People often ask what one big, monumental, life-changing thing they can do to improve their health, diet, lifestyle, love life, parenting, fitness, etcetera, etcetera. My answer is always, “Start with yourself, then, make the best choice you can with what you presently have available.” The only thing that needs to change is your attitude, your discipline, your habits, and your actions. That applies to a workout, a meal, a goal, a way to help someone, a choice for companionship or simply choosing a book to read or a movie to enjoy. Whatever suits your time, your goals, your abilities, your moods, your finances, and is within grasp, or reachable. Some things require a dedicated timeline and patience. Some are right in front of your face, and can be grasped by simply reaching for them.
With all the self-help seminars, webinars, coaching, classes, boot camps, retreats, podcasts, books, tapes, continuing education, accelerated learning apps, and so-called, self-professed “experts” in every imaginable field, from professional bodybuilding to fly tying, your choices are vast and often questionable, not to mention, confusing. Following intuition, trusting in word-of-mouth referrals and good old-fashioned common sense are still the best barometers to any advice you seek. “Use your head, follow your heart, watch your wallet.”
The best path to mastery is still trial, error, feedback, perseverance and consistency. You must know when to dive deeper, and when to bail out. You must not only have the right tools, but must know the appropriate use of them. And you must ignore the ego when the pursuit doesn’t fit the pursuer. Sometimes you just have to let go of a desire and shelve it with other whims.
NARROW IT DOWN
For every study on the benefits of a certain vitamin, there’s an equal study to counter its significance. For every blueprint to a perfect proposal, a fantastic start-up, or a successful launch, there’s a handful of others who did none of those things, yet, surpassed the success of the said “expert”, by letting faith, persistence and passion lead them blindly to the golden ring.
So what can you do?
Decide what you want.
Learn the process, steps, timeline, methods.
People get stuck on what they “can’t” do, without fully attempting to see what they can, whether it’s exercise, diet, job search, building project or lifestyle change. Do what you can. Prove to your mind and body that you’re capable of “something,” then add more things to the list. Failure is a stepping stone, as long as you’re not skydiving.
First and foremost, be your own guinea pig. Try things out on yourself. Try to cut back carbs, or sugar, or soda, or whatever you’re doing that brings more harm than good; before enlisting or enforcing these changes on anyone else. Be the example. Eat better. Sleep better. Act better. Speak better. Read and share information. Learn meditation. Pursue things without the need for an accomplice. Often, at least at first, they’ll hold you back and become your excuse for not doing things. Once they see your serious intent and accomplishments, they’ll ask you “how.” They will then be the willing accomplice.
Small, subtle changes are contagious. Put down the remote and pick up a book prior to bed. Replace coffee with teas, water and pure juices for pop, a walk after a meal instead of dessert. Most of these things relate to diet, but those changes will bring the most results. You’ll feel like sharing the goodness you’ll feel, which will lead to more research on how to continue to enhance your lifestyle.