Creative Commons License photo credit: eyeliam

The very beginning of Balanced Existence was an experiment in the “Ready, Fire, Aim!” concept. At the time I had become inspired to start my own blog and to begin sharing with you things that I found interesting and helpful. I had some ideas about the direction I wanted to take the website should I build it. At the same time I had been reading about the “Ready, Fire, Aim!” concept.

Balanced Existence seemed like a perfect case to serve as a personal experiment into the usefulness of the “Ready, Fire, Aim!” concept. At the time I didn’t even know what I should call my website. Over the course of about two or three days I wrote some ideas down, did some domain name searching, found and registered BalancedExistence.com, paid for a web hosting service, installed WordPress and found and set up a WordPress theme and numerous widgets.

My first articles came from essays I had already written while studying Buddhism at university. Essentially much of what you see today was up and online in a matter of a few short hours. Instead of planning every minute detail I just got stuck in and built something. While the original launch was far from perfect by having to deal with real problems through real experience I learnt new things very quickly and constantly refined the website and my approach.

I’ve known a number of people in my life who possess vast talent, knowledge and skill but who have largely failed to do anything with these positive qualities because they were paralysed by endless analysis. They never seem to get out of the planning phase. They have fantastic innovative ideas but never take the necessary step of taking action to actually converting these ideas into a reality.

A Ready, Fire, Aim Case Study
The ready, fire, aim principle can be applied to any endeavour you could wish to undertake. If you want to get into exercise then all you need do is pick a general direction, set a specific goal based on the direction you want to go and simply make a start and stick with it for a while to see what happens.

After you make a start you’ll actually get a real clue through real experience regarding what you want to achieve and you will then be able to make adjustments as you go along. Otherwise it’s all just theoretical. Whatever you do to start with it probably won’t be perfect but doing something, anything really, is a whole lot more than doing nothing at all. Doing nothing gets you nowhere. Doing something will get you somewhere.

For example, say the direction you wanted to go with exercise was to get stronger. At this point you may be a complete beginner. Given this you decide that deadlifting twice your body weight and pressing the kettlebell closest to half your body weight overhead with one hand are respectable strength goals.

The truth is the specific goal doesn’t matter all that much. It’s far more important that you actually have goals rather than what those goals actually are. To get from where you are now to where your goals are you’ve got to start somewhere.

So you keep it simple with a program that calls for 5 sets of 5 reps of each of the two exercises on 3 separate occasions per week. One week you deadlift Monday, press Wednesday and deadlift again on Friday. The next week you switch it around so you press twice and deadlift once, the next week you switch it back and so forth.

You follow this dead simple program and increase the weight on the bar every week. Do this for three to six months and you’ll barely recognize yourself. Your days of physical weakness will be behind you forever.

Even better you’ll have learned a lot about your body and how it responds to specific types of stimulation. You’ll have learned that drinking alcohol, eating the wrong foods (that is, the wrong foods for you!) and not getting enough sleep make you weak and fat. You’ll have learned that lifting heavy (for you) weights is the best form of anti-depressant ever invented. You will have gained a stronger more sensitive connection with your physical existence. You may find this has had surprising repercussions for your spiritual practice. Finally, you’ll have learned self-discipline by sticking with something even when at times you may not have wanted to.

Wrapping it Up
You know what you would have achieved had you spent days reading internet forums looking for the perfect workout program don’t you? That’s right. Nothing. The next thing you know your work will get real busy and you’ll be too tired and stressed to even think about working out. Or something else will come along and grab your attention. In life there is always going to be something. This is why you’ve got to grab the bull by the horns and take action.

To get somewhere you must first do something. It really doesn’t matter too much what that something is. Once the first shot is fired the game always changes. So, whatever your dreams may be, whatever idea you might have, just go do something about it. You’re already ready! It’s time to fire and worry about the aim later.

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