“The first step in getting what you want is deciding what it is you want.” — Ben Stein
Sounds obvious, right? Surprisingly, it’s harder than it sounds. Most people don’t know what they want. It looks like they do, but they really don’t. Sure, they want lots of money, a nice house, a healthy body … but also want lots of stuff, days off and a chance to relax, watching the game while eating some nachos and drinking a cold one.
Most of these wants are opposed. People want to have lots of money … but they don’t want to work, and would definitely prefer not working hard. People want a clean, healthy body … but they want to eat all the same foods and would would definitely prefer not to go to the gym very often, or ever even.
To get what you want, you legitimately need to ask yourself, what do I want?
When it comes to self-improvement, we’re often cynical creatures. You know what I’m talking about. Somebody says, “I’m going to get in shape,” or, “I’m going to go on a diet and lose 15lbs,” and we internally roll our eyes. We’re not being mean, and we’ll often wish them good luck and all that, but we’re realistic. We’ll believe it when we see it. And really, can you blame us? Talk is cheap, and we hear a lot of talk. I can’t count how often I’ve heard a friend or colleague say they plan to do X, and then two weeks later they are already back to normal. Most self-improvement plans fall short, and fall short quickly at that.
That said, sometimes you see something that makes you pause. Maybe you see someone going for a 5km run when it’s raining outside, and then you think, “Wow, he’s really serious.” He had the perfect excuse, bad weather, but he went out anyway. That takes commitment. Maybe he really can do this. Our doubt begins to lessen, because this isn’t just talk, this is action.
At least he saves time by not needing a shower afterwards.
This last week, I’ve done my own version of running in the rain, and it involved eating eggs. Eating filthy, disgusting eggs. Continue reading →
There’s a reason I’ve been so gung-ho about this, and it’s because one day I really didn’t want to do my workout. I had about eight-thousand excuses, and I listened to them. I agreed: today would not be a good day for a workout. The problem was if not today, when? The rest of my week is booked solid with commitments, and if I leave it until the weekend I’ve gone a whole week without. That’s not good.
Victory is sweet. We all know that. There’s a thrill, a rush of accomplishment when you win, when you defeat your adversary. Whether it’s sports or games, soccer or scrabble, victory feels good. In fact, the greater the adversary the greater the thrill. Defeating an opponent against all odds is one of the greatest and most powerful feelings you can get.
So everyone else didn’t believe? Shut up, Wallace.
I know this feeling well. As a former competitive martial artists, nothing feels better than victory … and nothing worse than defeat. Currently, my focus is on chess. Over the last year, I’ve played 59 games, winning 47 while drawing 9 … and I would trade them all away, every single one, to have this one defeat erased from my memory. Continue reading →
One month in, and 2016 is not off to the best start.
In a word, I bit off more than I could chew. I tried to do too much, filling my days with task after task only to be left with no time, no energy and no motivation to do it again tomorrow. Within just a few days I basically abandoned everything I set out to do.
I’m perhaps being overly dramatic, but in general, this month has been a failure. Better luck in February. Here, let me categorize in depth each one of my failings. Continue reading →
We all know fitness is important to our health. Working out keeps us in shape, improves our physique, enchances our immune system, makes us feel better and has countless more benefits, both large and small. Why, working out sounds like the best thing we can do! We should do it every day! Multiple times a day! Every few hours!
What time is it? Workout time!
And if you follow this line of reasoning, you pretty quickly find that too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. In this particular example, you spend all your time working out, which means you don’t have any time to do anything else, including rest and recovery. You push your body so much that it has no chance to repair, and soon instead of building yourself up you begin tearing your body apart.
This actually happens with just about everything, including most of my life right now. Continue reading →
Excuses are the easiest things to make in the world. You can make an excuse out nothing. Need a reason not to do something? Just reach for an excuse. Suddenly molehills become mountains and you have a thousand reasons to delay, put off or even abandon whatever you want.
A mole the size of a mountain would be pretty scary, now that I think about it.
This is timely, because we are now three weeks into January. If you’ve set any New Year’s goals or resolutions, and you survived the first week, awesome. You rock. You passed the first hurdle, but here comes the second. This is probably the biggest one, the third week. Whether you are doing exercise or a diet or whatever, the third week is often where things get on track for good or fall apart, never to recover. Continue reading →
Something rather terrible has happened the last three days. Well, maybe terrible is an exaggeration. It’s not as if anyone died or had any health complications. In fact, not a heck of a lot has happened, but that’s exactly the problem. For three days I’ve done not a heck of a lot. I’ve went to work … and that’s it. I have done nothing else.
If I had mad photoshop skills, I’d change that to 24 hours.
I have goals. I was super excited to start 2016 and to start realizing them. For the first five days or so, I absolutely rocked them. I did everything I wanted to and then some. Then I had a busy day at work and seemingly lost any sense of motivation or desire. I have been ‘relaxing’ for three days. Nothing wrong with taking some time to yourself, but 72 hours is a little excessive. I need to get back on track … but I seemingly have to force myself. I have lost all motivation, somehow. Continue reading →
No point in hiding it: when I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel like doing anything. It took me about 40 minutes to crawl out of bed, go the bathroom and eat breakfast. I then spent about 20 minutes just sitting and staring. Not anything particular, just sitting and staring. I guess when you don’t feel like doing anything, that’s about all that you can do.
I was supposed to do my workout today. I do two full-body workouts each week, Wednesday and Sunday. That leaves maximal amount of time in between to rest and recover, and it also gives me time to do an extra workout or something else if I have extra energy. I train at a pretty intense level, though, so I really use those recovery days. I train with such intensity, in fact, but I had no desire today to do that. I wouldn’t do a good job with my current mental mindset. Continue reading →
A few months ago I made the decision to publish something every day for this blog. Not just write, publish. When I first started this blog I told myself I’d write something every day, and I largely did. I’d write a sentence here or a paragraph there; I’d write and rewrite my ‘About Me’ section, often adding or subtracting tiny little details that didn’t matter; I wrote several rough drafts that to this day sit unedited and unloved in my hard drive somewhere. I did a lot of writing, it just didn’t lead anywhere. Continue reading →