Don’t Strive For Goals, Strive To Be

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For the past two years or so I’ve got into the steady habit of lifting weights. I’ve delved into it temporarily once or twice before, but this has been the first time I’ve really been able to embrace it over the longer term and make it sustainable.

Yes, I’ve seen results. And yes, there’s still a lot more I want to achieve. There will always be more to do in front of me in this regard. It’s an ongoing journey. There’s no end goal. This has just become something that I do – something that I am.

Oddly enough it was a philosophy quote by Marcus Aurelius that helped me build this weight lifting habit and make it stick.

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

This quote obviously has nothing to do with fitness or lifting weights. I doubt the Roman Emperor was much of a gym bro. But this can be translated into so much in life.

How much time do we obsess over things but not do anything? How often do we make big goals for ourselves without even starting? How many of us wait for some sort of divine inspiration to commence on a journey of fitness, learning, career change, or whatever, without even doing step one?

Aurelius’s advice is simple. Stop thinking about it, just do it. Implement it. Be it.

The way I’ve translated that advice has helped me change the frame of why I lift weights, and this has made all the difference.

Instead of waking up in the morning and thinking I have to lift weights, my thinking is rather I lift weights. That’s what I do. Instead of having some vague fitness goal, I lift weights because I know that’s who I am.

This has made all the difference. The key words in that Marcus Aurelius quote are Be one. His point is that we fixate over some distant goal or ideal, instead of being the person that will get there.

If you are able to be that person, the goal should become irrelevant.