Get up, son. Do work.
I have tried writing this post a few times over the last few days. I wrote notes by hand and started 2 or 3 drafts that I scrapped. Take III (or IV):
The original versions were about weight maintenance. Anyone who has successfully lost weight will tell you that keeping it off is way harder than losing it. Even I can tell you that much as I still struggle with it. Though I might be pulling this statistic out of my butt, something like 95% of people who lose weight gain it back (or more). In fact, most obese and overweight individuals have lost a significant amount of weight in the past.*
That all being said, the one thought that kept returning to me was the concept of attitude. The idea sounds cliche and a little preachy, but hear me out.
Attitude is so important I don’t even know where to begin.
I may not always be Miss Skippy Sunshine & Daisies. In fact, I am my own worst critic (who isn’t?). I realize this is one of my shortcomings and have been concentrating very hard this past fall on knocking back the self-hate. Even when I gain 6 lbs from eating crap for 4 days straight on my Thanksgiving trip. So what? I’m home, I’m back to eating normally, and half of it is already gone without stressing for a minute.
For any endeavor, in any part of your life, if you begin it believing that you will fail, you will probably fail. If you hold on to fat pants because you believe you can’t keep the weight off, you probably won’t. If you don’t think you’ll get into graduate school, how much effort are you going to put into that admissions essay? Or talking to professors? Or networking?
You have to decide you’re going to succeed and then make yourself believe it.
As I typed that out, it occurred to me that, THAT is the mindset draws the line for people (or at least it did for me). Successful people don’t succeed because they’re genetically superior or possess more talent. They succeed because they embrace their weaknesses and work every.single.day. to be better at them. And if they fail, they try again.
Until it’s done.
Mediocre people try. They may or may not believe they can and may or may not accomplish what they set out to do. Sh*tty people don’t even try.
Self-Handicapping & Self Depreciation
At the risk of sounding like a pompous know-it-all, I will drop a knowledge bomb. Everyone struggles. Everyone. MLB pitchers didn’t always have perfect arms. The powerlifting elite couldn’t always pull 7 gazillion pounds using their only their pinky fingers to grip. J. Lo didn’t always have a rockin’ insurance policy on her butt and sometimes super models eat a bite of cake. I don’t care who you are; you aren’t flawless.
Making excuses for your actions is justifying why you aren’t perfect. As if others are…? It’s like admitting defeat before you’ve stepped on the field. Making self depreciating comments is almost worse than excuses. It’s okay to not be content with everything about yourself. It’s not okay to give up, joke it off on the outside, and keep beating yourself up on the inside.
If you really want something bad enough, you’ll do whatever is required to get it. Want that PhD? Say goodbye to sleep. Want to be a rock star? Play guitar until your fingers bleed. If you do not really want something (and I mean REALLY want it), you are not going to prioritize it. Until the day comes when you are willing to make your goal a priority, don’t hate on yourself for not doing it.
If you are ready to prioritize that goal, then get up, son. Do work.
And keep doing work even if your goal is 5 days, weeks, months, or years away. Even when you can not see the end. Even when you think you’ve failed and it feels like no one on the planet understands what it is you want to accomplish.
*To my readers who have lost weight and are terrified of this statistic, know this: it scares me too and is one of my greatest fears. In my heart of hearts though, I do not believe anyone is doomed to any fate just because of a number. Be the exception, not the rule.