Molly Grace James

A Life Well Lived…



Weekly Thoughts


A bit of a journal-style post today. My thoughts are like scattered, anxious kittens.

Feeling overwhelmed is common. More often than not I don’t know what is the “best” direction in my life.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday that suggested essentially pick a thing and go with it for a set amount of time.

Regardless of what the thing is…

You could try dancing, calligraphy or rock-climbing.

I like this because I often feel flakey or like I have conflicting desires. And when I feel like this I just wish there was a magic cure all for a happy/motivated/complete life. Is there?

I feel dread in the space between sticking with something that no longer brings joy and fighting through to complete something. This is often where I feel with “work.” I am sticking with something for the sake of sticking it out. And in that there is learning. And there is dread.

It is a talent to figure out what you want to do.

Thoughts that I am curious about for myself/others:

  • What motivates you?
  • What overwhelms you?
  • What do you dread and why?
  • How do you overcome that?
  • Are discipline and joy on opposite ends of the spectrum?

Note to self: Relax. Nothing is under control. 🙂

Mood Follows Action

Current mood: tired, yet hopeful.

In feeling tired I should just stay at home and not work towards my fitness goals? That of course depends.

Ultra endurance athlete and dad of four Rich Roll has succinctly said: “Mood follows action.”

Which means reliance on motivation is not what it takes to get up and get going.

Said another way: Don’t think. Do.

If I listened to every desire to hide out in my apartment with my kitten loves I would probably never get to “doing” part that is needed to advance my strength and lifting.

So what do you do when your brain and body have competing goals?

At the moment I am fortunate to have an extremely goal driven partner who helps bring out the best in my work out sessions. And who motivates me, as in will work out without me if I don’t get moving, to continue down the path of lifting/fitness success.

And I would add once you do then think.

In other words, it is easy to get stuck (at least it is for me) obsessing over every lift and over-analyzing each action. Too much of this and it is unproductive.

It is still helpful to evaluate on a broader level the trends of what went well or what didn’t. And to save the analysis for a coach or someone who can give you a better assessment.

Also, action for the sake of action must be balanced by listening to your body and taking proper rest measures.

Many days I feel exhausted. And perhaps this is a larger trend of the need to fine tune my sleep, nutrition, intensity of workouts.

Again, it is crucial to listen to the needs of your body. This is a bit trickier because of those competing desires. Fortunately resting appropriately is vital to any training program.

This thought reminded me of an Outdoor Magazine article called 8 Principles to Do it Better, by Brad Stulberg, which I found to be tremendously helpful.

Here’s the quick rundown of the principles:

  1. Stress + Rest = Growth
  2. Focus on the Process, Not Results
  3. Stay Humble
  4. Build Your Tribe
  5. Take Small, Consistent Steps to Achieve Big Gains
  6. Be a Minimalist to Be a Maximalist
  7. Make the Hard Thing Easier
  8. Remember to Experience Joy

Fortunately, there is always hope. Hope that improvements will happen. Hope that you will become a stronger, better person. And hope that additional information will continue to help with that process.

As the article mentioned, with respect to the third principle, “Knowledge is always evolving and advancing—if you want to evolve and advance with it, you need to keep an open mind.”

And that, to me, is comforting.

So here’s to advancing!


Photo by ivan Torres on Unsplash

Mindset Matters

Comptrain (the daily Crossfit training guide) sent out an email today with the headline “Resilience: The Success X Factor.”

This excerpt was particularly meaningful:

When situations unravel, resilient people can muddle through, imagining possibilities where others are confounded.

My takeaway from the email was to ask myself the following questions when I’m in a situation I perceive as challenging:

What are the opportunities?

And what are you learning?

Here are some situations I face that make me feel lousy:

  • Had a “bad” interview
  • Not feeling like I am making enough
  • Feeling like I am not advancing career wise
  • A bad workout (meaning not feeling fit enough)
  • Not lifting the weight you want to lift
  • Stressed about driving (this one may take more to resolve 🙂 )

These two questions feel especially helpful with my current job situation. I feel stuck. I feel like a pivot may be necessary and I am not quite sure what that will look like. So instead of feeling helpless and miserable it is encouraging to think of the ways that I can a) see this as an opportunity and b) take some time to think about what I am learning from this situation.


In reality I am very fortunate. I have more than enough money to meet my needs, while being able to contribute in small ways to helping others. I love investing and am able to do so. I have a place to live. I have a car. I have a loving partner. I have my family. I have my friends. I have my two cats. I have a formal education. I have the ability to improve.

So what’s next?

I am not sure, but I know I will be okay. Eventually.

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