Cushion Systems and Routines

What in the world is a “cushion system“? What does that even have to do with routines, for that matter too?

You’re probably wondering these very things. It’s fine, let’s find out what exactly I’m getting at.

Upward Mobility ^2

That reads squared, in case you’re wondering.

As life goes on, we’re encumbered by a collision of old patterns and anew. Many of these new patterns you may be trying to implement but lack the motivation and consistency to make real and substantial changes.

On the other side of the coin, maybe you are implementing these things consistently. You’re seeing lots of growth quickly in a relatively short time horizon and as with most things… motivation begins to drift. That “thing” you said you’d do “without exceptions” becomes a “I’ll just do it tomorrow“. Thus, we begin to enter the prolonged hinderance towards meaningful and lasting changes to your day-day life.

How do we get past this point?

I’ll preface this by saying from experience, it’s so easy to find excuses for not wanting to do something. Whether that be physical fitness or what have you, that inner part of your mind is quick to jolt you back and make a reason for why it can wait.

You don’t have to fall victim to it though. There are ways around it.

Meet the cushion system.

If you were to google “cushion system“, I highly doubt you’d find anything remote at what I’m about to get at. So, as a heads up, don’t do that. I created this term myself and quite frankly I’m unsure if it’s even a terminology in medical practice and/or the similar.

That said, I’ve found through firsthand experience the longer lasting changes I make come in a few factors. Each have their own motivations, events, and the similar.

  • WTF moment – ex: (I do not like the way my body looks, I should do something about it today).
  • Recollection and drive – ex: (Remember what you used to look like?)
  • Routine – ex: (You may not like it, but this is what needs to be done today).

These things flow in about that order for me. I’m a firm believer in the WTF moment. Eventually this hits everyone. Not everyone reacts in a way that warrants a healthy and proper growth pattern to get past that initial phase.

It’s truly a test of will and to be more precise, heart and passion. Which leads us to number two on the list – recollection and drive. If you have nothing driving you daily in whatever changes you’re seeking to make, you will fail. However small that drive may be, there’s an inner core in your body that motivates you to continue making consistent and lasting changes daily. Otherwise, wouldn’t we all stop after a day or two?

Thus we reach routine.

After awhile, culminating the above two on the list you find a routine-based way of life. This is when you start to reap the rewards. As with most things in life, complacency is a dangerous hinderance towards creativity and upward mobility. In other words, we must keep moving at a pace that exceeds the former. The point in time where we breach that, is neither good nor bad. It’s what we refer to as – average.

Each of us is unique not only from a genetics standpoint but, we all have our talents and skills to put forward in this life. There’s only one chance in this game though. It’s much like Call of Duty without a respawn.

Over time, you’ll find implementing changes over this path will result in your own “cushion system“. In other words, you won’t want to begin your day without following it.

Rules of the Game of Life

Some words shared to me by my father (initially from my great grandfather) are as follows, to enumerate the above.

Following is a part of a speech delivered by a college football coach at a banquet given for a Hopkinsville football squad.

It is called “Rules of the game of life; a father’s advice to his son,” and it goes like this:

I am giving you the ball, son, and naming you quarterback for your team in the game of life. I am your coach, so I’ll give it to you straight. There’s only one schedule to play. It lasts all your life, but consists of only one game. It is a long game with no time outs and no substitutions. You play the whole game all your life.

You’ve got a great backfield. You’re calling the signals but the other three fellows in the backfield with you have great reputations. They are named Faith, Hope and Charity. You’ll work behind a truly powerful line. End to end, it consists of Honesty, Loyalty, Devotion to Duty, Self-Respect, Study, Cleanliness and Good Behavior.

The goal posts are the pearly gates of heaven. God is the referee and sole official. He makes all the rules and there is no appeal from them. There are ten rules. You know them as the Ten Commandments and you play them strictly in accordance with your own religion. There is also an important ground rule. It is “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”.

Here is the ball. It is your immortal soul. Hold onto it.

Now son, get in there and let’s see what you can do with it.

W.B. McKenzie Sr. – circa 1960

There are no re-runs. Make the best of the cards dealt to you and/or your own situations. Never settle for anything less than the best. Your best is always good enough, under any and all circumstances.

Hold onto that ball and show the world what you can do with it.