So the other day I was just hanging out at my house, playing with my daughter. We were both laying on the floor while she kicked and swatted at her toys hanging above her. While I was laying there watching her learn and play I couldn’t help but think of all the future she has left. All the things she has to learn and experience. The ups and downs the failures and the successes. Although I felt so excited for her and her future, I also felt a surging feeling of anxiety and I guess what you could call fear. Now I will admit some of it was the fear for her, because like every parent I want her to be successful and happy and healthy. Most of the fear that I felt though was because thinking about her future made me think of the impact my future will have on her. Ya know, my failures, my successes. Once I could corral my thoughts and studied them for a bit, it all boiled down to one question.
Am I doing enough?
Enough in the sense of building for my future so I can provide for an even better future for her, for my wife, and future children. Am I building myself up to be the best person I can be for them?
This really hit me hard and has been in the back of my head ever since. You know the saying people say to be comforting…”it could always be worse”? The issue I have with that is my mind flips it around and says “it could always be better”. What if I have done better in the past? What if I applied myself more in school, at work, at my business? What if I tried something instead of walking away from it?
These thoughts are haunting to me, crippling even. If something so small can effectively change the course of your life, then maybe that opportunity to be much better off than I am now has passed me by. Maybe it has multiple times.
The thing about this whole thought is that though it is somewhat disruptive, it can also be used as a tool for growth. A tool to change your life, right here and now and make it so that you have no doubt in your mind that you in fact couldn’t be better off.
Though it’s obviously not an easy path to take it is and always will be the right one. How can I use this thought as a mental edge you ask?
Make a commitment to yourself and follow it through with everything you have.
What I mean by that is just to simply understand that if you start pursing the life you want today, you will get closer to that life every day. Don’t let opportunities for improvement pass you up. Don’t walk away from challenges. Don’t miss your workout because your tired. Don’t give up on your diet because you ate like garbage the day before. Don’t sit on your couch instead of starting your business. Ask yourself how much better off you will be in a year from now if you start today?
Tim Ferriss for those of you who don’t know is a pretty spectacular guy. He is a great author, entrepreneur, and life conqueror. He often uses himself a his own guinea pig to physically test and track what works and what doesn’t for a variety of different things. He is also best known for his books, The 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Body, and The 4 Hour Chef.
I recently listened to one of his talks about Stoicism. In this talk he also introduces the idea and method he uses, what he calls “Fear Setting”. Similar to goal setting but instead he writes down and maps out his fears when striving towards a goal. He plans out what he will do in worst case scenarios and then rates the outcome between risk and reward.
I challenge all of you reading this today to take some time out of your day to watch his video and write your own “Fear Setting” chart. Copy exactly what he does in the video. Weigh out the risk and rewards of not taking action or taking action. Often you will realize that the worst case scenario really isn’t all that bad.
As always, thanks for reading today’s post and following my get fit journey. Always remember that completing a goal of any kind is kinda like losing weight, 80% diet, 20% working out. Staying consistent and reaching your goals is 80% mental, 20% physical. Keep your mind in the game at all times. Keep coming back for more Chalk Talks!
You’re not getting any younger.