Right Now! | James Collinge

Right Now!

by James Collinge | May 07, 2024

I have an addiction I’d like to share, it’s not booze, junk food, or
even sex. Although I am a big fan of the above, I can restrain myself
through normal daily life, most of the time. My addiction is the
future: what might happen, could happen, what will I do in all the
scenarios I can think of, and how I can control all those situations
to enable the best outcome.

Most of us have a
penchant for looking to the future, what needs to be done, how long
it will take, and how hard it will be. This can be necessary and
beneficial in certain circumstances, such as the beginning of a new
hobby, a business venture, or a family vacation. When I started
training correctly, I bought the almost obligatory health monitoring
apps, watches, and rings, and took notice of my sleep quality, steps,
and macronutrients, all to the utmost degree.

Although these things
could be worth doing for a few months to establish some baselines, we
are creatures of habit and unless your life changes dramatically
there is no need to concentrate so heavily on them. We all know how
we slept and whether the kids or the dog woke up at 2 am, what we ate
and whether we had pop tarts for breakfast and a pot noodle for
lunch. We also know whether we sat on our asses all day. Leave the
analysis of those things alone and concentrate on what you’re
currently doing.

Enjoy your daily walk,
a conversation, or training – be “in the moment.” More often
than not, constant surveillance of things is the thief of joy and the
instigator of anxiety.

I own and run a
4th-generation brick manufacturing company in the UK, and the
worries, like for many business owners, are endless. What’s happening
with fuel prices, employee retention, health and safety, the economy
at large, and worst of all, which “establishment-invented scenario”
will threaten my way of life this year. Whether that be the dreaded
flu, a foreign war that has nothing to do with me, or the latest
political ball that is being thrown around, such as the Brexit vote,
upcoming general elections, or the January 6th guided tour of a
government building.

Like a lot of us, I
have been messing around with weights since I was 16, but started
“training” at 35, and 6 years later have made some good progress,
going from 5’11” at 160lb to 225lb. Putting hundreds of pounds on
all of my lifts, but during a lot of that time I have done the same
thing with my training that I have with my work, and my life in
general: worrying. About next week’s workout, Monday’s workout, my
press singles, and my paused bench straight after it, what PRs I’ll
be satisfied with in that workout – the list goes on and on. I may
have gotten the fuel prices locked in for 6 months, but what will
they be after that? Up, down, how will we manage the different

What Starting Strength
and the people connected to it have taught me – on top of mental
fortitude, the importance of compounded improvement, and how hard
things usually bring big benefits – is to concentrate on “right
now!” A lot of people like to call it “the present” but
that’s too vague for me. Is that today, this week, this afternoon?
“Right now” only means exactly what it says. It’s precise and

I’ve learned to employ
it in my workouts. It starts with only the warmup sets, then only the
first press single, then only the next press single, and the bench is
nonexistent until the press is done. I have employed this in my
business life as well. Yes, some planning is needed, as with all
companies, but once that plan is made and the relevant monitoring has
been done, it’s time to execute. And while you’re doing that, only
the execution matters.

Even if you adapt the
plan halfway through the business year, or change the work weight on
your dynamic squats, once that is dealt with, you move on. Stop the
needless analysis. Most of us try to shortcut a task in our brain by
thinking about it, hoping maybe we can get it over with quicker. And
that’s not how it works! Getting it over with is not the goal.
That’s just your weak mind telling you to take it easy.

The goal is
efficient execution
, and if you use your intelligence, and
new-found strength, both mental and physical, and concentrate on the
task you’re doing “Right Now,” whether that be negotiating a
new contract or a heavy set of 5, you will be shocked at what you can
achieve, and how much happier you will be doing it, over and above
what you thought you could do.

Like many things worth
doing, such as improvements to your mental and physical capacity, it
is hard. You have to be disciplined in your thoughts, not allowing
yourself to get too far ahead. The types of people I have met in the
coaching camps, Starting Strength Gyms, the seminar, online coaching,
and the network, have been dedicated. The sort of people who can do
this, and maybe already do, but if you haven’t, you should try it.

The training we go
through while getting stronger doesn’t get easier. I can guarantee
life has some surprises to throw at you. So give yourself a better
chance of success and concentrate on “Right Now!”  

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