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Semper Gumby

The Navy always has a saying “Semper Gumby” meaning always flexible.

Now, anytime that phrase is utilized, you usually get 1 of 2 people:

  1. The ones who understand that things aren’t going to be easy and that we must adapt to the changes we are about to incur.
  2. The ones who moan and complain because they don’t deal well with the unknown and or change.

Whats the difference?

The willingness and ability to get out of your comfort zone.

You see, being flexible requires you to stretch:

  • Mentally
  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • Spiritually

As I recall all of the growth moments in my life, they usually came after moments of being stretched. Here is the great thing about going through a stretch period in life, Once you are stretched, you never return to the original state you were prior to the event.

This is do to the increase in awareness that comes with getting out of your comfort zone.

Many people don’t know this about me, but I use to be a competitive body builder and I used to hate stretching… it was painful. In fact, I neglected stretching for about 3 years and the repercussions were detrimental to my strength and progression. In fact, it ultimately led to multiple injuries.

So what caused stretching to be so painful…TENSION.

In life the tension between where we are and where we desire to be requires us to stretch…there has to be tension.

You maybe going through a phase in life right now that requires you to stretch, to get out of your current level of comfort and I get it, it's hard to leave what’s familiar, even if it is not serving you.

But here is what I know about tension:

  1. Few people like to be stretched: This should excite you! If you are looking to separate yourself from the pack, stretching yourself is your leverage.
  2. Stretching yourself separates you from the status quo: Many people are in a place that doesn’t fulfill them and doesn’t serve them. These are the ones who often complain about the job they have, the relationships they allow, and the negative things that are happening in the world. If only they would allow the pain of remaining the same to be greater than the pain of pursuing a vision for their life other than their current circumstances.
  3. Stretching gives you a shot at significance: I remember being asked to step on stage and share my story in front of a crowd of about 40 people. At that time in my speaking journey I never really allowed myself to be vulnerable and especially in front of that many people. I was definitely being stretched out of my comfort zone. After my talk, I was asked to speak to another group of select individuals and it would turn into a mentorship program for young men who lack a positive male influence.

“If you aren’t going to be better tomorrow than you are today…what’s the point of tomorrow?”

I will leave you with these reflective questions:

  1. What area of your life are you experiencing complacency and lacking the stretch required to grow to the next level?
  2. What habits have you developed that are hindering your progress?
  3. What areas of your past success have you stopped winning?

 

Use your discontent to your advantage when pursuing your desired outcome by making the pain of staying the same greater than that of the change required.

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