What Becoming Strong Requires

The Reality of the Desire

You’re standing in the gym and you see seasoned lifters whose biceps bulge and whose pectorals are pumped like balloons. What are they lifting? They’re likely lifting heavy weights. And oftentimes they are straining, pushing, exerting, heaving. Nobody’s torso ends up looking like plated armor from just moving around 4 lb dumbbells all day long.

It should be of no surprise then that becoming stronger requires lifting progressively heavier and heavier weights, which does not feel easy.

The Reality of Achieving the Desire

There’s no way around it. The only way to move heavy objects is to move heavy objects.

Not right away, but by gradually building up to it, which is still a process of struggling and being challenged, of doing what you couldn’t do before and haven’t done yet, of demanding more than you might be able to give and bracing yourself while straining to meet that demand until you do.

And yet, many people want to be strong without having to do what strong people do. They want to be able to lift heavy objects without lifting heavy objects. They want to accomplish difficult things without doing difficult things day after day until they what was once difficult is finally doable.

They want the reputation, the perception, the status, and the abilities of being strong, but they are unwilling to work for it.

The Benefit of Doing Things You Couldn’t Do Before

But when you go from pressing 10 lb dumbbells to pressing 100 lb dumbbells — something you couldn’t do before — there’s a certain confidence in your core that is gained from that, one that is rooted in growth and potential. You’ll believe not just in what you can do now but also what you haven’t done yet.

This doesn’t just apply to lifting weights though. It applies to music, to writing, to leadership, to scaling a business, to becoming a more patient parent, to deepening your empathy in the workplace, to building a team who you’re trying to take from good to great.

The true benefit of pushing yourself from lifting 10 lbs to 100 lbs is that you know it’s only a matter of time until you can lift 120 lbs, then 140, and one day 200 lbs. You anticipate difficulty to be demanding, and you accept it. You expect the challenge to stretch you beyond your comfort zone, and you embrace it.

The mindset: “If I can learn and grow to do X, then I can do anything. So I’m going to do it”

As for the people who are unwilling to extend beyond their comfort zones, where they will want to quit but can instead develop the discipline and determination to say “no, I won’t”, even if they could already lift 100 lbs to begin with, that’s all they’ll ever be able to do — live within their limits.

And as for those who are willing to stretch beyond their reach, push until they extend, and leap until they land, they won’t have to wish or want. They will simply do.

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Jason Lam

Jason Lam

Head of Admissions Consulting | Point Avenue