The Riddle Is:
How tall will a tree grow?
The answer: As tall as it can.
Why do some people make things happen in their lives while others let life happen to them? That is the real riddle!
I am driving to FitMania at 5:30 this morning. There are several inches of snow already on the ground and it is still snowing. There is almost no one out and I wonder who will show up to the gym today. Since I am listening to a seminar by Jim Rohn while I drive, and he is discussing personal philosophy, I reflect on why today some people’s personal philosophy will be to keep their commitments, including their workout, and the next will be to stay home. Jim Rohn calls these kinds of questions “mysteries of the mind”. It’s a riddle I can’t solve. What I do know is that the person who doesn’t let obstacles stand in the way of their greater goals is the one who will “grow tall”.
Two great skills that you can learn in the gym that carry over into all of life are:
1. How to show up. It is consistency that leads to progress. There are always excuses to not show up; the trick is to find ways to make it happen. Make up your mind to never skip a workout. Go to plan B if you have to but never miss. When I first started exercising I was afraid I’d quit completely if I missed a day, so for three years I never missed a day! It didn’t matter if I was sick, it was my birthday, or even Christmas. At that time I had four very young children, I did daycare in my home and a lot of heavy church work. I should have taken one day a week to rest and suffered a little because I didn’t but I sure developed a lot of discipline!
2. How to dig deep. You can always do more than you think you can. One more set, one more rep, one more second. My clients and boot campers have all heard me say “You can do anything for ten seconds!” It’s in those few seconds you give more than you thought you possible that real growth comes. It’s those times when you thought you couldn’t do any more, and you did it anyway.
It isn’t just about the workout. It’s about self –mastery, character and keeping the commitments you make to yourself. A tree grows as high as it can but it has no choice. We have the gift to choose what we will be. Ultimately there are only two choices: to be only part of what we could be or to be all we can be.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.” Plato
Let’s all choose to be lean and strong! Be wonderfully educated! Be fabulously successful! Grow as tall as we can.