I go to the gym roughly 3 to 5 days a week. I do so more for mental than physical reasons. I find working out to be one of the best stress relief tools. Breaking a sweat releases endorphins which make us feel good. I do my best to hit every area of the body, but I discovered I am missing some of the most important muscles.

This is CJ Fletcher, one of the fitness people I enjoy listening to. He, like myself, had open-heart surgery. He, like myself, died on the table. He did it 3 times, however! When he came back he was more determined than ever. He blends fitness with motivational and educational messages here.

This is Tony Robbins, the man who first got me interested in self-improvement over 20 years ago. CJ and Tony both mentioned working some muscles we don’t think of. When you work your arms, the more you do it, the stronger it becomes. When that happens, it can handle a bigger load. The same is true for your legs, your abs, your back and any other of the physical muscles. Most of us know this.

What we might not think of is the same holds true of our spiritual, mental and emotional muscles as well. The more we practice being patient, the better we become. The more patient we become, the bigger load our patience can handle. In our modern world, that’s a good thing. Before you run out to wait at the DMV, be aware there will be plenty of opportunities to workout this muscle presented to you. At the grocery store and the little old lady ahead of you has 50 coupons? You are working out. Waiting for your coffee and the person ahead of you has been arguing that they did not get 5.78 ice cubes? Yep, you’re working out.

It is not just patience that you can workout. Controlling your temper? That’s a good workout. Learning how to love your partner better? That’s a workout! There are so many muscles to be worked out that we might not think of. When life seems to be giving us a hard time, step back, take a breath and say, “thanks for the workout! I’ll be stronger next time!”

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