Expanding Your Fortress
I read something interesting today that made me think a bit. I love when that happens - as it opens my eyes to new possibilities and often results in a little extra motivation for whatever I'm doing. This little tidbit was all about attitude and how we can easily get caught up in believing things are randomly happening to us, rather than proactively creating the lives we want to live.
I'm a control freak - so when unexpected things happen - it kinda freaks me out. So, I make it my daily mission to control everything I can which might be a bit OCD. But I find that when I'm in charge of my time and my activities, I'm comfortable knowing that things will generally turn out a certain way. Problem is that I can't control every variable in my life and there are going to be those things that affect me whether I want them to or not. That seems a little counterintuitive to living proactively and imposing my will on the world, but it's not. Let me explain...
You see, I set the conditions for my life as best as I can. I know I can never control every variable in every situation, but that is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. As long as I deal with the 20% of things that result in 80% of the results - the rest usually sorts itself out. There are exceptions, but in hindsight the exceptions were usually one of the 20% and I failed to recognize them as such.
Granted, sometimes, I get lazy and forgo planning, but at the same time, I then accept that anything that happens because I did not make the effort to control the outcome, is my fault and nobody else's. If I want something different to happen, then it's up to me to set the conditions to allow a different set of circumstances to manifest.
This kind of mindset is hugely important when trying to add muscle, lose fat, get faster, stronger, or learn any type of new skill. We haven't got a hope in hell of achieving any of it if we believe we are predestined, or genetically disposed to look, feel, or act a certain way. When we finally realize that we can impose our will on our environment and not be a victim of it, we free ourselves from the fortress that keeps us where we are at in life.
What is really interesting though - is that these fortresses are of our own making. We build them with our expectations to keep us happy in our comfort zone and the longer we remain within them, the more reinforced the walls become.
Whether you like where you are at now or not, you are comfortable being there (or at least tolerate it), otherwise you'd change things. It's not until something triggers change or we consciously decide to jump the fortress walls into the unknown - to get out of our comfort zone where everything feels new and scary and out of control - that growth, development, and potentially miraculous things happen.
I realized, that even though I plan my life to impose my will on my environment, I do it to maintain control and therefore comfort in a day that looks a lot like yesterday or the day before - and where is the fun in that? The things I'm doing are generally moving me towards my goals - I continually improve my physique and level of fitness and knowledge, for example, but at the same time, those plans are reinforcing my own set of fortress walls.
No growth happens in any part of life when you are comfortable all the time - and that's something that should have been evident to me from the time I spend in the gym. I only experience growth after I've put myself through the relative discomfort of a hard workout before I relax, rest, and let the muscle repair and grow. Why would any other part of my life be different?
Of course, I'm not saying that there are no good things in your fortress. The walls certainly keep in the good while they block out the bad. The trick is to rearrange the walls to eliminate any bad things in your fortress while expanding to encompass more good things.