“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.”
Think of the last time you adapted to new surroundings. From a new home to new work colleagues, we have all experienced little and large changes. While some enjoy the unknown elements and thrive, others find it less pleasant and adapt differently.
Some of the more stubborn few among us will attempt to mold an environment to suit their needs. Ironically, although George Bernard Shaw once said “those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”; it seems entirely plausible that these iron-willed few have in fact changed many undesirable outcomes through sheer persistence and tenacity. Furthermore, how often has sharing a space with others lead to entertaining or frustrating discoveries about their habits? Each experience is both a timely reminder that we have all adapted to our surroundings in our own unique way, and a challenge for our tolerance levels!
Furthermore, as the physical environment around us transforms, we are all faced with new challenges to adapt to. Using hybrid cars and solar panels would have seemed far-fetched 100 years ago, let alone hatching plans to colonise Mars! However, history is littered with ideas which must have seemed beyond belief at the time and then became the norm. Imagine how baffled people must have been when the Wright Brothers detailed their ambitious plans to fly!
Moreover, from a physiological point of view, our bodies are very adept at remembering movement patterns and improving the efficiency of our efforts. Although this muscle memory is hugely beneficial in terms of education, there are times when it can hinder our progress. If we do not adapt the stimulus in line with our progress, our muscles can coast along without breaking a sweat. As such, varying the type and intensity of exercises is an excellent way of maintaining interest and improvement. In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger famously referred to this process as “shocking the muscle” and it can be applied to almost any discipline as a reminder to avoid resting on our laurels.
“Through the unknown we’ll find the new”