Do You Want It? Or Do You Need It?

Do You Want it- Or Do You Need it- (1)

How many times in the past have you gotten excited about starting a new exercise routine, diet plan, planned a daily time for mediation or set in motion some other mind-bending and body-transforming activity? And how many times have you stopped before things even properly took off?

Before you fall into a deep self pity, thinking you’ve failed at life, know that this is completely normal. We’ve all set out to do something in the past only to stop once things get tough, complicated or when we just simply get bored doing it. Yet none of this is fixed by acquiring more willpower so you can soldier on. It’s about taking a deeper look at what you are doing.

This used to happen to me all the time when starting a new training program that didn’t go hand in hand, on a deeper level, with what I wanted from my training. The training plan looks beyond awesome on the paper but after a week or two I get sick of it. Not physically sick but “meh” sick.

It’s because I wanted something from the cycle of training but I didn’t really need it. Yet I went years without understanding it. I kept jumping from program to program and going on and off with eating plans. I was like a crow chasing a silver spoon. I really wanted to have the spoon but to be honest, I didn’t need it for anything. It served no purpose except for some vague reasoning. What does a crow need a spoon for? It’s not like they eat soup. Hell, they can’t even hold it properly. So once I let go of the thought of wanting the spoon, took a step back and thought through what I needed from training, things changed. I understood that the spoon has no use for me and I stopped wanting it.  And I started making better progress.

In contrast, the reason I’ve kept up with meditation is because it is something that I need. I am calmer and less anxious when keeping up with the daily meditation schedule. So it’s easier to stay motivated and to follow through. I know that if I let few days pass without meditating things will snowball from there. To put simply, keeping my daily meditation schedule makes me happier. It’s something I want but it’s also something I need.

If you have been struggling with your weight for your whole life, starting and stopping more times than you care to count for, you probably want to get healthier. But if you are not making progress it’s not something that you really need at this point. Sure, it would be nice to be 20kg lighter but it’s not necessary at this point of time. It’s nice to want it but just because you want something doesn’t mean that things appear.

When things usually change for people, and this is not just with weight, is when we get a serious diagnosis of some sort of. Most people do a miraculous 180 degree u-turn once we have the ultimatum of “do this, or else”. That’s when the want becomes a need.

Don’t be hard on yourself though. If you keep starting and stopping doesn’t mean that you have a weak willpower. It only means that you haven’t discovered why you need this.

Change now instead of waiting for the ultimatum. It’s better to work on the prevention than it is to work on the damage control once the health has taken a deep downturn.