Anyone who knows me, knows how much I despise doing repetitive and mechanical work. Hence, for those reasons; going to the gym and robotically pushing and pulling weights was usually a torture and a half for me. Yet despite that, I managed to fight against my most basic of instincts by discovering the trick to genuinely delighting the gyming experience, once again. (thanks to the wise words of Mark Manson [more about that later]).
You may assume that I am exaggerating so let me use math to prove my point. The elliptical machine at the gym (also known as the stepper) intimidated me to my core. I’d feel like collapsing on the floor, like Patrick the starfish, after just 5 minutes of trying. I mean I didn’t particularly fancy trying to push and pull all four of my limbs, which felt like paddling a standing boat in the middle of a roaring ocean.
But then, one day, I applied one of the rules from Mark Manson’s bestselling book “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck” which was of “Don’t Try”. This made me go at the same machine for up to 40 whole minutes, that too whilst experiencing a euphoric high, which is a flipping raise of 800%!
So here is how the “Don’t try” principle works.
It all begins in the mind, with a bit of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) at work. So when I changed my focus from “trying my hardest to do the elliptical” to simply “enjoying the music and allowing it to enable me to move”, it shifted my focus from exhaustion to pure pleasure.
Here is what was happening on a deeper level. My intention had suddenly shifted from, “There is something wrong with my body and I need to lose weight” to “Wow, I love this music and to dance to its beat.” So within seconds, the whole experience, which was previously of pain, became one of joy. My focus also enabled me to shut out the on-going mental chatter of my to-do lists and general anxieties of life. I guess I treated the elliptical machine as a personal transcendental tool.
To explain the phenomenon more scientifically, being in tune with the music and enjoying each bit of it, made my brain release an excess of dopamine and endorphins the “feel good” hormones which gave me extra boosts of energy to go the extra mile. Plus, I think self-love is a much more efficient fuel than self-hate when it comes to pushing your body. The latter is akin to the most pristine form of platinum liquid whereas the latter to perhaps village cow dung.
Applying the “don’t try” principle enabled me to learn to always keep my favourite tracks updated on my phone so I could “Move my body and soul to the music” instead of “busting my back at the gym”. What are your sentiments about working out? feel free to let me know.