One of my biggest fears is becoming paralysed; the thought of my body not obeying the commands of my brain and the feeling of being trapped in, what used to be, one’s tool of expression in this world. I suspect I share this fear with a great bunch of people, yet myself and a lot of other people tend to paralyse ourselves willingly. Of course not in a physical way, although that can be the outcome, but in a mental way.
I am of course talking about paralysis by analysis. This is the curse of the intelligent. Able people who, with the best of intentions, seek to find the perfect solution. In a fitness setting this would be people who spend years looking for that perfect programme. Here’s what my friend Sean Croxton would call a truth bomb: No such thing exists!
There is no perfect programme and if there were there is no way of finding it by analysing all day and all night. The only way to see results and to progress is by actually just doing it. Finding one programme and following it. It’s that simple. Note though that simplicity doesn’t mean it’s easy.
To further relate this paralysis by analysis to a current issue we can use my new year’s resolution as an example. I want to improve my reading speed and I’ve set a very simple plan: Read every day for the first five months, then follow a speed reading course. I’m sure that if I spent a long time analysing it I could find a slightly more optimal plan. But at the end of the day I’m making more progress than the person with the perfect plan because I’m actually doing it, I’m taking action.
So please remember to step back once in a while and consider whether or not you’re paralysed by analysis, and if you are take some freaking action! The timing is never going to be perfect, there’s always going to be a slightly better way but when faced with doing nothing and doing something – doing something will always bring more results.
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Thank you for reading. Yours truly, Christian Rosenvold
“You’re grades will fall when you get to high school”. Those were the words my beloved grand father repeatedly said to me the summer before I started. My response: “No they won’t”, and they didn’t – in fact they improved. This is a perfect example of the power of beliefs, both limiting- and empowering beliefs.
All people have limiting beliefs and I don’t think we can rid ourselves of them all (this in itself is a limiting belief!) but at least we can work to abolish the ones that serve us the least. I have seen limiting beliefs in play many times, and you probably have too if you think about it. The most obvious place is in the gym: here people’s ability to achieve certain goals are often determined by their beliefs. I used to believe that my genetics had sentenced me to a non-athletic body but upon changing that belief (by seeing inspirational transformations and learning about bodybuilding) I was able to change my behaviour and achieve my goal.
“Make sure your own worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” – Laird Hamilton
It can take some time to realise how big an impact limiting beliefs actually have on us but once you realise it you will be very careful about the words you choose to use and the thoughts you allow yourself to think. I very rarely use the phrase “I can’t” – it is the most dis-empowering phrase in any language. You may think that I’m unrealistic in my beliefs, but honestly what is the point of being realistic if it is going to keep you from your goals?
The video below tells the story of a man who was told by doctors - the representatives of science, the people who are trusted more than god or any other power – that he would never be able Continue reading
The other day I turned a page of the book I’m reading and was so excited to see the number “1001″ in the upper right hand corner – it had taken me close to half a year to read those 1,000 pages. You see I’m a busy guy – I work a lot, exercise, sleep a lot (and some times I waste a bit of time on facebook) – but I’m also not a very fast reader. Now it’s not because I don’t read a lot, I do, but it just doesn’t happen very fast. This year it’s all going to change. Below I will take you through my step by step process of setting a goal so you can see exactly how it’s done.
Goal: Improve reading speed! I will increase my reading speed from the current 207 WPM (91% comprehension) to 550 WPM (min. 86% comprehension) by the 10th of August 2013.
Why: I want and need more time. My reasons for needing more time are the following:
- I want to do well at my studies because I’m passionate about the subjects, and I need them to succeed in the future
- I need time to maintain and improve my health (reduce stress, have time for exercise, have time for stretching)
- I need spare time to spend with my girlfriend
- I need to make up for study-time spent at work
- I want to learn as much as possible – I love learning!
Obstacles: Continue reading
You probably didn’t make it last year – what makes you think you can this year? You might be thinking that statement isn’t in the usual motivating nature of this blog, but let’s get real: New year’s resolutions are hard. Today I’ve brought a few statistics showing how likely you are at failing to achieve your new year’s resolutions.
Less than 8% of the people who every year, fuelled by the excitement of a new calendar and the bubbles of a cheap champagne, make a commitment to themselves to change something are successful in their endeavour. In fact it doesn’t take long for them to give up either: 25% will have bitten the dust after the first week of January, and 54% of people will equally have failed after six months.
If you’ve failed in the past you are much more likely to be unsuccessful this year as well – in fact 24% of us have never been successful.
“Hopeless” is what I imagine you’re thinking right now, it sure seems that way. But shouldn’t we be thinking how we can be the 8% Continue reading
“Shouldn’t you be out drinking with all the other young kids now?” that’s what a co-worker said to me as he strolled down the hallway thinking he was the lone wolf in the office at 8 pm on a Friday night. He was probably right, I was getting tired and the numbers were becoming even harder to read – not that alcohol would have helped my eyes in that instance. I suspect he didn’t grasp my purpose of being there. To him my reasons for staying were to make a little bit of money and maybe if I were really smart; get some eye-candy for my resumé.
He was mistaken. I was there because I wanted to become great at what I was doing. I wasn’t born with any predisposition to do it, I wasn’t the new rain man. Still I enjoyed my job and I wanted to become damn good at it. So what did I do? Did I look for a magic formula? No. Did I beg everyone I saw to teach me? No. When faced with a challenge did I complain that I had never been given the chance to learn that? No.
I worked hard! I put in the hours. I showed up on time and left after everyone else had gone. Was it fun? Continue reading
Last weekend I watched a movie that changed the way I thought and acted. I had recently found myself to be in a bit of a rut – I was sick, unmotivated and feeling lethargic. Now this was all despite having a great job, great friends and a whole year to do whatever I wanted. One could wonder why I was feeling down. I certainly did!
Now there a many aspects to this problem – most of which we have covered on this blog (the importance of goals, motivation etc.) – but this movie showed me that the reason I was feeling sick could be due to my thoughts. What I learned was that my thoughts directly affect my physiology. Now this sounds very “out there” and you may be thinking that I should go back to my hippie circle of love, and you may be right, but the fact of the matter is that once I changed my thinking I started feeling better. The headache wasn’t as bad, the other people in traffic seemed less incompetent, and Continue reading
Nothing can take away a person’s motivation like the cool weather of the winter months. Fortunately our friend Jim Rollince has a few tips and workouts in store for us to keep working towards that perfect body whilst everyone else puts on the winter fat (which inconveniently stays on for the beach season).
Fall is a season of change. Leaves change colors, the air gets cooler, and the days become shorter.
For many workout warriors, the change in season also means a change in workouts. The warm, sunny days of summer will soon be replaced with the cold, bleak days of winter.
Staying motivated during the winter can be a challenge. If you are a fan of fitness, you may be asking yourself, “How can I keep my energy peaked for workouts during the winter?” That is a terrific question and here is a great answer Continue reading