I was at work the other day, and I found myself questioning my strength. Following a long day of labor, in which I spent 8 or so hours in the Florida sun, I proceeded to eat, shower, change, and go to the gym. I bumped into someone I know, upon my arrival, and was questioned about my day. I explained the job that we worked on, and skimmed through our list of required tasks. Through his twisted brow, I could sense his mind was in great wonder. He then asked me how I "even have the strength to be in here". I responded with a blank stare; attempting to conjure up some witty response, like how I have some sort of supernatural ability (which, for curiosity purposes, I do NOT have). Needless to say, I made it through the workout with ease, and with a high level of strength.
I was left with something other than a good workout. I was left with a
complex thought and perception of myself. The topic? Strength.
I think about the word strength, several types of strength come to
mind; mental, spiritual, and of course physical strength. [Yes, for some
reason, many thoughts of mine tend to come in threes. Which I have
deemed as unintentional, yet there may be a psychological meaning behind
it (lucky number 3?).] As with most of my complex thoughts, I allow
myself the time to think about, and analyze them. As a result, I have
come up with interesting conclusions and discoveries; which relate to my
life, but strength as a whole, as well.
would define mental strength as the capacity that ones brain can be
functioning at its highest rate, reaching its greatest capability. Well
that's a mouthful! And it sounds like a Webster's definition. No, I did
not look up the definition (if a documented definition even exists).
What I have defined mental strength as, is actually very simple and easy
to understand. I believe that everyone has different mental
capabilities. Everyone's brain varies, giving people different
abilities. The abilities are usually measured in some sort of intellect
or intelligence. That being said, I do not believe that mental strength
can solely be measured by intellect and intelligence. Yes, I believe
that they play a great part in ones mental strength and capacity, but I
do not believe that they are the sole variables in the measurement of
strength. Questions arise: What about sanity? What about the fluctuation
of emotions? What about being able to suppress feelings, in order to
complete different tasks in life? What about the actual ability to be
able to complete the said task? And wait a minute, how does this relate
to me again? I measure my mental strength by three different things: 1.
My emotions 2. My intelligence 3. My ability to survive. Emotions are
mental. They develop in the brain, and influence the nervous system of
the body (which begins in the brain anyway). Intelligence in developed
in the brain as well. Different parts of the brain work together, with
the result being some sort of intelligence. My ability to survive, I
would give the title as 'natural instincts'. These may be genetic,
developmental, influential, or a combination of the three. Either way,
it is in my brain, which these 'instincts' come from, enabling me with
survival. With the perfection of these three variables, working to their
greatest ability, my mental strength is at its greatest capability.
would define spiritual strength as the greatest relationship one has
with God. That being said, it is not an easy task to define spiritual
strength. Over the past couple of years, I have been in a great focus on
my spirituality. I have come a long way to have the ability to EVEN
define spiritual strength! Although I may be able to give a definition
of spiritual strength today, I know that I would not have been able to,
even as recently as a year ago. With that, measuring spiritual strength
is an even harder task. I believe that everyone's faith has a
variability to it. In other words, everyone's relationship with God is
different (yes, choosing not to believe in God is still a relationship
with God...just ignoring Him. Catch my drift?). I live my life with a
Christian faith and Christian beliefs. Therefore, I believe that my
spiritual strength is measured by my relationship with God, and mainly
with Jesus. How have I grown to learn this? It has become more and more
evident, as I dig into my spirituality, that a relationship with Christ
is the most important thing in life. How can I back up this statement?
In the old testament of the bible, it is centrally focused on having a
relationship with God. As the new testament is written, the focus
shifts. The focus does not go away from God, but it gives us a new
focus, making it easier to reach God (Jesus). Having a relationship with
Him is of utmost importance in order to strive to be spiritually in
line, with the one whom spirituality came from. How do I perfect this
strength? Or how do I become stronger in this relationship? Well, the
bible talks about having to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). I think
that the faith and the belief in God, through Christ, is how we reach
the greatest spiritual strength. Several things can assist in the
achievement of this greater relationship in spiritual strength: prayer,
reading His word (the bible), and living as Jesus did (although a very
general statement, I believe there are certain things that we should and
should not be doing that coordinate with how Jesus lived His life). If
these three are done to their greatest ability, then the greatest
spiritual strength can and will be reached.
one everyone should know. It's too easy right? Let me take a stab at
it. Physical strength can be defined as the ability to perform tasks to
their greatest physical capability. And how would physical strength be
measured? People have different ways of measuring physical strength.
Most would ask someone who goes to the gym, "how much do you bench?". I
find it sickening that people can use one task, and base a measurement
of strength on how that ONE task is performed. This applies to all
aspects of physical strength, not just for the gym rats. I think
physical strength is also measured by stamina. We have a certain level
that we can perform at our greatest physical exertion. It is then, that
one has reached their greatest physical stamina. Is that the only
barometer for measuring physical strength? No. I believe that the
ability to move things plays into physical strength as well. To measure
that, ones muscularity would have to be measured. But muscle structure
does not define strength. Muscle is built as a result of recovering from
tearing the muscle in the first place. The obvious seems true, that the
larger muscle mass, the stronger the person. That may be true in
certain aspects, but what ever happened to the expression, "it's not the
dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog"!? So how would I define the
measurement of my physical strength? I would define it as the greatest
ability to continuously perform the task at hand (very similar to my
original definition). I believe that it isn't just the ability to lift
or move things, it is also the ability to move or lift those things
necessary to complete a task, over the given period it takes to carry it
out (no pun intended).
Although I have been able to associate a
definition, and a broad way of measuring [or not measuring] three
different strengths, I have come to a grave conclusion. The greatest
strength cannot be measured...at all! I believe that strength in certain
things can be measured, but I find it impossible to clearly define how
great ones strength truly is. Why? Well, what do we have to measure
against ones strength? Yes, we can use specific tests and intricate
devices, but what is it measuring strength to...a formulated mean or
average? That doesn't help in measuring strength, because simply
measuring apples to apples doesn't show ones will, drive, or resolve.
There is another aspect that is immeasurable. The "it" factor, I suppose
they call it. Allow me to translate it into layman's terms. We are all
given different genes. With the genes, we have different abilities.
Different strengths in different aspects. All which is immeasurable
because we are forever developing and learning. With development comes
an alteration in traits. With the alteration in traits, comes a change
in strength(s). I assume the goal is to grow to develop the greatest all
around strength in all aspects, which today, I deem as impossible to
achieve within ones lifetime.
But hey, you tell me...