I’m looking at you, quick-fix junkies. Actually I’m looking at all of us. We’re all guilty of falling for the next best supplement or workout program, at one time or another. But this goes beyond the fitness world. Every day we are faced with situations that influence our lives. It’s how we respond to these situations that matters.
It is often easy to take the path of least resistance. Let’s face it: hard work is hard. But avoiding the hard work does not often result in the success you’re striving for. Do you want to have a successful marriage? It takes work. Do you want to move forward in your career? That takes work, too. Do you want to get that body you’ve been dreaming of? Guess what you gotta do????
Neglecting any of these things can lead to failure. For the most part we avoid dealing with problems or obstacles head-on because it’s painful. The pain starts out as an annoying pin-prick. Nothing debilitating. But if you ignore it long enough, it could become excruciating. If you find it painful to talk to your spouse about a problem you are having, it can feel easier to shrug it off, hoping it will just go away. It is a quick fix, sweeping that problem under the rug. But it is also a temporary fix. The problem festers, growing slowly but surely, to the point that it starts to peek out from under that rug. So you buy a new, bigger rug to cover up the old rug . . . and the old problem. Eventually, even Ikea will run out of rugs big enough to cover up your initial problem. This one, now gigantic, problem causes cracks in your relationship. Cracks that lead to other problems. Problems that could very well lead to the demise of your marriage. Talk about the pin-prick pain now, and spare yourself excruciating pain later.
What about that promotion at work? It’s not just going to fall into your lap. You have to work for it. But sometimes fear of failure stands in the way. Failing is painful. If we take on that extra work, and sacrifice hours with the family in favor of late nights at the office, only to come up short and not receive that promotion, well then we’ve failed. It’s almost easier to just do the bare minimum. Just do what you’ve been doing and you never have to step outside your comfort zone. It feels comfortable at the time. It’s easy. But it’s not easy to be at a standstill in your life. A lot of peoples’ self-worth is tied to their career. If you’re not happy in your career, the dissatisfaction can leak into other parts of your life, even negatively affecting relationships. Not to mention, your career is your livelihood. You can’t take a vacation without money. You can’t raise kids without money. No, money doesn’t exactly buy happiness, but it sure makes life more comfortable. Just keep that in mind come Monday morning when you’re sitting in your cubicle, listening to the high-pitched receptionist answering the phone and directing calls in her sickeningly-sweet, happy, annoying voice. Focus on that extra work and forgo the 9:00 AM coffee at Chotchkie’s with your coworkers. Do the hard work now, and the comfort will come later.
Just like the examples above, there is no quick fix for your fitness aspirations. Whether you have a strength goal in mind, want to gain muscle, or lose weight, there is no magic way of doing it, beyond hard work. No amount of supplementation is going to get you a 135lb bench press. You know what’s going to get you that 135lb bench? Benching, benching, and more benching. No weight-gainer is going to get you that muscle you’re looking for. Hard work under the bar, along with that weight-gainer (or my personal favorite: food) will get you there. That fat burner? Nope, not gonna work on its own. There is no magic pill for weight loss, no matter how much supplement companies would have you think. You have to watch your calories and stay active. It all takes hard work, and there is no easy way around it. If you want it bad enough, you must put in the work.
These so-called paths of least resistance we tend to take in our lives are actually time-wasters, if you think about it. Had you confronted your spouse about that problem when it happened, it would have taken much less time to solve it. And much less heartache. Had you put yourself in the running for that promotion, you might have been able to retire comfortably, and possibly earlier. Falling for every quick-fix supplement on the market will only delay your fitness success. Putting in the hard work from the beginning will get you there faster than waiting around for some pill to deliver on an empty promise.
Living a life of avoidance is not living. Going about your life ignoring your problems and just skating by won’t get you very far. Sure, it’s comfortable, but what does that get you? If you want mediocre, keep avoiding. If you want something worth having, confront, work hard, persevere. Live!