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The Long Game - Issue #206

Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #206
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #206 • View online
“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” Theodore Roosevelt
We all want comfort in our lives; I love it just as much as the next person. For most modern society, our world today is dominated by comfort, which causes our bodies to break down and keeps us from standing tall when the shit hits the fan. How do we prepare ourselves to tackle what life throws at us? We do it by injecting acute stress and hardship. We train to be the “beacon in the storm” and “keep our heads high when all around others are losing theirs.” This is why we sit in the ice, we learn to use our breath to control our state, and we push ourselves in the gym. We are training the mind for life more so than the body to thrive in difficult times.
We must focus on what we can control. We can’t control the weather; we can’t control what others say about us; we can’t control anything external. Our thoughts and our actions are all we control. We must willingly accept this and move on. Our ability to handle tough times in a calm and collected state will improve our success rate.
What can we do to improve our response?
Many of the practices I incorporate into my clients and my life are to make us not only more resilient but anti-fragile. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better. We want to grow through stress and advance with each shock to the system. Intense workouts, ice baths, breathwork, and journaling help make you more adaptable and better at handling difficult situations in life. You learn a lot about yourself when you put yourself in situations that shock your system. What kind of self-talk is going through your head? You will feel the stress and anxiety building into your chest, but as you begin to slow your breathing and create positive affirmations in your mind, the body begins to calm. Each time you do this, you expand your “window of tolerance.” You will improve each time you practice. You will begin to realize that you can control the intense pressure you used to feel in your body when thinking about the difficult conversations you must have from time to time or that presentation you’re about to give.
Don’t allow the siren song of the comforts of modern life hold you back or become a crutch. Get out there and test yourself. Pushing our physical and mental limits will provide you with a sense of achievement. The obstacles I choose to add to my life don’t come easily, including this newsletter, but I know if I can push past the resistance and set my mind to the task at hand, I will continue to get better. Embracing a growth mindset can drive you to learn new subjects, try new things, get comfortable in the unknown. This will help you be better equipped to handle the real struggles in life.

“Self-discipline is pursuing what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it; focus on task hand; showing up consistently, even when you don’t want to.” This is key to our success but without self-compassion, we will never reach our potential. We must be willing to handle our failures because no matter how much self-discipline we have, we will all fail at some point. The breath is a tool I use to help generate self-compassion. When the ruminating negative thoughts kick in, I know I can come back to my breath to settle them down. They are long-lost antagonists that show their heads at the worst times. Having tools to put them back at bay is key!
This is a fantastic podcast about how fear impacts all of the important decisions in our life. According to Tony Blauer, “Fear impacts everything we do, from who we talk to whom we marry, from where we work to where we live, from how much weight we lift to whether or not we defend ourselves… the ability to recognize and manage fear directly impacts the quality of our life.” He discusses how we manifest fear internally and can also learn how to manage it and use it as motivation.
It is amazing how little we laugh as we age. The article states “The average 4-year old laughs up to 300 times per day; the average 40-year old laughs that many times in 2.5 months.” When we laugh less we don’t release feel-good hormones such as oxytocin. We can take things way too seriously which will end up causing more stress in our lives. It is time for me to laugh a little more and I hope you do too!
The Benefits of Focusing on Principles Instead of Goals | The Growth Equation
Before I go, check out a few more links I found this week.
The “Symmetry System” is closed for February but you can set up a call today to get on the list as we open up in March.
Symmetry System is a new program we developed over years of work and is designed to help individuals who feel that there is never enough time in their day to accomplish what they wanted to do or to take time for themselves. If you are ready to take back control of your life in 2021 and give yourself more time, more energy, and less stress, this program was designed for you!
I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along.
In Health,

Did you enjoy this issue?
Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website to learn more about the services I offer.

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