There’s always another level. It usually looks something like this;
I really enjoy eating whatever I want, playing video games or watching televison, drinking or smoking (or both) and generally having a good time. Don’t get me wrong! I know that none of these things are good for me. As a matter of fact, my feet and legs hurt all the time because I’m overweight, I get winded just going up steps, I have no energy and crash mid-way through the day, I’m pre-diabetic. What I’m try ing to say is that I know all of this is unsustainable; I’m going to dramatically shorten my life and the life I will have lived won’t really be worth all that much.
Someday I’m going to need to take it to the next level. I can see it there in the distance and it’s been there the whole time but I don’t know what to do, how to get started, it’s going to hurt, it doesn’t look fun or easy, it costs too much, the food taste like crap and I’ll miss all the tasty treats and sugary sweets, it’s just not who I am, my partner doesn’t want to.. on and on, the next level sits out there and, at best, I promise to do something about it – tomorrow.
Our paths are all different and we all have different thresholds. Some people wake up in their 20’s and they start grinding and adopting healthy life-style choices and habits and just take off. Others pick it up after some calamity or potpourri of things befall them – the switch finally flips, they pull the trigger and they get into it. Still others keep making excuses and despite having toes amputated, losing eyesight, being relegated to lil’ rascals and mainlining insulen or statens or whatever drugs they need just to find baseline again, they lash out bitterly at the world and doctors and the system and life and the universe. These last ones never level up. They die.
If you don’t level up, you die in more ways than one – I’m not saying that levelling up means that we can just keep on living in our bodies and never fail and never fall and we will always get back up again. I mean that you die without ever being alive in the first place. You were taking up space the whole time. You have no gratitude.
But some people DO level up. They see it and they do it and they achieve it. They earn their sweat and they earn their bodies, perhaps for the first time. They shed pounds, they gain muscle, they gain speed and power, they learn gratitude and teamwork and the importance of consistency and balance. They see excuses for what they are and they become sensative to things that waste time – they become sensitive to time and they have urgency.
But they are hanging on to some things. They compromised or they settled in at their new level and got comfortable. They stopped rising and held steady where they were. You can’t get comfortable.
And they see the next level out there. Something they wanted to avoid and didn’t think they would ever look seriously at. Maybe it has to do with an even more extreme diet, cutting alcohol or cutting bread or massive amounts of fruit because hey! fruit is good for you, right? Maybe the next level for you is a different kind of fitness you never thought to try out before. Are you a runner? Maybe the next level is weight lifting. Ever thought about body-building or swimsuit competitions? Why not? Why not you?! Maybe it’s time to really learn how to swim and love swimming. Cycling? Trapeze artist?
Maybe the next level is to work your way into a new level of performance in the type of fitness that you are already focused on. Why not break a really audacious time goal? Why not win a race?
What are some of the levels hanging out on your periphery that you don’t feel quite ready to tackle, just yet? What is holding you back and if it’s a someday thing, why not today?