Hello, my name is Andy. I have a confession to make.
If you know me (or you read the title of this post) you know I can be a bit obsessive.
This can be a very good thing as well as a very bad thing.
I feel like there should be some sort of movie tagline here. Cue the impending doom in the announcer’s voice…
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
“He was born with a blessing and a curse.”
In the past, this obsessive behavior has helped me dive into the depths of anything that interested me. I easily develop a voracious appetite for all things I find fascinating. If I recognize a strong passion for that subject along the way, it will forever be a part of me like I’ve done with exercise, nutrition, and most recently with improving our neurological capabilities.
But that same obsessive behavior has gotten me into trouble before.
On the darker side of the spectrum, it has made a bad day into a bad week or month by allowing the obsessiveness to run rampant in my emotions and self-doubt.
On a lesser note, it’s caused problems by allowing it to run wild through fields of procrastination and stress.
Allow me to give you a peek behind the scenes. I currently accomplish my writing responsibilities mostly during the weekends. Fridays and Sundays serving as the main time I’ve allotted to become a keyboard assassin. Which is all well and good when I allow it to work. But if I borrow from Friday to pay back Sunday because I’m too intrigued by a book, or books as it were, I set myself up for failure. Because if anything happens to get in the way on Sunday and stops me from finishing my promised and procrastinated work
I currently accomplish most of my writing responsibilities during the weekends. Fridays and Sundays serving as the main time I’ve allotted to become a keyboard assassin. Which is all well and good when I allow it to work. But if I borrow from Sunday to pay back Friday because I’m too intrigued by a book, or books as it were, I set myself up for failure. Because if anything happens to get in the way on Sunday and stops me from finishing my promised and procrastinated work…well then, guess what happens?
I procrastinate some more. I push it off until the following Friday. Only now, it’s not merely a matter of procrastination, now it’s become a full-fledged work of art in seeing how long I can go without doing the damned thing.
One of the many things I still battle is the urge to make everything perfect. That urge plays a fantastic supporting character to the lead actors of obsession and procrastination. Can anyone else identify with me here?
One article and blog post to do quickly become 2 articles and blog posts, then 3 and 3, 4 and 4…Ad Infinitum, or rather Ad Nauseam.
On top of the pressure I put on myself, I worry about the feedback I would receive.
In my mind, I would have people asking me why I haven’t published a blog post in weeks. I envisioned hordes of villagers with pitchforks and torches in tow banging on my door, demanding I present the post. I was so absolutely sure I would hear something that I was ready to cringe and apologize. And then a funny thing happened.
And then a funny thing happened.
Nobody came to burn down the castle. None of my clients questioned “wtf man?” No comments on the website. Crickets. Actually, I don’t even think the crickets were too concerned because I couldn’t hear them either. May have been the shotgun, though.
I’ve either realized or solidified a few things in the last few weeks.
- First, the following on Fresh Evolution is simply small and/or forgiving enough at this point. This is a good thing as I’m still working out the art of being consistent.
- Second, excuse my French, fuck perfect. Perfect only gets you anxiety and procrastination.
- Third, I can use my obsessive behavior as a tool, turning it loose on any subject I deem important and interesting.
- Fourth, I can stay aware of my potential obsessiveness, possible procrastination, and in-utero consistency. I can then put the proper steps into action to develop myself, this site, and all its members into what we strive to be.
In addition, I realized today that with a little transparency I can utilize the opportunity to combine the final 4 core value series posts into one hopefully bad mutha post. This would allow me to go from, “How in the hell am I gonna get these all done?” to, “Ohhh snap, I can do that!”
Which is really quite ironic, because that’s exactly what I do in working with my clients when it comes to nutritional and physical roadblocks.
Set a goal. Assess the outcome. Hit it? Awesome, continue. Miss it? Scale it back. Rinse and repeat. Success is inevitable.
Now that I’ve come clean, I owe you some core values. We’ll be covering the following:
- Learning from your mistakes
- Asking for help when you need it
The irony here is too damn high. I’ve titled each section as they were initially promised in the accompanying Wilson Post articles. Although at this point, I think it’s best to modify my original intent slightly to stay current, if not also to keep this post under three thousand words. Now, let’s get to it!
How being organized can save your life.
I’ve already discussed the impact that being disorganized can have on your stress levels and overall health. But to sum it up, putting things off until later (ahem) can quickly allow a river of responsibility to begin flowing around you. At first, you notice the floor is a bit wet. Next, you’re wading through your worries. Finally, you’re being swept away into raging rapids of procrastination, unidentifiable piles of bills and paperwork, mountains of magazines, and falling boulders of bookmarked websites, videos, and Facebook posts.
It’s enough to make you scream. If only you had stayed on top of it all to begin with…but how?
I suggest 2 methods:
- Stay vigilant every day.
- Schedule a day every week to wipe the slate clean.
By staying vigilant every day, you allow yourself to organize as you go. As a general rule – and this applies to almost anything in life – if it takes 5 minutes to do it, do it now.
If you can develop the habit of taking care of the small things as you go about your day…Well then, my friend, you’re saving yourself a metric buttload of effort and stress down the road.
If you need to set aside time to do it once a week or even each month, then do it. But beware the dangers of life. She can laugh at your best-laid plans. Life doesn’t care about your clutter or stack of unopened emergency notices on the desk. Regardless, if you schedule a clean up day, hold yourself to it come hell or raging, procrastinating high water.
Let my previously mentioned lesson be your guide. Things pile up quickly. Just take care of them. Organization is your friend.
Ebb and flow.
In the related WP article, I covered the importance of maintaining balance in our life. I discussed how being out of balance in an area for too long can eventually expose us to injury or sickness.
I also mentioned, however, it’s equally as important to push ourselves out of balance in order to grow. We don’t get better in our comfort zones. We get better when we expose ourselves to new stimuli.
If you go for runs but never lift weights, you’ll do yourself a world of good by picking up something heavy. If you lift every day but only run when a T-rex is chasing you, getting some cardio will fire up the fat burning furnaces.
But it doesn’t stop in the physical realm. If you’re always plopping down in front of the tv, pick up a book. If you’re a fan of broccoli and kale (I know somebody out there is, dammit) then eat some other colors of the rainbow like cauliflower, squash, or beets.
I’m not done.
If you’re a fan of high-fat diets, throw in some low-glycemic carbs every now and then. If you avoid fats, make yourself a fat bomb. Metabolic flexibility is crucial and nutritional dogmas are dangerous, specifically because of their rigidity will throw us out of balance.
My point in all of this is that life is meant to be experienced. This doesn’t mean we have to eat unhealthy foods, do painful exercises, read boring books, or pick up a habit that is harmful to us. It simply means that we should develop the ability to be flexible. Our minds thrive on newness. We stay young by learning new things. When we subscribe to dogmas, no matter the domain, we become locked-in and in doing so, we begin to prematurely sign our death certificate.
Push yourself out of balance. Experience new things. Venture out into unknown worlds of nutrition, fitness, and mental growth. Whatever it is, make it a change of pace. Push out of your comfort zone. Just for a bit. Then return to home base to allow for newfound growth and life will seem a bit sweeter and more easily appreciated.
Live and learn.
Nowhere else in this post does this currently strike more of a chord with me than with the core value of learning from your mistakes.
I’ve solidified the fact that perfection can be a killer of progress.
I’ve learned that I should write something, anything, every day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
I’ve learned that in order to do what I aim to in the near and distant future, consistency and momentum must be my wingmen.
I’ve learned that you can turn a failure into an opportunity.
I’ve learned that tackling the thing you know you should do, no matter how intensely you want to put it off another week, gives you an immense sense of satisfaction.
I’ve learned that there is achievement in failure. There is growth there, as well.
I’ve known for years that we fear failure, as I mentioned in the Wilson Post article. This is unfortunate. Because when we avoid failure, we avoid the one thing seeking us out to make us better. We avoid the universal call to grow and improve. We run from the one thing sure to show us the way.
Don’t fear failure. Embrace it. Hunt it out, chase it down, and let it teach you its lessons. Sure, you may come out with a few scratches or scars, but the knowledge and experience you’ll gain will provide you with a sense of pride and progress. Plus, scars tend to have some great stories behind them.
Learn to appreciate and own failure and you learn how to ensure your success.
With a little help.
Finally, in discussing the core value of asking for help when you need it, I told the brief story of how I built this website. Long story short, it wasn’t easy. I certainly didn’t make it any easier by refusing to ask for help along the way.
While there’s not much I could’ve done to ask for help with typing these delayed posts – I’m not going to outsource one of the things I truly love doing – the value itself stands.
I think the fear of asking for help most resides in the hearts of perfectionists or underdeveloped leaders. The former doubts the abilities of anybody else to properly perform while the latter fears looking incompetent.
If you’re able to ask for help, it’s a good sign you’re neither. However, ask yourself, how often do you ask for help?
Do you find when the going gets tough, you reach out for assistance? Ok, no problem.
Do you find when the going simply gets going, you reach out? Hmm. Perhaps it’s time to get out of that comfort zone or pursue your failure.
I occasionally recall an oft-occurring experience in school. One where the teacher would ask students the answer to a question. They’d inevitably call on someone. If they were lucky enough to be paying attention, they could muster up the book’s highlighted response. Sometimes the teacher would allow it or even applaud it.
But every once in awhile with the right teacher, they raised the bar. They would demand the student to express what the answer meant to them, in their own words. Looking back, I recall how often this stumped kids.
“What do you mean?”
The teacher was hoping the student could begin to think for his/herself. To form their own opinions. To not be a parrot.
To this day, I catch myself being a parrot.
Reading a book and thinking every word is right, rather than applying my own knowledge and experience to it. This allows me to shape and mold the knowledge, if not at least question it.
Hearing a person’s argument and completely agreeing or disagreeing with it, rather than looking deeper to find the place where the seed of the argument originated.
I wonder if the people who are afraid to ask for help, or who are afraid NOT to ask for help were the same students who had no idea what the teachers wanted.
Bottom line here, if you’re stuck try a different angle. Step back and change your perspective. Ask a better question. Don’t be afraid to fail and do it splendidly.
And after all that, if you’re still stuck, reach out for help. You’ll not only be likely to find your answers, you’ll also supply someone else a chance to offer theirs.
This brings us to the end of the core value series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.
Going forward I will be bringing consistent content to you. I will continue to improve myself in all areas to better serve you. I want to grow the Fresh Evolution community in order to impact and improve as many lives as I can in my time here.
We all deserve to be healthy and happy and if I can do my part in providing those both to you and anyone you know, I’ll consider myself a very lucky man.
Next up: I’ll be covering the concept of creating better problems to move past old ones so you can level up your life. It will be published on the site by Monday.
Expect at least 2 blog posts each week, one published midweek and the next on the weekends. I’d rather write for quality than quantity and I still plan on reading, studying, and learning as much as possible.
Plus, I may have a few more surprises up my sleeves….Sssshhhhh.
Have a great rest of the weekend and thank you for sharing part of your day with me. Hopefully, I’ve knocked a few thoughts around in your head, enough to impact your day for the better.
Go be awesome, but before you do, take a second to SHARE this post on your favorite social.
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Hit me with any feedback in the COMMENTS section down below or the CONTACT page.
Love your life!!