We all have those days where we dream for a magic fix to our problems.
“I wish I could just win the lottery so I can pay off all my debts and start living happily ever after”
“I wish someone would just tell me if this particular marketing effort is going to work before I waste my time on it”
“I just want that formula for a successful business.”
“I just want that diet pill so I can lose 10kgs”
It’s normal to dream but you know what I’ve noticed? We’ve become seriously obsessed with the quick fix. I think it’s a combination of businesses making absurd claims (Lose 10kg in just 10 days with this one small diet change, have your dream cake business in just 5 days!, Sign up for my magic formula to double your profits in 2 weeks!) and the fact that the world that we are living in is just moving at a faster pace. Our internet is faster, the communication channels more efficient than ever and businesses like Amazon are delivering things overnight. It’s no wonder we start to believe that other aspects of our lives can also be fast tracked.
I’m all for making things more efficient but the problem I have started to notice is this fast-paced world has caused most of us to make all sorts of excuses to get out of doing real work.
Some of you might know that I’ve been working on seriously training my dog for over a year now and when I take him out in public he is in training (every single time) and I use any opportunity to polish his skills.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still got a long way to go (in my opinion) but it’s amazing the number of people who come up to me and comment/ ask how he is so well behaved and tell me how their dog won’t stop barking, stay still or walk nicely. So, because I have been in their position, I excitedly start telling them how I did it and about the drills and training sessions we do so that they can also start practicing and overcoming their issues. Because after all, I want to give them hope that their dog can change and that I understand how they feel. But then their eyes start to glaze over. And the excuses start to surface…
“But, my dog will NEVER do that”
“It’s easy for you because your dog loves food”
“That’s going to take such a long time”
“There is just no way it’s going to work”
“My dog is too old”
It’s like the minute they hear about all the work that in involved, they shut down. Because all they really wanted to know is what the little secret or magic diet pill is. The thing is, if you want/wish for something but then spend all your time making excuses about why you can’t have it – did you actually want it in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I still wish for many things and make many excuses myself, but now I catch myself every time and ask myself how important that wish was to me in the first place.
Recently, my mum commented to me how great it was that everyone around her was getting fit and healthy and how she wished to have that too. So, I suggested she join a gym or look at doing some low impact classes like yoga.
Immediately, BEFORE I could finish my sentences, the excuses came pouring out.
“I’m too old”
“I need to fix my shoulder ache first”
“I don’t have anyone to go with”
“I’m so busy”
Seriously? “I’m so busy” has got to be my favourite one. Her two children are grown up and have moved out of the house. It’s only her and my dad at the moment. My dad works and my mum spends her time managing the family finances, cleaning, cooking, etc. I don’t doubt that she manages to fill her day with things to do but she is not “busy” in the way she imagines in her head. I argued with her that the amount of time she needs to put aside for 1 or 2 yoga classes a week is probably less than the time she spends going to the toilet in a week. To which she said:
“It’s too far”
“It will be hard”
“I don’t know where to go”
I’ve been hounding her for weeks and have even tried breaking down the task into actionable steps (how about you just find a local studio first?). But you know the thing about helping people? If they don’t decide that what they want is important enough to take action, nothing will happen and the excuses will keep flowing as they sit around waiting for that magic diet pill.
If there is one magic formula I have learned about in my short time on this earth it has got to be this:
Wishing + determination + taking action + hard work = results
If I think back on all the things I didn’t get results for, it was always lacking one of the elements. Maybe I wished for it and was determined but then gave up when things got hard. Or I was ready to put in all the hard work but did not take any action to actually start.
So, when it comes to business, fitness, dog training, or just life in general, I have learned that the thing with big bold claims and magic diet pills? They are hardly ever real. You know the age old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”?
And it’s so easy to want to believe and buy into the magic diet pill. I know because I have also fallen for it. Many times. But I have since learned to not be afraid of the journey and hard work I need to do to get results. This might mean running repetitions with my dog until he gets something, trying a new cake technique over and over again until I really understand it, or making a serious effort to eat healthier and holding myself accountable at the gym.
Whatever you want to accomplish, know that it will be a hard road. Accept that, and be ready to push through and hold yourself accountable. You’ll be tempted to look for that magic pill when times get tough, but trust me, nothing replaces putting the work in.