How low is low and vice versa. Basically, are we progressing?
It’s a no brainer that to grow, it is implicit that a stimulus is needed, for, adjusting to the renewed environment is when we grow. There comes a need for us to unfetter ourselves from complacent cocooning that we have incarcerated our holy self!! Just as a butterfly has to jostle and emerge out of the cocoon, we need to break out of the veneer of comfort and metamorphose ourselves to the better we. The “jostling” is the necessary impetus that allows us to grow. Impetus 🤔?
Here comes the change: Glory or gory, you decide!!
Life moves on or rather we move on with life irrespective of the vagaries that life throws us at. What keeps our asses burning and keep us propelling forward constantly? Bingo!! It’s CHANGE!!
Take any walks of life, we should be like flowing water and not get stagnated. Change is essential at whatever stage of life we are in. We see that happen in our lives. We move places, change careers, take on new challenges and so on. Whether we like it or not, change will happen nonetheless. Everything in the world has to change.
Change is the impetus! Our versatility in adapting to the change defines our success or failure thereof!
The Indian famous epic Bhagavad-Gita succinctly puts it:
Change is the law of the universe — Bhagavadgita.
Change is inevitable, it is the law in nature. We should embrace it. As if there is an option😊 ? Changes keep happening no matter what.
There are changes we can control and changes that we cannot control. Of course, we cannot do anything for the things that we cannot control.
Now how does change fit into this context?
For the changes that fall within our groove, can we “control” the changes by setting new bars? For instance, our body responds and adapts to an external stimulus. Can we “control” this process and use it for our advantage? By setting realistic goals for ourselves we can pioneer the “controllable” change and be architects of the new ourselves.
Words put by great Bruce Lee.
“If you always put limits on what you can do , physical or anything else, it’ll spread into your work, your morality, in your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them”
Setting fitness goals would be a typical exemplification towards debriefing this. For instance, muscles need to undergo hypertrophy to become stronger and bigger. They need to be subjected to a stimulus (change) which in this case is a resistance (body weight, weights etc) where the muscles adapt and increase in size and strength. There is no questioning that we have to raise the bar by raising the “bar” (more weights.)!
Next comes the 64-million-dollar question on what is a realistic goal?
I bumped into this video where the author discusses lowering our bar (goals), so that we set realistic achievable goals. (Sorry I am not able to find the link😢). The main argumentative that the author base his opinion is how we set unrealistic goals and get held up in procrastination and eventually giving up. He goes to explain that it’s better to lower the bar thereby setting achievable milestones.
I searched our friend Google for the keyword “setting realistic goals lowering the bar” and got many hits. Some sites claim how lowering the bar helps in achieving high goals, some inclining towards heightening the bar etc. It’s a cornucopia of idealistic thoughts you glean from searching online and each dogma in dissent with others.
I do respect all the ideas out there. Here’s my jab at it.
My take on it is about setting ideal “bar height” which goes without mentioning that it is highly individualistic. Lowering the bar might seem that we might be setting goals more realistically. However how low is low? Setting too low I am afraid makes one too complacent. There is a danger that we don’t challenge ourselves enough and never get to realize our own potential. There is not much a stimulus to induce growth.
On the contrary, raising the bar too high is a sure recipe for prolonged procrastination to the point that we start to demean ourselves even before we start. It’s very easy to shun away from our goals should we procrastinate too long without taking necessary action.
This is akin to how much weight on the weight bar we can pump. Too less weight doesn’t take us anywhere, for, there is not much stimulus. Too much of weight which we can’t handle is also not conducive.
We must find a “sweet spot”, where there is enough stimulus for muscles to grow.
Reorienting of goal setting needs to happen adaptively. This is a sign that we are accounting and measuring our goals and is a sure sign of progression.
Continuing on the fitness streak, all of us want to live within a body which looks fit, feels fit and is healthy. But are we ready to pay the price, for, nothing comes free in this world? The raw iron weight is a stimulus, being able to run 100 meters within a stipulated time is a stimulus — bettering ourselves by beating our personal best should be our motto!! The personal best is one of the ballparks based on which goal setting can be based on. A northbound personal best histogram is a positive indicator. Of course, do not get stymied by the spikes in the histogram. That is how progress is made. It is never a sequential progression!! But the trend should be in a positive direction so that we know that our goals are realistically tailored.
Take a step back to move two steps forward!!
If whatever goals we set factors in our personal best, that would be a good approximation and the goals are more realistic. We are basing our goals on real empirical data that we have proven and not just some over fantasized figures which we may never be able to reach. An incipient aspirant needs a little careful consideration for setting his threshold. Erring on a lower side is perhaps better when we start and then start building upon the baseline.
The only thing that does not change in the world is change!
So, you cannot change the change. However, by taking control of the “controllable” part of the change, we can morph into a better ourselves.
Would like to hear your opinions on this matter.