The One Thing You're Missing to Spark Up Your Life

We live in a world focused on the minutiae of daily tasks and “to do” lists. We focus on each step instead of knowing what direction our life is headed. As you grow older, life starts to become a monotonous set of obstacles that doesn’t garner the excitement you had as a child. When I think about the issue of bringing a general sense of direction to one’s life, I’m reminded of the phrase “You can’t see the forest through the trees.” Achieving anything in life comes by always looking at the bigger picture.

What happened?

We lost the importance of what it means to challenge ourselves.  As children, we tend to take things on without any fear or reservations. Remember the first time you climbed the monkey bars? Remember when you rode your bike without training wheels? How awesome did you feel? No matter if you were hanging out home or in the classroom, you always had something new to strive towards.   

What does challenge mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, challenge has several meanings: 

1.to dispute especially as being unjust, invalid, or outmoded

 

2.a : to confront or defy boldly

b : to call out to duel or combat

c : to invite into competition

 

3. to question formally the legality or legal qualifications

4. to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties

5. to order to halt and prove identity

6. to demand as due or deserved

If I were to sum up the 6 definitions, I would put it simply,

A challenge gives us a chance to push boundaries.   

When approaching a challenge, it’s important to remember to stop and take a look around and find inspiration based on where you are right now and who you have the potential to become.

Whether it’s physically or mentally, we all need to exert ourselves to achieve the things we want most in life. We tend to look at only what is directly in front of us. It’s a behavior that has encompassed us all. A challenge teaches us to look ahead of the task at hand and plan accordingly.

Each challenge presents its own unique adventure that will help us learn about our innate ability to achieve. When you improve on your weaknesses and work to your strengths, you will have the chance to constantly succeed.

A challenge will help you find time to have peace of mind. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a job well done and the confidence that comes with it. When you take on a challenge, you may find out you are much stronger and more successful than you ever envisioned yourself to be. You will never know unless you challenge yourself. You see, it’s about the struggle and digging into the depths of yourself to find that inner voice which will guide you to persevere.  

As Jocko, an American podcaster, author, and retired United States Navy SEAL, said in a podcast about Sisyphus. Sysiphus was a Greek king who was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it neared the top, repeating for all eternity).  

It might seem, it’s an unwinnable battle. It’s not about winning, it’s about the battle itself.   It’s the struggle, the daily test. That’s what life is about...not just physically but mentally. Getting that rock to the top of that mountain, that’s not my goal.  My goal is actually pushing the rock. Because pushing the rock, pushes me. Makes me tougher. It makes me harder mentally and physically. It gives me much more than it gives me.  I want to struggle. I want to grind, claw, and scratch and I want to dig in and to push. I don’t want til to end.

If I ever got rock to the top of the mountain, and it stayed there....I would push it back down myself. I don’t want to rest, coast, or reach a point in my life where I say, I’ve done enough or that’s it or I’m not gonna push any more.  

No.  

No.

That relentless cycle of day to day challenges, they aren’t maddening to me or frustrate me.   They inspire me to drive, and push more and to push harder.  

So I say, dig in and get to pushing...

What can you do?

Challenge yourself.  First make a plan for what you expect to accomplish. Create a timeline of what it will take monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, etc. in order to reach your destination. Hold yourself accountable to it, and enjoy the ride! 

Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified

Szahn@lifetimefitness.com

For information on 1on1 Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching, feel feel free to contact me at szahn@lifetimefitness.com.