The Need For Simplicity In Our Lives
As humans we love to make things more complicated than they are;
- More is better
- Complex is smarter and,
- When more is achieved, more is desired
My experience with StrongFirst has shown me just how flawed that train of thought can be.
Doing the minimal amount necessary to elicit said change is not only the better way, it’s the only way.
After all, in the fitness industry what are we trying to achieve?
- Body comp results
- Performance in a specific sport
There’s more to life than the gym, yet so often I feel from a training perspective we feel that training is life – I’d argue our clients are already aware that this is certainly NOT the case. Case in point when they arrive Saturday morning hungover from a late Friday night; have some fun!
They often don’t want to come in more than they need to, yet it is us the coaches that tell them they’re not doing enough, they need to do more.
Cut the crap out of your life, do what matters most, and reap the benefits outside the gym. And most importantly of all, do so with simplicity.
I’m a simple man. I don’t need much to make me happy. In fact I’ve told Angela a number of times that I would be happy in the woods with my bells, food, and her. It’s a possibility I don’t see happening anytime soon! But then, it only makes sense that to me, simplicity is the aim.
- Less thought
- More time
- More productivity
- More opportunities and perhaps most of all,
- More fun!
As a trainer I’ve realized my “why” – it only took me 7 years but I suppose better late than never. I strive to create simplicity in my client’s lives because in my mind simplicity yields greater life fulfillment.
- More time to spend with your family
- More time to spend with your spouse
- More time to travel
- More time to enjoy the outdoors
When looked at from a strength perspective (because let’s face it, fitness sucks, strength is not only what everyone needs, it’s life changing and what everyone should want!) it only makes sense then that kettlebells and StrongFirst align so well with my “why.”
I’ll get back to the bells in a minute, for now let’s look at how you can achieve more simplicity in your life
How Do You Do This?
If creating simplicity is your goal, how then do you create simplicity in your life?
Well if you’re talking to me, I’ll tell you my “how” looks something like this:
- Habit development
- Cutting out the crap
- Challenging conventional wisdom
Individually each of these three mantras go a long way in creating simplicity in your life, together they’re life changing!
Habits are the key to success. It should not be surprising then that habit development also finds its way into my list of “how.”
If I’m sticking to my theme of three’s I want to point out 3 areas where you should strive to create healthy habits in your life:
The strength aspect should be clear from my perspective; master the art of the kettlebell.
I say the art because while what appears to simply be a cannon ball with a handle on it actually is something much, much more. It requires patience, dedication, and consistency.
That being said, commit to 15-minutes a day 3-5 days a week of practicing Swings.
Once that becomes a habit start to work on your Getup. Simple & Sinister is so much more than a program; it’s a way of life. I have some exciting things in the future for you all in that regard once I complete my SFG cert!
From a health perspective, choose 1 thing; just one, that you know you can succeed with without a doubt. I’d recommend making a list of things you know you could/need to do better – let’s make that list 5.
Chop the 5 down to the 3 you feel most comfortable about in achieving, and lastly pick the one you’re going to start with.
Work with that ONE HABIT for 1-2 weeks, or, as long as it takes for it to become a habit. Once you’ve developed one, return to your list and start another. People make eating healthy a lot harder than it has to be.
Eat like an adult, not the teenager you once were 20-30 years ago.
Cut The Crap
Don’t make this harder than it has to be. You know what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You know what likely is limiting you from getting the results you want/achieving the things you want most in life; so just stop it!
Cut the crap. Stop wasting time on Facebook, posting to Instagram, or watching your favorite T.V. show – now if that’s your “fun” with friends, that’s another story – but you get my point.
Don’t have that scoop of ice cream, that extra beer. You can have a ton of fun while being responsible in the things you love without derailing your results. So just plain stop it.
- If it’s not getting you stronger/helping you with your training
- If it’s not making you healthier/improving your nutrition and,
- If it’s not fun or something that you’d do for fun
Then stop it. Cut it out. It’s not necessary.
Challenge Conventional Wisdom
Ooo this is a powerful one.
- Go against the grain
- Swim upstream
- Ask yourself why, why, why…
- ALL THE TIME!
I could write a whole article on what it means to challenge conventional wisdom, but instead I’ll just provoke you to ask the simple question, “Why?”
Stop and think why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is it because someone told you too? Is it because the media makes you think this is what “successful” people do?
I think a lot of times, scratch that, I KNOW a lot of times the media has influenced our decision-making. A lot of people have created their entire LIVES around what they “should” be doing, rather than what they themselves WANT to do.
- Just stop and take a look around
- Ask yourself “why?”
Don’t be afraid to go the other way and don’t be afraid to stray from what everyone else is doing. Challenge conventional wisdom.
What Are You Going To Do?
Creating simplicity is the driving force behind my actions, and I’d argue most of you as well – you just don’t know it yet.
As I’ve mentioned, I personally do this by developing habits, cutting out the crap, and challenging conventional wisdom. But what then, do I actually do?
- Train with kettlebells
- Eat really healthy
- And have a damn good time in the process
That’s it. If something can’t relate to one of these things in my life than I’m probably not interested in doing it.
I achieve all these things by,
- Developing habits
- Cutting out the crap and,
- Challenging conventional wisdom
And behind all that, I ask myself “WHY?”
Is it fun? Is it healthy? Is it going to make me stronger?
When you have a purpose, when you have your “why” making decisions in life is so much easier. You have a guide.
It’s as if you’ve been given a knife to slice through obstacles that life may throw your way.
I only mention and go into detail my “Why, How, and What” in hopes that it helps you find the same for yourself.
Of course I’m biased but I think everyone would be happier if they learned how to train with bells the proper way, ate really healthy, and had a damn good time in the process.
The last part there is key. Ask yourself, what are you doing this for? Again, why???
Having a damn good time is completely different from person to person. A damn good time for one might be going out till 4am on a Saturday night. While for another it might be taking a weekend camping trip with some friends.
One single person might consider the same things “having a damn good time.”
My point is there’s more to life than the gym, and that often times when you
- Create simplicity in your life
- Get stronger
- Eat healthy
All of those fun things become better and more readily available.
I’m just sayin…
Putting it all together
In case you’re wondering how I come to this gigantic AH-HA movement in my life – my why – listening to the book It Starts With Why, by Simon Sinek was what did it for me.
It was, and will continue to be, life changing.
I feel fortunate that I also happen to be in an industry where I help others change their lives; get stronger, eat better, and have more fun in the process.
If you take nothing else from this article, simply stop every now and then and ask yourself the question “Why?”
And then, develop healthy habits, cut the crap, challenge conventional wisdom, train with kettlebells, eat really well, and have a damn good time throughout life – in no particular order… and of course, always