The Importance of the Physical

If you do yoga, your body is relaxed, so your mind is relaxed too.

If you push yourself through long, tough endurance races, you know that pushing past your mental barriers is just as essential as training through your physical ones. In a lot of ways, the body and the mind are connected; just not in that weird, pseudo-spiritual way that some people believe.

You need to train to relax and to push through barriers. Both are necessary so that when you come across obstacles, your mind knows how to react. If something is difficult you will either relax or you will force your way through, depending on the situation. If you never trained, you won’t know how to react. You might freeze or shy away. You might avoid pain because you’ve never learned that you’re capable.

Physical pain is important because it’s so much more visceral than emotional pain, which we can avoid or numb if we know how. Physical pain is there, in front of you, and it always has your attention. So dealing with it is a lesson.

The lesson is this: The same way a body develops scars, a mind forgets and becomes happy after its time of suffering. As David Horton said in The Fighter’s Mind, “it never always gets worse”… at some point, it gets easier.

This is another way of talking about The Dip– a personal way that will teach you how to deal with your professional life, instead of the other way around.

When you have the right attitude, it all becomes possible. Some people prepare through prayer and meditation for the moment of death. We prepare through physical training for a mental challenge.

It’s contradictory, but it works.



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One response to “The Importance of the Physical”

  1. Jason Shen Avatar

    My friends look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about the importance of appreciating pain. There is something powerful about accepting hurt and pushing through it and gaining something from it. I was a gymnast for many years and one of our mottos was “Strength comes in the struggle.” Thanks for sharing the thought.

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