All... or Nothing. These are not two separate destinations- they are points on a scale. But we often use 'all' or 'nothing' as the only measures for success- just two points by which to gauge our experience.
Maybe it's a subtle point- it's so embedded in our way of thinking. We're either Working out, or not. We're productive or lazy. Happy or sad. Relaxed or Anxious. Settled or Angry. Failing or Succeeding.
We call it 'binary thinking'- two states, opposite of each other. One is preferred, and one is to be avoided.
The effect is so limiting! All the territory in between the two points- skipped over, ignored and invisible. It's so much better to live in the middle ground. But how do we do it, when our way of speaking pulls us into these opposites?
Well, it's complicated. The first step is to have more words. Words that describe the colourful zone of meanings and qualities of being between the Black and White. Words like: irritated, annoyed, dreamy, contemplative, thoughtless, planful, strategizing, problem-solving, moving, resting, jumpy, energetic, settled, sleepy, sorrowful, gloomy, saddened, enlivened, social, curious, interested, reflective...
The next step is to have more detail about the action that exists between Start and Finish. The thinking and dreaming, the turning over of options, the playing, creating, speculating, choosing, exploring, deciding, planning and collecting and researching, the preparing and clearing and settling and the beginning to act. The moment to moment, the step by step, the backwards, the problem, the set-back, the re-grouping and re-directing, the gathering together and the next step. Momentum, and progress, and the stillness and reflection and rest.
All of it counts, all of it is part of the process, no matter what the project is- a renovation or a relationship, making a new habit or breaking an old one. Naming and claiming all the stages and steps and states is what makes life bright, detailed and full of colour.
Practice finding more words to describe your life, and see what happens...