The Closer To The Problem...The Farther The Solution | Lift Heavy Run Long

I have this friend named Gary. I speak with him pretty regularly, but usually when I am bent outta shape something. This particular instance, on this particular phone call, I was FUMING. I was raging mad, and was threatening to put a tire iron through my windshield. Gary laughed, and asked me about the issue. I was working on my old washing machine, and there was this one tiny, stripped-out screw that was keeping me from making the desired progress. Gary laughed, loudly. He had two questions. I, of course, had two answers:

Gary: “What do you know about washing machines?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Gary: “Why are you working on it, when you can go buy another one?”

Me: “Cause I enjoy tinkering.”

Gary: “Sounds like it! (said sarcastically). Judging by the fact that you are dangerously close to putting your tire iron through your windshield, I would say that maybe ‘enjoy’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.”

He was right. Gary went on to explain, it is quite possible that this is not an isolated incident. Many times in my life, I have been so obsessed with getting to the results, that I miss the enjoyment of the process. I want to accomplish something, but only for the accomplishment. I don’t take the time to enjoy and appreciate what is actually being put into the project. I don’t appreciate having the use of my hands to turn the wrench, or the knowledge of tools, or the strong back to bend with, or the ability to read directions, or the clean environment for which to work.

As usual, Gary had a suggestion {I roll my eyes and stick my finger down my throat}. He suggested that I take on a tinkering project that I believe I would “enjoy”. The goal would be to learn to enjoy the process, not just focus on the result. I had recently been given a 1998 Chevy Suburban that was mis-firing and burning some serious oil . Knowing next to nothing about motors, I decided that it would be fun to overhaul my first engine. This was quite a lofty goal for someone as “challenged” as I am in the field of mechanics. However, with all of my competent associates, a Haynes Manual, a few winks from God, and some help from YouTube, I felt like re-building an engine would be a good project.

The rules of the project were this:

Enjoy the process of learning to build an engine. If, at any time, I become frustrated and cease to find pleasure in my project, STOP doing it. Take a break, take a nap, get something to eat, call a friend, go to the gym, go for a run, or just do anything to avoid blowing a gasket (pun intented), while working on what is supposed to be a pleasurable project.

The removal, re-building, and installation of the motor took months. It was a project that would have taken an experienced person just a couple to three days, but I was aware that I have no experience. For someone like me, who is a classic over-thinker, highly ADD, a touch OCD, lacks self-confidence and patience, on top of having a tendency to go on impulse rather than logic, this project was NOT without hiccups. However, I found the hiccups were treatable with periods of rest or distraction upon initial diagnosis. My findings were profound, to say the least.

What I discovered while assembling the motor was this:

The closer I am to the problem, the further I generally am from the solution. If there is the option to pull away from a situation that I don’t understand, it is a good idea for me to do so. I can re-approach it after I have explored some different options. I also found that the only solution to any and every problem I have ever had, has generally been to use a larger hammer. I tend to pick a route to a problem and just continue pounding at it, until I make it work…and it seldom does. I had the opportunity to see that, if given enough time, the universe will provide me with the necessary answers to keep me moving forward. You wouldn’t believe some of the different forms in which I was given solutions to the most perplexing problems during this project. Many of my hurdles were jumped, simply by getting some sleep and looking at them with a fresh set of eyes and replenished energy. I found that if I just listen close enough and become aware of my existence, that with enough faith, it all takes care of itself. Basically, if a guy as mechanically unskilled as I am can build a friggin motor while primarily relying on FAITH, well I don’t really have anything to worry about at all. If there is a force out there that will equip me with the knowledge and the skills to accomplish a project of this magnitude, then there is something out there which is clearly willing to lead me through any scenario.

I have inventoried many of my biggest problems of the past, as well as the solutions to these problems. Very few of my “unsolvable problems” have been resolved through intense thought or cleverly crafted action. Most of my situations simply resolve themselves by letting loose and altering the actions that bring about the problems. I have found that life does not have to be near as difficult or complex as I make it out to be. I am learning to embrace the hairy situations that I get myself involved in, and learning that the solution is to back away and wait for the answer. I hope that whatever pickle you have yourself wrapped up in, you will focus on your family, your friends, and the hobbies that give you pleasure. Put your problems in a box for the next 24 hours, and see what condition they are in when you revisit the next day. There is a good possibility that someone will take that problem out of that box for you, or they might steal the box out from underneath you, either way, I bet the problem looks different than it does today. Trust me, I have a history of stealing other people’s problems and overfilling my own box. I am the world’s greatest problem maker, and lead the league in problems created on top of problems. My most calculated solutions to problems, only create larger, deeper, and more quantities of problems. Let God and the universe handle all the non-sense, just for today. TAKE…IT…EASY. Enjoy your day!

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,

Beefcake

My name is Wilson Horrell, aka “Beefcake”.  I am a total fat guy. At heart, I am a drunken, cigarette-loving, junkie, and addict of all things unhealthy. I reached rock-bottom back in the Summer of 2011 and decided to get clean. With sobriety came a great deal of changes in my day-to-day life. I am a big, lazy animal who somehow got mixed up in CrossFit, started hanging with the crowd at LHRL, and watched my life and daily habits change. I started blogging as a way to journal my fitness, and it has turned out to be very therapeutic. I have found that my life is enhanced by community, and I am at my happiest when I am interacting with other people. I have a beautiful and incredibly intelligent wife, Amanda, as well as two wonderfully gifted children, Grayson and Andie Kate. I have no education or experience as a writer, and almost no knowledge of grammar. I just enjoy spitting it out on paper as it goes through my brain. I hope you enjoy reading, and feel free to reach out or comment at anytime!

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