For Those Off The Wagon
Maybe you’ve given up, checked out, and you just don’t feel like you care anymore. Maybe you’ve taken a big fat bite of acceptance and compromise for the last few days, weeks, months, or even years.
You’re sitting in the dark, at the back of the classroom, and hoping no one will notice you or ask you a question because you didn’t do the homework, you didn’t read the chapter.
Maybe you’ve spent the last few months, years, or decades doing a job you don’t believe in, gaining weight, using the vast majority of your time and energy just hanging on and trying to make it to your next little vacation, to Friday, or Christmas break.
Maybe you’re telling yourself you’re a failure, it’s not worth trying, and you’re never going to get healthy or you’re definitely never going to love your body for all the things it is, instead of hating it for all the things it isn’t.
There are so many different renditions of the same quote that you need to hear right now. Not just read over, you need to reflect on them and take them in because the fork in the road you’re sitting at has been faced by every human being in the history of the world.
Winston Churchill said “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” Henry Ford is known for, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” Confucius preached, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” Dale Carnegie teaches that “Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” and a guiding principle of Malcolm Forbes was that “Failure is success if we learn from it.”.
You need to hear this if you just don’t give a damn about pursuing self-improvement anymore:
The only thing standing between you and what you want, is that you just haven't failed enough times yet.
Let me tell you something you already know: It’s really hard to change your life.
But here are some things you might not know about changing your life:
1: It’s going to feel like it isn’t worth it a lot of the time. Through phases, it’s going to feel like it isn’t worth it most of the time.
2: It’s going to be way harder than you think it is. The burst of motivation you might feel to get up and get back to work after reading this, a week from now, a month or a year from now is going to fade away completely. You have to be guided by something deeper than motivation and accept that the gaps between times of feeling passionate and motivated are bridged by unconditional commitment.
3: The feelings of defeat and self loathing are going to come roaring back with deafening intensity. You’re going to feel like you just don’t care anymore. These are, far and away, the most important moments for real change. Be infinitely thankful for these moments because this is the only moment that counts for anything. This is where change happens. This is where you choose what you really want.
4: Doing what’s right and what needs to be done when everything is easy and perfect doesn’t count for much of anything. It doesn’t change the wiring in your brain. Only adversity can do that. Successful people have learned something that normal people haven’t and never will and that’s the reality that adversity is the best thing that can happen to you.
The hard part, the real part, the important part comes when you have to choose to do what needs to be done when every fiber of your being is screaming to just take a day off, order a pizza, or skip the gym because the kids are sick, because your boss was a jerk all day, or because you haven’t seen “enough” progress in the last few weeks.
That moment is when you choose. It doesn’t “happen to you”. You make a choice. Go left where you’ve always gone right and you have officially tasted what real change is made of. Now you have to do it a few more thousand times. Yes, thousands. When you’ve done that, you’ll look around and realize you’ve accomplished something truly exceptional.
Equally important to making the hard choices when you don’t feel like it, is that you have to learn to avoid and minimize the time wasted hating yourself and wallowing in self pity when you choose the path that leads away from a better you.
Don’t forget this: You’re going to completely let yourself down one day.
No matter, how great and invincible you feel when you’re on a roll, you’re going to find yourself in the dirt again and it might be sooner than you think. Another fall off of the wagon is just another fork in the road. Letting one bad choice lead to months of mediocrity is like dropping your smartphone on the ground, seeing it has a small scratch, and deciding that you’re going to stomp on it repeatedly because it had a tiny little scuff.
You need two things: Brutal self honesty and the ability to forgive yourself for falling well short of perfection.
If you’re a member of my program and you’re ready to start down the path again but you’ve been MIA for awhile, head to the FAQ and read # 27. I’m ready to help you get going and get ready for that next opportunity where you stare adversity in the face and choose differently this time!
If you’re not a member of my program, and you’re ready to work, hit that start now button at the top right and let’s get cracking. There’s one phrase that lets me know someone isn’t really ready to change and they just wish they were: “I’ll start tomorrow.”
Later, tomorrow, Monday, after this vacation, on January 1st, or whatever arbitrary starting line you’ve set for yourself, they’re all bologna. If you mean it, you’d do it now for one simple reason: If it’s really a priority, you’re already doing it.
Are you ready?
Good or bad, everyone is a testimony to something. Be proud of what your testimony says about you.