It’s the end of the year. In a few days we’ll all be making those New Year’s resolutions and promises of changes to come. As much as I’ve ridiculed resolutions in the past and encouraged change, regardless of the day on the calendar, I still feel the New Year’s crunch coming on as sharply as anyone else. This year let’s all do something different. Let’s cut the crap, stop the insanity, and commit to change we can actually accomplish. No more shortcuts, gimmicks, or BS, just the facts and the real processes that will get us the results we dream of. Whether that change is in health, fitness, career, financial, or personal it’s up to you.
Let’s commit to stop looking for shortcuts and focus on just getting the work done. I ran into this a lot in my career as a CrossFit trainer and Coach. Most people walking through the gym door on January 2nd, won’t be looking for the truth: fitness is a long process filled with tedious repetitive habits, discipline, sacrifice and hard work. What they want is the cut down six-weeks to a six pack version they see edited on TV, and YouTube. Don’t be a dupe and don’t fall for this scam. If you find yourself unfit, overweight, or in poor health today, chances are it took a lot longer than six-weeks to get you there. Habits, months and years of bad habits, led you to the gym door. It will take the equivalent in healthy habits to reverse all that and make lasting change.
The same thinking applies to business success and relationships as well. The edited fairy-tales you see on the screen of your phone, tablet, and TV leave out the mundane hard work, failures, do overs, and months and years of simply doing the work to make things happen. It’s not that people are hiding the boring stuff from their audiences, it’s that they know people don’t want to see it. Would you watch 6 hours of someone shooting practice free throws, or do you want to see the game winning basket live on TV. The practice free throws are the process, the game winning basket was the result. Without the process the result is impossible but we still focus on the result and give it the most attention. We all want instant love and get rich quick secrets, even though in our hearts we know it’s not the whole picture; we can’t help ourselves. There is no replacement for doing the work. Look at your own life, its successes and failures. You know its true.
Stop looking for “Hacks!” Hack is another word for shortcut. These often come in the form of supplements, or extreme behavioral changes, diet trends, and physical activities. At the end of the day trying to re-engineer your body’s operating system to compensate for bad habits and a lifestyle promoting ill health does not make one clever or clued-in. It makes you delusional and a ticking time bomb. You can run outside and practice the Wim Hoff method in the snow until frostbite takes your nipples. If you’re still eating shit, and drinking like an alcoholic you’re not changing anything other than the lies you tell yourself. Here’s an idea, get some good sleep, de-stress, cut the booze and junk-food, and focus on trying to be a somewhat decent human being. You’d be amazed how much your health improves.
Finally in the New Year stop being a victim. Stop blaming other people for your problems. Start pointing the finger at the real culprit, hint, hint, it’s you. It’s not just the millennials and tweeners complaining and whining these days. In fact its becoming pretty widespread across all age groups, races, and locations. Everyone “deserves,” everyone wants what they’re due. Many of us feel like slaves in this modern economy, left behind by success, and left out of the prosperity of others. We want what we see on YouTube and Instagram. We want that perfect, exciting, fulfilling life.
If we are slaves its because we forged the chains ourselves with our consumerism beliefs, habits, and demands for instant gratification. While we have been conditioned to act and feel this way (our very economy relies on it,) no one is keeping us down. There is no evil empire standing on our throats keeping us from the wealth and success we deserve! There are companies, businesses, and individuals who profit from our own laziness, and complacency though. It is in their best financial interests to encourage us to spend and buy instead of producing and making ourselves. They go to great lengths to make their products and services and psychologically irresistible as possible. Don’t begrudge them their wealth because they know us better than we know oursleves.
Before we start asking where our share of the wealth is we need to start asking ourselves, what value have we brought to our world. It is comfortable to blame society, and corporations, even our parents for our rotten, boring, mundane lives. These are things and entities largely beyond our control and therefore not our fault. Something we can control is the value we bring to others. What problems do you solve? What need do you fill? Are you making life better for someone else in a way that’s profitable? Find that value and deliver it and you’ll set yourself free.