Habits, values, emotions, skills, tendencies, strengths, & weaknesses. A basket full of our humanity. Viewed through our eyes, as one small organized basket that is easy to carry with us throughout our day.
Both the mirror and others tell us differently. Disorganized, this same basket is viewed as too large and chaotic for it to be clearly identified. With the change of a day, our basket is never the same. Only during times of frustration or great disappointment do we see this same basket in the same way.
Sometimes, when we feel confused, uncertain or we simply are not very self-aware, we need someone else to show us the picture of our disorganized basket that seemed so organized until they showed us differently.
As we dream or fail, we yearn to grow and evolve. To better ourselves. To stop doing this or that. We want to be more generous. We want to be more disciplined. We want to love more and be loved. We want to be more skilled. We want to be more patient, present and balanced. We want to be more romantic. We want to be thin. In the quiet of our hearts, at times, we want to be so different than we were the hour or day before. The list is endless and forms the tapestry of our lives through time.
Recipes exist in books for doing much of what is wished for above. All of us can read while most of us fail. We understand the words but find, over time, that something is missing. There must be a secret ingredient that is needed to make ourselves more of what we aspire to be while becoming less of who we are.
We need to build muscle to endure a journey of disappointments and sporadic starts that never gain momentum until one day they do. Practice, do more when we don’t want to, try out the new muscle in ways that at first seem awkward, then repeat after a brief rest. Tough, boring, not glamorous, & easy to give up. Developing muscle is never written about for it is so hard to describe yet so vital to this process of improving, evolving, and experiencing deep personal growth and change.
Building muscle within ourselves for things we cannot touch or see is the same as the process that involves exercise to develop muscle in our bodies. (It’s even harder because we can’t see the improvement or results in the mirror.) It doesn’t happen in a day. And when we exercise (from a point of not being fit) it always feels like there is much, too much effort, for so little a return when we look at ourselves a day or week later.
Introvert or extrovert the missing ingredient is always the same. Building muscle and learning to endure the pain and struggle of building muscle is the biggest first step you will ever take on any journey of sustained personal change or development.
Being able to build muscle, many times, is the difference between being in a race or being left behind. You see, what scares me is not losing a race but being left behind.
Learning how to build new muscle is one of the most important skills you can learn in your life. You will use it over and over as you age and evolve. It will make you more agile to adapt and be effective as your life changes through the years. Admittedly, it is not easy. It’s usually a little messy with a lot of starts and stops.
To build muscle, you will need patience, discipline, focus and skill. Your measurements along the way must be in inches not miles. All skills that will serve you well, regardless of what you pursue to change.
Building muscle is a personal choice that no one else can help you make.
It’s quiet now. Maybe now, is a great time to begin.