There Is No Autopilot (Thankfully)

As you go through life… you actually ‘go through’ life.

You taste every bite of every cheeseburger and feel the burn of every sit up.

If you’re trying to get into shape you feel the pain of every step as you run that last mile. If you’re starting a business you feel the ‘click’ of every telephone when someone hangs up on you.

In order to get fit you need to keep running through the pain. In order to start a business you need to pick up the telephone after every rejection.

This Sucks.

We all know what we need to do. Here’s a simple plan for near-perfect fitness…

1. Set aside 2 hours every other day for hitting the gym.

2. Save $50 per month to pay for a personal trainer.

3. Talk to your trainer once per week for 15 minutes.

4. Do what your trainer tells you to do when you go to the gym.

This plan is great and it also took me 30 seconds to write. BUT, we all know that the actual difficulty is in the execution. Talking to your trainer is part of the equation, but it’s the burn you feel as you try to push that bar up just one more time that makes you strong.

Every rep that makes you stronger will hurt. You know this going in and as I said above, this sucks…

Or Does It?

What if you had an ‘autopilot’ mode? What if you could just ‘tune out’ and mentally fall asleep in the locker room every day as you arrived at the gym?

You would wake up in the locker room 2 hours later, sweaty and feeling a pump in your biceps.

You would have all the results without feeling a single twinge of discomfort. It sounds perfect.

If this were possible, everyone would go to the gym. With the fear of pain and discomfort gone all that would remain are the obvious benefits.

If you had the option to get a neural circuit placed in your head that made this a possibility, would you take it?

I’m not so sure I would.

The Benefit Of Painful Experiences

Going through painful experiences and really living them makes you feel like a champion. Knowing it hurts, but continuing, makes you feel like a winner. It’s the fact that you felt that pain and pushed through that makes the shower after the gym so rewarding.

When things are too easy, completing them doesn’t give you any confidence. It’s only when something was hard that you feel great about doing it.

Think of a kid who is made CEO of his dad’s company when the old man wants to retire. He certainly won’t get the same sense of fulfillment his father did. So long as the son stays in this position, he will actually be robbed of the pride that comes with starting a business.

Lottery winners don’t feel pride and neither will waking up with six-pack abs.

I like when my abs burn as I finish a set.

I know I’m headed in the right direction when a customer hangs up on me.

I feel my best directly after my ‘painful’ experiences. It’s when I know I’m growing.

It’s when I get in the shower after an all-in workout. It’s when I leave the apartment to grab noodles at 5AM after I finish 6 hours of cold calls.

These are the moments when I pat myself on the back. These are the moments when I feel genuine respect for the person I see in the mirror.

If I was on autopilot, these moments would be robbed from me, and these are the moments I live for.