I had some thought-provoking comments on my recent post titled “The Object of My Desire.” One of them, from an anonymous reader, particularly hit home:
"The magic key? Just do it. Whatever your desire, the leap from motivation to reality requires an act of will we as humans find so hard to put into gear."
I agree with Anonymous on this one. Desire, like the emotional side of love, can be a flickering flame simply because it is a feeling, and feelings are transient. When our longings for betterment are at a low ebb, sometimes that old Nike slogan (“Just do it”) is all that will keep us putting one walking-shoe-clad foot in front of the other. Anonymous said further:
"We create a voice in our heads called the coach—who tells us to stop whining and do it, do it, just do it."
Again, I agree. It sounds like A. has had some personal experience with this sort of thing, which I for one would enjoy hearing. It would be helpful if he or she responded further and tells exactly how this coach is created, as well.
"The day we finally decide we really want some action is when we have a plan, put it on paper, make everybody in the house sign it and put it on the fridge."
I found this especially interesting, as it reminded me of something that motivational author/speaker Tony Robbins included in his “The Body You Deserve” program. Tony challenges program users to complete a contract similar to the one described by Anonymous above, and to send it out to friends who can be trusted to hold one accountable. I’ll confess in the spirit of honesty in which this blog is written that I waffled a good bit over this one. I was willing to sign it at the time, or so I recall, but when it came to sending it out to friends…ah, that was another matter! In the end, I caved…to myself, not Tony. (And, obviously, I still do not have the "body that I deserve!")
Anonymous has further useful advice, such as giving ourselves a “free day” once a week, or, as some call it, a “cheat day.” As my mother commented years ago – although speaking in a much different context – you should always have something to look forward to. For some of us, knowing we have the freedom to indulge in a future “Big Mac Attack” or something similar is enough to keep us going even if we end up not indulging after all! And speaking of indulging…Joyce writes:
"For me, dieting success came only when I decided to allow myself at least a taste of whatever I really wanted, so long as I could first identify very specifically what it was I really wanted (usually chocolate). A couple of bites of really good chocolate when I'm craving it keeps me from eating bits of this and that in a search to satisfy an unidentified hunger."
Sound advice, I think, for the majority of people, although there may be some for whom this would only serve as a trigger.Thank you, Anonymous and Joyce, for the practicality of your responses. In closing, I only want to say that when I first read A.’s response, it occurred to me that perhaps the importance of desire was being downplayed too much. Matt Furey addressed this concept in his own blog last week when he talked about hunger, and not the physical kind. Matt describes the excitement of the Chinese people when it was announced that Beijing would host the 2008 Olympic Games, and why he believes they’ll take first place in gold medals two years from now:
"In one sense the Chinese have more reasons to win. They're hungrier. And youshould always be concerned about someone who is hungry. Theyfight harder than those who are well fed. And they fight longer."*
He continues with an obvious yet so often overlooked insight:
"America, sadly, has become a nation of people who are overfed – and this has led to a lack of desire or hunger for MORE. We've become too comfortable - and too much comfort is NOT a good thing as it interferes with expansion of your talents."*
Amen, brother. In the future I’ll be looking at this subject yet again, as I believe it is a vitally important one. While sheer will is sometimes a necessity, desire is the gas that fuels the car. As I review techniques on increasing desire, both in Matt’s programs and in others such as the great Maxwell Maltz’s “Psycho-Cybernetics,” I’ll be sharing them with you, so stay tuned.
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A while back I introduced you to a young man named Sean Perkey, who has embarked on a remarkable quest to lose half his body weight. As it’s been several weeks since I checked in on him, I thought it was time to see what he’s been up to. His July 23 entry – “Mommy…I’m Scared of the Spandex Monster…” is alone worth the price of admission (which is actually free, by the way). Sean has faced his fear of the gym head-on, and his description of his experiences there are alternately hilarious and insightful. Actually, that could be said of all his posts. So click on over to http://www.watchmyloss.com/ and cheer this guy on. And while you’re there, why not make a donation, if even of a few bucks, to the American Diabetes Association. Sean – and many others – will thank you!
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Before I get to this week’s “Tool of the Trade,” I want to thank reader "HaggardMom" for pointing out a caveat about flax seed, which was featured in my July 3rd post. She has read that whole seeds are hard to digest, so it's probably better to grind them up. I'll be sure to look into this, and I hope to hear from you again, HM!
This week the spotlight shines on yet another product of the inimitable Matt Furey. “Kick Ass – Take Names: Confessions of a Fitness and Fighting Guru” is the title of a collection of his blog entries, which address everything from the best time of day for training, to a cough remedy you’ll find right in your kitchen, to “Five Key Secrets to Superior Health,” all written in Matt’s customary shoot-from-the-hip style. Also included are demonstrations of various exercises and Matt’s letter to his young son, Frank, written just before the latter turned three years old, not to mention photos of Frank imitating his old man - at the ripe age of 18 months! You can get more information at www.mattfurey.com.
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As I mentioned last week, I started doing a beginner Shaolin monk workout this month. While I haven’t yet finished the routine, I can honestly say it’s been an interesting – and sometimes downright humorous – experience. If you want to hear more, check back next week for “Funny…I Don’t Feel Like a Warrior.”Until then, keep on treading!