I wanted to write about two concepts that we all kind of know are a part of business, but which I don’t know if people really speak openly about. The idea for this post came to me today as I totaled up my logged workouts over the past 13 months. The totals came to 350 sessions. 296 hours and 23 minutes of exercise. 118,168 calories burned since just about this time last year.
To someone for whom physical activity comes naturally, this may not seem like a big accomplishment. But, for me, who has, historically, been more cerebral than physically active, this represents a huge achievement. Not only in terms of the numbers attained, but, also, because of the level of commitment and surrender required to reach those numbers.
Though I’m not 100% convinced of this, I think I’ve probably exercised more in the past year than I have for multiple years of my life combined- and I’m still going strong. I am planning to commit to another year of training with my personal trainer, who has been an awesome support to me over the past months- always pushing me harder and keeping me motivated at the same time. This was not easy, given that my first month of training seemed to consist mostly of me trying an exercise, not really being able to do it, and then having to stop a lot because I felt I might throw up.
Even for that, though, I kept going. And I believe that my trainer knows I am dedicated and committed, and he shows up so fully because I do.
As I’ve committed to my physical health, it’s led to other changes in my life. I try to eat and drink healthier. I make sleep and relaxation greater priorities. I try to manage my stress in more sustainable ways- and so on. The biggest lesson for me has been about showing up and surrendering to my workouts. I show up, do all that I can do, and keep doing all I can until my trainer tells me we are done for the day. The intense pace of training that I’ve grown into leaves no room for thinking, arguing, or second-guessing. I’m either all in- or I’m out.
So how does all this apply to business? In two crucial ways. First, having and owning a business takes a high level of commitment. We must each find sources of motivation and inspiration and support and guidance even when we know we’re struggling and feel like giving up. Nothing can be built without a commitment to vision. So even if we don’t know exactly where we will end up, or how it will look, we can, at least, have a commitment to the concept or the idea that we want to bring to life. Without this commitment, we lose faith and steam and focus.
Similarly, we must sometimes be willing to surrender to wherever the path is leading us. And we must be willing to walk that path, with commitment, even if we’re not always sure of the topography. When our business begins changing, or when previous activities aren’t returning as well, we have entered a space of unknown- and of needing to surrender what we planned for to the truth of what is.
The best we can do, each day, is show up with a willingess to be committed, and a surrender to doing whatever we commit to. If we say we want an outcome, we must, paradoxically, work towards it with all our might and all our capacity, and, then, too, be able to surrender to how it actually shows up.
Building areas of resilience and reserve in other parts of our lives can serve us well for meeting the demands and challenge of business.
So the next time your business demands something of you, step forward with an open heart, and say “I do.” and “I will.” Even if you have to try, stop to keep from throwing up, and then try again.