189. Just Give In

By: Michael Beiter

 

At the beginning of any new learning experience, you will inevitably feel clumsy or have pitfalls. There's no way around it. 

The beginner who stands on their dignity becomes rigid, armored; learning can't get through. 

I am not suggesting you surrender your morals or unquestioningly accept advice that is bad for you. But if you have hired someone to instruct you, it is time for an unavoidable suspension of your disbelief. Just give in. 

Maybe I'll ask you to wear a bio tracker or log your food. Unless you have a compelling reason not to, give in. Try it. 

Learning anything involves being a beginner for a while.

In your first few workouts, you will look like a newborn baby doe and hardly have any idea what you're doing. Are you willing to accept that? If not, forget about being healthy. 

The first food log you finish will have red flags all over it. Is this a good reason for giving up? 

What about your inability to keep your head in the game? And the varying degrees of motivation you titillate through? Experiences like this are not limited to beginners; you can observe them happening in the Olympics. 

If you want to improve, be prepared to take it. 

And then there are the endless repetition, the drudgery; the basic moves practiced over and over again. Only a dummy would start a musical career with full knowledge that they might repeat all the scales maybe a hundred thousand times each, right? 

To some people, that idea alone might be enough to justify resisting giving in. 

I remember when I hired coaches to help me with my fitness and nutrition. After 12 months of squatting, benching, deadlifting, and overhead pressing, the most basic moves in the gym, I got my next series of workouts—another year of squatting, pushing, and pulling. 

I instantly thought, "I just did this for a year." My inquiry for variation was met with a laugh and instruction to "shut up, show up, and get to work."

I just gave in. Since then, I have squatted, pushed, and pulled every week for ten years. I have notebooks with every rep recorded, totaling in the 10's of thousands. 

I have discovered endless richness in tiny variations of the same movements I have done for a decade and will continue to do till I die. The same goes for the food I eat. 

The essence of boredom is found in the obsessive search for novelty. Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition. 

 

Source: Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long Term Fulfillment by George Leonard

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