So you bought P90X® off the tube and you're all pumped up to kick some butt. Do you remember that shift in ENERGY the day you picked up the phone and started dialing? Any number of thoughts could've been racing through your mind at the time—fear, doubt, excitement, hope, anticipation. You name it.
Then the videos arrived.
Some of you ripped them open, read all the material, and got started that day. Some of you looked at the box as if it were filled with anthrax—keeping it sealed and placed on a shelf for some future investigation.
You're all at different stages of the program: newbies, start-agains, and even round fivers. I'd like to reveal four key components for success with P90X, and quite possibly other aspects of your life.
Have you ever noticed some days just flow? Even on days when you have tons of things to do, you seem to have all the ENERGY in the world to handle anything. Yet other days feel like you live on Saturn. The weight of the world feels 10 times normal.
It comes down to the amount of ENERGY you have on any given day. Your ENERGY always dictates your REALITY. When you're filled with ENERGY, you're sharp, ready, enthusiastic, and willing. When you're pooped . . . forget about it! Organizing a sock drawer feels like climbing Mt. Everest.
So what causes these shifts? The big four are:
Food and supplementation. I know, I know. Here I go again. Hold on to your hats! There's no way on God's earth you can maintain a consistent level of ENERGY and enthusiasm for this 90-day program by eating the same old crap. You must . . . you have to . . . you need to make "The Change." Adequate ENERGY levels only come from eating the right food the right way at the right time of day. If you don't know what that means, then you haven't read the material and you're doing this program the wrong way.
You are what you eat! If you eat the same old tired food that put you in this mess in the first place, then that's just what you'll get—tired and old before your time. You know what to do, so do it! It's not Atkins™ or Slim-Fast® or fast food or soft drinks or fried food or candy bars or doughnuts or liquid diets or any panoply of misleading ways of consuming food. Get your mind right about what goes in your mouth or continue to live in the land of the wannabes!
Sleep. This probably seems like the most obvious and simple of the four. But it's often the most abused. Recent statistics have shown that the leading cause of traffic accidents in this country is NOT alcohol but sleep deprivation. If we don't have enough ENERGY to stay awake while driving a car, how will we have enough ENERGY for a 6-day-a-week workout program?
We aren't sleeping enough hours at night, and when we do, we're often filled with so much mind chatter that we don't get the proper rest we need. My Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary defines "sleep" as follows: "the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored." In Taoist philosophy, there's the yin (not ying) and the yang. These are opposing ENERGIES that create balance. P90X is yang ENERGY. Sleep and rest are yin ENERGY. There must be proper balance between vim and vigor (yang) and inward calm (yin). If you don't get enough sleep and rest, your body will not receive the proper restoration it needs to complete or succeed with this program, or anything else in life for that matter.
Stress management. Do you realize that if you took the fear, worry, and anxiety out of every "stressful" situation in your life, the end result of that situation would still occur? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still pass and the end of that moment will still happen, whether you freak out or not. So why not choose something different? When do fear, worry, and anxiety ever really help a situation?
So what is stress? It's the inability to move through a situation logically, peacefully, positively, productively, and gracefully. It takes a lot of ENERGY to be stressed out. Being stressed out can severely affect how well you'll sleep at night. Stress is when you assess blame and don't take responsibility. "I'm stressed out because of______, and that's why I can't______." Don't let stress be your scapegoat.
There's a story about 10 people in line at a bank. Three armed robbers come flying in, screaming and yelling and pointing guns. They terrorize everyone and steal all their money. The moral of the story is that all 10 people will be affected by that experience in 10 different ways. The two extremes go from one having a wild story to tell at work the next day to another being severely traumatized for the rest of his or her life. Where would you fall in that spectrum?
There's a saying that goes . . . there are three kinds of business: God's business—things that happen in this world that are out of my control; their business—the choices other people make based on their life experiences so far; and my business—the choices I make that shape my life. If I focus on what I have to do to make my life the best it can be and NOT focus on God's and everyone else's business, then I will have less stress, which in turn will give me the ENERGY to live the life I've always wanted.
Don't waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, need, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety, because they'll zap your ENERGY and cause you stress!
Choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, vulnerability, acceptance, wisdom, hope, forgiveness, empathy, discipline, perseverance, community, and peace. Because if you do, you will gladly kiss stress goodbye and say hello to all the ENERGY you'll need.
Purpose. Purpose is the driving force to get you from here to there. If you don't have purpose, all the best food, supplementation, sleep, and stress-free days won't help you one bit. You have to have a powerful burning desire to want it.
My dictionary tells me that "purpose" is "seeking resolution"—searching for answers to solve a problem, an intention. This all goes to the core of "the why." Why do I want to spend the next 90 days turning my life upside down, maybe even for the second or third time, or more?
You are looking for resolution. You are searching for answers to help solve this problem. And most importantly, you must be clear about your intention. No one ever does anything just for the heck of it. There's always some intention behind everything we do. Different kinds of behavior have different levels of intention and purpose. Eating fast food and leaving the videos on the shelf are on one level. Following the program the way it was designed is on another.
I know I've said this before, but if your intention and purpose are based exclusively on aesthetics, then you miss the whole point of P90X. If your intention and purpose are based on good health, quality of life, athleticism, flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular endurance, then you're doing P90X for all the right reasons. If your intention and purpose are based on lifestyle, then you will have plenty of ENERGY to succeed with and complete P90X. You will also have the ENERGY to be everything you always knew you could be.
May the Energy Revolution begin!