(This article was originally published on missionstrength.com on Sunday, October 9, 2011)
If you have a passion, seize the moment. It is all too easy to put off, delay, procrastinate and wait for the ‘right moment’ – for the children to grow up, for a quiet spell at work, for your business targets to be right on track, for a pay rise, a promotion. All these are excuses, usually invented to remain in one’s comfort zone and avoid embracing change. Whether your passion is body building and fitness or anything else, it is too important to be put off because it is our passion for something that enriches our life, gives it meaning, and helps our soul soar to a higher plane.
When I began my career, I found myself neglecting my early passion for bodybuilding because my responsibilities to my immediate family, and company were too pressing. Everything conspired to crowd out my passion. I found a solution – I built a very basic gym at home so that I could pursue my passion without being away from my loved ones.
Allocating a space and buying some equipment was ‘a’ solution’ – in this case quite an easy one at that – but not ‘the’ solution. It is usually much harder. You have to make the time. You have to find the will and the energy. You have to manage priorities. There may be some trade-offs as well. You need to make the right – and often difficult – choices. There will be some pain around it. It will take hard work. But if you’re going to do it, do it now because there is never a ‘right moment’.
Of course, doubts will assail you. Your mind will be in conflict. Should I focus on doing well in the world and earning my living instead? Surely the idea of devoting yourself to a purpose that transcends your own narrow perspective is a luxury that only other, more fortunate people, can afford?
I have realized (in a ‘eureka’ moment during a workout*) that there need not be any conflict in our daily chores and our desire to make a difference to the world. They are not silos. They are not incompatible. They can be convergent. I don’t need to have retired to spend a day doing what I love. An activity that gives a purpose to your existence, earning a living, routine chores, family responsibilities, social duties – these can all be pursued concurrently.
My sons, when Pranav and Anuj, who both studied in the UK and US, graduated with distinction & consistent high grades, even though they took to bodybuilding with a passion. Their initial focus during that time was bulk and strength. They succeeded, with a vengeance, tipping the scales at 100 kg plus. Pranav with biceps of 21 inches, Anuj with 19.5 inches, were big boys. So impressive was Pranav’s physique that he was invited to join the Wales rugby team.
Pranav on completing his MBA & Anuj after his exceptional academic career as a researcher in advance technologies & couple of patents under his belt decided to return to India to peruse their new role as entrepreneurs.
While they got down to their new responsibilities, they also got motivated to model themselves into more holistic, sustainable, long-term, health rather than just bulk & strength. For certain they knew for over a decade of working out, never to use drugs ie Steriods etc. That would continue to be core philosophy.
Here’s how they did it:
•Defined their goal, & created visual to keep the image always fresh in their mind.
•Engaged a coach considered one of the best available anywhere from around the globe.
•Established milestones for themselves and a process for reviewing their performance in relation to these milestones.
As a father, it has given me immense pride to observe them over the past three years, working intensively on themselves with rigour and vigour, methodically sculpting their bodies, and reducing their fat content from 20 per cent to 5 per cent. Even more impressive was that, throughout this time, they did not merely discharge their all around responsibilities to the family, they excelled at work as well.
One of my abiding convictions has been that finding a passion not only invigorates you and leads you down the path of self-discovery, it allows you to observe yourself with a kind of detached awareness and look at everything around you with a greater sense of empathy. Further, as you quietly work on yourself – your direct area of control – you find that the area of influence starts to expand and inspire people around you.
It was obviously not different for Pranav and Anuj. As they worked on themselves, they inspired people the place of work to put in more for themselves and the company and family and friends as well. Nor did I remain immune. I’d always been fit but they inspired me to re-constitute myself with renewed vigour.
The circle of ‘inspirational influence’ has kept expanding to a wider sphere, where the passion for holistic & healthy life style has transcended itself into a higher ‘meaning’, through the desire to help others. In creating www.missionstrength.com, Pranav and Anuj are helping people transform themselves from their pure potential to holistic strength and helping them make it a sustainable way of life.
Their conviction, and rightly so, is that physical development is pointless if limited to the body, to the exterior; it is only one side of the coin. Missionstrength.com helps people to realize that physical development has to turn inwards, into your mind and soul, so that you can tap them to pursue causes beyond yourself. Pranav and Anuj understood that the first step to helping transform others– and making the world a better place – is to transform yourself, First.
At www.missionstrength.com, people who have undergone a personal transformation can share their stories and celebrate them.
In todays world, where people looking for instant gratification encouraged by visual of ‘Six Packs’ from the world of glamour, would rather risk taking harmful steroids than put in the sweat & rigour. It’s further facilitated by Trainers & Gyms with no scruples but focused on making a quick buck on account of innocent client. I am of a steadfast conviction that if one works with honesty of purpose & sincerity then one is bound to achieve unparalleled success. Thus I am sure that the handful of people who have been already inspired for drug-free transformation, leading to a holistic lifestyle by ‘missionstrength’ shall grow by the day. And this in itself would be the greatest reward for the effort of Pranav & Anuj.
P.S. You may also find this article at http://www.missionstrength.com/member/Entries/2011/10/9_The_essence_of_finding_Meaning_in_your_Passionby_Deep_Kapuria.html