As many of you know, I am the mother of a boy; strong, bright, determined…and stubborn.
A while back we were having a conversation in regards to his physical training as he’s preparing to leave for the Navy. I was giving him suggestions in regards to an issue he’s having particular challenges with. Now, what most of you don’t know is that I have spent 30 years as a bodyworker, several of which I spent working with workers compensation, auto accidents, high end athlete’s, people with physical issues. I did bodywork as well as some personal training, so I do actually know a little bit (a pretty fair amount actually) about body mechanics, adaptive training, and so-on. My son, of course, because iIm his Mom, disregards much of this.
I really wanted him to get the point that he needed to try something different if he wanted his body to move up to the next level of what it’s capable of. So far his mentality has been, “just do more, try harder”…not a success strategy in my world, but an incredibly common approach. My way around this was to ask a client of mine, who is a rather successful athlete, for his advice. “He needs to do something different. Doing the same will get him the same. Hard work will only take him so far, then, he needs to get creative to get to the next level he wants to perform at”. I couldn’t agree more!!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about trying hard. Seriously, if you want it, work it – and this goes for all sorts of things, not just working out. If you want to heal your mind, work at it, if you want to have a better attitude, work at it, if you want a more successful business, work at it, better marriage relationship, work at it. Intentional effort goes a long, long way, but often it doesn’t go all the way. Generally, we have to do something different to get a different result
Here’s the deal, our unconscious mind, the habitual part of ourselves, just repeats what it knows has an internal set of parameters that have developed over our lifetime, whether that lifetime is 10 days, or 100 years. We’re creatures of habit. This simply means we tend to produce the same things the same way over and over again. This is why it’s called a habit”. Well, we do this on levels we never think to think of like the type of partners we attract, the kind of bosses we attract in our work, the dynamics we attract into our life, our health, our diet, and well, our physical performance. Our abilities within these things are determined by the set of criteria that is established in our mind. We could talk about limited beliefs, we could talk about self-value, or self-esteem, we could talk about achievement potential, there are lots of words. But, it boils down to the same thing – we have a program and our mind, which runs our body, likes to stick to the program. If you want something new, or to reach a new level, you gotta shake it up.
Einstein said it best, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, expecting a different result”. It’s both sad, and true. The sad part is that so often we “want” things to be different, but we keep doing, thinking, believing, prioritizing, feeling the same things the same way. Paying attention can get a bit of leverage, but at some point we have to work directly with the autopilot part of ourselves and shift this. The unconscious mind has the ability to shift when we start doing new things, or even old things in a new way. Silly stuff like driving a different route to work stops the autopilot associated with your work mode. Sitting in a different chair at the kitchen table gets the attention of the autopilot associated with meal time. It doesn’t take a lot, but it does require some change. All we have to do is get the autopilot into a state of confusion for just a moment. Ever notice that when you drive somewhere new it takes a certain amount of time, but the drive home never seems as long. Perception based on your autopilots level of familiarity with the route. Once you’ve driven it, it’s in your mind, there is now a level of familiarity even if you’ve only been there once.
Shake it up. Do something different everyday to keep sharp. Our minds and our bodies have unlimited potential. We are capable of things we haven’t even considered yet, but to step up, we need to change it up.
I don’t know the end of the story with my son, maybe by the time you read this we’ll have a measurable result. Maybe he’ll make some changes in light of my clients feedback even if “the Mom” info didn’t quite cut it.
All I do know right now is that he has incredible potential…and I know what it takes for us, in our way, with our own goals, to get ourselves closer to our own greatest potential.