Renounce old customs when you find a new one

That’s compulsive. Don’t you think?

Yeah, me too. But I think it’s an effective strategy to grow in the area of your expertise.

One of our fundamental challenges is that we discover something effective and stick with it forever! Because it’s working. And when we plateau, which is bound to happen, we push harder instead of improvising. Simply because you know that the plan works! Why bother when something works? Just push through it and you will emerge stronger. Yeah, dream on.

Unfortunately, that’s what I see in the gyms everywhere. Our “experienced” lifter just keeps on pushing until they get injured. Not an effective plan, surely.

Life’s cyclical in nature. Everything needs to be cycled. If you’ve grown stronger with a set of weights (let’s say, 100 kilos), adding more weights will not make you any stronger. Lowering it down to a challenging weight (60-65% of your maximum) and working your way back up will make your stronger. That’s a cycle. It works. But it’s not magic.

When you’ve plateaued. You need to improvise. Find something new, perhaps a new training program. Cycle it a few times and then get back to your fall-back training program. And you’ll notice gains almost immediately.

You can’t do the same things and expect different results. Irrespective of how effective your plan is in the first place.

An age-old tradition in the world of writing, for example, was to copy the work of established writers. People like Hunter S. Thomson, Benjamin Franklin, and R.L. Stevenson rewrote passages, essays, and books of their favorite artists to get a feel for the original writer’s thought process. This used to be a common practice in schools up until the early 20th century before the school system decided to get creative. And you and I know what happens when a panel talks about creativity.

They killed this deep immersion process for a set of rules and instructional methodology that is still quite prevalent in schools today (much honed and refined I must say). But even today, the best writers and copywriters today practice immersive writing. Why? Because it’s working. And they’re the best because they’re doing something nobody else is doing.

 

Now, that’s a well-developed cycle right there! Relinquish old customs for new ones. Master the new ones and then go back to the old customs. Because nobody else is doing it.