KB17 - The Friday 4 - Toward and Away Moves

Jun 02, 2023

Read Time: 6 Minutes

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#1 - Toward and Away Moves

Do you spend your life shuffling between "toward" and "away" moves?

These moves are about navigating the choppy waters of life's predicaments.

This lovely little concept comes from Russ Harris' absolute gem, The Happiness Trap.

How we deal with life's problems—our fears, struggles, and self-imposed roadblocks—all fall into two basic moves...

We're either moving "toward" our values, toward the person we want to be, or the life we want to live.

Or we're moving "away" from discomfort, away from things we fear, away from a reality we don't want to confront.

A "toward" move is anything you do that aligns with your values or gets you closer to a meaningful life, regardless of the discomfort it might bring.

Like confronting a mate who has been acting like a bellend because you value honesty and communication.

On the other hand, an "away" move is the exact opposite.

It's what you do to avoid feeling or dealing with unpleasant situations or emotions.

Like cancelling on that party last minute because the thought of small talk makes you want to crawl out of your skin.

Here's the kicker though…

Both "toward" and "away" moves can look the same from the outside.

It's the intention that makes all the difference.

You could be avoiding that party not out of fear but because you truly value a quiet evening at home.

It's not to label yourself or your actions as "good" or "bad".

It's to recognise that our actions have implications and that often, we're running away from discomfort without even realising it.

And in doing so, we might just be running away from our own lives.

So, the next time you find yourself making a decision, stop and ask yourself: is this a "toward" move, or an "away" move?

Are you choosing based on your values or to avoid discomfort?

Are you actively trying to live a meaningful life?

Or are you just escaping what you don't want to face?


#2 - A Rising Tide

Have you ever heard the phrase "A rising tide lifts all boats"?

It's a cracker, isn't it?

There's a sort of simple beauty to it, like a perfectly cooked steak or a cold pint on a hot summer's day. So, let's delve into it, shall we?

At first glance, you might think this saying has something to do with maritime law.

But it doesn't. Instead, it's a metaphor, an analogy, a slice of wisdom served up to remind us of one of life's simplest yet most overlooked truths.

A rising tide lifts all boats. In other words, when conditions improve, everyone benefits.

When things are on the up and up, we all feel the lift, whether we're sailing a majestic yacht or bobbing about in a battered old dinghy.

It's often used to talk about the economy - when the economy's booming, everyone, rich and poor, feels the benefits.

But I think this little saying has broader implications.

What if we viewed our personal growth, successes and improvements not as a zero-sum game but as a rising tide?

When we improve ourselves, it's not just us that reap the benefits, but everyone around us.

Our positive attitudes, healthier habits, and new–found knowledge radiates outwards, affecting those in our immediate circle and beyond.

Your personal development is a tide that can lift the boats of all the people in your life.

Your wins become everyone's wins. And likewise, their growth becomes your growth.

But here's the other side of the coin, just as a rising tide lifts all boats, so a falling tide can strand them all.

It's easy to lose sight of the fact that our negative actions, our poor choices, and our refusal to grow or change can have a knock-on effect on those around us.

And that's not a place we want to be, right?

So, let's keep this in mind as we navigate the rough seas of life.

Our actions, choices, and development are all part of this great big ocean we're all bobbing about in.

And if we want to lift ourselves and those around us, we've got to ensure that the tide is always rising.

So let's make some waves, shall we?


#3 - A Rested Muscle Doesn’t Get Stronger

Today, we're going to chat about a seemingly barmy concept, one that goes against all our instincts:

"A rested muscle doesn't get stronger."

Stick with me because this could flip your world on its head.

We're all masters at dodging discomfort, aren't we?

Stub your toe, and you'll likely hop about like a raving loon, swearing never to move your foot again.

That's our natural response: pain equals stop, discomfort equals danger, and rest equals recovery.

It's a neat little equation, one that keeps us in a cushy, oh-so-comfortable comfort zone.

But what if that equation is bollocks?

Let's dive into the sweaty world of physical fitness for a sec.

You've heard it from gym junkies and personal trainers: "No pain, no gain!"

They're not just spouting sadistic slogans; It's science.

Muscles grow stronger not when they're sipping cocktails on a sun lounger but when pushed to their limits, strained, stretched, and yes, subjected to a bit of pain.

When we lift weights, we cause tiny tears in our muscles.

Sounds ghastly, I know. But it's these tears that stimulate muscle growth.

As our body repairs them, it also strengthens the muscle, preparing it to handle the same stress in the future.

It's our body's nifty way of saying, "Not today, sunshine!"

Or as the wise philosopher Kelly Clarkson once said...

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

If you're after growth, be it physical, emotional, or mental...

Comfort isn't your friend.

Discomfort is.

Pain is.

Because it's in working through the discomfort, in pushing past the pain, that we grow stronger.

We adapt. We improve.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should be a glutton for punishment, recklessly pushing yourself to the brink.

Rest has its place; it's necessary for recovery and regeneration.

But if you're spending all your time resting, avoiding discomfort at all costs, you're missing out on growth opportunities.

That job you're scared to apply for, that difficult conversation you've been avoiding, that new hobby you're too shy to try – they're your dumbbells; pick em up!

They're what's going to make you stronger.

So, here's to stepping outside of our comfort zones and to embracing the pain and discomfort that comes with growth.

Here's to straining, stretching, and, yes, tearing a bit, so we can return stronger.

No more resting, folks. It's time to flex those muscles.


#4 - Always Remind Yourself

Here’s a morsel of wisdom from Steve Harvey that I reckon is absolute gold...

"Always remind yourself that your track record for making it through bad days is 100%."

Bam! That's a bloody powerful statement right there!

In life, we all have our share of rubbish days.

You know the ones...

The days when everything goes tits up.

The days when even the simple act of putting on your socks feels like a Crossfit WOD.

You might feel useless, thinking, "Can't I do anything right?"

But here's the thing... You're still here, aren't you?

Despite all those bad days, those trials and tribulations, those moments of feeling like the universe has got it in for you, you've made it through. Every. Single. Time.

That, my friends, is a 100% success rate.

How epic is that?

Now, I get it. When you're knee-deep in the shit, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It can be hard to remind yourself that you've got through worse, and I'll get through this too...

But that's the very thing that'll get you through.

The key isn't to avoid the bad days or to bury your head in the sand like an ostrich.

The key is to remind yourself, amidst the chaos and the turmoil, that you've got a track record of survival.

That you're a certified bad-day-busting, problem-crushing, keep-going-no-matter-what champion.

You're not just surviving; you're thriving in your own wild and wonderful way.

So, the next time life chucks a curveball at you, remember this quote.

Remember that you've weathered all the storms that have come your way before, and you'll weather this one too.

Your survival rate isn't just impressive – it's bloody perfect!

You're stronger than you think!



👉 Navigate life's challenges with purpose. Are you moving "toward" your values or "away" from discomfort? Choose meaning over avoidance.

👉  Harness the power of personal growth. A rising tide lifts all boats. your success benefits others too. Let's make waves together.

👉 Embrace discomfort for growth. Rested muscles don't get stronger. Step outside your comfort zone and embrace the pain for progress

👉 Your track record for getting through bad days is 100%. Remember your resilience and keep thriving, no matter what.

I hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Four, and I’ll speak to you next week for some more.


Jay Alderton

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