How Training Teaches Us Patience for Success
Training takes time.
It takes time to learn proper form. It takes time to see growth and to build up strength. It takes time to see results. We don’t measure our progress on a day-to-day basis. It’s more like week-to-week and then month-to-month.
Patience is necessary to climb to the peak and achieve the top of your mountain.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.”
Change Takes Time
When we desire to add strength to our bench press, we do not just try to bench 315 pounds on our first session. That’s insane. Instead, we start at the bottom. The bar. 45 pounds. That’s where I began.
When we hit the workout again the following session, we add 2 and 1/2 pounds to each side of the bar. Now we try 50 pounds. We rest, we come back a few days later and go for 55 pounds. We learn to take baby steps and move incrementally, giving our all from wherever we may be strength-wise.
Then, six to eight months later, we have added 100 pounds to our bench, squats, and deadlifts. Growth, baby!
Trying to do too much too fast will cripple or injure us. We are smart, but proactive. We realize and learn very quickly that physical progress is a marathon journey, and not a sprint. When you’re looking to see results after four days of working out, thinking you are all of a sudden “entitled” to abs, you better change your mindset because you will be discouraged.
Change takes time. Don’t even look at the mirror for a real transformation for at least four months. Yet, knowing this, we still bust our asses, working and doing as much as we can each day.
Stop Looking for Immediate Results
If you are a martial artist, you start as a white belt. Well, it’s going to take a good amount of time until you reach black belt status. It’s a lot of effort and a ton of action needed.
You will get thrown (a lot), you will fall (many times), and you will get tapped out. Often and pretty regularly, especially in the beginning.
Eventually, you let go of trying to become Bruce Lee in a month, and you start to enjoy the process. You look forward to class at the end of the day. You get excited to see your martial arts comrades who are quickly turning into a family.
In time, the pressure to be perfect diminishes, and you begin to have fun! However, you’re still working your ass off. You’re always getting thrown around, but you can notice improvements. Things are clicking after a month or two, and then voila! You are becoming proficient. You see and feel the progress.
It is the same thing with working out as well. When you let go of your need to see immediate results — enjoying the process — then you start to see the results.
Don’t Worry, I Suck at Patience Too
This lesson is the hardest one for most. It certainly has been one of the most challenging tasks for me to swallow. And if I’m honest, I’ve only very recently become good at it and still have more work to do.
Many people, myself included, are victims of the digital age. We live in a world where whatever we want will show up almost instantaneously, and we want it now. Hell, we wanted it yesterday!
Do you need information? Google it. Want a new item or outfit? Amazon Prime that sucker and get it the next day. Need to talk to someone? Email, text, phone call, FaceTime, DM, or message them on messenger, instantly.
Why wait until next week to watch your favorite show when you can binge-watch a whole season on Netflix? Why wait in line at Starbucks when you can use your mobile app to order? Why bother going out to a bar conversing with people when you can just swipe right or left?
All of these remarkable advances in technology have made life VERY easy. They’ve also made us soft.
The True Definition of Patience
My point is, we have a severe problem when it comes to patience.
All of those fantastic advances cannot speed up the process of the things that matter.
- Building relationships.
- Achieving our dreams.
- Getting our health in order.
- Getting our finances secure.
- And (of course) getting in shape.
These things take time.
Most people think patience means sitting and waiting. Nope. Not true.
Patience is defined as:
“the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
Nowhere in that definition does it state sitting back and waiting, and yet, so many people give up on the things that matter because they do not know this lesson. They have next to zero capacity to tolerate delays because they can’t “same day” deliver the big things in life.
It also doesn’t help when you’re the type of person who knows what they want in life. Having massive ambition or a burning desire is excellent. It’s essential. However, it’s only great if you can tolerate the journey toward the fulfillment of that desire.
Training Cultivates Patience
So, how do we combat this lack of patience which runs rampant in our world?
We cultivate it through training. Whether it’s getting in shape in the gym, martial arts, or any physical discipline, it doesn’t matter.
In the gym, you can’t overnight the body that you want. You can’t swipe right and instantly be healthy. If you’re a dancer, you can’t add a double turn to your online shopping cart. And you certainly can’t binge watch a show to become a black belt.
Get the “6 MINUTE ABS” and the “4 WEEKS TO A SUPERHERO BODY” out of your mind.
There are no quick fixes for the things that matter in life.
Once again, this journey is a marathon. Not a sprint. And the sooner that you can accept that this will not be a quick fix, then the sooner we can focus on taking steps today.
We learn this very quickly through training. You can have the right trainer, the proper training program, and the right diet plan. But it’s still going to take time for your body to recover, burn fat, build muscle and strength, and to transform.
We learn, in this journey of training, that the quality of patience is to tolerate the delays. However, the action of patience is something else entirely.
The Action of Patience
We have the long term goal or Macro-goal, and we have the short term goals or Micro-goals.
The Macro-goal is the final product. It’s what we are shooting for and working toward that goal. The “Dream Body.” The Micro-goals are what we do each day. Hitting the gym and giving our all while keeping to our diet plan with every meal.
Just like we have built the habit of doing one more in the gym, we will always do one more “rep” in life. One more sales call. One more pitch. One more audition. One more go at what we are trying to achieve!
Patience, the action of it, is a balance between the Macro-Goal and the Micro-goals. There’s that word again we hear about so often: Balance.
We learn to balance having the mindset to be patient for the Macro-goal, but we take as much action as possible today with the Micro-goals.
That way, we condition ourselves to take as many micro-steps as possible right now, which will inevitably advance our position toward our Macro-goals.
When we embrace that seeing the transformation will take time, then we are no longer in a rush to get it done or hurry it along. We make peace with this concept because what we want will come in time as long as we put in the work.
By doing this, we ease up on putting the pressure on ourselves to have those big dreams manifest this red-hot second.
Letting go of that pressure and embracing the fact that this will take time is a release of tension and stress, which, of course, will be a benefit to our happiness and well-being.
Focus on Progress
In this process, you will no doubt see the value of the unfolding!
You will quickly see that when you put the work in and lose two or three pounds by the end of the week, you’ll feel good because you’ve seen progress. Your mindset begins to shift from an impatient stance of needing the goal now to one of becoming addicted to progress.
You begin to realize what Tony Robbins has brilliantly stated:
“Progress runs parallel with happiness.”
Once progress becomes your goal, you begin to enjoy the journey. We all know that time flies when you’re having fun!
Each day will yield new progress. One day, you will achieve that goal.
Now, when you leave the gym, your mindset has shifted when it comes to the things that matter. You will be more at ease because you aren’t continually seeking a quick fix. You now embrace that the big things will take some time, and that’s okay! You don’t need to have all of your wants and desires come true right now, this red-hot second anymore. You embrace (and maybe even relish) the process.
By choice, you’re focused on progress, development, and steady advancement.
You are concentrated on the steps. And you’ve learned that each step in the direction of your goals is a victory to be celebrated. Each step you take, no matter how small it may seem, is progress and brings you closer to your dreams, goals, and the life that you desire.
When you adopt this mindset, you aren’t fixated on achieving the big goal to bring you happiness and feel fulfillment.
You learn to find satisfaction in each step on the journey, allowing each new effort to bring you excitement and joy.
Every step will give you a sense of pride and excitement for a job well done.
You will feel gratification knowing that you took all the steps you could take today, bringing you closer to your dreams and the life you desire tomorrow.
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