There was a book written a number of years ago called the Obstacle is the Way.
The premise of the book is in line with my beliefs about how one should navigate towards a better life.
You can have anything in life that you want if you are willing to put in the work.
Yet, putting in the work is tedious and most people are playing life with wish bones rather than back bones.
Ask yourself this question: what the purpose of any goal?
I’ll tell you.
The purpose of any goal is to increase your level of happiness.
If the goal or final destination is making you less happy, get off of that path.
When I first started competing in bodybuilding I made the mistake of thinking it was about the actual contest day. Well, let me take that back.
The first time I competed in 2004 I had no expectations. I decided it was something I wanted to experience and bodybuilding had become a great passion of mine, so it was an innocent pursuit.
Then, the unexpected happened, I took 2nd place against a very good competitor but I also beat out a number of other competitors in a very large group.
As soon as I had time to digest the experience, I decided that I had to compete again and that I was going to win. This entire mindset shift took something that invigorated me and sucked the joy right out of it.
The next year, I focused on winning and I put all my eggs into the proverbial basket of having to win the show or else it was a failure.
I did worse, much worse the second time around and sank into a depression for months after the show.
All of the sudden the process was discarded for the end goal. It took me some more years to realize that it was the process of getting ready for these shows that was lit my soul on fire rather than having to win and placing my self-image in the hands of the judges.
The actual destination, in this case, the contest date, was nothing more than a day to celebrate, a ceremony of the path that I had now followed.
Competing with this approach, I grew and growth is happiness.
I wasn’t a very good bodybuilder, but I learned a heck of a lot from competing, the main thing being to focus on the process.
The process is having the daily discipline to do what need to be done and to do what you said you were going to do. For example, if you train and follow your diet strategy with the proper principles, you will get to where you are supposed to be.
A goal is nothing more than a guidepost to set you on the proper path.
Most people focus on the end goal and then enthusiasm wears off and they never see the finish line.
What they don’t realize is that life is a game that can’t be won, so there is no finish line. Once you realize that there is no finish line, then you realize there is no rush.
Sometimes, too much enthusiasm will come across as a franctic energy that cannot be sustained. Endurance, therefore, is how you stay on the path. And this ties into so much of what we’ve been talking about in these pages.
A disciplined mind and a commitment to focus will allow endurance to prevail.
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s because it’s irrelevant. Comparison is the thief of happiness.
And remember, you can never be off your path, it’s all your path.