As you know by now, if you have been reading my blogs and/or listening to my podcasts, it is my greatest desire to help you create permanent positive change and live your best life. You will also know that I want to be as honest as I can to make sure you, or I, don’t waste any of the precious life we have been given. That being the case, and as my disclaimer if I get a bit in your face, stop looking for the easy option or the shortcut. I have found, through personal experience and what I have observed with many others, the shortcut will lengthen the journey and provide you with an ongoing source of frustration, heartache and regret. You don’t want that, do you?
If you answered that last question with a big ‘NO WAY,’ then we are ready to talk. Let me share something about myself. I have been an incredibly impatient driver for much of my adult life. I hated stopping at lights and I hated getting stuck in traffic. These days, as I work from home most of the time and only drive during the day when the traffic is much lighter, I don’t have to deal with the frustrations of driving anywhere near as much. In the days of frequent driving, my goal was always to keep moving. I felt like if I was driving, I was making progress and if I was stopped at lights or in traffic, I was wasting time. I am sure there is some deep psychological issue associated with that behaviour, but we won’t go there right now!
My strategy was always to try and find a detour, and alternative route or a shortcut so that I could keep moving and arrive at my destination on time or earlier than planned. Have a guess as to how many times, over many years of persisting with this approach, that I saved time. If you guessed rarely to never, you would be right. Sometimes, I would take a detour to find a dead end and have to turn around and get back on the path I was already on. Sometimes, I would find an alternate route and, surprise, surprise, find the traffic was even worse than where I was. Almost every time I tried to find a shortcut it took me even longer to get where I wanted to be. So, why did I keep persisting and why did I continually let my impatient and shortcut mindset control my actions?
This is a great question, and one that maybe you should also be asking yourself. Let’s face it, as a human race, we love pleasure and we crave comfort. We don’t enjoy discomfort, effort, mistakes or uncertainty, and we definitely do not like waiting. Hence why the sparkly attraction and temptation of the shortcut or quick-fix is so strong, for most of us. However, please hear me loud and clear, and despite what you may believe or what you may have been sold, there is no shortcut or quick-fix that will ever lead you to permanent positive change or to living a purposeful life of joyful longevity. Sorry, I have to be honest here, to you and also painfully, to myself.
In over thirty years as a passionate advocate for optimal wellbeing, I am still flabbergasted by the amount of people looking for a quick-fix and shortcut answer to their weight, their fitness and their wellbeing, including myself. I remember in my teens, I was very skinny, and I hated it, especially as I had an aspiration to be a professional footballer and to impress girls. The thought of the work and time it would take to get where I wanted to be was a real turn-off, so when an ad came on TV advertising a chest expander that would only take five minutes per day for just a couple of weeks to turn me into a ripped and rock-hard beast, I was sold. I bought it, I got to work for five minutes per day, and in a couple of weeks I think my chest was even smaller than before I started! There are no shortcuts to permanent change.
In my podcast this week with the wonderful Delia McCabe, called ‘The truth about trendy diets,’ we discuss the common diets people use to try and effect fast weight loss, and in the process, compromise their wellbeing. Delia talks about great habits to create that will, over time, lead to optimal wellbeing and will predictably help us achieve the look we want for ourselves, and be able to maintain it forever. There is no shortcut to looking and feeling great. Just as there is no shortcut to wealth, career success and great relationships. The moment we start falling into the quick-fix trap is the moment we start to lengthen the time it will take for us to have what we want. Why? Because, when we finally realise the shortcut will only lead to frustration, loss, heartache and regret, and we ultimately understand that we need to follow the process, we have lost time, money and belief.
Let me go back to what I said that the start of this blog. It is my greatest desire to help you create permanent positive change and live your best life. If that is truly what you want, and if you are reading this part of the blog, I assume it is, then please stop looking for a shortcut and a quick-fix. It will never lead to permanent positive change. The only way to change your life for the better, forever, is to know what you want, be determined to make it happen, decide you will follow the process no matter how long it takes, get into action, and keep going until you are there. Just remember, the longest way home is always the shortcut!