I had lost control over my own body. My limbs were betraying my initial intentions. It seemed I no longer had a say over an activity I had scheduled myself. Without realizing it my right hand reached out and impatiently tapped the speed button. What had begun as a run at the speed of ‘8’ was down to a ‘5.4’ and getting lower every few seconds. I silently encouraged myself, “You can do it girl. You’re strong. You’re fast. Tired? What’s that?”
Yet body betrayed me further. My heart pounded in my chest and my legs got heavier as my left hand continued to bully the speed button. Five minutes into my “run” I was down to a brisk walk speed of 3, yet still barely keeping up. I just wasn’t in the mood. My left hand gravitated towards the speed button on the treadmill yet again…
I swore to myself that I would start packing my gym bag ahead of time; starting with the most vital item first – my headphones. I had forgotten my headphones today. Therefore I had no control over the music in the gym and so it seemed I had no control over my motivation. When the DJ got some sense and played songs that resonated with my ‘beast mode,’ I upped the ante and ran till it felt my lungs were giving way. However, it seemed he was having an emotional day and continued to play slow jam after slow jam.
Try as I might to override the music and just run, my pace kept adjusting to the sultry sounds floating from the speakers. Eventually, after the longest 40 minutes of my life, I hit the “STOP” button and got off the treadmill. Taking my untouched water and my crisp clean towel with me. I hadn’t broken a sweat. I hadn’t burned very many calories. I hadn’t achieved what I had set out to during today’s cardio session.
I had not realized how powerful having control over what plays in my ears was until then. During my past work outs I had taken the power of my playlist for granted. Even on days when I was sore, tired, or not in the mood, once I put on my workout playlist I was ready to spring into action. However at the mercy of an external DJ, my workout was useless as we were definitely not on the same wavelength. Today was a write off. I decided tomorrow’s rest day would have to be cancelled. As I walked out the gym I set my phone alarm to wake up in time for a better session tomorrow morning. When I got home that evening the first thing I did was pack my headphones.
My workouts were too important to leave the tempo to chance.
Your life is too important to leave the tempo to chance.
I’ve found that our internal playlists are quite the same. Rather than just allow external DJs to say and play whatever they want, we need to be conscious about what’s playing. What we hear affects our race and it affects our pace. If we have things we have set out to accomplish, we need to be sure that we are in the right frame of mind to do so. Rather than just going through our days allowing other people and events to set the tone, we need to ensure our internal playlist is set to ‘beast mode.’
Just as putting together a work out playlist will take a bit of work, so too will setting our internal playlist for different tasks and seasons. My ‘beast mode’ gym playlist required me to find the right songs, download them on my phone, ensure my battery is charged, remember my headphones, and finally hit play. Being our own personal DJs is much the same.
We can’t just snap our fingers and think positive thoughts. We have to put in some work ahead of time. We have to be proactive and intentional about what we read, listen to, watch, and the conversations we have. This requires time management and discernment to ensure we are accessing that information we want to play later. All this is essential so that when the playback starts it will have the right content. We must also remember to actually hit play to turn on that internal voice.
Even if I had remembered my headphones, if I never connected them to my phone or pressed play I wouldn’t have gotten the upbeat music I needed to run at the right pace. Likewise, even if we fill ourselves with sunshine and overload ourselves with positivity, if we don’t hit the mental play button when we need that boost of encouragement or energy, we won’t reap the benefits. Sometimes we stumble across positive thoughts and dreams in our mind, but more often than not the negative seems to float to the surface while the positive requires a bit of effort to reach. The more we make that effort to reach the positive ones the more intuitive it eventually becomes.
No one can control our thoughts but us! But we only control them when we actually control them. If not, they are subject to chance and random DJs having emotional days. However when we think about what we are thinking about and align our thoughts to positive messages, we can improve our moods, increase our motivation and increase our productivity. While we cannot be in charge of everything that comes in, a significant amount of the content is within our control.
The great thing about our internal playlist is we can press play whenever we need to since no one is privy to our thoughts but us. So even when we are sat at work having an uninspiring day, sat in the doctor’s office receiving a less than positive diagnosis, sat in traffic trying to remain unaffected by the mayhem, or laying in bed wishing life was better, we can think about what we are thinking about. These are ideal moments to play positive thoughts, words, and phrases. There is never an inopportune time to mentally turn up the tempo and find the motivation and push necessary to overcome whatever external hurdles await or surround us.
So no matter where you’re headed or what your objective is, don’t forget to carry along your own internal sound system and keep the tempo up! It will help you achieve what you set out to when the mood has left you or external influences attempt to drain you.
It’s your party, you can DJ if you want to!