Not everyone needs to be switched on while doing some activity.
Some of us just want to zone out and get some time for the brain to work on other things. This is why you see a lot of people talk about taking long walks and coming back with a solution to whatever was bothering them. The time given to the brain to float around seems to do some magic. It allows us to relax the brain.
Of course, if you are lifting weights at the gym, you should've done enough practice to ensure that proper lifting techniques are automatic and you are not lifting heavy. This is definitely doable - think of when you are driving and automatically doing a bunch of things while staying safe.
Not everyone needs to enjoy the gym.
Some people know they need to go to the gym and make it happen. They might not like it much. But they know it is necessary. Using a podcast or music or TV, they clock in, do the work, and get out.
Not everyone likes to watch a serious movie.
Some of us like to watch shitty movies (or shitty TV shows.) Because it allows us to detach. You do whatever works for you.
A lot of people run (or walk) for the meditative state. For alone time. The fitness outcomes are a bonus. They would still continue to do the running, even if those outcomes were not present.
Everyone has different goals.
Everyone has different motives.
Everyone has different approaches.
The goal might be to just show up.
The goal might be to have a fitness habit.
The goal might be to use fitness as a keystone habit.
Or the goal might be vague. Or even unknown.
The goal will change.
The approach will change.
Folks who go running might start lifting weights.
Folks who are lifting heavy might choose to play sports for a few years.
There is no one-size-fits-all.
Your approach, your goals, and your mindset will evolve.
It will keep changing.
It might be circular.
Everything works. Including doing nothing.
What works today might not be the right answer tomorrow.
The key is that you are aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Do it because you want to do it that way. Not because everyone around you is doing that. Not because your feed tells you that.
Instead, listen to yourself.
Do things your way.
Listen to your body.
Listen to what is working for you.
That is the only way you will last.