I have this saying that is very much my life motto that ‘the only way out is through’, and I truly have grown to believe that the ‘through’ becomes much more significant than the ‘out’. It’s kind of like when people tell you that you grow through what you go through… it’s true, the process can have far more value on your self development than the whole outcome itself.
I had a girlfriend send me this wonderful YouTube clip from a Rabbi about what we can learn from Lobsters about stress. In summary Lobsters outgrow their shells a number of times during their lifespan. They feel uncomfortable then they shed their shells. The Rabbi’s key observation is that it’s the feeling of discomfort that enables the lobster to retreat and then grow. Stress becomes the stimulus for further growth. In today’s day and age we’re taught the opposite that stress and discomfort should instead be avoided wherever possible.
That’s not to say that stress and adversity is always a good thing or should be always encouraged because we know that frequent and extreme stress can disable healthy living and enable anxiety and panic. But if we look at the case of the lobster, the stress itself is not the positive but rather what it enables and leads to which the Rabbi puts best as “we have to realise that times of stress are also times that are signals for growth…if we use adversity properly we can grow through adversity.”
Back to the only way out being through, embrace the through. The through is the discomfort but the through is what enables the growth and change. When you feel like stripping back this ‘through’ to lessen your load instead reevaluate your priorities and don’t compromise on your health and fitness seeing it as stressful. Health and fitness or a body transformation can be a silver lining and will send you ‘out’ as a swan and keep your mind, body and soul in high spirits during a funk and very much can push you out of it too.
Discipline is staying in the trenches when you are under fire. A soldier does not say, “Hey I’m done with this I’m out of here!” If he did, he could find himself on the firing line and shot by the enemy. The enemy isn’t the opposition with the gun on the other side of the trench, it is your ego. It’s letting negative feelings, fear and doubt take over and prematurely pulling you out of the trenches.
Do not give up. Don’t ignore the silver linings when you make your way out.
The only way out is through.