5th Law of Exercise: Reality
Why do we want life to be different than it is? Why do we think about who we were and who we're going to be more than who we are? We certainly talk a good game about who we are now. Why do we try to predict the future with the hope that wishful thinking is enough to change it? Life is NOT the way it was. It's the way it is. Life is not our fantasy predictions of the future or our glory days of the past. Life is that thing that is happening to you as you read this. We fall into the trap of living in the past and future because right here is not good enough. Back then and up there are keeping you from right now.
This crazy cycle of mind hockey stems from our inability to stop caring about what other people think of us. The truth is that other people aren't thinking about you as much as you think they are. We lament for days, weeks, or years over some comment made in passing, by someone who forgot what they said 2 minutes after saying it. Other people's opinions of us are none of our business. Their opinions are their unfinished business.
If you want positive long-term change in life, accept the truth of your situation and ignore the people who don't support it. Let go of your ego and find ways to love who you are right now. Living in the past, in the future, and for others destroys your ability to stay in the moment. Life has peaks and valleys, ups and downs, lessons, and celebrations. This is how we grow and learn. If you're struggling with your finances, get financial advice. If you're unhappy with your health and fitness, do Power 90® or P90X®. You could do nothing and hope that it all gets better on its own, or you could open a new door and find some answers.
To know reality is to take risks. Risk requires perseverance, courage, and wisdom.
Take the Risk*
Risk saying no. The first step toward having your own life begins with daring to refuse the demands of others. Saying yes because you're afraid to say no is a recipe for resentment. Risk walking away from the fear of saying NO.
Risk NOT defending yourself. It's only when you risk laying down your armor, shield, and sword (quips, retorts, and criticisms) that you discover who you really are. You can't be hurt by letting others win.
Risk appearing stupid. Pretending to understand something you don't, for fear of appearing stupid, only ensures that you'll remain a fearful pretender. That is stupid. If you truly want to understand something, risk asking all the questions you need to. That's smart.
Risk bearing your negative outlook. The weight of your problems is determined by how much you fear them. But the only weight any fear can have is determined by how much you try to push it away. Risk not "burdening others" with your negativity. The less you burden other people with your problems, the less of a burden they'll be for you.
Risk being rejected. No is just a word, but fear of it is a prophecy self-fulfilled. Be bold! Risk asking for what you really want. Reject the fear of being rejected by daring to say no to the fear of NO.
Risk catching yourself in the act. Your life can't be both a show and be real. Whenever you catch yourself in the middle of some self-created drama or lie, just stop it. Risk being "The Real Thing" and not "All Show and No Go." Life is real only when you are.
Risk taking the lead. You can never know the true pleasure and personal satisfaction of having your own life until you take the risk of finding it for yourself, all by yourself. Followers fear the road less traveled. Risk going out front by traveling the road called "My Own Way."
The way to live in this world is to live in the real world. Lift the burden of having to "keep up with the Joneses" all the time. Stop lying to yourself and everyone else about what you're doing, what you've done, and what you're going to do. Stop telling others about your hard workouts and clean diet, and all the while pretending that what you're saying is true. If it is true . . . guess what? We'll know. Reality is about discovering the truth about the here and now. Reality is the ability to accept your present situation and love who you are through the process.
*From Design Your Destiny by Guy Finley, Llewellyn Publications; 2nd edition (January 1, 1951).