Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Posts Tagged ‘success

Self Improvement : What’s the Point?

leave a comment »

I’m often saddened by others lack of motivation to improve themselves. When I see someone who could be doing so much better if they only put forth the effort, I see opportunity wasted. I think that, maybe they are satisfied with their current level of achievement and that they are happiest where they are at. They seem content enough. If someone can be happy on the path of least resistance, why can’t I. What’s the point of continually trying to improve myself?

But I can’t accept putting in less effort than I know I can give. That’s just how I’m wired. I always want to see how much farther I can go in whatever I do. It’s not about money, power or success. If it were, I would have been filthy rich a long time ago. It’s always been about being better than I was yesterday and discovering who I was meant to be. One may think it is a difficult life to be driven all the time, but I consider myself blessed to have the desire to improve. When I see people going through life day by day, just waiting to grow old and die, I am thankful for the struggle. It’s the struggle that keeps away the drudgery. Everyday is a new challenge.

Saying we all want to be happy is like saying we all like to eat. We have different preferences or flavors of happiness. Some want a sweet but simple life while others what something more hot and spicy. I want something more complex, subtle and wholesome. Sure the way I live would seem difficult but it’s an acquired taste.

I don’t think true happiness is something you can be given. It’s something you have to work for to truly appreciate. There are so many real life stories of how the offspring of wealthy parents grow up to be miserable and depressed often turning to drugs to escape. It must be to wake up everyday and not having to do anything. But then there are some wealthy people who find purpose and challenge in charity or building their companies to new heights.

Bill Gates was a man who had more money than anyone would ever need. So much money that he decided to give most of it away. He and his wife have dedicated the rest of their lives to helping others. They are currently working to rid the world of a number of deadly diseases. For his children, he was quoted as saying that he was leaving his children enough money so they do afford to do anything they wanted but not so much that they could afford to do nothing.

There’s the fantasy of being super rich and having mansions, yachts and fancy cars. Bill Gates version of the rich life is spending time in the most poverty stricken locations on Earth helping save the lives of millions. Rather than shelter himself from the realities of poverty, he went to fight it where it thrives.

We each have our own standards of happiness. Don’t accept the default version but rather find your own happiness and work towards it. You may not achieve everything you can imagine but on the way there you may find the happiness you seek.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

March 30, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Failing Is a Prerequisite For Success

leave a comment »

This weekend I ate way more than I had planned. I’m not worried as dealing with bad days is part of my plan. The experience does prove a point about the overestimation of the value of will power.

I am what you would call a type-A personality. When I set my mind to something, there’s nothing stopping me – I’ll just keep going until I succeed or the cost of continuing outweighs the benefits of success. I’m not saying this to boast but rather to make it clear that I am not an indulgent person who lacks self-control or will power.

This past Saturday, when I got the urge to overeat, I first tried to determine if the urge was a genuine need for food or if it is just the body’s survival instinct overacting. Based on my calorie intake for the day and my level of exercise, I did not need to eat more – in fact I was already over.

I had enough food to eat so I reasoned that I had to ignore the urge. That worked for about an hour but the urge was so great I couldn’t focus. I gave in and ate before my next planned meal. But then I ate some more. While watching a movie with the family, I ate a large Hershey bar with almonds and some Chex Mix. I don’t remember everything I ate, just that I kept eating.

While this was occurring, I became fascinated. The urge to eat was overriding my conscious decision not to. It was like the analytic part of my mind was overthrown by the animal part. All I could do was observe and try to figure out what I could do to prevent this from occurring in the future. I knew the urge to overeat would eventually run its course and I would be back in control again.

Today, I am back on track and had no trouble with overeating.

The point of all this is to illustrate that will power can only take you so far. It doesn’t matter who you are, if the urge to eat is great enough there’s nothing you can do to stop it entirely. There’s no point in feeling guilty when you have a bad day. The best thing to do is to try and figure out what triggered it and make plans to continue.

The big difference between people who can stay on track and those that don’t is how they handle set backs. If you have in your mind that you can’t control your weight, whenever you have one of these setbacks you see it as confirmation of your self doubt. If you remain objective, you would see it as part of the process and move on.

Every time you fail and get back on track, it becomes easier to stay on track and the consequences of failing become less. Over the years, I’ve become very good at failing. Every time I fall down, I learn from it.

This last setback was way overdue. I had been on a good run of exercising and eating right for the past three months. My body fat is now down to the single digits and my strength is at peak levels. During this period, I knew it was just a matter of time before something gave and I was surprised I had  maintained my discipline for so long. Now that I’ve had my setback, I feel like I’m staring another period of training – like hitting reset.

Perhaps when most people experience a setback, it’s like a release valve is triggered and they need to reset and start again. When starting out with a lifestyle change, that release valve might get triggered more often than for someone whose been doing it longer.

Developing will power and discipline is like developing a muscle. When you hit your point of failure, you are going to rest no matter how determined you are. The key is keep trying. Every time you hit that point of failure, you stretch your discipline and like a muscle it will grow stronger.

Don’t use a failure as an excuse to quit

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm