“AHHHHHH! I HATE bar muscle-ups!”
How many of you active in CrossFit heard that during an Open workout the past few years? Someone screaming or upset because they didn’t get a bar muscle-up during one workout.
It didn’t matter than a year ago they had just learned how to do a chest-to-bar pull-up, or maybe their first ever strict pull-up without a band.
It didn’t matter that it was the most reps at 95/65# snatch they’d ever done in one workout.
None of that matter because they didn’t get a muscle-up.
We give up any happiness about ALL of the progress we’ve made in the last year because of the one thing we didn’t get, that (let’s be honest) we most likely weren’t even working on consistently for one year.
That’s why gratitude is so important for a life well-lived. It keeps us present in the moment, thankful for how far we’ve come, while continuing to strive for more.
But gratitude is never forgetting what got you to now.
Gratitude is what I call the secret game-changer for a Competitor.
It reinforces your focus onto your Why and what you do have – instead of frustrating you about what you don’t.
It reminds you that your attitude, your responses, and your efforts are 100% under your control – and to focus on them.
It improves your journey toward the goal without changing it.
Think about it.
if you’re so focused on things that are wrong with your life, how can you possibly compete relentlessly towards goals that are (potentially) a ways away from becoming a reality?
A grateful heart keeps a Competitor going.
Like our grit and our growth, gratitude is not a microwavable snap of the fingers sudden-change but one that develops over time.
One choice every morning.
One day builds upon the next.
I struggled with gratitude for years.
I used to forget the present, forget my progress, and only focus on how far I had to go. I’d get quickly frustrated by a perceived lack of success on my end – forgetting entirely where things had been 1, 2, or 5 years ago. And to be honest, I was miserable even when I made progress because, in my head, it wasn’t enough progress.
So what eventually changed?
I forced myself to start writing down every morning 2-3 things I was grateful for. I initially used (and still do many days) my Best Self Journal to start my day by focusing on what I had, what I’d achieved, or what I was thankful for.
It was difficult at first. It wasn’t as smooth like I’d expected. But it forced me to reframe my thoughts and perspective each morning on what I had in my life instead of stressing about what I didn’t.
Day after day I’d do this.
Soon I noticed that my first instinct when stress or chaos hit was instead of flying off of the handle or freaking out, it started to be taking a deep breath, remembering the good in my life, and evaluating how to best respond to the stress.
My reactions and attitudes shifted due to my daily practice.
And so can yours.
Try it this week. Put a sticky note next to your office desk. Each morning – before ever opening an email or attending a meeting – write down 3 things you’re thankful for. It can be 3 bullet points and a quick 1-2 word answer, but start your day by setting your perspective in the right area before putting in the work toward your professional and personal goals.
A simple change (in perspective) can do us all good.
Want help creating a better daily routine? Grab your own Best Self Journal here.