Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demands (SAID)

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When I first heard this term it was reference to my workouts. SAID works in that let’s say I am beginning a workout and I run a mile each day netting seven miles a week. My body will begin to change as I implement the workout but that change will stop as my body hits a plateau or rather, adapts to the imposed demand of the seven miles. In order to get my body back to changing I will have to do something different like run 1.5 miles a day and therefore increasing my weekly mileage.

How do we apply this to all aspects of our lives and not just our exercise routine? Our life for the most part, is continually adapting to the imposed demands we place on it. If you want a different career, then you must impose demands on your life that are different than those you currently have. You will have to impose the demands of learning new skills, revamping your resumé, networking and you get the picture it’s all about change. To get a different result you have to impose new changes.

Could it be that our lives are stuck in situations that we say are out of our control because our specificity has not been demanding enough for change to actually occur? While we are great at pointing the finger at situations, people and circumstances the choices are ultimately ours to make and the demands we place on our lives whether too many or not enough are of our own doing.

I found myself a month or so ago looking at a sore spot in my life. They happen to everyone but I had asked someone who I consider to have a better perspective on this thing I was going through to hold me accountable for my part in this deal. I wrote down every single feeling, appropriate or not and every action and reaction again appropriate or not and let it all be bare before the person I had chosen to be accountable to. There wasn’t much feedback in the way of words but prayer I know was happening. Something happened in the writing of it all I realized that the problem wasn’t going away; I had to change my mind about things. I had to impose demands on myself rather than adapt. I had to determine that my problem was mine to fix. I could not change the adaptation on the part of others and their imposed demands on their life but I could change mine. That is, after all, the only thing required of me.

Transformation in its truest form is about changing the demands placed on the situation. It seems quite simple but actually it’s a daily commitment to change. Just like my workout had gotten stale so had my perspective on this area of my life. Anything and I do mean anything that requires a different result in your life must be met with new imposed demands. Those demands will need to be changed again and again as muscles in that area of your life are torn down and rebuilt bigger and better.

The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. This is an incredible number of thoughts yet the facts are that normally we have the same perspective day after day. To change our lives we must change the thoughts. Impose those thoughts that will propel you forward instead of those which cause you to adapt. Making small changes in your thoughts daily will eventually create specificity to the new shape of things in your life.

2 thoughts on “Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demands (SAID)

  1. Ok, this made me think of things I’m failing to change and commitments I haven’t felt able to stick to because of the circumstances in my life currently. I’ve explained it away, rationalized my lack and failed to conclusively convince myself that my delays were my fault.

    Yet I adapted to something that actually works in the long for my goals.

    Thinking about this through your blog this morning I realized I had adapted to the situation and was meeting my goals another way.

    My commitment to work on recording an album’s worth of songs has been delayed time and again by the job I’m on. But this job is constructing a new recording studio for a friend of mine (it’s big enough for several major bands to track their albums there, among them Kutlass). In the process of working for this guy, I have been giving him a certain amount of time in exchange for a new recording rig, complete with mics, a sound board and an oak desk.

    I thought I was failing my goals to work twice a month on my project but realized today that I’ve been meeting that goal by sacrificing a day’s wages toward a better system. Also in the process, I met a man who is working with some pretty famous people mastering their albums (he rents one of the new rooms from the guy I’m working for), among them one of Prince’s background singers. I thought I was just being faithful at construction, but in the process of working with him on his new room we became friends and now he’s willing to mix my albums at below cost or in exchange for helping him with other construction projects.

    Sometimes we need to keep our eyes open to the opportunities at hand because they might be fulfilling our goals in another unexpected way.

  2. This blog was a great food for personal thought! Three weeks ago or so, I went to a women’s prayer vigil. I had a thought lingering in my mind and mouth for a while. I was speaking it out left and right and beginning to convince myself I had no way out. Then, at that prayer meeting, I got a word from a sister who prayed over me, “If you want to change what you see, then step up! The Lord says there is more if you hunger for it.”

    I began to see how little by little, as you have said, I adapted to the situation around me. Unsatisfied with the results, I began to “conform” to it instead of renewing myself. Now , I’ve taken a new perspective on this matter challenging myself to tackle from another angle to obtain different results…began with a change of heart/mind.

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