What are the big rocks in your life?
What are the ideas that define who you are?
Social media forwarding aside, the idea behind a big rock may have originated in a story or parable.
If you begin to become more aware of your surroundings and your actions, you can then begin to ascertain the big rocks in your life. You can always stress about the little minor details from day to day life, often referred to as minutia.
How does any of this relate to fitness, lifting heavy weights, and flipping in the air?
I receive questions quite often from a wide variety of people – athletes, friends, family, family dogs – and they usually involve some physique related question. From gaining weight, to losing weight, to lifting heavy things, to being comfortable in a bathing suit, there are certainly many reasons to invest in your health and fitness levels. While I am truly grateful to see that many people entrust me with their physical goals, I always take a second to try to understand their perspective. I say this because it is tough to give training advice without understanding the question of “Why?”.
Why do you train for your sport?
What are you aiming to do by losing all that weight? Will you reach your goal when you lose 15lbs? 30lbs? 100lbs?
Examine yourself, and learn to get to the root of the real question. Often, the way it goes is someone wants to lose 20lbs by X date – because it is a high school reunion, they have a wedding to attend, or they themselves are a bride or groom in a wedding.
What is real meaning behind it all? Confidence? To show off? To show yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to if you commit 100%?
In reality, the person will probably just have to stop drinking sweetened iced teas for lunch everyday, or begin walking during the lunch break everyday and drink more water to engrain the habit of daily exercise. They may not necessarily even need to sign up for the local commercial gym just because it is $10 down with no other commitments required.
But the real question is – will this change that has manifested itself physically stick in an emotional and mental manner? Will you identify with the new you?
Newsflash: You have all the tools necessary to complete anything you ever wanted (hint: it involves you, or you pursuing the necessary knowledge/opportunities in order to achieve said result), and I give you permission to begin as soon as possible. All you have to do is commit to a plan of action. How so? I’m glad you asked…
Usually, my thought process for setting and achieving goals goes a little some’fin like this:
1. Give yourself a period of time (4 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, 1 year) and perform this action religiously. (I say religiously, but without the connotation of true religion or belief system. The idea is to do this as often as possible within reason!).
2. Re-examine your results.
3. Where are you? Did you achieve your goals?
3a. If yes, good. Make new goals, and go back to step 1.
3b. If no, also good. You learned a lesson – this isn’t a great method necessarily (or you didn’t spend enough time doing that method correctly). Re-examine your methods and attack it with the same vigor as your first time.
If you don’t have time to waste, find a mentor or teacher to guide you towards your goals.
Not everyone has 6 months to mess with – totally understandable. So why buy a treadmill ($2400), and then not use it for a length of time, and feel bad when you end up using it as a clothes hanger?
Whether your physical goals have been put on hold because of life – you have kids to take care of, you are building a business from the ground up, or you have other personal responsibilities – the idea is to develop some type of moral depth to your actions. If you make a commitment to yourself, you won’t be tempted to drink beer at your buddy’s college graduation party, or “conveniently” eat that cake during your aunt’s birthday par-tay that you really aren’t necessarily even close with at all.
Values and Standards
Learning to align yourself with certain values and ideals can help alleviate the minutia and stress, and is the first mental step in regards to committing to a goal.
While the big rocks in the story above goes on to list a few physical things, such as family, your loved ones, your health, I would claim that there are a few other aspects that can be viewed as rocks from a philosophical and intellectual point of view.
Here are the big rocks of what encapsulate my life:
Whether it is dancing, lifting heavy things, watching and helping athletes move, or any combination of the above, aligning myself with a kinesthetic awareness is at the forefront of my “physical rock”. I am truly intrigued by movement, and how people move in different manners. Whether it is due to a psychosomatic reasoning, or purely biomechanical reason, I believe there is a lot to be learned (and discovered still!) through movement.
Movement takes place for only so long before you have to replenish our bodies. So whether you place your nutritional ideas on a Paleo oriented diet, intermittent fasting, or multiple meals throughout your day, there is no denying that you will need to eat. The issue? Here is the scary thing: You can decide what to eat, and you do decide everyday, whether or not it is an active or passive decision is your choice.
3. Imperfection chasing perfection.
I really love the notion of the above image – it is called an enso.
Zen Buddhists “believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual practice.”
While I don’t physically draw an enso every morning, I believe that with my physical actions, along with my decisions during every day, I am personifying the idea of an enso, or circle.
I myself appreciate that I’m not perfect – but what is stopping me from raising my standards and attempting to reach that “next level”? Choosing certain endeavors without a ceiling will help align myself better with this certain “rock” within my life. From choosing to value self-education and learning different ideologies in my professional path, along with disassociating myself with various behaviors that will inhibit my growth are all decisions that I have to make. After choosing that, what actions can I take now and in the near future that will positively impact my goals?
4. Perform actions with relentless attitude.
Never say sorry, unless you mean it. If you are going to perform an action that you may or may not be sorry for later, chances are it isn’t worth it to begin with. There are lessons to be learned with any action.
5. Value and respect immediate Family and Close Close Friends (Not acquaintances).
They are literally all I have, and the real reason why I do the things that I do.
6. Be honest with your wants and needs.
If you’re going to be in a relationship with anyone, honesty is crucial to advancing any relationship. If I can’t be honest about my intentions, then my trust is built on a shaky foundation. If both parties are clear about your intentions, for all intents and purposes, then an understanding between the two can begin. This goes beyond dating, but also in regards to business practice, and friends and family as well.
So when any idea, notion, or action goes to challenge any of these “big rocks” that I have set in place for myself, I know I can always rely on these ideologies that I have set before advancing or doubting myself.
At the end of the day, I’d like to simplify the big rocks:
Move, eat, sleep, love, and be honest.
Move: Value movement, from dancing to lifting.
Eat: Value nutrition and what you put into your body.
Sleep: Be cognizant of your ideas and actions before you sleep, during, and after you wake up.
Love: Value those who surround you.
Be honest: In actions, thoughts, and life.
So I pose the same questions that I had at the beginning of the post:
What are the big rocks in your life?
What are the ideas that define who you are?
Keep it funky.