Life is a Journey, Not a Scavenger Hunt

Stop looking. Stop looking for love, for meaning, for clues. Haven’t you ever heard that when you stop looking, something better shows up? That when you stop looking for love, you meet someone that is better than anyone you ever tried to force it with? Or that when you lose something and stop searching for it, you eventually find something even greater?

Stop trying to force your life into something that you think it should be. You are looking at life from one point of view with expectations of what you (or society) has always imagined, what you have been unrealistically searching for. One thing happens to you and you think it is some sort of clue, thus leading you to believe you are that much closer to the end of the hunt. THERE ARE NO CLUES TO LIFE. Just live.

I know we have all heard the saying that life is a journey, not a destination. Cliché? Yes, but true. If you approach each day with hopes that you’ll be closer to that “end goal” you are going to be rather disappointed. Don’t wake up with hopes that you will find another clue to what you were “meant” to do/be. Instead, wake up with determination. Approach each day determined to conquer your fears. Instead of forcing things, listen to your heart and your mind. If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. Live your life for you. Experience your life thoroughly and vividly and freely, just as you would any other journey.

 

Advertisements

How Fitness Changes Your Outlook on Life

Fitness, I’m sure, has interchangeable definitions based on who you may ask. To me, it is powerlifting and eating to fuel my body. To my best friend, it is the sport of dance. To some, it is a complete lifestyle. And to others, it may be nonexistent. When people hear terms and phrases that coincide with fitness and health, they automatically associate them with something along the lines of eating healthy and going to the gym. While, yes, those are correct associations, they are only a small, basic aspect of what fitness can actually do for your life. Fitness is and should mean exceedingly more than just daily physical activity. It has changed many outlooks of life and has the ability to build a person into so much more than just somebody that is considered “fit.”

Depth

As aforementioned, people are often quick to assume that fitness is “just” something. It’s just going to the gym and doing curls. It’s just eating chicken and broccoli for lunch. It’s just getting “toned.” Like any other niche, fitness has obtained its own set of stereotypes. Once you enter the realm of physical activity, whether that may be bodybuilding, HIIT, powerlifting, crossfit or just training in general, you quickly realize that just is not the case at all. There are hundreds of thousands of factors that go into a person’s health and progression in the fitness world. It is more than just going into the gym and doing a set of bicep curls. It is copious research about how the body reacts to a certain amount of volume. It is how to personalize macros based on body type and training volume, it is science. It is trial and error, based on how your body reacts to certain exercises. It is goal setting, listening to your body, training your mind, and so much more. Just like everything else in this world, there are depths waiting to be discovered in fitness. There is so much to learn. Once you look past the surface of it all, you realize just how much more there is to it. This is the case inside and outside of the gym and kitchen. There are people that may be categorized or stereotyped as one thing or another but you have absolutely no idea what lies beyond until you dig deep enough to truly understand. There are things you may be hesitant to try because the very little facts you do know about them may not sound appealing to you. Do not miss out on things or people or experiences just because you did not necessarily like the two things you heard about them from some biased source. Life is so much more than just waking up and going through a boring routine. When you stop putting just on things, you stop limiting yourself and open up a new world of depth and new discoveries.

Mental Health

To continue the importance of stereotype destruction, I will move on to the idea of mental health. Some believe that fitness is strictly physical, a way for someone that is fat to get skinny, bulky to become toned, etc. In my case and many others, though, physical health was/is just a premise to mental health. Taking control of your physical health through fitness teaches you so much more about your inner strength than outer. Yes, hitting PRs is gratifying. Yes, losing those last 20 lbs may have been the highlight of your year. Yes, showing off your transformation makes you feel unstoppable. All of these ring true, but they mean so much more than just a physical change. They show that you have the ability to take control of yourself and your life and keep pushing, even when you do not believe you can. Fitness teaches you strength, true mental strength. When you have the drive and ability to get up in the morning and make that decision to eat right, or to go to the gym even when you are exhausted, that is when you are building yourself. Fitness teaches you that when you focus on the present and the good, the past and negative aspects will soon be minimized, slowly dissolving from your life. Take that strength and apply it to every facet of your life. Whether it is through fitness or not, wake up in the morning with that same drive. Push through the difficult times to become stronger.

Progress and Goals

When it comes to starting new things, the idea of unfamiliarity can be terrifying. This is especially true for me. I often times find myself leaning on what is familiar, relying on routine. While I’m not necessarily hesitant to go outside my comfort zone, I do sometimes encounter fear when it comes to new beginnings. For example, I wanted nothing more than to get my writing and thoughts out into the world. I wanted to start a blog, but once I started doing research and saw how great people were at it, how much time it takes, how much I still had to learn about website editing, I ran away. This was true until I was reminded how far I’ve come in terms of my own physical health. I was never scared to begin lifting weights because I never realized how much I would fall in love with the sport and how much knowledge I would actually obtain. I wasn’t afraid because I did not realize that one little baby step would turn into a million baby steps that would build me into a completely different person than I ever expected to be. Fitness teaches you that starting small can lead to something greater than you could have ever imagined. Goal setting is a huge aspect when it comes to progression in the world of fitness. As long as you work toward each goal, both short-term and long-term, baby steps and giant steps, you will come closer each time. It all starts with one decision. One decision that turns into another one that eventually will turn into a habit if you stick to it. Progress, in anything in life, can be slow. It can be demanding. It can feel like you are moving in the wrong direction at times, but as long as you keep moving forward, your work will pay off. The progress will show.

Comparisons

In the Progress section, I talked about my fear of other, far more experienced writers in the blogging industry. My first thought was that I’m clearly not as good as them nor will I ever be as successful as them. I think the idea of comparing oneself to others is almost natural, but it should not determine what comes next. Many people stray away from fitness because they are not “thin enough” or “strong enough” or whatever the case may be. Yes, I am guilty of comparing myself. I see a woman that is leaner and stronger than I am and yes I envy her. Does that mean I am going to throw in the towel and give up my own healthy lifestyle? Absolutely not. She may have started ten years before me. She may be an exercise scientist, 110% devoted to learning and teaching fitness. But in all honesty, I have no idea. This is the exact same for life outside the fitness industry. It is not fair to yourself nor to others to make comparisons or judgments. You have no idea what people do day in and day out. You don’t know what their genetics consist of, what their lifestyle consists of, how long they have been pursuing a goal, etc. Like in the gym, what works for one person may not work for you and that is okay. There are millions of factors that go into our lives that make it completely unrealistic to even try to compare ourselves or judge others.  We are all extremely different from one another and need to focus on our own paths and how to progress individually rather than wondering how to be like somebody else.

 

Whether you have yet to begin or are actively working on your physical health, remember that there is so much knowledge that you have yet to absorb. Just start. Remember that improving yourself in one aspect of life can actually help you in other areas. Stay focused on your own definition, your unique path. Small changes can turn into tremendous successes.

The Problem with Schedules

We make schedules for time-oriented events. We allow ourselves just the right amount of time to prepare. We set an alarm in order to arrive promptly.
What about the events in our lives that take place in between? What about the events that truly matter?
Smiling, falling in love, singing, laughing,
The things that make us who we are.
The things that we enjoy doing.
Those that do not require an alarm or a schedule.
You are given 24 beautiful hours in each day. Use them.
Cherish them.
Make time for the events in your life that matter the most.
Those are the things that will bring you the greatest satisfaction,
the greatest life.

Do Not Stop

Explore.

Explore as many people and places and ideas as you possibly can. Do this and do not stop. Do not stop exploring.

Discover.

Discover beings and communities that you have yet to understand. Discover knowledge that you have yet to gain.

Do not settle for just one world. Do not settle for just one you.

The world you reside in is infinite, go. Go anywhere and everywhere and do not stop.

The mind that resides within you is infinite, learn. Learn anything and everything and do not stop.

No limit can stop you from infinity,

Do not stop.

Candids, Captions, Cowards

“Get you somebody that ____” (Fill in the blank with phrases such as “can do both,” “does some random extensive favor for you just so you can show them off on social media” etc.) Okay, no. Seriously? You are going to go on a hunt for a significant other based on some Instagram famous model’s photo of the MK purse that her boyfriend bought for her? Whether or not a person would take artsy photos with them is what people are searching for in others, rather than, oh I don’t know, whether or not they are a decent fucking human being. Relationships mean nothing anymore due solely to the fact that everybody is so caught up in trying to make their followers believe that their relationship means something. People are more concerned with having somebody comment that they are “#couplegoals” than they are with being their own couple goals. Instead of getting you somebody that does whatever, get somebody that fucking loves you. Get you somebody that treats you with respect, somebody that builds you up and helps you live. A relationship goal should not be how much a person spends on you or how cute the pictures you take are.

Social Media has done the wonders of giving the illusion that everybody’s life is perfect. We log on just to see what other people are doing with their life through a lens or a keyboard. We, then, make our own judgment of how that person’s life is based on what they have posted. The issue with social media is that, like our outlook on relationships, our view of how life should be is completely skewed. There are people that put more effort into social media than they do in their actual life.

That is what terrifies me. People are too busy posting about their lives that they actually fail to live. People are so consumed by trying to convince others that they live a certain kind of life that they aren’t even living. For example, a girl that is known in the fitness industry that I follow posted some pictures and videos of her dogs and what she does day to day that is not fitness related. Somebody had commented negatively saying that this was not “real” nor was it the reason they followed her. That person had to have been sitting on social media, waiting to watch what other people are doing with their lives, and commenting about how he disagreed with how they were living their lives. All while he was wasting his away. I understand that she is known for her work in the industry, but realistically it is not what she does twenty-four hours of the day. People are so miserable with their lives that they expect other people to live for them.

While, yes, there are many ways to make a living off of and do good on social media, I do believe the line that was once drawn has become rather thin. People have taken that leniency to do good and turned it into some kind of alternate, unrealistic, unattainable reality. Unspoken rules and expectations have been created that did not exist when social media originated. We are so focused on likes and followers and themes and filters and showing off how great we are living that we have forgotten to actually live. Living has become an illusion. Many waste their lives away searching for somebody else’s reality that may not even exist. Modern “goals” are based on captions and candids.

So instead of checking out the guy that you think would look good on your next Instagram post, wait for the one that treats you so well that you don’t even think about who liked your last one. Instead of wasting time trying to come up with a clever caption, write something meaningful. Speak something meaningful. Feel something meaningful. Your life means so much more than just one picture.

Control

You have the ability to put every aspect of your life into place, to control. What is difficult, though, is understanding the concept of controlling yourself. They say that once you take control, everything else around you will fall into place. The trick is not to control the things that you want in place, the trick is to control you. Control yourself, control your emotions, control your actions. When you radiate positive energy, everything else around you that possesses that same energy will fall right into place.

Feel

It’s okay to feel.

It’s okay to feel every damn emotion in your heart.

It is more than okay

Sometimes I forget to tell myself that; we all feel things so deeply.

And sometimes that is a good thing, to love deeply, to care deeply, to feel.

What about pain? Sadness?

Rejection? Confusion?

We feel those emotions with the same depth.

We feel the pain just as we feel the love,

Sometimes for the same reason.

And it is okay to feel that.

Feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all.

It is what makes us human, it is what makes us grow

Direct the energy from the pain toward love, happiness.

Do not wish or ignore your feelings away

Let them speak to you, let them teach you.

Appreciate your depth.