The Problem with Almost Living

Today, I was in a workout. For me, working out is something I haven’t done a lot of over the past 11 years. That is a sad reality, because I spent the first 18 years of my life as a very active person. When I went to college, I stopped valuing physical activity. I have been someone who works out for spurts of time. Sometimes a week, 6 weeks, or a few months. I haven’t been a person who has kept myself at a high level of physical conditioning. That being said, this is not advice on how to stay in shape. Talk to a physical trainer for that. This is a lesson I re-learned today.

I had gone through 2 rounds of circuit training this morning. I was exhausted. Sweating. Wondering why I woke up so early. And the negative voices started to speak.

“You usually quit after a few weeks anyway.”

“You’re too tired. Head home.”

Maybe the most tempting voice was this one. “You’ve already put in good work today. Isn’t that enough?”

I walked back to do another round of squats. Someone had taken the weights from the squat rack and was using them elsewhere. I’d have to set up another rack. At the beginning of the workout, that’s no problem. Today, it served as a great excuse to be done with my workout. I walked to the locker room to wash the sweat off my face. I wasn’t dizzy, but things were a little blurry.

“You’ve done enough. Just go home.”

Seeing a little bit more clearly. Wipe some sweat off my face again. I begin the walk across the gym. It would be enough. This was enough.

Almost. The problem was the workout wasn’t complete. I would think about the final round I didn’t do all day. I wouldn’t be satisfied later with the other 2. I would be frustrated that I didn’t finish what I started.

I walked back over to set up the rack for squats. Got a motivational song going. Then I attacked the rest of my workout. When I finished, I put a check next to every part of my workout. That was an awesome feeling. I am writing this now, because I found the value in finishing again.

Almost is a big word. It is a word that can fill us with regret. You can almost do a lot of things. The problem with almost living is that it isn’t the real thing. It almost is. There is no relief to the challenge of life when you’re almost living. There is no catharsis at the end of almost.

Almost is a shortcut costing you a lot of fulfillment.

What are some things you almost do?

Almost give your life to God. Almost love your family. Almost apologize. Almost reconcile. Almost live your dreams. Almost tell the truth. Almost be courageous. Almost finish the workout.


If you’re tired of almost living, then I encourage you to do one thing.

Do it.


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