Last week I came into the gym to set up an Amazon Firestick on one of the TVs so we could display profiles of our Coach and all the athletes participating in each class. You plug it into one of the HDMI ports, connect to WiFi and BOOM!…cool new feature for classes, right? Well, if you are familiar with my lack of a green thumb regarding all things technology, you can imagine how this went.
Thirty minutes later, no new display, a verbally and audibly frustrated gym owner at the helm, Head Coach Stephen announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, our resident Poser Stoic!”
He’s not wrong, ya know. As much as I postulate stoicism, there are times (often on a daily basis) that I don’t personify the philosophy. I still get frustrated. I still stress about what might happen. I still lose my patience. And I still want the world to be the way I want it, even though it’s out of my hands.
But here I am, plugging away. Reading books and blogs, watching TED Talks, listening to podcasts, talking to people I consider mentors, typing out my thoughts every week in my version of a journal. All so I can keep moving in the right direction. Because even when I fail, I learn something. And the failing presents another opportunity to restart and improve.
The Japanese have a term for continuous improvement: Kaizen. While Kaizen was originally developed to help businesses improve and thrive, it’s just as applicable to our personal lives. According to Brett and Kate McKay in The Art of Manliness: “Instead of trying to make radical changes in a short amount of time, just make small improvements every day that will gradually lead to the change you want.”
Kind of sounds like what we’re doing with fitness at Nevermore, eh? This week one of our newer members had just finished an especially grueling workout. Afterwards he said to me, “I was really pushing hard and I thought I did okay. But then I started hearing everyone else’s results. I feel so far behind everyone.” I had to remind him that we all started in a similar place. To trust the process. To make progress every time you’re in the gym, And six months from now you’ll look back and wonder how you got so strong. Kaizen.
It’s not important WHERE you start. It’s only important IF you start. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be getting better. Don’t let yourself give up just because you’re far from the ideal. Once you get started you can gain momentum.
I like to think of it as an investment in myself, whether it be improving the quality of my life or the state of my fitness. Albert Einstein said, “Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” I looked up the benefits of compounding interest and found this: Compound interest can be defined as interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods. Think of it as the cycle of earning “interest on interest” which can cause wealth to rapidly snowball. Imagine that same phenomena working exponentially throughout your life…for you at the gym as well as for you as a human.
Someday soon I may look back on the Poser Stoic as a distant memory. I’ll know I’ve experienced compounding changes when Stephen simply refers to me as Nevermore’s SMALL business owner.
What is your Bright Spot this week?…