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5 Life Lessons from Calisthenics Training

5 Life Lessons from Calisthenics Training

Discovering Calisthenic training was a formative experience for me. Not only for its physical benefits in terms of fitness, athleticism and health. But, also, for its whole philosophy.

The name Calisthenics come from the greek words Kalos – meaning Strength and Sthenos – meaning Beauty.

So, in essence, the calisthenic philosophy is “beautiful strength” .

Now, many people think that this applies only to Physical beauty and Physical strength. But, I would like to show that the “physical” is only one element. Actually, both strength and beauty come in a variety of non-physical forms too; such as the strength of character, the beauty of mind, and so on. With this in mind, I would like to share five ways in which physical Calisthenic training can help you in other

With this in mind, I would like to share five ways in which physical Calisthenic training can help you in other non-physical areas of life.

1. It promotes discipline

Say you set yourself a target of completing 300 full range of motion bar dips in a single workout. Or, perhaps your target is 500 push ups or 1000 squats. Maybe even your target is to attain a more advanced strength skill, such as a one arm chin up, or the Planche.

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Whatever the goal may be – it is clear that you not only need physical fitness to be successful. You also need mental discipline.

You have to be prepared to dedicate yourself fully to your training – completing set after set, rep after rep, hour after hour until you reach your target. No matter how much pain you may be in, or how much you may want to try something different. This kind of mindset is important – especially in today’s multi-tasking, easily distracted world. If you can instill dedication and discipline into your training – you will soon see the carry over into all areas of your life.

Whether writing an assignment for work, reading a book for school, or working towards starting your own business – you will be able to draw on the discipline you have already cultivated from your calisthenic training. And, in doing so, you will be a lot better equipped to work over and over again until you achieve your goal.

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    2. It teaches you to control yourself

    Calisthenic training is about being in total control of your physical body. Being able to lift it, maneuver it, and push it in a variety of different ways. But, again, the Calisthenic philosophy of being able to handle yourself extends far beyond the bars.

    The ancient Stoics used to write that we cannot control the external world around us – the only thing we can seek to control is ourselves. And, this self-mastery (also expounded by Platonic, Buddhist, Christian, Zen, and Hindu thought) is what Calisthenic philosophy encourages us to strive for too. Not only to be in control of our physical self. But also, our internal self. To be in control of our emotions, and in control of our desires.

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    To no longer be at the mercy of fears, lusts, and impulses. That is self-mastery.

    3. It shows you true strength and beauty

    As eluded to earlier, Strength is not just about being able to lift heavy things. Real strength is to be kind and caring – and to stay calm and composed, even when being provoked or persecuted.

    Real strength is taking a stand for something you believe in, and remaining yourself in a world that is always seeking to change you. So, if you do not have those qualities too – then, no matter how much you can lift, or how big you are physically – you cannot be classed as truly strong.

    And, it is the same with beauty.

    It is no good being physically beautiful if, in your heart, or in your attitudes towards other people, you are ugly. Real beauty is having a beautiful mind, and a beautiful soul. It is being graceful with every step you take, and every word you say, and with everyone you meet.

    If you have that level of inner beauty – then, it doesn’t even matter what you look like. Because everyone will plainly see that you are beautiful.

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      4. It helps you manage the fear of failure

      If you wish to attain more advanced calisthenic skills – you are going to fail.

      This does not mean that you will never reach your goal. It just means that along the way, you are going to have to deal with failures. You’ll try a certain hold – and fall. Or, you’ll aim for a certain rep count – and run out of energy. It is all a natural part of progressing. And, if you wish to continue to improve, you must actually make failure a part of every training session.

      So too with life. How many times do we simply not start something for fear of failing? But failure is not our enemy. In fact, the only sure-fire way to avoid failing is if you never have any ambition, and never do anything. In that situation, you will never fail – you will just be a failure.

      So, start to see failure through calisthenic eyes – as a sign that you are trying to learn ,and trying to grow. Then, you will actually embrace it.

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        5. It teaches you not to rely on externals

        Someone who lifts weights in the gym undoubtedly receives a lot of benefits from their training. So too does someone else who uses cross trainers, and other such modern fitness gadgets.

        But, in relying on those things to improve your fitness – you are, in essence, relying on externals. And, if someone takes away your gym membership, or closes down your weight section, or breaks your machine – you are lost. You don’t know what else to do in order to maintain your shape.

        Whereas, when you train Calisthenics, you never need to rely on anyone or anything else to get in shape. All you need is yourself.

        And, fortunately, wherever you may go – you’ll always be there.

        So, translate that to the life outside of fitness. In the same way, as many people say “i cannot get fit unless I have an expensive gym and a treadmill” – we all have a habit of saying “I cannot feel good unless I have expensive clothes, or possessions, or so and so’s approval”. But, in reality, you already have everything you need to get fit – and you already have all you need to feel good.

        You just have to learn how to correctly use what you already have.

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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