*0 or 100*
It sits on the top right corner of my organizer dry-erase board. It has for several months. Why? What does it mean?
Initially, it started out as a reminder to myself that I have an addictive personality. I’m either completely uninterested in something or I’m ALL IN. I’m either 0% or 100%. I first wrote it as a way to remind myself that I can’t have balance in some aspects, not like others, at least.
I can’t have balance with alcohol, because it has no place in my life, it serves no purpose. It’s actually quite counter-productive. But, even as I knew that for years, I would still try to fit it into my life somehow. “I should be able to drink, everybody else can.” That thought would bounce around in my head for years. Since we live in a society that surrounds its holidays with food and drink, where there seems to be a reason to celebrate every month, it’s really quite difficult for somebody trying to not drink, or not eat junk food, or not do both.
Once I wrote 0 or 100 on the board, I saw it every day. It was a reminder to me that I had to find the things that I loved and then had to dive in headfirst. That was how I found my happiness. That was how I could help others and find my fulfillment.
But it is now taking on an additional, much more powerful meaning.
I now see it as I can accept 0 or 100% responsibility for my choices, my actions, my habits and consequently, my life. Let me explain…
I have been “in a funk” for around 2 months now. It started with me feeling stressed and overwhelmed, at least that’s what I think happened. And it initially seemed like I was just having a bad day, then another, and another. But it really hit once I launched this very website. And I went downhill. Feeling frustrated. Feeling blocked. Feeling like I couldn’t help anybody or do anything right, but that I had to please everybody all the time.
What I recently realized was that I have to have a goal, a target, to constantly be aiming for. When I quit drinking, the goal was simply sobriety. When I was building Fresh Evolution Fitness into a real company, the goal was getting the LLC, filing all the paperwork and paying all the necessary fees. Working with online clients gave me consistent goals of keeping in touch and keeping them on track. Finally, launching this website and building the community gave me goals that would help me do just that. But all of these accomplishments were coming up organically. They were natural progressions that I was simply setting and achieving without much thought. It wasn’t until I had no major goal, no proverbial dragon to go out and slay, that I started to become self-destructive again.
I would get home on break, and have every intention of writing a blog, recording a video…just building interaction, somehow. But when I looked at the computer, I felt blocked. I wondered why. I complained about it to friends and family. “It’ll pass, just give it time.” “Just keep your head up and keep working hard, you’ll figure it out.” But nothing budged. I fell off track with my diet, letting sugar creep back in at first. Before I knew it, I started feeling like hell physically, I was in a mental fog, and I felt like I just wanted to quit. And to make it all worse, I was still trying to get past the feeling of “blah” but I wasn’t getting anywhere…actually, that’s a lie, I was moving, but I was going backwards. If you know me, you know I don’t do backwards very well. Heck, EVOLUTION is in the name…it’s a part of my philosophy…it’s part of this community that you and I both share. So, what could I do?
This brings us back to the new and improved 0 or 100.
I realized that I could either accept 0% or 100% of the responsibility of where I was, how I felt and what I was doing. I understood that if I was to change anything, it was up to me to start making those changes happen. Not by accident, not by waiting, not by just working harder. But by setting goals. By laying out a plan. By reading. By listening to uplifting music, motivational speakers and podcasts. By going for walks and by getting up earlier. Ultimately, by making a true plan of attack that I knew I could not only stick with, but that I am excited to follow through on. This isn’t something that I think I can do…it’s something that I desperately want to do. These are changes that energize me. They are manageable, not overwhelming. They are not “I’ve got to’s”, instead they are “I GET to’s” and this makes all the difference.
How do you do the same? How do you get out of your funk? How do you find your 0 or 100?
Start by asking yourself a few questions, and take the proper time to answer them CORRECTLY.
1. What makes you happy? Not just a smile, but that big, goofy, happy smile that we get and suddenly realize how goofy we look but you don’t care because you’re just so stinking happy!!
2. What makes you UNhappy? Not frustrated, not perturbed, but what is so toxic in your life that you CANNOT.STAND.IT when it happens?
3. What is the ONE THING you can do today to move yourself closer to #1?
4. What is the ONE THING you can do today to move yourself further away from #2?
Identifying the first two is more difficult that it seems. It’s actually amazing, but if you ask most people for 5 things that makes them happy, they can’t come up with them. The average person can complain all day about what bothers them and how so-and-so did this, but even that isn’t truly what makes them UNhappy. Oftentimes the answer to that question lies much deeper, and it usually is a self-enacted habit or lifestyle choice.
(Life pro-tip, if somebody does something that just drives you CRAZY…check yourself, chances are you do that as well. We often get upset at others for doing things we are un- or subconsciously doing. Once you learn this and can fine-tune it, you can actually use others as a mirror for self-improvement.)
Once you’ve identified the first two, the next step is a little easier. At least initially.
Finding the ONE THING may come to you right away. You may have your answers to #’s 3 and 4 and be ready to roll. If so, congratulations, you’re ahead of the game. Most likely though, you’ll have to take a couple stabs at them. You may find something that works right away, but you’ll realize that over time they’re not working as effectively. Or they may not work at all. In either case, you’ll need to make sure you redefine #3 and #4. It is not at all unlikely that you’ll need to continuously ask yourself those two and be in a process of always answering, doing, measuring and answering anew.
Just as you should always ask and answer #’s 3 and 4, you should do the same with #1 and #2 as well. Although these won’t need to be asked as often, unless you didn’t answer them CORRECTLY the first time. One of the most important things we can do in this life is to be familiar with the act of knowing ourselves. Too many people go through life, thinking they are in control when they are really just going through the motions. You can see it everywhere you go. Next time you’re out and about, look at those around you. Are they paying attention or are they on auto-pilot? When you smile at somebody, do they smile back? Do they lift their head up from their phones at all? Do YOU even make eye contact? Do YOU smile? Maybe you’re on auot-pilot as well.
Take the time to get to know yourself. Ask the above questions and ask them often. Answer them and answer them whole-heartedly and truthfully. Then, when you know who you are, and you have your one things to move in the right direction every day, you’ll start to get a sense of power. You’ll start to realize that your life really lies in your hands. If you’re not happy, if so-and-so bothers you, if you’ve set goals and just can’t reach them…you have a choice to make. Will you accept 0% or 100% of the responsibility?