What do you want, and how bad do you want it?

What matters to YOU?
What are YOU willing to do… or not? Why?
There’s no right answer. What’s most important is that you understand what it takes to get a certain outcome.

The above is from a recent article published by Precision Nutrition. And it mirrors another quote, from another article published on the same day by Staci at Nerd Fitness:

So, if you have 100 lbs to lose, and you change nothing, the chances of you losing weight are pretty slim.

However, with each positive decision you make – with each workout and each healthy meal you consume, the probability that you will achieve your goal gets better and better.

Mostly, I don’t do tough love. I don’t do it because I’m not good at it. What comes through is all tough and no love. But I think America needs some tough love – in particular my peers.

That’s right, I’m talking you, Generation X.

We love to point fingers. We inherited a messed up country, a messed up economy, all the good jobs were taken, everything is too expensive, our childhoods were miserable, we were latchkey kids, the schools we were sent to were broke, our teachers were idiots, the Boomers won’t retire and get out of the way, they keep editing the controversial bits out of our Bugs Bunny cartoons, popular music sucks, movies suck, there’s too many good TV shows…

The list goes on, and on, and on, and it doesn’t just include petty things. We’re upset because politicians are corrupt (and if we’d paid attention in social studies class we’d know that there is positively, absolutely nothing new or specific to our era about this AT ALL). We’re upset because THEY are poisoning our food / marketing poison as food.




Jim Rohn said that nothing changes until you change yourself. I am proof of this. But I lived well into my 30s before I figured it out. Stop making excuses. Stop blaming other people. My dear fellow Gen X’rs, we are almost 50 years old. We are not the product of our childhoods. We are also not passive participants in the society in which we live.

As the folks at Precision Nutrition said, “What are you willing to do?” That is really the biggest question you have to ask yourself in every single situation you’re in that causes you unhappiness. Overweight and out of shape? Ok, what are you willing to do about it? If I tell you you’re going to need to cut back on sugar, give up sodas and eat less processed and packaged food – can you do that? How about if I tell you you’re going to need to increase your level of physical activity – can you do that? Or more accurately, will you do either or both of these things? Do you hate your job? Are you willing to sacrifice some leisure time and family time to start your own business or go to school part time to learn a new trade? Are you willing to hone your resume and pursue other opportunities with a level of seriousness that makes doing something different possible?

I sincerely believe we are only limited by how hard we’re willing to work and how realistic we are willing to be with ourselves. A couple of years ago I had a notion that I wanted to get into doing voiceover work. I’ve always had a knack for character voices and the ability to work with a mic, so I looked into classes and training to position myself to understand how to do the work properly and how to market myself and get auditions. But I wasn’t willing to make the time commitment to it. I took a handful of classes, and I loved them. I ran headlong into my own unwillingness to put in the hours, to do the work and to make a real commitment to it because I valued my time with my family much more than I valued the opportunity. There was, in my eyes, more of value that I would have to give up than I was going to gain.

Contrast this with my pursuit of improved health and fitness. Each day I do my workout. I have been known to chase the family out of the living room or to get up at cock-a-doodle dark in order to make it happen. Each day I check in with my accountability groups. And each day I am mindful of what I eat because I know that I was fat and sick and at risk of checking out way too early because I ate mindlessly, and because I sought comfort (as opposed to nourishment) from food. I see value in this because I NEED to be alive to see my kids grow up. I NEED to be fit enough and healthy enough to make my eventual retirement worth waiting for.

If you are looking at your life right now and saying to yourself – I don’t like this. I don’t want this. What are you willing to do to change it. Do not fool yourself into believing that change is beyond your reach. You can do anything you’re willing to work hard enough for.

2 Responses to “What do you want, and how bad do you want it?

  • I know that movie, and that scene. I want few things that much, but one of them is to maintain my weight loss. I’m a Boomer, and I don’t want to get out of the way yet, so I want to stay fit so I can keep up. But I also know the limitations of my desires. It’s too late to go back to school to pursue that career in neurosurgery. I won’t be auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. To be optimistically realistic about what I CAN do is my goal. I plan to defy some odds, but I probably don’t care enough to be insanely extraordinary. If that happens, it will just be icing on the proverbial cake! Here’s the thing: 80% can be good enough, because the visible difference between 80% and 100% is negligible to the untrained eye. To know when 80% is good enough and 100% is required is something I think comes wuth maturity. Welcome to maturity, Gen Xer!

  • Sometimes all the matters is 20%, right? The trick is we almost never know which 20% of our efforts are producing 80% of our results.

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