The Upward Hourglass Compound Effect

TL:DR | Pulling myself out of a deep negative funk, and trying to improve my overall life. Building up my compounded efforts.


5 min read
The Upward Hourglass Compound Effect

SUBTITLE: Climbing out of my rut

It is a new day, and what you do with it in the present is what defines who you are. My mind has lately been a jail cell, and I have been trapped in my emotions. Failing to work on content, life, jobs, or myself.

Today I woke up quite late, and laid around for a while even. After my roommate went off to work, and we both pointing out my laziness something popped in my brain: I need to workout. Lately I have been able to get myself to work out harder than previous sessions. Maxing out on weight or reps, and getting myself motivated to MAKE myself go to the gym. As someone who has worked in the gym for a decade, I never had to really make myself go that much. As I would always just work out while I was there working.

Today I got my calendar notification to do a "Podcast walk", something I added to my calendar over quarantine to habit stack two positives habits.


Face to the Wind

A feeling that hearkened me to a day "in the field", which I go into in this post:

Climbing the Mountain
At every stage of life it is a climb. The challenge to reach the next level.

Once again I find myself on the climb or in the field, whatever analogy suits you best. Where I am fighting against the external world. I decided that for my Podcast Walk, that I would once again walk to my work.

Let me clarify that back in the day I would walk to work 1-2 times a day, almost every day of the week, but the walk was about 12 minutes. Now after moving and getting a car, the walk became closer to 30-35 minutes, and except for the time where my car was in the shop I never walk.

Feeling motivated to workout, and do my habit that I told myself I would do; I venture forth, and as soon as I walk outside I realize it is windy. Really windy.

I get to the edge of the parking lot, and was washed over by a gust of wind. Almost halting me in place because of the strength. In that moment I think to myself "should I drive?", should I get myself there faster instead of walking in the cold wind? Mind you I am wearing a tank top too for the work out. lol

All it took was one step forward into the wall of wind, and off to the races I went.


The Max Workout

For some reason I had it in my head that I was going to max out my exercises today. I felt that if I didn't then the workout wouldn't be as valuable, at least in this moment of time.

Lately I have been feeling really down, or even depressed, and over the weekend I was in my feels deep. Ignoring my friends even, and I managed to get a decent work out in over the weekend. However I skipped out on something important, that being doing my 20 pull ups (something I haven't been doing nearly enough of over the past two years).

Warming up from the walk, and the pull ups I get my heartrate going. Not to mention the preworkout and intensity getting the bloodflow/vascularity.

The next two exercises were bench press, and squats. Maxed out. Which for those exercise nerds like me:

Max weight for me is 340lbs for squats.

145 lbs for bench press. At least at this point in time, that is what I felt safe enough to push myself to. I might have more physical potential, but I don't need to hit the ultimate max right now.

My rule is 20 reps for something like this, and so I did 2 reps at 340, then dropped to 300lbs just to be safe (spine and posture). I got a friend to help with spotting the bench press, and did them rather swiftly.

Then I proceeded to walk home.


The Hourglass Analogy.

This is something in the Four Pillars development, and self-development category, on this site that I haven't touched on much yet. Although I plan on it here soon, but have talked about a lot on various podcasts.

The idea is that the compound effect works in both ways, positive and negative, and for good OR bad habits. Meaning you don't usually stick around in the middle point much, but rather are on an upward or downward trajectory. Always up or down, never maintaining. This is a philosophical belief of mine, that I had tried to teach my water fitness classes. However I don't think they ever really understood what I meant.

One does not maintain where they are at, you can only make or lose progress. If you want to maintain, then simply improve by one percent. Preventing the downward regression.

When you workout, meditate, read books, learn, podcast, etc, then you add to the positive momentum. However when you skip workouts, eat unhealthy, sleep in (when it isn't needed), and overall just be not yourself. Then that leads down the negative path.

Your Four Pillars have a profound impact on this hourglass, and if some external pressure impacts a Pillar then it changes your direction on the hourglass. Depending on how big of an impact. For example I have had a lot of fiscal trouble lately, as my jobs are all in flux. Essentially leaving me to find a new one, as well as my romantic endeavors have been for naught. In both cases the negative impact on my emotions brought me down, lower than I'd like to admit.

Leaving my trajectory to go down a negative path, and snowball downwards. Lack of motivation to do anything. However I realized this was happening, and tried to pull myself out. I failed, and then that made me feel even worse. I'm not trying to make an excuse, nor am I saying it was easy by any means.


I'm not even sure if I am out of it yet, and reached a positive momentum. It is all technically figurative at this point. As I am not tracking my habits, or journaling how I feel for example.

However from what I can tell I was successful today, and I hope that I can be successful tomorrow. That is how you build that compound effect or kaizen, by working at it little by little.

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