Dynamic movement creates a dynamic life. The more dynamic the movement the more dynamic the life. The dictionary defines life as growth. Growth is essential for a dynamic life.
A dynamic life demands dynamic growth. And… dynamic growth creates a dynamic life.
Growth can be uncomfortable and disconcerting because by nature, it moves you out of your comfort zone. You need periods of comfort. Comfort is the night’s rest that restores for the next day. Comfort is the rest stop on the long journey.
But comfort in balance. To stay in bed too long… or to linger at a rest stop delays progress, which makes you restless and ill at ease with yourself.
“True nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Discoveries Just Outside of the Comfort Zone
About 11 years ago, around the age of 48, I started working out with a personal trainer. I had been exercising on my own and made a lot of progress, but there were still issues to resolve. Namely, osteopenia—the loss of bone density—and chronic back pain. I knew that the way to resolve both was to make my body stronger through resistance training with weights. To take it to the next level I needed help because I didn’t know about gyms, barbells and fitness machines. In fact I was intimidated by the gym, so I hired a personal trainer.
My personal trainer had me do things I wasn’t even sure I could do. She handed me huge dumbbells that had me laughing at first because I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. She expected me to lift them, over and again. She expected me to jump up on a bench and back down numerous times. She expected me to hop up a flight of 30 stairs, two steps at a time, come back down and do it again on one foot all the way up, then back down for the other side.
Most of us are rarely challenged to capacity.
She knew that I could do them. She was practiced at pushing limits; her own and that of her clients, and she knew that the greatest growth lay just on the other side of my comfort zone… and then some. I thought perhaps she didn’t know my age, so I reminded her.
“Remember… I’m 48.”
Her blank stare clearly stated, “And your point is…?”
But she was right. I could do it. Not only could I do it, but each day I grew stronger, fitter and more confident. For a time I had bought into the myth of being less capable because… you know… “getting older.”
Successful people are simply those with successful habits.
We are like our computers: a vast store of potential, much of which goes largely untapped, day after day as we settle into our usual routines. Routine reduces and constricts parameters. Challenges expand and flex them.
So all good things in good time. Rest when you need it. Start small when you need to. But remember to challenge what you thought you could do. Chances are you will surprise yourself.
Challenge, by definition is not supposed to be easy. But you’re up for it.
Delight yourself. Do more than you thought you could. Do one more page… one more sentence… one more painting… one more brushstroke… one more video… one more than you thought you could do.
You won’t regret it. Ever.
Work until your idols become your equals.