I want to tell you a quick story:
A young student of Zen runs into Wu Li, the great Zen Master on the mountain outside a monastery.
Master Li is performing his daily routine of chopping firewood and bringing up buckets of water from the river for the monastery.
🤷♂️ “What is life before Enlightenment?” the young monk asks.
👴 “Chop wood; carry water,” responds Li with a swing of his axe.
🤷♂️ “What is life after Enlightenment?”
👴 “Chop wood; carry water,” responds Li with a smile on his face.
There are several different interpretations of the concept “Chop wood, carry water”, but the one I’ve learned is this:
If there is any “secret” out there that you can learn from those who are successful in health and fitness it’s to stay focused on the process and not the outcome.
Goals will come and go. Reasons will change. Strategies will work until they don’t.
Don’t think of all the things you have to do to eat, move, think, and sleep better as things that you just have to get over and done with in order to reach your health and fitness goals (i.e. “enlightenment” in the story above).
Rather, think of those actions and processes as the goal itself.
Whether you’re before enlightenment or after enlightenment, you’re still going to have to “chop wood” and “carry water”.
Even though all 3 of us coaches at Sleekgeek have gone through significant transformations, we still focus almost entirely on the small individual behaviours that we have to do each day, week, month, and year in order to live the lives we want.
(Learn from these 3 Sleekgeek Coaches in the Sleekgeek Coaching Program)
Our goals have changed over time, but many of the actions we take stay the same. At times, we don’t even have any major health or fitness goals and still the actions we take stay more or less the same.
If you’re spending more time thinking about and wishing for your goals than actually doing the daily actions required to get there, they’re going to remain far-off goals.