I have heard this sentence all too many times over the past few years, and it always strikes a chord. Rather than argue something that is irrelevant to the vast majority of people, I change the subject.
I truly believe that it’s impossible to be too hard on yourself. When I fuck up, I hold myself accountable and don’t give myself excuses.
If I miss a session at the gym, I don’t tell myself “well, you needed a break” when I was really just being a lazy fuck, laying on the couch, dicking around on the internet.
I am brutally honest with myself and do not rationalize these mistakes.
If I held others to the same standard, I would be seen as “the asshole boss”, but I no longer care what most others do. If they want to slip into comfort, mediocrity and failure, good for them. It’s not my problem.
I am hard on myself because no one else will be, and because I am the only person who is truly in control of what my life is like.
When you are hard on yourself on your own terms, for the right reasons, great things happen.
Right now, I am motivated by two things:
- Getting my body fat percentage where I want it to be
- Never having to go to work for anyone else again
My focus is dead set on these two objectives. I’m working extremely hard in both cases, but just as I am the only one who can succeed, I am the only one who can cause myself to fail.
- I want to call up a Chinese restaurant and order some General Tso’s Chicken.
- There’s a movie on Netflix that I want to see.
- I think I’ll just relax and see what’s happening on social media.
- I have a headache, better stay in.
- I’m sooooore. No gym for me tonight.
- It’s a good idea, but it would be way too much work.
- Oh man, there’s a Sheetz. I want nachos and a doughnut.
- I need a day to just take it easy.
All of the above statements have been things I’ve told myself, most of them many times over. To most people, none of them would seem unreasonable at all.
These rationalizations, however small each of them were, snowballed. Each time I gave myself an excuse, the invisible force of complacency tightened its noose. I remained shackled to a life that was not truly mine; one of dependence (on an employer, for a paycheck and direction), poor health, and misery.
Fighting the rationalization machine:
- Time management. I’ve talked about using Evernote and some other tools to manage my time. Having this plan for my day is CRUCIAL.
- Impulse control. EVEN NOW, as I write this, my mind is drifting. We live in a society of unlimited stimuli, so remaining 100% vigilant and focused is incredibly important. I like Chris at GLL’s rule; put up post-it notes saying “I must do the most productive thing at any given moment”.
No, I am not too hard on myself. I want to live my life my way. Fit, Free, and Abundant. To achieve that, I MUST be productive, disciplined, focused and ruthless. Fuck comfort. Being easier on myself? That’s a great way of spinning my wheels to failure.