Friday, April 4, 2014

There Is No Magic Pill...And That's a Good Thing

When I worked behind the counter of my health-food store, the most popular question I got asked (usually by women, but not always) was: "Have you got something to help me lose weight".

In my eagerness, I would begin telling them the not-so-secrets of weight loss. Cut out all white flour, all refined sugar, eat lots of leafy this point their eyes were beginning to glaze over, and they were staring at a point on the wall behind me. My excited spiel would inevitably fade into embarrassed silence.

It took me a while to "get it". Ninety-nine percent of people are not interested in learning how to lose weight. They wanted a pill or a tea, that would lose the weight for them, while they continued to eat and live the same as they always have.

Let me say it straight. There is no magic pill. There's no potion or tea that will make you effortlessly lose weight, while sitting on the couch eating potato crisps. 

For every thing worthwhile achieving or becoming in this life, effort and consistency are required. There is just no getting round this! There's no miracle tea, no get-rich-quick scheme, no magic pill. 

And that's a good thing. 

Can you imagine what a bunch of pompous, ungrateful clods we'd be, if everything were handed to us? Working our way towards a goal - whether it's getting healthy, or learning a new skill, or forging a new business - empowers us to go even further than we first dreamed possible. Growth becomes inevitable. 

In order to reach a goal, it first requires making a choice. But that's just the beginning! Then we need to keep making that same choice over and over, every step of the way.

For example, if I choose to lose weight and get healthy, I don't just decide once. I make that same decision at every meal, every trip to the supermarket, every time I go out for a walk. That's consistency - making the same choice over and over again, even when I don't "feel" like it anymore.

The same principle can be applied to maintaining a marriage/relationship, earning/saving money, building a business, forging a career, or mastering a new skill.

No-one ever became a champion by getting up at 4am to train, only when he "felt" like it! No-one ever built a business empire by hustling only when she "felt" like it. No-one became a world-famous guitar player, by only practicing when he "felt" like it, and his fingers didn't hurt...

Consistency and commitment requires us to transcend the fickle whims of feelings, which change by the moment, and respond to something much deeper and more profound - a sense of meaning and direction for our lives. This is how true character is formed.

The real value of achieving a goal is not the end result, but the person we became in the process.

So, forget pinning your hopes on magic pills, get-rich-quick schemes and lottery jackpots. That's the well-worn path of the masses. Put in the kind of effort and commitment others won't, and you'll achieve things that others don't. You'll be a stronger, wiser person for it, too - no magic pill could possibly compare.

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