Last week I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I was struck by all of the excuses that those interviewed had for not changing their diets –too many processed foods, not enough (or any!) fruits and vegetables.
The excuses ranged from:
“I can’t. I don’t have any will power. I’m weak.”
“I’m here for a few good years and I’m going to eat what I want.”
And from the outside looking in, the excuses really seemed pathetic. Is your next fast food burrito (insert favorite bad food here) really that good that you’d rather have it than get rid of your migraines? or your diabetes? or your heart disease? or your chronic fatigue?
Do you really want to take pills the rest of your life, whether prescription or otherwise, to alleviate your symptoms? Do you have a clue what those pills are doing to your body? In addition to the bad food that you refuse to stop eating?
But wait a sec…. this post is not about food. It’s about excuses.
We all make them.
But if you press pause on them, stare at them, magnify them even a little, you begin to see how truly lame they are.
A healthy body?
A growing spiritual life?
To get out of debt?
A new job?
What are you willing to do to get there? What are you willing to change, to stop, to start, to give up, to get it?
Are you willing to scale back on work (and as a result, income and lifestyle) so you can give your child more of you?
Are you willing to give up conventional and convenience foods to improve your overall health?
Are you willing to give up one hour of sleep, one our of Facebook or one hour in front of the TV, daily, to spend real time in prayer, journaling and studying the Word?
Are you willing to get real and stick to a budget and say no to buying more things?
Are you willing to network, make phone calls, find a mentor, and do whatever it takes (and not just fill out online job applications) to land a new job?
Face it, you’re insane if you think you will get different results from doing the same thing over and over.
A few years ago I was in the middle of a media fast. Every time I fast from TV, radio, social media, etc. I realize what time wasters they really are. I was talking to a friend about this and she was lamenting that she was making little progress on her dissertation because she was finding herself distracted and drawn to the TV, after a long day at work.
Perfectly understandable. After a long day, all you want to do is relax and let someone else make you laugh and most of all, not make you think (this is a dangerous approach to media consumption, but I’ll save that for another post).
When you lay out the facts, though, you realize that my friend was choosing television over her dissertation. I suggested taping a sign in front of her screen that said something like “I’d rather watch TV than get my Ph.D.” as a tangible reminder, every time she took the sign off, of the trade she was making.
At the end of your life, what will you think of the excuses you made? My guess is, they’ll still be lame.
What would you think of the person who admitted:
“I traded my kid’s future to work overtime.”
“It was just easier to take pills than to change the way I ate. I just didn’t have time to cook real food.”
“Remember Facebook? I’m so glad about all the time I spent on there instead of starting my non-profit organization.”
You get the idea. It sounds ludicrous when you think about it that way, but these are the trade-offs that we make every day.
So, I ask you, what trade-off will you make today, that will put you one step closer to achieving what you want tomorrow?