I love this story. It really sheds light on a problem that most of us have. We have two personalities that are both divergent and dependent of/on each other.
As it relates to fitness and our goals, it is pretty easy to see. We have one personality that is entitled, spoiled, thrives on immediate gratification and is akin to a child. The other personality is more adult-like. It is calculating, patient, relies on common sense and can draw associations between actions and consequences.
We transform back and forth between these two personalities consistently. One is the “fun” personality, the other the “serious” personality.
We need both. The problem lies in the fact that one will get you what you think you want now, but kill your ability to get what you want in the long run. The other will get you to those lofty goals, but might not provide the “high” of being spontaneous and fun.
As the story goes….which one wins? The one you give more energy towards. If you give more energy to the child, you will have loads of fun, but, ultimately, you will sabotage your future. Your work, fitness, relationships, school will suffer. If you give ALL of your energy to the adult, you will certainly succeed more, but you will not get any enjoyment out of it.
The key is in finding a balance. The adult should get most of your energy, thereby allowing you to reach goals. But, there needs to be some energy designated to having fun, being spoiled and appreciating the decadent side of life.
This isn’t a 50/50 split. The child in you is more powerful than the adult. So, a little energy distribution to the child goes a long way. The child can destroy your progress with very little effort. The adult needs more energy because it takes time to accomplish its goals. This is actually a good thing because you also get more enjoyment out of less effort. Power is power, energy is energy.
This really should be a 95/5 split. 95% of your energy and time should be designated to the adult and 5% should go to the child. This balance will give you both long term goals and short term pleasures.
This is tricky though. The child always seems to find a way to climb out of the car seat. If you aren’t paying close attention, the child will sneak out of the seat and grow quickly. Before you know it, the child has taken over and your dreams and goals are put on hold. Now the adult has to contain the child again, clean up any damage caused and begin the process all over again.
You must be vigilant of keeping the child in the car seat. You must recognize the signs that the child is about to escape and take precautionary action to prevent it. Once that rascal escapes it is more difficult to round him up.
Enough with the analogies. When it comes to food, you need to eat within the guidelines you have set for yourself, but allow some room (5%) for some decadence. The same applies to working out. 95% effort should be applied to working out, 5% towards rest and relaxation.
If you can maintain the 95/5 split, you will get to have the benefits associated with being a child AND an adult.
If you need a babysitter, I’m a phone call away.