Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't let it tip

I have written about this subject in the past and have talked about it over and over again so I will make this short. We all know that excuses are an easy way to get out of things we deem a little challenging but for some of us they can become second nature.

This returning to the excuses theme came while I was recently reading Malcolm Gladwell’s; The Tipping Point. His main focus in this book is to explain how small things or incidences or specific people can spawn epidemics. They can be a social phenomenon, an illness, or commercially (how a product becomes an overnight must have). Essentially Gladwell explains the original trigger(s) and relates how this is indeed the Tipping point for that specific epidemic.

So keeping Gladwell’s study in mind I felt there was a further connection to that of excuses. The excuses we create are all based on our own varying degree and interpretation of a personal "tipping point". This would be that very moment or issue that makes that excuse tip.

Every single decision we make can have a "tipping point" in one form or another. This single point can be as small as going left or right on the way to work attempting to avoid possible traffic and that small decision could result in a relaxed ride or a white knuckled blood boiling stop and go.

This idea can be related to that of the excuses some of us make. For many individuals when a decision must be made on doing something out of their comfort zone, their mind will start working out ways of avoiding the task at hand. For those who are easily swayed by their own justification the idea to break this pattern and attempt to lead a healthy and active lifestyle (the point of this blog) is to recognize those points in time.

Finding that specific moment that a person starts justifying that there simply "isn’t enough time" or "they are too tired today" to make a healthy meal or workout isn’t easy at first, especially for those "excuse addicts". But once these issues are identified the individual will find it easier and easier to identify these points thus gaining the ability to overcome them.

Overcoming them doesn’t have to be done alone either. In fact having someone to relate to and discuss the issue could be an excellent way to begin breaking the habit. For example if the concern of individual "A" is time and they state to person "B" (family, spouse, close friend) "I have time to do x." a discussion of why the person believes there is no time could help. Of course person B would have to be aware of person A goals.

This is a very general idea but I believe if someone can focus on what that emotion, feeling whatever that initial tipping point is, they can begin to change it. Once they relate the feeling of not wanting to do something with the idea that these excuses are merely a way of justifying why not to do it, they can then deal with this issue and begin a positive line of thinking of why I will do it.

One of my favourite Warren Miller quotes has always been;

"If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do."
We don’t have many years on this earth so don’t spend your time avoiding life and making excuses.

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