Let me ask you this… What would you fight harder for,
1) to earn $10,000,
2) or to make sure that someone did not take $1,000 from you?
Yeah, the head leans to the former, but in your heart, you know that you’d kick, bite and scream before someone managed to take your thousand bucks from you. It seems we are hard-wired to maintain a status quo, rather than seeking the unknown. It’s an old-fashioned tool for basic survival.
It also influences the company we choose to keep.
When you decide that you “like” someone, it’s because, on a conscious or subconscious level, you feel that they are the same as you. This makes life more predictable. When we’re comfortable around one another, even our breathing syncs up, our movements mirror each other and this puts us in a state of ease so that we can drop our guard. – Call it Sympatico
From a personal development perspective, this may not be ideal though, because this state does not challenge us as it should. If you think back to times in your life, when you went through the greatest growth, was this not when you were on your toes, felt challenged, were even fighting for your very survival?
I tell my son to play sports with the bigger boys. (I also suggest that he hang out with the kids who get the best grades.) Why?
Compare the life of an army recruit to a group of university mates hanging out on bean bags. Who will be asking the most of themselves and each other collectively? Sure, you can get pretty cerebral when you’re quoting Freud from an oversized bean bag with a bong in your hand, but I’m guessing that the army guy is having a greater impact on himself and his own development.
The physical pursuit of hitting the gym is about getting stronger, both mentally and physically. To do this, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Personally, I would choose NOT to have Igor the Hulk, spit-shouting at me while I try to squeeze the last prep out of an incline bench-press, that’s threatening to crush my skull… but in my heart, I know that this is the only way to go if I am to make it to his level. It’s scary, it’s uncomfortable and it can be humiliating to see him do twice the weights with twice the reps, but I won’t level up if I’m not pushed to do so. It may stroke your ego to consistently outperform your skinny training partner, but it lulls you into comfort and this inhibits growth.
Don’t get me wrong. I love congeniality. It’s a time when I can drop my guard, have a drink in my hand, and shoot the breeze with other dogs. Those are times when I don’t mind sharing their fleas. It’s a once-in-a-while thing, but on the whole, my intuition tells me that the greatest rewards are waiting for me on the outer edges of my comfort zone, both physically and mentally, and if you begin with the physical stuff, the mental toughening is sure to follow. Being selective about the company we keep, both inside and outside the gym, will aide or hinder our progress.
I made a deal to start training with a youngster today. He’s 20 years younger than me, but I know that he’s going to push me in a new way…
Seek out the new, instead of leaning into the familiar old, and who knows… life may reward you in ways you never considered.
Happy Easter y’all