I can’t trust myself to do the right thing all the time.
What do I mean by that?
For instance, last year, I spent the weeks from early August thru Thanksgiving at the end of November on a diet and exercise regimen during which I lost forty-five pounds. In the four months since Christmas, I have put twenty pounds back on.
For instance, I wrote at least five hundred words each day for almost a month recently, then I stopped altogether for almost a month. This is something I tell myself is extremely important to me, but I do not consistently make myself do the writing.
For instance, I downloaded a ”free” game on my iPad of the sort of quasi-historical, strategy types that I love. The game absorbed all my free time, and in two weeks, I spent nearly $500 on ”in-app” purchases to upgrade my ”free” game experience before finally realizing the stupidity of my actions and deleting the entire game.
For instance, I started in March on an ambitious goal to read at least one book per week. I made it through five books, which is not bad, but got sidetracked by the aforementioned game and the NHL playoffs. (I am admittedly a little bogged down in a William Faulkner novel that I’m still reading).
For instance, I set a goal to make at least sixty telephone calls each workday. This number of calls virtually assures me the income I need from my sales job. Some days I make fewer than ten!
I could go on. My personal history is unfortunately replete with instances of abortive performances like the few mentioned above. I am (and have always been) a great starter! I have not been a great finisher. I am determined to change that.
Toward that end I make resolutions and set goals. I use apps. I track. I update. I analyze. But all of those are intellectual pursuits that happen mostly in my head. In this respect, I’m like the habitual sinner who goes to church on Sundays to soothe his conscience, but who never repents and changes his life.
The things that I need to do, I need to DO!. I don’t need to just think about doing them.
I am not interested in ”self-improvement” except as a mine from which to dig out ideas. Yes, I subscribe to the ‘LifeHacker” RSS feed.
I am, however, very interested in self-actuation. I need to empower and feed my true self and stop wasting resources on the lazy, distracted, flabby-assed quitter, afraid of failure, who I allow to parade around as me.
I think each of us already has a self that we imagine we could be, but we seldom have the courage, conviction, and discipline to get that self off the bench and put that self into the game. That self doesn’t need improvement so much as it just needs a consistent opportunity.
I want to be true to that self! With the help of God Almighty, I am going to be true to that self! Why not? We only get one ride on the merry-go-round…