At Roark we ask our members to live their athletic lives according to principles rather than goals.

I’d go one step further than that, in that we hope that this attitude in the gym will ripple into the rest of their lives, but just like the effort applied to the physical task itself, this will always be their decision.

To focus on the process ahead of the outcome is very difficult, especially given the fact that from young men and women we are taught that success is measured by a very specific set of goals. An ‘A’ at school, a degree at university, a promotion at work – we’ve become very good at chasing the next target. If you take time to think about it, it’s amazing how quickly this idea of ‘success’ can filter into other more personal and private parts of our lives.

Who determines which of these goals are noble? It seems as though they have been impressed on us by countless cycles of an obedient and unquestioning society.

The reason I love coaching and programming is that time and again I’m able to witness people learn the very valuable lesson that a noble goal is one which stirs something deep within the soul of a person. The achievement of that goal requires more sacrifice and provides more satisfaction that anything prescribed by someone else ever could.

The coaches at Roark have been talking a lot recently about programming what we like versus programming what we need. We’re all guilty of wanting it all without wanting to sacrifice anything. But sacrifice alone isn’t enough – anyone can be a martyr. Not everyone can apply themselves in an unrelenting and dedicated manner, but this is the key to success in any aspect of life, and in physical training in particular.

Every worthwhile goal is achieved by a noble process. You alone can determine the worthiness of your goal and the value it will add to your life. If, however, you need assistance and guidance regarding the process, trust that guidance. Stay focused each day. Work hard each hour. Commit wholeheartedly, and remember that the beauty of the process lies in the lessons learnt through its experience.

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