One of the many things my parents taught me was compassion. This mostly dealt with compassion for others with the assumption that I would have compassion for myself – an incorrect supposition it turned out! But I’ve gradually gotten there and am trying to be easier on myself. But the compassion for others still remains, yet sometimes that compassion is undeserved.
As I meet more people around the world, extending my networks of friends, I meet a lot of people with conviction. Sometimes it’s conviction that is short term like travelling to Macchu Picchu for example, sometimes longer term such as walking the length of the earth or cycling the Pan-American, other times its writing a book or starting a business, but the essence is that you do what you’ll say you’ll do. You decide you want to achieve something and you do it. Compassion comes into play when unforeseen circumstances prevent the immediate completion of the task at hand, but one way or another, if someone says they’re going to do something, I expect it to be done. Increasingly though, this doesn’t happen. For your mental health, this can only be detrimental.
The task at hand doesn’t have to be as inspirational as climbing Everest, completing a four-minute mile or being a millionaire by the time you’re thirty years old <Ed – are you pretending you’re less than thirty now?>, yet even something as simple as dieting or exercise people still find excuses for. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the . . . conviction. If you want to be healthier and lose weight, change your diet and go for a walk on occasion. That’s all you need to do – this is even more prevalent given that once again Steptember is upon us. If you want to learn another language then you have to study, if you want to write you have to start writing. Just don’t make excuses. There are back problems and foot problems and hatred of a salad problems that cause people to step back and choose an easier path. And I think that’s the true nature of it. It is easier to make excuses than have the will power and conviction to see your goals become reality.
Don’t make excuses for yourself, start making things happen for yourself.
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