Wow! There is potential for learning in everything that exists or happens! That is the learning for today. Today’s lessons were learnt from the noise cancelling headphones that I gifted myself for my 50th birthday anniversary that was a few days ago.
I used to be a “fit” person a long time ago – playing badminton and cricket to some degree, to be considered “good” and with a fair bit of “potential” in both. My father was a person who placed a high degree of importance on physical fitness, and on doing ANYTHING with excellence. I was inspired mostly, and coerced some times into pushing myself to my limits. And, most times, I breached those self imposed “limits” to find new ones! (This aspect of “Limits” is the subject matter for another article, and that will happen later.) The fact is that I became better and fitter with every day practice and exercise.
Well, this brings me to the fact that I have been working to take care of my health, and to focus on being physically fit and healthy. Given that I had not really focused on this aspect for over 20+ years, I had a fair bit of unwanted fat and weight that I had accumulated. And as Andrew Austin, author and one of my teachers says – there is a very simple formula to weight loss – “Eat Less, Move More!”
So, I have been eating considerably lesser and moving considerably more over the last year – when a blood test told me that I was not only overweight and not very fit, that I was also quite unhealthy. This brought the focus back on health and I made great progress for about 9 months. And ended up losing 14 kilograms. And when I had this kind of great progress, I felt good about myself. My health parameters also started becoming better. And then inertia set in. I started becoming complacent. I started finding things I could complain about. For example, I used to be very regular in going to the gym in the apartment complex I live in. I would be so focused on my exercising that I would not know who or what else was going on.
Truth be told, I used to get upset with the attitude of other people who also used the gym. Some of them had the habit of playing music on the sound system at inordinately loud decibel levels. Others would speak loudly on their phones while in the gym. Some others would speak to one other over the noise of the music and the equipment, across the room. All in all, there would be a “cacophony” that existed in the gym. Some would make so much noise when they used the treadmill – that it was really a dreadful cacophony. Even though I had my headset on, and was listening to my music, the cacophony would penetrate my headphones and end up creating a less than ideal auditory environment, for me to work out.
To top this, I have made a recording of “affirmations” that I listen to everyday – and I was finding it difficult to listen to this during the workout. And all of this combined to create a scenario where I stopped going to the gym altogether and started looking at other ways in which I could stay fit. The truth here is that NOTHING else was going to be useful for me, given where I was. So, it made sense to go to the gym, regardless of what went on there. And I realized that this would be the same situation whichever gym I frequented. So, I decided to get myself a pair of Bose Active Noise Cancelling Headphones!
And wow! Did they make a world of difference? Yes of course they did! They shut out almost ALL of the external noises and ensured that I listened to the music alone. And suddenly, I was back to enjoying my workout and becoming more regular. And I actually look forward to the exercising!
My thoughts upset me! People, circumstances, situations do not upset me! I just need to use “Noise cancelling!”
“So, what is the lesson here?” might be the question in your mind now. Well, it is this. The external circumstances at the gym have not changed at all. Actually, NOTHING has changed in the outside world. I have used technology to “cancel out the noise” and focus on the sounds that I want to listen. The simple fact is that I can do this by choice, elsewhere too! I just need to choose and cancel out all that I don’t find useful. This applies to all areas of life – be it at home, when someone says something I find not very inspiring, or when I hear others speak either of me or of others. I can “choose” to stay stable and happy, regardless of what goes on around me! I am reminded of the statement “My thoughts upset me! People, circumstances, situations do not upset me! I just need to use Noise Cancelling!” So, I can use “noise cancelling” by choice in all areas of my life and choose to take in ONLY that which is good for my health, well-being, happiness and prosperity!