When's the last time you were really fired up about something? Stoked to start a job, excited to work out, hurting to see a loved one? Do you remember how fast the time passed that day?
The truth is, time was absolutely no different during those moments and others. Those minutes were still each made up of 60 seconds. It's all perception. Yet perception is what makes a world of difference. When you see each moment as critical, and worth putting your heart into, the quality of the time you spend multiplies. It becomes addicting. And once you build momentum, you can ride it so much farther than you originally thought. Changes take root and build you into a better person. However, kickstarting and maintaining that momentum requires intent, drive and passion. It requires you to ignite your fire.
Training Muay Thai is a perfect representation of this. Here are 3 reasons why igniting your fire is important to your growth.
Changing your body
Anyone can follow a work out DVD. Anyone can throw punches at a bag. Pick a number for any exercise or technique. Now realize that your number doesn’t actually matter as much as you think it does. What matters is your intent. Are you grunting your way through 30 full push ups, or just loosely banging them out as fast as you can to hit your rep count? Are you throwing combinations at the same autopilot rhythm, or are you smashing the bag as you visualize a hostile target?
If you train with intent, you WILL see changes in your body with time. Why? Because whether you train for fitness or to get into the ring, the fighter’s intent to destroy is one of the most powerful forces to be dealt with. In training, that intent must be focused back on the self. You must intend, with every push up or punch, to destroy yourself. That mindset is what turns 60 - 90 minutes of a routine into 60 - 90 minutes of sculpting a masterpiece.
You must break yourself to build yourself.
Accessing your potential at will
You might be a newbie, finding it hard to get started because the training seems difficult. You might be a fighter, finding it hard to keep going because the training is starting to wear you down. In both cases, only the toughest survive. So how do they survive exactly? It’s because they can tap into their drive on the daily. What makes them tick (restraining their temper at work, the thought of their last fight, the idea of gaining back their old weight, etc) is something they can call upon to push them past the thoughts of coasting or quitting. It's what allows someone to win a fight they were losing.
The key to igniting your fire is going to be unique to you. For some people it can be a memory, it can be the chorus to a pump up song, it can be a combination of many other factors...The important thing is to gradually become aware of what yours is, so you can access it when you need it most- during those moments where many others would fall. The more you ignite your fire in the gym, the easier it will be to figure out how to do it elsewhere (work, at home, the ring etc). It gives you a secret weapon that will help you stand out from the crowd.
It’s easy to get bored. Plateaus are not fun for anyone. The issue is this: the longer you train, work, or stay in a relationship without any significant changes or reminders of why you started in the first place, the more likely you are to quit and move on. And when you do, you’ll go through the exact same cycle with something or someone else: try, coast, plateau, walk away. But how can you hope to truly love or excel at anything if you don’t dedicate yourself to it?
What igniting your fire will do is turn every seemingly mundane moment into an opportunity. A 5km run becomes a 5km interval set. A push up becomes a one armed push up. A sparring session becomes a defense only session. You’ll see new ways to make everything a challenge worth facing, and just as in the beginning, learn to fall in love with what you’re doing over and over again.