Means-whereby over end-gaining
Let’s talk about expectations.
I think one of the hardest things in life is planning and preparing for something only to have it not work out the way you had anticipated.
It can feel discouraging, frustrating, and like failure.
We are taught that if you tick all of the boxes, you’ll get what you expect. But life doesn’t always work like this. There are times that you might fail.
F.M. Alexander talks about something called End-Gaining. This is when you do everything you can to gain an end at the expense of a healthy process.
We stress ourselves out, overwork ourselves, sacrifice health, safety, and our needs to get the thing we desire.
I think this mentality is toted a lot as the best way to get what you want in life. Put in the work, get the results. And while this may be true, we have to put in the work in the right areas.
If we really want something, we should be willing to get it the right way. A process that has longevity, strength, and is sustainable.
In the Alexander Technique this is called the Means-Whereby an end may be gained. There is definitely still a desire to achieve a goal, but the process is reasoned and will build up healthy habits, procedures, and repeatable results.
Some of our society has a Veruca Salt complex that says, “I want it now!” That’s our bratty, impulsive, entitled squirrel wanting girl from Willy Wonka. We want things quickly. We want results. We want what we believe is due to us. And we don’t want to put in the work.
This kind of thinking is what leads to taking short cuts, making sacrifices, and compromises to get what we want.
If we take short cuts in our materials or manufacturing, we end up with inferior products.
If we make sacrifices in our form when weight-lifting, we end up hurting ourselves.
If we make allocations for the type of gas we put in our car, it becomes compromised.
The solution to these problems is conscious, reasoned choices. This may not always be easy. It may take more time, more thought, more planning, but there is a longevity, a sustainability to these processes.
It definitely takes time. There are tons of things that I work with myself on every day. And sometimes I fail and fall into old habits, and it is okay! It’s all about the moment you’re in right now and the step you take next.
Follow a reasoned process, a means-whereby you hope to achieve your end goal and you will find yourself more able to take on tasks and goals because you have a way to work with yourself to accomplish them.
The solution is conscious, reasoned choices. The Means-whereby.
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