I learned the true meaning of self-discipline and law of compensation over time through grueling physical exercise.
I’m not a competitive bodybuilder or athlete, and I’m in no way considered huge, but the benefits I found from weightlifting are so beneficial to our whole well being.
As strange as it sounds I started working out because I was a restless person. I would kill myself with work and I expect to see the results immediately. If not, I would blame everyone but myself (because I put in that strong burst of work I felt I did enough) and I would feel entitled to reap the rewards immediately.
But this is not how life works. Life doesn’t give a crap about how hard you worked last night. Things are not just gonna fall in your lap because you had a sudden revelation and drive to achieve something.
Life happens in the day to day life, in the routine. And this is something I learned from working out. I went through all the phases, bulked up too much and was just fat, cut down too much and was just skinny. I was following all these gym gurus and working out 5 days a week for over a year and still didn’t get the results I wanted.
So what did I do? I learned to enjoy the process, to be a bit better than yesterday and to calibrate and adjust my workouts and diets accordingly. I learned to focus more on the exercises (20%) that bring (80%) of results like deadlifts, squats, and bench press which are essential for strength. I learned to include more cardio and HIIT exercises. I also actually cut down on my weightlifting because I was hitting each muscle twice per week but never growing because I was overtraining and feeling miserable in the meantime. The whole process taught me a little bit more about myself, each time.
I’m not a freak about aesthetics and I don’t want to look like Mr. Olympia but going to the gym consistently has given me peace of mind, calmness and it has transferred in how I approach all aspects of my life, I’m more patient, grounded and self-aware of where I’m going and what I need to do without being attached to a certain outcome.
I can’t predict whether or not I will set a new personal record while at the gym. Some days will be better than others. Many days I might be below my average because I’m tired, I didn’t sleep right or other factors. But these days are part of the process. The only way to actually lift heavier weights is to continually show up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday regardless of whether any individual workout was good or bad. Results don’t come if you kill yourself once, they come in time.
Giving yourself permission to grind through the occasional days of below average work is the price you have to pay to achieve excellent work when it matters the most.
This is how my mindset has improved.
And this is also how I approach life, thanks to bodybuilding.