It's a funny thing, the concept of mind control. The idea that we can through some mystical power control someone else's mind!
If we possessed even the slightest hint of having this ability, wouldn't we exercise it on ourselves? Clearly we don't.
It has been said that wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you, I believe that comes from Wayne Dyer. I have also heard it said that to control one's thoughts is the most difficult thing that man can do, thank you Napoleon Hill. It makes sense. Every action is proceeded by a thought.
Everything is either growing or dying, getting stronger or getting weaker, this goes for all
things in life, like relationships or your physical health. At any point in time you have made a decision to exercise or not. If you are exercising you are building muscle, strength, endurance, resilience to injury.... or you are atrophying. Your muscles, bones and coordination, confidence, endurance and balance decrease day after day.
So why is it so easy not to exercise? I can plan on working out all day long, and then have the amazing ability to weasel out at the last moment. Why? I think it is because my thoughts change. I go from having the expectation that I'm going to work out, and I am having positive thoughts about it, to thoughts and reasons why I don't want to go.
If I can control my thoughts, and focus on all the benefits of exercise and entertain nothing else, what would the outcome be? If the thoughts of not going are gone... and all I have left is the reasons that I want to go... I'm guessing I'd go!
However, have you ever really tried to control your thoughts? If you have, you know how very difficult it is to keep your mind from wandering. If you haven't, try it for just 5 minutes. Choose something that you are going to think about, and think about nothing else. You will be amazed at how many times your mind will wander elsewhere.
Well I know for me that I'm either working out and feeling great, or I'm finding reasons not to and feeling pretty crappy about myself. I'm either in the camp of "doing it", or in the camp of knowing that I "should be doing it". The camp of "doing it" is a way better place to be.
If we were logical beings we would look at all the benefits of exercising, and it would be impossible to make the argument to not workout. But, we are not binary creatures, we are emotional creatures with free will. Exercise is no different than anything else. Why does someone continue to smoke despite the health risks? Why does the overweight person keep on hitting the twinkies? Why do we let our emotional mind get in the way of the logical mind even when it's in our own best interest?
I think the answers to these questions are as varied, as they often times are nonsensical. I believe there are some primal reasons behind some of this. I think that we avoid exercise because our minds still think in survival terms of a different time. Conserve energy, don't use it unnecessarily. Additionally, the body incorrectly interprets stress as physical activity, so it drives us to eat to keep up with the energy it assumes our bodies will require. The reality is that many of us are stressed, but most energetic activity we participate in is talking on the phone, sitting at our desk for hours in front of our computers.
For me it's time to make a change. I am in charge of me, and the thoughts I have, the actions and decisions I make. I am moving to the other camp. No longer will I have regretful thoughts of "I should be", but instead I will have grateful thoughts of "I am".
So for the next thirty days, and I am going to exercise mind control on myself. In that time I am going to figure out a workout routine that will work with my schedule, and avoid the thoughts that come creeping in that throw me off track.
Hey want some company on your exercise journey.... join me for the next thirty days!