I’ll be honest, all of the 5 Golden Rules to achieving BodyWHealth can be challenging. Look around you. How many people have BodyWHealth? You know it when you have it, and you recognize it in others. But there aren’t that many who do. How often do you see somebody who walks, talks and glows WHealth? I’m telling you its possible. It’s in your hands. And the 5 Golden Rules are simple, but not easy. Rules #1 (10,000 steps) and #2 (Count Calories) are simple to understand. Implementing requires some discipline and rigor. Rules #3, 4 and 5 will help you to achieve #s 1 and 2.
Golden Rule #3: No Excuses!
I could leave it there. It’s simple. Stark. Easy to understand at the personal level, and easy to explain from a psychological perspective. George Washington Carver was a scientist and inventor born into slavery in the mid 1800s in Missouri, USA. He spent his life working for freedom (both literal and intellectual freedom). He warns us that “99% of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses”. He fought immense odds, yet recognized that success was in his (your) own hands. No excuses.
I was a young physician during the emergence of the anti-tobacco era. Many of my colleagues refused to see smokers, claiming that as long as they smoked they clearly hadn’t made a commitment towards good health. Although I didn’t subscribe to this policy, I understood their position. They recognized the critical role that an unambiguous statement of commitment makes to success. The kind of commitment that says “NO EXCUSES”. Many years later, I had been struggling with a life of good intention and poor results. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew how to do it. But I was still 50 pounds overweight and couldn’t climb the stairs out of the New York subway without collapsing with exhaustion. When it came to taking action, there was always an excuse. Too cold. Too tired. Jet-lagged. Too many business dinners. All valid explanations, but as excuses, they were killing me, literally! The day I decided “no more excuses”, I started my first steps towards BodyWHealth. I’m younger at 50 than I was at 40, and I plan to continue this trend for the rest of my life.
As a boy, I envied my friends who had those little military figurines with short, cropped hair and exquisite manly physiques. Later, they were my own sons’ favorite toys; GI Joe in the USA, Action Man in our native South Africa, and I’m sure they go by different names all around the globe. I used to admire and envy their chiseled shapes, their bulging muscles and their macho 6-packs. For many years, in the back of my mind was the aspiration to one day look like this fictional hero. And don’t get me wrong. These people exist in real life. We all know at least one, and I still admire them today. As I travelled my life path though, I began to realize what it took to get there – it required an absolutely relentless, ruthless commitment to the physical self. I think I “grew up” the day I realized that this wasn’t me, and it wasn’t ever going to be the vast majority of the population either, because we have other opposing aspects to our characters (like lenience, sensitivity and compromise) that are fundamentally good. So we are never going to be chiseled works of steel that can be centerpieces of military history museums. That’s OK. So, as I urge you today to say “no excuses” for yourself, I’m not proposing this profound, relentless, machine-like self-discipline. But I am telling you that you absolutely need to adopt a “no excuses” policy towards Golden Rules #1 and #2, at least in the early days of your efforts. Otherwise, no BodyWHealth. It’s that simple!
You must find ways to motivate yourself beyond the need for excuses. Start by writing it down, in simple terms. Say “today I commit myself to #1 building towards 10,000 steps and to #2 counting calories every day for 7 weeks; no excuses”. Say it out loud. Find an exercise buddy. Even GI Joe’s do this – just read the military history journals. Share your commitment with your close friends. Proclaim your intention to the world. This alone is a powerful force. BodyWHealth is within your grasp. Declare it to the world, eliminate excuses, and you’ll find a lot of fans to support you on your journey.