I hear lots of confusion around human performance and the basic physics of improvement. At BTL, we study high performance as our chosen profession. We don’t know much (btw, nobody does), but we do know this. You do not get better by saying stuff to yourself, even if it’s really, really good stuff.

You get better by doing stuff.

As Aristotle said way back in the day, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

This morning I quieted my little voice when it told me to quit. Instead, I spoke encouragement to my friend, PJ, and enjoyed the comradarie of suffering with my dear friend. We did 77 burpees and a whole mess of other exercises for 44:44. He told me two years ago he couldn’t do one burpee. He’s gotten better by what he’s done. He is learning to listen to his body and avoid harming it while continuing to push his weak mind. This is true for you and me too, friend. We are what we repeatedly do. As we age we must do more, not less. The world will tell you what you can’t do, shouldn’t do, and encourage you to join them on the couch, take your prescription meds, act your age, and simply tell yourself stories about what you once were capable of, you know, back in the day.

Do not buy that bullshit.

You do not get better by saying stuff to yourself. You get better by telling yourself to do more and then doing it. You get better by surrounding yourself with tough men and women who make you do what you can instead of telling you to stop and play it safe. Here’s another fact around human performance. When we’re younger we mostly regret acts of commission. You know, the typical teenager thing of “what was I thinking?” When we’re older, however the regrets change. Older dudes, like me, mostly regret acts of omission – why didn’t I do that? So, Miss and I are doing a yoga class now. We’re going to start with once a week. We’re going to get better by doing stuff together. We’re going to do more. Together we transform, always together.

Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…

1 thought on “Better…

  1. Words are not enough — AND I love the melody lines of your recent rants, Toto — which is mantras do matter — when you DO what you say.

    When it comes to replacing a habit with something better, having a pre-loaded mantra is what a strong core does. Being hard on self not down on self means talking back to self (kindly – tough and tender) then acting accordingly. Alignment = better thinking AND better actions.

    “If you know these things, you will be blessed if you DO them.” – Jesus

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