“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” -Michael Phelps
When you go swimming, it is pretty difficult not to pay attention. Everything about it puts you into a different state of mind as you immerse yourself into the activity at hand. Not only does it work out your cardiovascular system, but there is no hard impact like running, and you both stretch and strengthen your muscles at the same time. The context of the water is what wakes us up, but why can’t we apply this mindset to other activities?
Perhaps there is something ritualistic about swimming. You have to intentionally go to a place, change your clothes and than you throw yourself into a substance where your main lifeline of air is no long accessible. Its pretty serious stuff even if you are tossing on the water wings for style points. Could the secret be in the uniform?
All superheroes have a uniform. Its a change of energy, of persona. Our busy modern lives usually leave no time for such wardrobe changes. We run from one activity to the next, usually wearing the same attire. How many of us change clothes when we get home from work? How many of us dress up for work? Pharell Williams talks about dressing for the vibe of his music and Arianna Huffington talks about having a ritual around preparing for bed. There is something to it.
Its true that we all switch modes depending on the situation. Of course there are expectations with certain activities for us to act within a framework of norms. How often do we intentionally do it though. I catch my own mind racing through the day sometimes. Often, I even forget to breathe, which is pretty much the whole point of this life thing.
It all can just seem so automatic. We have gotten really good at being human and doing things. We learn things and automate as much as we can so that we can focus on the task in front of us. Clearly there are advantages to this, but with complacency, there is little room for growth.
We need to intentionally switch gears and design the right contexts for us to do our best work. We need to stay weary of our automated habits and find ways to focus. Yes, swimming is a recommended practice, but its just a metaphor. Any aspect of our day can be immersive and concentrated living.
Let’s design our spaces so that we can excel. Let’s tap into our super powers.
Let’s go swimming.
Let’s change the way we travel, together.
The Lifestyle Project