The Riddle Is:
How tall will a tree grow?
The answer: As tall as it can.
The real mystery: Why do some people stretch and reach and grow as far as they can and another will settle for less?
I am driving to the gym at 5:30 this morning. There are several inches of snow
already on the ground and it is still snowing. There is almost no one out and I
wonder who will show up to the gym today. Since I am listening to a seminar
by Jim Rohn while I drive, and he is discussing personal philosophy, I reflect on
why today some people’s personal philosophy will be to keep their commitments,
including their workout, and the next will be to stay home. Jim Rohn calls these
kinds of questions “mysteries of the mind”. It’s a riddle I can’t solve. What I
do know is that the person who doesn’t let obstacles stand in the way of their
greater goals is the one who will “grow tall”.
Two great skills that you can learn in the gym that carry over into all of life are:
1. How to show up. It is consistency that leads to progress. There are always
excuses to not show up; the trick is to find ways to make it happen. Make up
your mind to never skip a workout. Change what you planned or cut it short if you
absolutely have to but never miss. When I first started exercising I was afraid
I’d quit completely if I missed a day, so for three years I never missed a day. It
didn’t matter if I was sick, it was my birthday, or even Christmas. At that time I
had four very young children, did day care and a lot of heavy church work. Now,
it wasn’t smart. Your body needs a day a week to rest but I sure developed a lot
2. How to dig deep. You can always do more than you think you can. One
more set, one more rep, one more second. My clients and boot campers have
all heard me say “You can do anything for ten seconds!” It’s in that last few
seconds that most of the growth comes. Those times when you thought you
couldn’t do any more, and you did it anyway.
It isn’t just about the workout. It’s about self –mastery, character and keeping
the commitments you make to yourself. A tree grows as high as it can because it
has no choice. We have the gift to choose what we will be. Ultimately there are
only two choices: to be only part of what we could be or to be all we can be.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all
things, the most shameful and vile.” Plato
Let’s all choose to be lean and strong! Be wonderfully educated! Be fabulously
successful! Grow as tall as we can.
Photo Credit: HyperBob