Lets talk mindset!
This morning (Monday) I did 8 hours of Personal Training back-to-back. What has come to be my normal Monday morning, and it seemed that today a lot of my clients were struggling with personal/work issues going on in their life…
A few seemed down and defeated, so this is for anyone who is going through a hard time at the moment.
I often get called a positive person, so today I thought I would share this positivity or atleast perspective with all of you.
I’m going to start by telling you a story…
Who Knows? The Farmers Son: Fortune or Misfortune?
One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.
Soon after, neighbours from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, “What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are! You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?” The farmer replied: “Who knows? We shall see”.
Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.
Word got out in the village of the old farmer’s good fortune and it wasn’t long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck. “How fortunate you are!” they exclaimed. You must be very happy!” Again, the farmer softly said, “Who knows? We shall see.”
At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer’s only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer’s son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer’s latest misfortune. “Oh, what a tragedy! Your son won’t be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You’ll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad”. they said. Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, “Who knows? We shall see”
Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor’s men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor’s army. As it happened the farmer’s son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg. “What very good fortune you have!!” the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. “You must be very happy.” “Who knows? We shall see!”, replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.
As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences. “Oh what bad luck. Too bad for you”! But the old farmer simply replied; “Who knows? We shall see.”
As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: “Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy”, to which the old farmer replied, “Who knows? We shall see!”
The point to the story is this. Every event is part of a larger whole. The meaning and nature of any event, what is judged to be “good” or “bad,” is only relative to the changing circumstances and conditions surrounding it. How often do we take into consideration the “Whole” picture?
The outcome of anything, is never the end outcome is it? Not until we are in our death bed anyway.
This is why people put on weight, after they lose it. They think now they’ve lost it, thats that. When as we well know, this is not the case, and these people must continue to train/exercise, eat healthily and balanced in order to maintain their new weight (the big picture).
This classic story of the farmers son teachers us about how to be unattached to the result of something as this will only halter our progress in life. Often, as humans, when something doesn’t go our way we get an obstructed view of the big picture, and only see the small picture. This in turn causes inner conflict with ourself, which never ends well. In fact this always ends badly, as we start picturing ourselves as a failure, bad person, etc due to the obstructed view.
We do what we have to do to live our everyday lives, but we should not be too overly attached to the outcome or end result, or spend so much time and emotion on controlling a future that can’t be controlled.
At the end of the day. Who knows?
Much of our unhappiness and suffering in life is based on false notions, which need to be recognised and eradicated. This is easier said than done, but starting to understand that something you consider ‘bad’ or ‘misfortunate’, can end up ‘good’ or ‘positive’ will help you to not get so wrapped up in situations in your life which are not the end outcome.
Here’s one of my experiences.
I remember when I went to university I broke my wrist playing football, which I was distraught about, as I missed the university football trials.
This ended in me taking up triathlon and completing an ironman two years later, which to date is still one of the biggest achievements of my life.
Triathlon then caused me a ITB (Illinois Tibial Band injury) which was frustrating.
However, this injury meant I started seeing more added benefits of lifting weights and helped my personal training career!
Again, another example of a misfortunate situation, soon becoming a fortunate situation.
So, hopefully this helps all of you who are going through a hard time at the moment or will in the near future. Perspective is key here!