Elephant In The Room
In today’s society excuses breed faster than rabbits so let’s deal with that right off. Excuses are used to keep you from doing the things you don’t want to do with a “reasonable” purpose. The reason we do this is simple. We don’t want to do it. Now let’s expose that some excuses are valid. Let’s assume for example you are missing both thumbs for whatever reason well then it is logical (not reasonable) that you cannot thumb wrestle at least not without some substitution which is a whole new article that will be coming soon about overcoming adversity. On topic…Now that we know an excuse as we are referring to it is one used by your brain to “reason” yourself out of doing something that you are perfectly capable of doing even if you do not know you can.
Finding Emotion to Overcome “Reason”
Speaking from experience eliminating the excuses only needs one thing to help you overcome them internally…Emotion. Yes, that is right I said it EMOTION. The thing most males deny they have and they blame women with having too much of. Dudes and dudettes let’s face it we all have emotions in overwhelming abundance. You have to find or create that emotion that triggers you. Guys often get emotional about their cars, trucks, dogs, a good horse, and not taking out the trash when they are yelled at to do so. Ladies often get emotional over their new dress, shoes, the latest makeup fad, their hair style, and cooking dinner when no one else is helping. See in all cases we can have emotions that trigger good and bad responses depending on their context, purpose, and effort required which are all used by the brain to overcome reason. The guy could easily reason that taking out the garbage will only take 2 minutes so why not do it now and have a happy wife and on the same token the lady could see that by cooking dinner for her family she is in control of their health and saving the family money for that trip to Disney or that 7 day Cruise she really wants.
Using that emotion to create a passion
Now we have established that emotion can be used for good and bad right? Well now let’s hope you can develop a positive emotion and pair it with a passion. Passions are linked to emotions but unlike “reasoning” they expound on the a desire or want not a need or should have. Allowing a positive emotion to develop into passion allows you to bypass the need to reason just like someone giving you a free Lambo. You instantly will develop an emotion and passion for this car while skipping “reason” and considering ramifications such as tax liabilities or maintenance. Reason in that scenario usually comes when facing those situations or some time shortly after you take ownership but you have a passion now so you will be motivated to address those “reasons” logically.
Now you have motivation but you need to set this into motion. Utilize reasoning now to help you develop a plan to execute on whatever it was holding you back. Planning means you have a blueprint to determine success while knowing where you are at all times for next steps. The blueprint can help you weed out those small objections or address them so that they are not a hindrance moving forward.
Blueprint by the Numbers
Okay no so we have established a new mental route for the things you know you need to do but make excuses for.
- Develop an emotion to bypass reasoning
- Turn that emotion into a passion to make you want to do whatever it is you did not before
- Now allow reason into the equation so you can make informed decisions and plans for success.
- Once you have a plan in place you can start execution knowing that success is forward not backwards.
- You may have to loop back on the plan, adjust it, and overhaul from time to time but a plan helps you see success.
Real World Case – ME
I got to the weight I was (355 pounds) by making excuses…Yes, I can eat that because I don’t gain weight or I earned it. It took a Type 2 diagnosis for me to eliminate excuses.
I developed a plan. Cut one thing out that was killing me at a time then move on to one more then one more and one more until I reached my goal. I made the first one simple at 320 pounds. I did it over than span of 4 months so people did not start noticing until my clothes stopped fitting properly. Having my goal and the fear emotion of dying no doubt entered my mind and the excuses were immediately overcome by them. I even did this with Kayaking. Most people would look at me and think “No way he can kayak it will sink” well I have never been a person to tell me I can’t do something because it will become my emotion, passion, and goal to shove that right back in your face. In that instance though the one I heard saying that was in fact ME! This left me pretty angry with myself so I wrapped that passion in with my weight loss goal and made it happen even faster.
Yes you may falter
Yes, you will have weak moments. We all do. That little voice can sometimes yell so loud it shuts everything else down but it can only scream so long then it has to take a breath. Remember you only fail if you quit. Not every battle was won on the first encounter, and Einstein was not born with the equations for the universe in his head. Ask a friend to help keep you accountable and help them with something they need you for. Get yourself back up, dust off, and keep right on going.
Inspiration to take with you
I went white water rafting on the Arkansas river in Colorado for the first time. It looked intense and a lot of people at 355 pounds would have balked that they could even do it. They would have ran at just putting on all the safety gear that did not fit right. I did not. It did cross my mind once that it may be a bad idea but I WANTED to do this so nothing, not even the outfitter telling me no would have stopped me (they did not in fact they encouraged me that I could do this) as did my friend that went with me. I got all geared up and was so uncomfortable in that FULL wetsuit, pfd with no crotch strap, and a helmet and I was so hot it was like a pig on a spit roaster but I wanted this so it didn’t matter if I had to die I was going to do it. We rode up to the put in site and launched.
Then we hit the first rapid. It was a few hundred foot long Class IV rapid of what was a 20 mile trip. I being a newbie at whitewater listened to the guide’s instructions. He did not mention to not lean into the water to get a stroke on the oar. We hit that rapid and the guide called for continuous forward strokes so I dug in and rowed hard. So hard in fact that when the water on my side was in a crevasse and a couple feet lower than the boat I still attempted to get a stroke on it. This caused me to flip out of the boat because the oar got locked in a rock and I had a death grip on it for power paddling.
Once in the water all that safety gear started killing me. I am (even at this weight) a good strong swimmer but the life jacket slipped right up to my arm pits and combined with the helmet to make a water channel over my head that forced me straight up and down like a bobber on the water with no ability to right myself. I was fighting to get righted for what felt like an eternity and calmed myself realizing my struggle was only going to kill me faster. In my calm I assessed my situation figuring my drag in the water slowed me down so much the boat passengers would never be able to reach me and even if they did how could they beach a whale like me in the boat. I did recall the guide’s instructions to grab the person by their life jacket and fall backwards in the boat to rescue someone but still 355 pounds is a lot of falling backwards lol.
I deduced my best chances for survival was to unhook my life jacket with my right hand and do a loop lock with my left arm on the life vest to still give me a means of flotation and padding if a rock was coming at me. Then I would remove the helmet and secure it to the life vest for added visibility. Then with the gear off I could swim while wearing the wet suit using an easy back stroke while floating on the water. While creating this plan I kept my right arm raised out of the water so someone could rescue me while I was planning. That last step made all the difference.
While I have no doubt my plan I developed would have worked with no problems it was as I was preparing to unlatch my life vest that I felt someone grab my hand then my vest. I remember praising God for saving me because as far as I was concerned Christ himself came down, walked on water, and pulled me to victory. It was in the flesh my friend that went with me who executed the planned rescue the guide outlined. When I went overboard the guide immediately drafted the boat enough to catch me.
The amazing thing I felt when I watched the video of the whole event was that it lasted less than 15 seconds from the time I hit the water until my friend grabbed my hand. It is astonishing how fast you can make a plan when your life is on the line. It is also proof that a plan executed upon is better than winging it. That guide established the rescue plan before we event hit the water and it saved my life! It was simple and he communicated it clearly. Yes, God saved me but as he always does he put in place the very thing that would save me even before I knew it and he used the people around me to do it. Amenazing!!!
Now safely back on the boat I was catching my breath, getting the water off my face, and just relaxing from the shock of the cold water and what happened. I sat in the area where I fell out from and since my senses were not 100% back I sat in the bottom of the boat clenching the launch rope to stabilize me through the rest of the rapids. I lost my oar as it went out with me lol. Once we cleared the rapids the guide pulled us along the shore. Everyone looked at me and was asking if I was okay while looking at me like they expected me to get out and await the Outfitter’s pickup vehicle from down river. Being 100% honest, I considered it but only so far as it being an option. Then my Uncle David and every life lesson he taught me came back to me. You see he was the last true cowboy I knew. He rode and worked through pain no one else could imagine and never gave up. Even when his body was failing him he still pushed as far as he could without stopping. Giving up was never in his nature. I looked at the guide and my friend saying “do we have a spare oar?” I paid a lot of money for this trip and there is a steak lunch in 9 miles. They all were inspired and the guide gave me a spare paddle, I locked back in the foot holes, and reviewed with the guide what I did wrong. I did not make the mistake the rest of the trip.