I consume a lot of my time— maybe even most of it pining over my next visit to the gym. Like many of you, I’ve exerted all of my efforts, and have prepared all the necessary accoutrements, to simply plan and prepare for my workouts. We all know what happens from here: in many cases, either something comes up or the grim and disconsolate feeling of my emotions cripple me from acting. While this all sounds pretty dramatic, it isn’t far from the truth. So naturally, in the disheveled space of my condo unit, I found myself feeling defeated. I sat in introspection, looking for a new approach to the problem at hand, and I realized something— how much could I have accomplished if I already knew I’d be successful? The thought just dawned on me and I was shocked at the endless possibilities.
Far too often, we define fitness as the physical condition of being strong and healthy. Though this is pretty authentic to it’s definition, fitness also involves the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task. Since we already know that our bodies are far from the finished goal, to get ourselves started we must condition our minds for the job. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), from the illustrious movie Shawshank Redemption, once said “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” In other words, we can die over the stress from feeling defeated or we can claim the success that is rightfully ours and live. Just like Andy Dufresne, our minds have been unrightfully imprisoned. We’ve been subject to temptation and deception because of our bodies and it only leaves us undoubtedly vulnerable. With the body being so willing to accept all harm that staggers through it’s doors, it’s about time we master the mind and take control. If the mind is healthy, the body will surely follow.
The goal is to have yourself motivated, confident, interested, and engaged. If you want your body to transform, your mind has to be ahead of the game. Although it’s productive to plan out your workout schedule, investing in that time, effort, and sometimes money will all go to waste if you end up flaking on yourself. So take the time to gain full perspective over your vision, whatever it may be. Believe that you’re already successful, and know exactly why you’re more than capable of accomplishing any task.
The art of wood carving is a perfect example for this. With overflowing passion and confidence, the artist takes one good look at a plain block of wood and sees a star. Without hesitation, they’d take the carving knives and end up with the final result. In our efforts to reach our goals we must think like wood carvers, and our bodies are like blocks of wood. When we take one good look at our current state, we should see our intended state. We should see that somewhere, deep down there is a star. So meditate, pray, or sit in silence. Master the mind and do whatever it takes to get busy living.