Engaging challenge can be hard. Re-engaging challenge is even harder.
Life is busy and time is limited, so it’s natural that some old activities get dropped to make room for new things. After becoming a parent, the all night dancing and late morning brunches give way to midnight diaper changes and early morning Cheerios. Those changes make sense. But be aware when you start selectively dropping the challenging things in your life, that are difficult but beneficial. You can usually tell that you’re progressively bailing out on self-challenge when you repeatedly use the phrase, “I used to…”.
“I used to read more, but now it’s all I can do to watch TV.”
“I used to run, but I just can’t find the energy anymore.”
Just to be clear, I’m guilty of it too! I used to climb harder. I used to blog more. I used to weigh less. Once you repeatedly avoid challenging yourself, the slippery slope towards lethargy gets steeper. If you completely stop embracing challenge, then getting going again is even harder.
An object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. Sir Issac Newton taught us that more than 300 years ago. So, if you want to move more, resume reading, or do whatever it is that makes you happier, healthier and better, then you must provide the force, the energy, to get going again. You are going to have to act!
Re-engaging with challenge can feel tough because maybe now you’re older, out of practice, or out of shape. While these hurdles are real, and must be accounted for, the main reason is often simpler and unsettling: We’re out of the habit.
So what can we do to re-engage with beneficial challenge?
- Replace unhelpful habits, with helpful ones (ex: Drive less, bike more)
- Want the positive goal so much, that you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
- Know that developing the discipline to challenge yourself in one area produces rewards in other areas of your life.
Engaging and re-engaging challenge may not be easy, but it makes life an adventure. Pushing ourselves to do more, be more and become more can invigorate us. So, I’m committed to re-engaging with my own challenges. I will climb harder, blog more and eat less.
Please tell me what challenge you are currently engaging with. Let’s support each other with the adventures ahead!