How committed to your goals are you? Do you whimsically hope for something good to happen, or do you go out and let nothing come between you and what you want to accomplish. Our bodies naturally, like water, follow the path of least resistance. If you allow your body to remain at rest then your body will be perfectly content at remaining at rest. You have to reach deep down within you to overcome that path of least resistance. As C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity “You find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.” You will never learn how strong you are if you continually give in to the weakness that lies within. Overcoming the path of least resistance requires energy of activation, repeated exposure to specific stimulus, and walking into the wind!
Energy of Activation
The energy of activation is the amount of energy required to cause a chemical reaction to occur. Reactions occur best when a catalyst is used. A catalyst is any substance that expedites a chemical reaction without changing the structure or outcome of the reaction. A catalyst in your battle against the path of least resistance can be anything. I choose to include my friends and family in my dreams and goals. When I set a goal the first thing I do is consider who I know that may be able to help me accomplish this goal. This is the reason why I joined the powerlifting team to begin with. I set a goal to be an elite powerlifter, and I knew that I lacked the experience to know how to reach that goal on my own. Be sure to include as many friends as possible when you set your goals. True friends will keep you on track when your strength fails you and you want to quit and return to the couch.
Your body responds to consistent and repeated exposure to stimuli. You won’t be able to accomplish your lofty goals by going to the gym once in a blue moon. When cells are repeatedly exposed to stimulus they become less resilient to the stimulus being applied to them, thus decreasing the energy of activation. It is going to be difficult when you start down the path of change, but with consistency and time it will get easier. The task at hand won’t become easier, 500 pounds will always be 500 pounds, but you will become more efficient at completing your tasks. All of a sudden going to the gym will no longer be a chore but will be a reward that you look forward to all day long. If you struggle with your food prep just start by doing it then over time it will become second nature to you.
Walk into the Wind
It’s not enough to just go into the gym and say I think I’ll work on my glory muscles today. Look nobody appreciates your prison syndrome body. You need to have a focused plan when you walk into the gym. Find exercise programs that will make you stretch. Set goals that make you question if it’s even possible to accomplish them. You will never know how strong you are by consistently setting mediocre goals that don’t cause you to stretch. Success lies outside of your comfort zone. Don’t wait for success to come to you, go out and reach for your goals. I’m going to let you in on a little secret; it is perfectly okay to fail. It may be scary and it may not feel great but you will learn more from the failures than you ever will from successes. I know this because when I miss a lift, I look back and say what happened, how did I fail, what do I need to do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. When I have a successful lift the only question is how much more could I have done. The same goes for everything in your life. You will learn more from your failures, than you ever will from your successes.
It’s definitely not easy to stand against the water and walk upstream. You are surrounded by individuals that walk with the flow of water. Many people will argue that water is a powerful force that created the Grand Canyon. My response is that you don’t have the luxury of millions of years to create a masterpiece. Your life is much shorter and you need to take hold of your life to create something that you can be proud of. You can create something special by lowering your energy of activation through dedicated consistent effort, constantly stimulating growth, and by walking against the wind. Stop following the flow of least resistance and stand taller. Be the one that walks up the stream and stands alone and above the rest!