Wayne Yoshida in Knowledge Lovers (Every Bee's Hive), beBee in English Principal Technical Writer | Senior Technical Writer • Skyworks Solutions, Inc May 9, 2018 · 2 min read · +300

Not Giving Up: Life Lessons from the Gym

Not Giving Up: Life Lessons from the Gym

I've been working out at the company gym for about eight months and noticed some things.

First, I'm inspired and encouraged by my new hero Jocko Willink. I am applying discipline to “get after it” every day and established a routine. But sometimes there are days when I just don’t feel like doing anything. I think everyone has those days.

Jocko has a solution for this problem.

An excerpt from Jocko Podcast 49 (featuring Echo Charles and Jocko Willink) is posted on YouTube. It is called, “How to SMASH DAYS When You Don't Feel Like It.”

Go through the motions
Jocko Willink

This attitude or technique is not only for exercise. It is a lesson in life and applies to every difficult or boring chore you must complete. From kids not wanting to brush their teeth or washing the dirty dishes in the sink to grown-ups updating some small little detail in a subroutine code or editing a manuscript for style details like properly placing commas.

The desire to rest is just weakness
Jocko Willink

Interestingly, Jocko mentioned something about procrastination and how he does not like it, because we have to get things done. Maybe all we need to to take a rest. But, he says, "the desire to rest is just 'weakness.'"

It really was "the desire to take the path of least resistance."

By going through the motions, we can overcome this weakness, and get things done.

I have been doing something vaguely similar but did not have a name for it. I now call it procrastinating on my procrastination.

For example, I find cardiovascular exercise very boring. And sometimes intimidating. When I started at Level One on the recumbent bike, I dialed in 30 minutes and thought I'd never make it through the first 15.

It's been about three or four months now and I'm on Level 7 or 8 and am cranking on it every day.

I think about stopping but I do not actually stop

I push through and get it done by thinking about stopping but I do not actually stop. I consider stopping but I just keep going. I close my eyes and think about my day and the list of things that need to get done.

I take a sip of water.

I wipe the sweat off my face.

I stretch on the seat.

I watch the digital display segments change as it clicks off the seconds and minutes.

I wonder how come the 6 is not an upside down 9.

But I do not stop.

Then I notice 25 minutes have gone by.

I notice the road profile is coming to an end.

I take another sip of water.

Twenty-five minutes have elapsed.

I stretch in my seat and do some push-ups on the handle bars.

The road graph is down to just two dots.

Then the resistance decreases, 30 minutes have gone by and I'm on the cool down phase.

A solid half hour went by and I did not stop, even when I wanted to. I procrastinated – I delayed - my procrastination.

I down the rest of my water, get off the machine, and wipe it down.

I take a long, hot shower, get dressed and head to the office.

And I notice it’s only a little after 7 am and most of the Office Space cubicles and none of the offices are occupied.

And I feel good.

How about you? How do you push through and crush something to its end when you want to give up? Share your techniques in the comments below. If you like this post, please click the “Like” button, and share this with your network.

About Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida is a technical writer and education advocate with sales management experience. Wayne currently works in the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) industry and has worked for a wide variety of high technology companies, including aerospace and defensephotonics, lasers and opto-mechanics, two-way radiotelecommunications and a non-profit, educational organization. His personal passion for electronics and Amateur Radio opened many doors to some very interesting personal and professional experiences. Working as a ham radio consultant for the NASA Johnson Space Center during Space Shuttle mission STS-9 is his most memorable experience.Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter and beBee, and for a look into his personal passions, follow his blog.

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter Jan 11, 2019 · #9

#8 I started listening to Jocko this morning, amid my morning lunch prep routine, @Wayne Yoshida! Tomorrow, I re-start my weigh training, and Jocko will be in my earbuds. I also look forward to weaving in the war stories reading, over the coming weeks/months. I like your tip on 'how' to read those stories, too + the takeaways for business/life/relationships. Thank you!

Wayne Yoshida Jan 11, 2019 · #8

#6 Excellent @Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter - Jocko has changed my life for the better. And, if you read the war stories not for the "action" but rather as examples of the principles mentioned, this will help you get the most out of the ideas - for business and life and relationships.

+1 +1
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter Jan 11, 2019 · #6

I really like how you mention 'thinking of stopping' but you don't actually stop. Also, how you describe small actions you take along the ride such as taking a sip of water or wiping away your sweat ... and overall, the idea of 'delayed procrastination' (so relatable to me!). Finally, that feeling of accomplishment so early in the day, before your colleagues even have arrived.

Excellent article and insights!

Oh, and I'm bookmarking the Jocko podcast now for my next morning elliptical ride! Thank you!


William Mason Jun 9, 2018 · #5

I have gained a great deal of respect and admiration for Jocko Willink since I first heard him on The Tim Ferriss Show.

It seems to be that we all have to find our own way of tricking ourselves into doing things we don't want to do. I have found that just rolling up my sleeves and knocking it out right then and there is ten times better than beating myself up over not doing it for the next several hours or even days.

It may be messy, but it works for me.

+1 +1
Wayne Yoshida Jun 7, 2018 · #4

#3 @Aleta Curry - I know what you mean! But, one thing to try: As Jocko Willink says -- Go through the motions. Don't want to climb that hill? Go through the motions of climbing that hill. Don't want to archive and backup last year's data? Go through the motions.

You will discover this will automatically make you attack the horrible chore and - get it done.

Aleta Curry May 30, 2018 · #3

I certainly agree on just pushing through and doing the things we have to do but don't feel like doing. It's a challenge for me right now. Not so sure on the desire to rest being weakness, though. Sometimes you've just had it!

+1 +1
Wayne Yoshida May 9, 2018 · #2

#1 Thanks Randy. It is a mind trick, and it seems to be working!

+1 +1
Randall Burns May 9, 2018 · #1

Great post on motivation @Wayne Yoshida I just love "Procrastinating on my procrastination"; what a great concept/perspective!

+2 +2