What looked impossible
Just having left Korea, I’ve found myself in not only completely different surroundings, but also less of a demanding schedule. In Korea, I would get up at 3:45am, practice yoga from 4:15-6:30am, leave for work at 7:00am, work until 4:00pm, on a good day, spend time with my wife but more often than not run errands, then eat dinner at 6:00pm, perhaps watch one TV show (usually Arrested Development) and then crawl into bed between 7:30-8:00pm try and read and inevitably fall asleep 5 pages into it (ok, probably 2 pages).
I did this for 3.5 years.
Writing it down, it looks nuts. The reason I did it was was because I wanted to practice yoga, and I wanted to do it in the morning. It was the only way I could fit it into my schedule. I know, I know, I could have done it at night, but Ashtanga is best done in the morning and it allowed me to face my day centered, relaxed and with the mindset of “I’ve already done the hardest thing of my day and it’s only 6:30am”.
What now feels impossible
However, now that I’m not working as a teacher and visiting in Canada, I’m staying up later, sleeping longer and when the alarm goes off at 6:30am to get up and practice, I’ve hit snooze 3 times this week until 6:45 or 7:00am. Getting up is now a slower process where I drift in bed for a bit, slowly get up, drink tea and practice now starts at 8:00am. I much prefer this schedule and as I look back in hindsight to what I did all those years in Korea, just after 2 weeks of breaking that schedule, the idea of getting up at 3:45 seems like an impossibility.
Impossible is a relative term
But it’s not. I’m just out of the situation looking in. If I had to, I could and do it just as well, but without the motivation nor influences of my prior schedule, I have no reason to do it. Give me a reason or a clear motivator like a job to be at by 7:00am, then I’m up in the dark at 3:45am and on the mat no questions asked.
It’s important to look at extreme cases with a full understanding of the entire situation. We see people enduring what we think is impossible and if we were in their shoes, we’d crumble.
But we wouldn’t.
You can do more than you give yourself credit for
I heard for years from people who found out about my schedule and were amazed/shocked/perplexed and even kinda freaked out. Many said, they had no idea how or why I did what I did. And it’s true, they didn’t know the how or why and all they saw was the resulting early morning start. However, if they had sufficient reason and drive to radically alter something and show up to what they currently perceive as impossible, they would do it.
We all do. We all rise to our challenges when we need to.
But just like now and me sleeping in, we don’t always need to rise up.
What is something in your life that you view as a major fear because you don’t think you could do it? How could you re-frame your perspective so help you see that given the right mindset, you could do it and more importantly, do it well? It could be a schedule change, an activity or even as large as worrying about your health.
Put yourself in the situation or try and fully understand how somebody else has done it, and the impossible changes into possible.