I had an interesting life lesson recently, thought I’d share…

For several days, I’d been stressed, frustrated, angry, depressed, etc. due to some highly stressful personal issues I’m dealing with, and to make things worse I hadn’t been sleeping well, and had been suffering anxiety and other resultant physiological effects.

And then came gym day—and as bad as I’d been feeling, I didn’t wanna go. But it was cardio day, and generally, regardless of how bad I feel when I go, I usually feel better afterward. Get the heart beating, get super-oxygenated, break a good sweat…

So, okay, I guess I’ll go…

But halfway through getting ready to go, I realized: it’s NOT cardio day, it’s strength training day. *sigh*. Strength training is hard enough, without feeling so damn tired and depressed going in. Now I REALLY didn’t wanna go…and I seriously considered just blowing it off.

But, having adopted Scott Adams’ approach—I went anyway.

(Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, describes how he made a deal with himself: if he ever doesn’t feel like going to the gym, he goes ahead and packs his gym bag, drives to the gym, and goes inside. Once inside, if he STILL doesn’t feel like working out, then he’s allowed to turn around and go home. But guess what? Probably 99% of the time, he goes ahead and works out, since he’s already there. I’ve experienced the same thing, there’s only been a time or two when I got there and ended up going home instead of working out—thank you, Mr. Adams, for the excellent advice!)

Anyway, after a quick 10-minute warmup on the elliptical, guess what? While working out, I had to keep checking the weights, because they didn’t feel like they were set right. Everything felt LIGHT! I even increased the weights on some of the exercises, it didn’t feel like I was lifting enough! So apparently, next time ’round I’ll be increasing my weights across the board!

Ends up, I had one of the best workouts I’d had in weeks!

So, it just goes to show ya—we really have no idea what to expect, how things will turn out, once we go and get into whatever it is we’re avoiding or procrastinating. So we shouldn’t base our actions on mere speculations, or our current mood, or our assumptions as to how things will go, what we predict will happen—even just 15 minutes from now.

Instead, we should clear our “magic magnifying mind” (the tendency for us to imagine negative results of future events the more we dwell on them, or “the magic mind causes trouble”), ignore all of our assumptions and speculations, and just carry on. Move forward. Delve in. Get at it.

You might just be surprised!