7 Profound Life Lessons Learned In The Gym
“All things are one.” – It’s a phrase that frequently appears in Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and means simply that lessons learned in one area of life, can be applied in virtually every other area. And I don’t mean the how-to type stuff. The how-to constantly changes. But there are some things that never change – fundamental principles. Principles which, if applied with persistence, will serve as a solid foundation for the skyscraper of your success – in life, business, sports, relationships – you name it.
In my experience so far one of the best places to learn the principles that govern success has been the gym…
1. Welcome To The Real World
When you’re holding that cold iron in your hands, or when a 200 pound barbell is resting on top of your back, you’re facing a cold and brutal reality – either you’re going to lift it or not. Either you win or the weight wins. There’s no half-way compromise. That’s the reality.
Here’s the good news – you can bend reality to your will. Not instantly, but with time and effort you can improve and after a while what used to be hard, now is easy. What used to be your maximum weight, now is just a warm up.
Reality is only temporary. You can choose to create your own and bend the universe to your will.
2. A Conqueror’s Attitude
In order to be successful you’ve got to be in full control of your internal dialogue. You’ve got to speak your success into existence. You cannot be looking at the weight thinking “What are you going to do to me today?”, instead it should be more like “I’m going to conquer you today. I’m going to defeat you. I’m going to crush you and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
Your attitude can make a heavy weight feel like nothing, in just the same way it can turn your problems into challenges, your failures into stepping stones to opportunity.
You don’t show up at the gym and work out once in a while, whenever you’ve got a spare hour. You don’t diet for one day and eat junk for the rest of the week. You don’t train for a month and expect to have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You work consistently. Some things you do multiple times per day, some you do daily, some you do weekly, but when it’s time to do them, you just do it. And when you do it over an extended period of time, those little daily actions start stacking up on top of each other and building your temple of success.
How can you expect to succeed if you don’t know what you’re shooting for? How can you know you’ve succeeded if you’ve got no target?
Goals motivate you, they drive you to greater and greater effort. They give your mind a clear objective to accomplish and the clearer you are, the better.
Not only that, but every single plan you ever create will be determined by the goals you have. Losing weight requires a different approach than building muscle. Winning a competition requires a different work ethic than losing. If you want to win, plan to win, intend to win, and act as if you’re going to win.
A few years ago I heard Tony Robbins say that most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.
If you want to be a champion, you’ve got to surround yourself with champions and train with champions, not with weekend-warriors. There’s nothing wrong with the other group, but their goals are simply different than yours.
If you want to be successful in any area of your life, get around the people who are successful in that area. If you don’t have direct access to them, read their books, watch their videos, listen to interviews, immerse yourself in that environment until you start producing the results you want.
6. Quality, Not Quantity First
Sure, you can go to the gym, put as much weight on the bar as you possibly can and then swing the weight with no technique whatsoever. You can do that. But you won’t get the results you’re seeking and most likely you’ll pick up a ton of limiting beliefs about your potential along the way.
Sure, it’s great to take MASSIVE action, but massive action in the wrong direction will only get you further away from your goals. First focus on learning the basics, mastering the proper way of doing things, then scale things up.
7. Hard Work
I used to be afraid of the words “hard work”. Many people are, because they associate pain to it. But when you love what you’re doing, hard work feels like the ultimate joy. I like working hard. I like going to bed knowing that I’ve done a good job and earned my sleep.
Can you imagine how depressing it would be if everything came to you easily, effortlessly? You’d be bored out of your mind! The juice of life lies in pursuing something yet unattained. I personally think that sometimes knowing you’re on track to hitting your goal is actually more fun than hitting it. Striving for something gives you purpose. Working your hardest for it… it just feels good.
Hopefully you got some great tips from this little article. Let me know your thoughts in the comments 😉
– Łukasz Łokieć