Hope

It has been over a year since I last wrote on here. Slightly embarrassing and I hope to do better, but 'hope' is the topic of conversation today, so lets get into it. 

Hope is built around what we have faith in and what we have faith in, is build around what we love. We love something or someone so we have faith in that and cary a hope with that faith. When we do this we give power to whatever we hope will be or come to be of our faith. We give power to what we love. The power behind faith, hope, and love can then build us, drive us, encourage us, but it can also crush us. Now, I will be honest, I am no philosophical genius or theologian, and most of you are probably already super confused, and I honestly probably have this all backwards, but I can only speak from my own personal experiences and the things I have experienced with my clients, so lets dig deeper. 

A lot of us, myself included place our hope and faith in the wrong things all in a search to be loved and accepted. We have a expectation (hope), we trust or believe in a process (faith), we reach the end and the outcome dictates a response. The outcome now holds the power. Where we hoped to find love and acceptance now has control. Let me explain how I see this play out with my clients.

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Someone comes to me with a goal, but that goal is usually rooted in some kind of desired outcome: that they will be more desired, loved, accepted or even trusted when they achieve this physical outcome (lose the weight, gain the muscle, run faster, jump higher ect.). They have faith in me, themselves, and the process. If the goal is reached, the outcome will provide a sense of achievement or gratification, happiness. This outcome, however, is typically only momentary and doesn't fully satisfy this deep rooted desire for love or acceptance. The sense of belonging begins to become normal or their achievement begins to draw less attention over time, and slowly they retract to the their original circumstances. Sometimes it can take just a few weeks to retract, sometimes it can take years, but eventually when the outcome we hoped for fizzles away, our faith dissipates and we are left in the end defeated. Almost, as if it were all for nothing.

This power of hope though bends far beyond the realm of the gym. No matter what the circumstance, when hope and faith get misaligned we can give power to anything or anyone in life. You had faith in a person, your family, your friend, you had faith in yourself, your efforts, your hard work, your drive, your own strength, your passions, your gifts and abilities, but they can all seem to come short. The outcome never fully meets the desire you had hoped for, or like the gym maybe it does for a time before you feel like you have to do more to keep the outcome from slipping. We have all been there, significant others let us down, or don't respond the way way expected, boss wasn't happy enough, the score wasn't as good as we wanted, a friend didn't come through when you needed them the most. 

I've been there myself, more times than I would like to admit. I start putting hope in things that I shouldn't only to have them leave me feeling crushed or defeated. So what do we do? Hope in nothing? I don't want to leave you with that, because that would be hopeless, but instead I'd like to challenge you to hope in something greater. Hope in something too good to be true. Find your deepest longings and desires and put your hope in something that will fulfill those needs and desires for love and acceptance. Put your faith in something unchanging. Something eternal. Something that will never fail, even when you do. Me? I've found my love, and acceptance in Jesus. He does all those things for me, but I can't tell you what to do, only encourage you to dig deep, love yourself, have faith, and hope in something greater. 

Motivation... or lack there of...

Ever been motivated? Like to the point where you feel unstoppable? Like no obstacle will be too big to get in your way? WELL, that is how I felt in this picture right here, back on May 21st. I don't usually post or share pictures I've taken of myself shirtless and flexing my giant bald head off. In fact, I rarely take said pictures, but at this point I was feeling very motivated in trying to get lean for summer, and was happy with my progress. I was so content with the picture that I sent it to some family. I had been so motivated through the spring months and all summer. This was even taken after doing an arm workout. I hate bi/tri workouts. In my opinion, they are SO boring. Speaking of which, I haven't done a bi/tri workout in 3 weeks...

May 21, 2016

...which is why I am writing this now. My current motivation level is a solid 4 on a 10 point scale. Which I will tell you, is a step up from where it was a month ago. A month ago my motivation was about a 1 or 2. At one point I hadn't worked out for 7 days straight, which for myself, when you are in a gym 6 days a week is pretty pathetic. 

Anyway, I want to encourage you that no matter where you are at, or what your goals are or how motivated you may or may not be, keep on keeping on. Last month I wrote a blog about facing adversity in pursuit of your goals, and sometimes I think we overlook the truth that, lack of drive or motivation can be our biggest struggle. And it is in these moments that it can be easiest to quit, because when you don't feel like doing something anymore, especially when it is extra curricular, then why keep doing it? Thoughts like, 'The drive is gone, so my time here must be up' or 'Why keep on doing something I don't have to do or want to do?' Well, first off, these are very valid thoughts and concerns, and one must listen and check in with these or they will continue to haunt you, and lead to burn out. Maybe you do need a break. Maybe you need to slow down. Maybe the time here really is up, or maybe it is just an off day or an off week or maybe just a season that you need to push through.

For me personally it was just listening to my body and my mind. Entrusting myself with the place that I was in, and taking baby steps to keep going, one day at a time. I want to encourage you to do the same thing. I'm not currently striving towards a particular goal with my physical fitness, but I know that for myself personally, when I am not pushing or maintaining myself in this aspect of my life other aspect of my life take a hit, whether personal, relational or occupational. Life happens, stress happens, or nothing happens and motivation is gone. It is in these moments that we want to quit, and don't, that we learn more about ourselves, and the why behind our desires.

This time around 'keeping on' reminded me that when I push through the lack of motivation, the motivation seems to find itself, first through individual workouts, just getting going, one day at a time,  and before I knew it the days in turned into a week out, it just starts to come back. I also had to learn that, performing at a peak level all the time is not necessarily needed for every workout to be a success. In fact it has taken me telling myself, 'something is better than nothing', over the past month or so to get to the place where I feel like my best. Now I find somedays I look forward to getting my work out in, while others I still struggle with the desires to avoid it. In these moments I have to find the momentum where I can, take a step, keep on keeping on, and remember something is better than nothing. 

Flippin Life

Life.... Ahh life. This is fun. Writing about such a broad topic, but yet I think it is important to look at it in relation to goals, any goal really. I am going to assume that most of you reading my blog are into fitness and athletics, but if not, no worries, this should still be applicable. I've decided to make this a 3 park series over the next week or two. First, let's look at some things that I BELIEVE are beneficial when goal setting;

  • Dare too dream big. No goal, in my opinion, can be too big. 
  • Set a time frame for yourself to reach this goal. This will help hold you accountable.
  • Figure out what steps you will need to take to reach the goal. What will you have to sacrifice? Can you make these sacrifices? What are smaller goals you can achieve along the way? 
  • Share your goal with those closest too you, and be honest with them. If your goal is big enough that it intimidates you, let them know, ask for their support and accountability.

Now, those are just pointers. Things that I have found helpful. Now, let us start the process here...

Focused. Ready. Determined. These are things that all of my clients come to me with. Well at least anyone that is serious about the task at hand. I never have to give a pep talk to anyone on our first couple of meetings, or around the goal and what they want to achieve. People love visioneering and seeing themselves being successful. Myself included. BUT now I want to look at some TRUTHs around life, and the path too success. I believe these are the things that get overlooked the most or don't get recognized enough, and are the main reasons people do not progress or find success.

1) Like life, success does not come easy. Why do we continue to believe this? You will face obstacles, they will challenge you, achieving your goal might be the hardest thing you have ever done.

2) There are a lot of things in life we can control, there are a lot things in life you have ZERO control over. In an effort to achieve your goal, you must be able to maintain control when life seems completely out of control. What is the next best step?

3) You might not achieve your goal. You may fail. Do not be afraid of failure. (This is something I personally struggle with)

4) Failing to reach your goal, does not make you a failure. 

5) You may have a hard time getting support around your goal. This might be one of the biggest obstacles you face. There is nothing harder than sharing your goals with those closest to you, and hearing them say, "no way", "thats's dumb", "impossible", or just not sharing the same excitement or determination that you have. (I can relate to this one too.)

So, with that, what is your goal? Where are you in life? What are you going through? Do you have a goal? I said it before, but I am a firm believer in the idea that no goal is too big, even if it may seem unrealistic. 

Maybe it is the "instaperfect" world we live in, where we only see the good and blessed things in other peoples lives, and think we should be able to touch, slide, type, filter, and post to reach our goal. BUT I'M SORRY, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY MY FRIENDS. Lucky and blessed are real things, but don't put all your apples in the get lucky basket. Swallow these truths, and JUMP! That is Aletheia Trained.