I used to be an avid attendee of a boxing class at my old gym. The workout was great and, in between really bad jokes, the instructor occasionally shared some insightful phrases. “If your abs look good your whole body looks good” and “a moving target is a better target” are two that really stuck with me. The first one is self-explanatory, so I’ll elaborate a bit on the second one.
What he was talking about was punching a heavy bag instead of training with a partner holding the pads for you. Training partners are great when they know how to make you work, but what usually happens is that they direct the pads to where is easy for you to punch (“throw the pads at you”, as Omar usually says), defeating the purpose of you having to think and react. However, if you punch a bag, it will swing around in an unpredictable manner, forcing you to move around and adjust your punches accordingly.
You can think the same way of “targets” in life: different situations in front of you that you cannot control. It’s not easy to deal with them; they force you to adapt and respond quicker. They make you a better fighter.
There are different ways of approaching this concept. While sitting around waiting for challenging situations to show up can certainly work, I prefer a more proactive approach. That’s why I try so many different things: to widen my skillset. On the mental level, I find it helps with fighting 2 of the 5 basic disturbing emotions: attachment (to situations that become habitual) and pride (which is under attack each time we find something difficult to understand or master).