What do we as humans spend more time working on, the mind or the body?
Well I guess that depends on who you ask… Seeing there is no one else around I’ll ask myself?
I work in the health and fitness industry and can safely say that the majority of people I come across invest most of their spare time working out their body and unfortunately in a lot of cases forget to workout the mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I looove working out, but spending 5 hours in the gym (unless you’re a professional athlete) is a little ridiculous. Hey unless you want to be like this guy..
Note: This article is a kick in the a$$ for myself more than anyone. I’m definitely guilty of overworking then overtraining and… letting the mind stuff slip by the wayside.
Recently I have found crossfit a perfect solution to reduce my gym-time and have prioritised extra time for meditation and reading.
My early morning ritual after some stretching and meditation is sinking my teeth into a book. Last week I finished “Total Recall”, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new book. It provides an extremely interesting insight into this over achiever and his amazing mind. More on Arnold below..
In working out the body the results are almost instant, which is very gratifying and encouraging to workout more and more…
If you go to the gym and work your muscles, within a few days you can start to visually notice the results, your muscles start to harden, you feel stronger etc..
Working the mind however takes patience and often you only will see the results of your hard work when you actually are under pressure to use that skill.
For example if you are studying stoic philosophy, you are most likely to notice the benefits only when you encounter a challenging or stressful situation where you can apply your newly learnt skills.
On Working out, out of the gym..
Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally most well known for being the world’s most successful bodybuilder. Bodybuilding as the word says is about building the body. However to become the world’s best involves a lot more than lifting weights over and over.
On more than one occasion Arnold admitted that he wasn’t the most muscular or in the best shape out of his competitors.
However one thing he did have was an extremely strong mind. He used mind tricks to intimidate and play mind games with his opponents, and he always came out ahead.
Arnold’s ability to develop a strong mind has allowed him to achieve basically everything he has set his sights on.
Not everyone was as fortunate as Arnold. As mentioned above, you only really know the power of your mind when it is truly tested.
Crossfit athlete Janne Mortensen learnt the importance of her mind the hard way:
Looking back, the 28-year-old doesn’t sugar coat her experience. She says she stopped doing what she loved and what she was good at because she couldn’t control her mind.
“I improved my skill set, technique and physique, but not my mind,” she explains. “So I quit.”
Mortensen moved on to competitive boxing for three years — college and career — but found that life’s pressures still stifled her progress.
“I couldn’t handle the mental aspect of anything,” she explains.
When Mortensen identified her bottleneck and confronted it, her life changed.
Maybe it’s time to ask yourself are you putting as much effort into your mind as you are to your body? As shown above, one compliments the other.