I was looking for inspiration on my book shelf and found this:
“Learning is something that takes place inside the person-a change of some sort. Training is something that is done to the person-it is a planned experience that is expected to lead to learning. All training does not result in learning, and all learning is not solely the result of training. To make matters even more complex, there is the issue of performance. Performance consists of a response of some sort. Good performance implies the correct response; poor performance implies either an incorrect response or the absence of a response.”*
The author is writing about a work environment, but here is what it made me think of, The Godfather: Part III. A pretty awful movie, however, I loved the first two so much that I’ve still watched this one several times. There is a scene in which Michael Corleone begins to go into diabetic shock while talking to a priest. They fetch him some orange juice, his blood sugar comes back to a normal level, and the priest says, “The mind suffers, and the body cries out.”
Pretty deep, huh?
But I think it’s true. The older I get more convinced I am that the physical, mental, and spiritual are all deeply, deeply connected. When I was younger I thought I could feel like crap, but still be mentally sharp. I was also surprised to that my body reacted in some physical way if I was struggling emotionally.
If the learning is the mental, and the training is the physical, then the performance is our response to those two. The response being how connected, confident, and content we might feel.
Physically, I try to take care or myself and have some pretty measurable goals in that arena.
The mental can be more difficult to measure, but here’s my promise to myself. I vow not to go bed dumber than I was when I woke up.
Today was my day off, and I pushed the edge of the excitement envelope by folding six loads of laundry. On days such as today, I can only watch so much Law and Order: SVU before I can actually hear my brain turning to mush inside my skull. Turn off the tv. Enjoy the silence. Get it folded faster. Read something.
Now, I want to be clear, some times taking care of ourselves physically and mentally is not enough to ensure that we feel the way we want. Illnesses both physical and mental can overpower our will. If that’s the case, talk to someone. Life is too short to try to look perfect.
But I still think it’s important to nurture both the mental and the physical.
If you feel terrible, put down the Sausage McMuffin and take the stairs to buy an apple. If you feel down, stop watching the real lives of people who are famous for being famous. Pick up a book. (People doesn’t count as a book.) Get outside. Take a walk. Go to a museum. These suggestions may sound simplistic, but they are steps toward a larger goal. We can’t expect to feel differently if we continue to treat ourselves the way we always have.
And if you’re really struggling, talk to someone. Get help. No one can get through this life alone.
*Psychology of Work Behavior by Frank J. Landy. The Dorsey Press, p. 263.