"Have any of your clients ever gotten to the point where they feel like they 'made it'? That they were done?"
Sometimes it isn't about saying the right things, but asking the right questions.
In this case, this question came from one of my clients while we are on a Skype call, and it lead to a pretty powerful conversation.
Have any of my clients ever 'made it'? This is a great question. Has anyone ever made it?
Hell, have I ever felt like I made it?
The thought of 'making it' is commonly associated with the goal one has in mind when they first start out.
Once I lose 25 lbs, I'll be done.
The process of achieving the goal is seen as a short term burst of energy that, once the goal is achieved, can be turned back down to a more comfortable level.
I remember feeling the exact same way when I started out.
Let's turn back the clock about 16 years.
We have a 16 year old Mitch, 6'3, 160 lbs of skin and bones who has decided to go lift weights during lunch hour with two of his buddies.
The goal was simple. I wanted to look like the R&B singers that made all the girls swoon in the early 2000's. Usher, Tyrese, Ginuwine.
Lean, svelte, and ripped.
Since being lean wasn't an issue for me (being so skinny and all), all it took was a little muscle to achieve a similar (but much pastier) look.
By the time I achieved that look I already had a new goal in mind. This new goal was the end goal as far as I was concerned.
Once I can bench press 225 lbs for 8-10 reps, I'll certainly be as muscular as I would ever want to be. Then I can switch into cruise control.
This goal took me some time. I was about 21 years old by the time I was bench pressing 225 lbs for 8-10 reps. Something happened well before I ever got there though.
I wanted to bench press 315 lbs. I wanted to do it badly.
This goal wasn't something I sat down and formulated. This happened organically. And it happened before I ever got within arms reach of what I thought was my end goal of benching 225 lbs for reps.
Eventually I wanted to have a body weight of 225 lbs and lean. Then I wanted to be 245 lbs and lean. I eventually set a new goal of deadlifting 600+ lbs.
It never ended, and it still hasn't.
Have I ever 'made it'? Technically yes, many times.
Have I ever really made it? Totally satisfied, and ready to gear down to a comfortable speed?
Hell no. Not even close.
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." - Greg Anderson
Can You 'Make It'?
I can only speak from my experiences with myself an with my clients, and my answer is, absolutely you can make it.
Every time you check the box beside one of those big goals, you've made it. I've noticed that most people's experiences with 'making it' mirror my own.
A new goal emerges before the old goal has reached completion. The original goal is in the bag, it's within reach, but what's next?
You hear people say things like "the journey is the destination" all the time, but like most things, you don't really learn it until you experience it.
You need to get your hands dirty in it to really know it.
I thought I had my destination picked out. Once I reached it, I could relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
It wasn't until I bypassed two or three different goals that I realized this was for life. The goal simply provides a direction, but it's anything but a destination.
It's more of a compass, pointing you in the right direction. The joy and fulfillment is found in doing the things, not in completing them.
This news can be both disheartening and liberating.
On one hand, you look forward to the destination so much. When you realize that you don't really experience all the fulfillment you imagine 'making it' provides you, you're forced to change how you look at it.
On the other hand, taking your focus off of that giant gap between where you currently are and where you feel you need to be in order to be happy is a relief.
Knowing you can experience all the fulfillment you imagined is at the end of the rainbow right now is powerful.
If the journey is the destination, then you're there now. Finding the rainbow isn't what it's all about. It's chasing the rainbow that provides the joy and fulfillment you're after. You already have the pot of gold.
Once you realize there is no destination, only a direction, you're able to give yourself permission to feel happy.
Reach your goals, check off those boxes, and pat yourself on the back. Then keep going, because this journey you're on is a never ending evolution of you.
What If You Do Make It?
In rare cases people can reach a point where they feel they've hit the end of the line. This is something you want to avoid.
People need to be moving at all times, and you're either moving forward, or backward.
You simply don't 'maintain'.
You can try, but if you aren't moving forwards, more often than not you're moving backwards.
If you reach your goal and find yourself feeling like you've hit the end of the road, find a new goal. One that inspires and excites you.
Without that goal, you have no where to go but to slide back down the mountain.
Goals give you direction, they give you purpose and they drive you. These things are essential aspects of being a person.
The joy and fulfillment that's found in the process of reaching your goals is created by forward movement. Once that forward movement stops, so does the fulfillment you thought reaching your goals would provide.
As you approach your goal, a new goal will usually form organically. If it doesn't, I suggest taking it upon yourself to create a new one.
Keep the process moving, and always keep evolving.
Action With Detachment
The ultimate success is found when you begin to perform the actions that lead to your goals with total detachment from the outcome.
This is when you find joy and fulfillment in the process.
“Always perform with detachment any action you must do; performing action with detachment, one achieves supreme good.” Bhagavad-Gita 3:19
Falling in love with the process is a necessary step in your long term success with fitness.
Most people start the process with the sole purpose of reaching a goal, and absolutely no love for the process itself.
That's OK. We all start this way. Falling in love with the process itself happens at a later stage, and it's a major moment when you realize that it happened.
I can honestly say that if I could never build another ounce of muscle, add more weight to the bar, or lose another pound of fat I would sill train regularly.
Reaching this point takes some time, but it's where the magic really happens.
The best part is, all it really takes is a decision on your part. Once you decide to act with detachment and find the joy in the process, you begin to do exactly that.
I recently shot a video going into a little more depth on this subject.
Have any of my clients ever made it?
The truth is, they all have.
Taking the huge step forward to change your life means you made it. Taking one small action and practicing it regularly because it is going to make your body stronger, leaner and healthier means you made it.
Sure, we check off boxes and stroke goals off lists. We take before and afters, track body stats and count reps and weight.
These things are nothing but a road map, or a compass. They give us direction. The real success is found in the joy and fulfillment provided by the process of evolving.
The act of becoming leaner, stronger, healthier or more muscular is the focused point where this evolution takes place.
Focus on the actions, find joy in the process, and always be evolving.
"The Fat Loss Checklist Makes Losing Fat Simple"
Click below to get your copy of the Fat Loss Checklist.