Stop Talking

Lofty goals are important. They force us to push to achieve what we want.

We often share our goals with others believing it increases accountability and the likelihood of success. Some of us think that telling others creates added pressure and instead keep our goals to ourselves.

Either approach is fine but you don’t need to tell us your excuses when the work needs to be put in or things don’t go to plan. Your ambitions mean very little to us and we don’t want to hear about how your lack of coenzyme Q-10 is stopping you from reaching your goal.

Stop spreading negativity. It’s like a virus and has the power to persuade others to follow your lead. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all.

Do the work.

The Secret

When we see a successful person, we want to know how they reached the top. Is it their diet? Maybe if I only ate bananas I could become a world-class cricketer too. Is it their training style? Or maybe it’s the unique way they tie their shoes?

Whatever it is, we want to know. And we hope it’s something quick and easy to implement.

‘What’s your secret?’

The success replies politely, answering in vague terms knowing the truth will only disappoint.

There is no secret. When a champion tells you their life is built on hard work, that’s the truth. Patience, intelligence, a willingness to learn, persistence, and the ability to grind. These are the qualities needed to succeed.

Success doesn’t come easy. Throw away the notion that there is a secret and spend more time putting in the work.

When confronted with difficulty, see it as a sign that you’re on the right path. And keep going.

The Pressure Of An End Date

We’re told to live each day like it’s our last, but it’s not that simple.

The pressure of an end date forces us to act and think differently. I witnessed this recently when a student at the Kung Fu academy was ending his stay.

His attitude changed significantly during his final few days. He was bolder and demanding of what he asked from others –  asking things that he wouldn’t have normally. He aired his criticisms with greater freedom too.

He appeared to care less of the consequences of his words and actions knowing he had nothing to lose. And his willingness to learn increased – he pushed fellows students to teach him.

His cavalier attitude was unattractive at times but there was no doubting its effectiveness.

How do we take the good parts of his approach and apply it to our lives? Or is carpe diem unsustainable?

Goal setting is part of the answer, as it gives us deadlines. Remember the initiative we showed when a high school assignment was due? The due date forces action. But the difference is we need to hold ourselves accountable, as Mr Hawke from History class won’t be there brandishing his whip.

Regular reminders help too. A simple memo can keep the goal – living each day like it was our last – in mind.

Is it sustainable to live this way? Leave your opinion below.

Everything In Moderation, Including Moderation

Everything in moderation – good advice from every mother’s handbook.

This maxim holds true for nearly every situation…

  • Nutrition – eat a balanced diet. Allow yourself treats but in lesser quantities.
  • Exercise – train regularly and with variety. Allow for rest.

There is an innate sense that tells us what is sensible. But occasionally, it’s valuable to ignore the inner voice.

A life of moderation is a boring one as it sets constraints on what we should and shouldn’t do. We’re not robots that require rigidity to survive, we’re capable of dealing with chaos too. And while the thought of breaking routine frightens us – this is more reason to unshackle from the restraints we set.

Stray from your meal plan or try something different in the gym. You might learn something. You’ll become more adaptable by opening yourself up to disorder.

The Value of Teaching

The student will appear when the teacher is ready.

Is anyone expert enough to teach? Is a level of mastery needed before passing on knowledge.

This mindset slows progression. There is no magical threshold to begin passing on what we know.

Fear we’re not yet good enough

Fear of inadequate skills stops many from teaching. But, skill levels are relative – if you know more than someone else, that is enough to teach. If you don’t trust your teaching abilities, the only way to improve is by teaching.

Fear of wasting time

Teaching takes time but is not a time waster. It provides an opportunity to:

  • Review the fundamentals of a skill.
  • Consolidate a skill through observation and practice.
  • Develop better cues.
  • Pass the skill on and contribute to the growth of the community, whether it be wrestling or weightlifting.

Be open to teaching. And while there’s no perfect coach, with good intent, both student and teacher will benefit.

What have you learned from teaching? Leave a lesson below.

My Senior Moment

Working in aged care wasn’t at the top of my ‘places I’d like to work’ list after graduating. Admittedly, it anchored that list, squashed by jobs I deemed more desirable. My peers held the same view with most moving into private practice or the hospital system after university.

Assumptions held me back from entering the aged care arena. I perceived that the work would be boring and mundane and development opportunities limited. Also, I questioned, ‘Would I be making a difference?’

When a client returned to their sport or a patient was safely discharged from the hospital, I could see the impact I was making. But do equivalent signs of progress exist in aged care? After a few years working in the private practice setting, I moved into aged care to answer this question myself.

Quickly it became clear that many of my presumptions about the field were unfounded. On my first day on the job, I was surprised at the similarities an aged care centre shared with a hospital. The rooms had the same features, nurse’s stations could be found on each corner and meal carts were expertly manoeuvred throughout.

There were other similarities too:

  • Residents faced many of the same issues that hospital patients dealt with like weakened immune systems and an inability to move about as freely as they’d like.
  • I worked as part of a multidisciplinary team of therapy assistants, nurses and aids, much like a hospital.

 

Soon, I was building a hospital-like skill set at a time when hospital jobs were scarce. I learned about mobility assessments: how to carry them out on an elderly person and the importance of the assessment in guiding staff.

Violet, the experienced physiotherapist I worked along side conducted the manual handling training of new staff. ‘My presentation skills have improved immensely. Nearly every week I’m delivering manual handling training and it has allowed me to hone my ability to speak in front of an audience,’ she said. My communication improved too as I liaised with staff, talked with the elderly and discussed their health with family. I became more assertive but also empathetic and tactful. It’s a challenging role – balancing the demands of management, the resident and the concerns of loved ones. The experience was arming me with the tools and a mentality to succeed in a hospital role.

Opportunities in aged care shouldn’t be underestimated as a pathway to grow as a physiotherapist. Australia’s population is ageing and residential care will continue to grow and take more responsibility from the overburdened hospital system.

Demand for physiotherapists will increase and, as the industry matures, there will be developments in the way aged healthcare is approached. You and I will be at the forefront of these changes as research and funding increases. ‘There will be a movement away from the current life maintenance model to a system that promotes improving quality of life,’ said Violet. The focus will be developing residents’ strength and conditioning, instead of pain management alone.

The Value of Rest

Exercise can be an addiction. Guilt a symptom. And though it might seem innocuous, it has its dangers.

What are the dangers of too much exercise?

Lack of recovery

  • Training puts a strain on the body and causes minor damage, like micro-tears to muscle fibres. The body compensates and grows stronger because of the stress. But inadequate rest slows this adaption meaning more work for fewer gains.

Increased injury risk

  • The body becomes vulnerable to overuse injuries if training stress accumulates.
  • Fatigue causes athletes to be susceptible to injury at the end of a match or season.

Reduced motivation

  • Training day after day is exhausting on the body and mind. At some point, motivation will dwindle.

Dietary guilt

  • Food should never be earned. A day without training doesn’t mean a drastic change of diet is called for. But sometimes guilt is felt when eating on non-training days. Remember, the body recuperates on rest days and needs all the nutrients it can get.
  • Honour hunger. Don’t cut calories and restrict.

Rest from physical activity is an important part of progressing. Also, it allows for time to be spent on other areas of life, like developing relationships or learning.

What’s your opinion on rest days? Does your mindset change? Do you feel a twinge of guilt that you should be doing something physical? Comment below.

Fear of Being Praised

It’s nice to be commended. It’s a sign that others have recognised your good efforts.

While it’s natural to feel a little embarrassed after being praised, you should never feel uncomfortable or burdened by a compliment.

Those around you may make ironic comments –  wishing they were more like you. Let them. Their remarks, no matter how sarcastic, are a reinforcement of the praise.They hope to possess the qualities that you have been applauded for.

Other times the discomfort from being complimented is driven by your perception of what others think rather than reality. This reflects a lack of confidence that you need to overcome.

Next time you’re praised, accept it gracefully – it’s feedback that you’re on the right path. You don’t need to do anything differently or change. Continue to go about your business and do good.

Ride The Bumps

Bad days are inevitable.

Sometimes our mood sours for no particular reason while at other times it appears the world is conspiring against us.

How we approach the days when a dark cloud hangs over our head is a testament to our character. There are techniques – like busying yourself or doing something ‘outrageous’ Tony Robbins-style – but this post is for times when nothing seems to work. When the negativity sticks like a booger to your finger.

Sometimes our best option is to endure.

Contrast is everything. Would we know hot if we only experienced cold? Next time you find yourself having a rough day, work through it with diligence – it will make moments in the future all the sweeter.

Aggressive Goal Setting

“My goal is to achieve the front splits in one year”

Stop being conservative with your goals.

You allow yourself too much freedom and leeway when setting ‘realistic’ and ‘reasonable’ targets. There’s no pressure to get things done, so you skip days and tell yourself, “Tomorrow I’ll get serious”.

Inevitably, you get to the end date and you’ve achieved nothing. Diddly squat.

Set your goals aggressively – what’s the worst that could happen? Aim to achieve the splits in two months instead of 12. Would your mindset change? Would you alter your plans?

Of course, if you wanted any chance of success. And while you may not achieve the splits in two months, you’ll have made significant progress (and torn several pairs of pants).

Don’t allow a conservative mindset creep into your goal setting. Be bold. Create a deadline that makes you nervous, a deadline that requires aggressive planning, free from any fluff.

How do you approach goal setting? Leave your approach in the comments section below.