a particular purpose. Same goes to adversity. If we falter at the first sight of a curveball, then we need training. We need to toughen ourselves up. We need to embrace challenges during our training then we can adequately challenged in the real world. Either way, we will always be challenged. Not being challenged is a surefire way to know that we aren’t growing.

Let’s not give up so easily, let’s not allow emotions to cloud our judgement, let’s build up our inner tolerance, let’s ignore the haters and find our tribe, and let’s welcome adversity by preparing ourselves.