A few days ago, I woke up and began my normal morning routine. I rose at 4 a.m., did an hour of meditation, then headed to the gym.
When I got to the gym, it was leg day. The previous week had been super busy with lots of early court, so I missed a lot of gym time. As a result, it had been two weeks since my last leg day. I was expecting everything to be very difficult because of that. Further, on my previous leg day, all the weights I had been using were tough for me—the kind of tough that makes you emit those obnoxious groaning and grunting sounds.
I got on the leg extension machine and started at my previous weights. But while I was on the machine, I wasn’t really thinking about the exercise. I was thinking about the meditation I had done that morning and wondered how it applied to the use of grit.
During the meditation I had this disconnected feeling from my body—which was not unusual. A bit before all this, I had watched a friend of mine tell me that grit is important. When you’re faced with an obstacle in life, you power through whatever it is. If you have enough grit, went his theory, you can overcome anything. I couldn’t help but wonder if, by thinking about grit in the first place, are we actually making things more difficult than they need to be? Could we instead just utilize the same disconnected feeling that you capture in meditation and disconnect from the agony of the crisis you’re facing?
Suddenly, my head snapped back to the gym. I realized I’d gone through all my leg extensions without even thinking about it. There was no groaning and no grunting. I had just done everything.
For the rest of the workout, I tried to replicate the effect. I consciously disconnected my mind from the exercises. Suddenly, I found myself grunting very little and surpassing every single weight in my workout.
I went home and thought, “well maybe that was a fluke. I need to see if I can replicate it.” The next day I went to the gym again, doing a different workout. And once I again, I surpassed every single weight with a minimum of grunty noises.
By separating my mind from my body it became clear to me that my mind had been holding me back. By getting rid of the limitations that my mind was bringing to the table, I was suddenly able to do more than I was before and with greater ease.
When I was working out previously, I went in thinking it was hard. I was telling myself that I needed to grit through it and finish the workout. When I got rid of that mindset and simply disconnected from the problem, the struggle disappeared.
Many of the problems we face in life are similar. We have an expectation that we need to struggle and overcome. We feel that we need to power through every crisis that pops up in our lives. The problem is, that we end up experiencing exactly that. When something happens that we don’t like, suddenly we find ourselves powering through the struggle. But, as with my experience at the gym, if we didn’t see it as a struggle at all, then the experience would be very different. By seeing conflict, you create conflict. Then you have to overcome it. Instead, just solve the problem. Don’t turn it into a hardship.
I challenge you to look at your life. Are you expecting struggle? Are you subconsciously creating limitations that don’t need to be there? Can you approach your problems in a way that makes the issue just something you’re dealing with rather than a crisis you’re gritting your way through? Altering the approach may have a massive difference on your experience.