You want to make a change. You feel bogged down, weary, and burdened. Your current path is drudgery. This happens to all of us and in many different instances. It may be with a journey to greater health, overcoming an addiction, or trying to change simple behaviors. It ranges from the simple to the complex. Bottom line: we want a greater life, a greater purpose, and a greater result. We want to change, but we just seem to be stuck. Remember those New Year’s Resolutions? What seems to derail many of us? It’s often an overwhelming sense of being stuck. What stops us from resuming our efforts – cement.
Cement is the symbolic equivalent to that busy nature of life. The technique resistance uses against you to overwhelm your senses, your mind, and to put so much on your plate that you feel like you can barely breathe. The result – you feel stuck.
Feeling stuck drains you of your passion and purpose. It is the opposite of being alive. It’s the trail head to the path of numbness, the beginning of going to sleep. It creates a self-narrative of “can’t”, “shouldn’t”, and impossibility. If we are to RISE, we must know what to do in these situations. We must prepare ourselves for the resistance. We must have a plan in our mind on how to counter the impact of being trapped in the cement of circumstance, situation, and life.
The plan – JUST MOVE! Move one muscle. Move one toe. Move one figurative thought. Move one practical step. JUST MOVE! If you can move, you are not stuck. If you can move, you are regaining purpose. If you can move, you are growing and strengthening.
I believe that when we are stuck, we often get too far ahead of ourselves. We condemn based on where we could be, instead of appreciating how far we have come. We live in a world of hard results. However, the impact of the process and our refusal to quit means more than the end result. For practical application: Steven was focused on a major weight loss goal this year. His heart was set on dropping 120 lbs in one year. This seems exceptionally possible as this is a 10 lbs per month focus and roughly a 2.4 lb loss per week. At Steven’s size this is very doable and it will still leave him with some work to do to get where he wants to go after the year’s goal is completed. Yet it will be a tremendous start.
During the first two months, Steven was rocking it! He lost 32 lbs and did it with healthy changes. Unfortunately, resistance hit Steven as he was entering the month of March. A slight tear in his meniscus sidelined him for two weeks. It put him on the couch for two weeks. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Steven was cautious about what he ate and his weight maintained over the time he was healing. It was mid-March and he was ahead of where he needed to be. He felt better and started to resume activity. Steven returned to the gym with a light workout in mind and he was going to test his body’s response to the activity. He was exceptionally pleased to know that he had some limitations, but overall he was able to regain movement and activity. On his way home, he got a call. Steven was invited to meet friends for a quick bite to eat and he thought he would celebrate his return to the gym with food and friends.
Steven met his friends at the local Mexican restaurant. Chips were placed in front of him and he thought a cheese queso would be the perfect celebratory response to his current victory. He ordered up. After a few hours, a few margaritas, a lot of chips and queso dip, and an entree Steven had his fill. He bid farewell to his friends and headed for home. This was the start to the slide. Steven’s celebration with food went from one night to the next day, and to the next day, and so on. By the end of March, Steven had regained 7 lbs. He struggled with the idea that he was now 5 lbs behind his goal, but April would be the equalizer.
Unfortunately at the conclusion of the second week of April, Steven weighed himself and realized he was in trouble. Steven had gained another 20 lbs. He was down 5 lbs, but sliding back fast. He viewed himself as a failure. He lost the will, the drive, and the excitement to do something for himself. As smoothly as his weight melted off, he stacked it on with great speed. Steven wanted to curl up and cry. Steven was at a break point. He was solidly stuck in the cement. He became focused on where he was, how he was behind, and how he had failed. He was being consumed by this thought. Until a thought jolted him back to life.
Life isn’t what happens, but how you respond! He didn’t lose sight of his concrete goals, but he did realize that this was the opportunity to learn how to fight back when stuck. Steven decided to move one muscle. He started with focusing on this phrase, “Mile by mile – life is a trial. Yard by yard – life is hard. But inch by inch – life is a cinch.” He started by cleaning up his habit of impulse eating when in social situations. Steven began to realize that when we get in the arena, we are signing up to get our butts kicked. When we dare to make changes for the better, resistance doesn’t lay down and give up – it fights back. But when we get knocked down we must learn how to stand back up. Steven may not be where he wants to be, but he is thankful that he isn’t where he was on January 1st. His RISE is continuing.
What about us? Are we trapped in cement? Have we allowed circumstance and life to temper and possibly bury our ambition to RISE? If we aren’t in this situation now, we will be at some point. The key – focus on one inch. One thing. JUST MOVE! Before long, we will break free from the cement that is trying to hold us on the ground. Before long, we will RISE!