On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
Two rules I follow. A patient was complimenting me on my attitude this week and asked me how I always stay so positive. I appreciated the kind words and told him that my two biggest rules are to never feel sorry for myself and never complain. Through my twenties, I did plenty of both and always hated the way I felt. With experience, I have learned the benefits of not doing either.
Feeling sorry for ourselves and/or complaining is counterproductive. It creates a focus on explanations and excuses rather than solutions to our problems. We also waste precious time over-analyzing our issues which tends to create negativity in our own minds. I have found that not giving myself the option to pursue self-pity or pointless complaining has allowed me to be more decisive, positive, and happier. Give this a try, I promise it will help!
Something I realized. I am four and a half months into my six months of preparation for my upcoming 100-mile race on February 4th. I run daily (sometimes multiple times) and continue to workout and stretch 5-6 days per week. I’ve had a couple Sundays recently where I have had extra downtime to relax. With all that training, you would assume that I would like nothing more than to kick back but I don’t. In fact, I find myself uneasy and wanting to do more so I end up running again, doing another workout, or both.
Does that mean that I am obsessed? Yes. However, there are goals in life that will require obsession. I want to show up for that race in my best physical and mental shape to date so I am willing to do whatever necessary to get there. I do not ignore my family, businesses, or commitments but I am happy to burn every other moment possible preparing for that goal. I have had this level of obsession at times in sports, in chiropractic school, in business, etc. and it is yet to fail me. The word “obsessed” has a negative connotation but when it comes to achieving something extraordinary, sometimes that’s what is required to get there!
Something I encounter often. “I am willing to do anything.” I have heard this hundreds of times from patients/clients/friends looking to achieve some better level of fitness, nutrition, health, or business success. Nine times out of ten, this is followed by them balking at the first recommendation that is offered to them (by me or someone else with experience). They make excuses as to why it won’t work, is too hard, how they’re different than everyone else, and so on.
If you want to achieve a result you’ve never had, it stands to reason that you will need to pursue options you have never tried. Whenever I hear from someone that says they want success but will not follow advice, it tells me where their true level of commitment stands. It is commendable to want to attain a lofty goal but remaining in the same comfort zone with the same habits is not likely to get us there. Being open to learning more and trying a new approach can make all the difference.
Something I read and liked. I stumbled onto a description of some basic Japanese concepts this week and enjoyed reading about them. Several stood out, but my favorite was the concept of “Gaman.” This is a term used to describe having dignity while being under duress.
The theory is that even the toughest times should be met with emotional maturity, self-control, patience, and perseverance. Have you ever been around someone that freaks out or gives up when even the slightest thing starts going amiss? It is brutal to be around and makes a bad situation far worse. We cannot control what happens to us (or around us), but we can manage how we react. Remaining calm, collecting ourselves, and behaving in a manner that we can be proud of later should always be the standard we seek. It will not be easy, but it is worth it to pursue “Gaman” as best we can.
Some quotes I love.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.” – Tao Te Ching
“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we really should be.” – Jocko Willink
“You hit home runs not by chance, but by preparation.” – Roger Maris
“Getting in shape is 10% exercise, 50% nutrition, and 40% managing your emotions.” – Dan Go