36. I really, really, really, really want that but just not as much as I want something else.

I haven’t received a really sound beating since I touched on this topic several months ago and so the masochist in me felt it was time to open the doors of wrath and invite in all those who are about to be offended and then sit back and passively enjoy their verbal lashings.

Last week we talked about goals and how what we think we want isn’t really what we want but how what we really want is what getting what we think we want will do for us. 

Get it?

I can’t make it any plainer than that and Gimalle is booking me into an ESL class as we speak.

But let’s assume for a moment that we do know what we want. Let’s further assume that we even know what we need to do to get there and – and I know this doesn’t apply to you – we just can’t seem to consistently do, or not do, those things that will get us to where we want to be – we can’t seem to stay with the program.

Why not. 

How hard can it be?

Well, let’s examine a real life example. You have come to the sad conclusion that you have gained a few pounds. The evidence is irrefutable. Nothing fits and when you look down you realize, to your horror, that you no longer have toes.

You set a goal. You are going to lose forty pounds.

You understand that losing the forty pounds is not what you really want and that what you really want is what you believe that losing the forty pounds will do for you:

You will feel better about yourself.

You will be healthier.

You will fit into those bell-bottoms you bought back in ’77.

You will feel more attractive.

You will have more energy.

Often there is another reason too, but I’m not going to mention it. I got in enough trouble over that one last week.

So you know what you want and you know what getting it will do for you.

You have done the research, cracked the ancient code and lifted the veil of secrecy that has prevented the hidden magical answer to weight loss from being revealed to the world. You figured it out. 

You need to consume less and do more. 

Who knew?

Henceforth you resolve to:

Walk over to your neighbours for coffee instead of driving the ten meters or, at least, to drive halfway and walk the rest.

Walk up the stairs to your bedroom instead of using the elevator you so proudly installed in your living room last year.

Park your car and walk into the Dairy Queen rather than using the drive-through.

Vacuum your carpet instead of using that robot crawler thing you got for Christmas.

Snack on an apple instead of a gallon of Haagen Dazs.

Drink at least one glass of water each week.

Only super-size on special occasions.

Stop ordering gravy by the glass and then drinking it through a straw.

Now you’re ready.

You’re feeling good about yourself and the commitment you have made.

This time you’re really gonna do it.

This is going to be sooooo much fun. 

It’s going to be so rewarding. 

You can’t wait to meet your friends for dinner at the new bistro tomorrow evening. You’re gonna enjoy a delicious piece of lettuce with a yummy side of spinach, two perfectly cooked peas and a mouth watering single baby carrot while you watch them packing their arteries with awfulFrench onion soup, yucky Chateau Briand and disgusting chocolate covered cheesecake smothered in raspberry sauce.

You actually feel badly for them. They just don’t know how much damage they’re doing to themselves, do they?

So off you go to meet your friends.

And something terrible happens.

You savour every bite of the French onion soup.

You devour every morsel of Chateau Briand.

You lick your plate to capture the last crumb of cheese cake – both helpings.

How could that happen? You were so prepared. You were so determined.

It’s really simple. Keep reading if you want to know.

But, be warned. This is not for the faint hearted.

Here’s wahrt happened.

You do not want to lose that weight badly enough.

It’s not that important.

You see, we only, ever do one thing. We only do what is important to us in the moment.

In the moment means right now, and right now, the present, is all we have to live in.

All those things that we believe losing that weight will do for us will take place in the future and the future hasn’t gotten here yet.

And we do what we do for one of two reasons; we do what we do in order to gain pleasure or to avoid pain.

And we don’t really want lettuce and spinach and peas and a carrot. That may bring us pleasure at some point in the future but right now, in the present, the thought of eating that healthy junk while our friends dine on the good stuff only serves to cause pain. Immediate pain.

And as humans we will tend to work harder, and faster, to make pain -particularly immediate pain – go away than we will to gain pleasure – especially if the pleasure will only arrive at some point in the future.

So how do we make the immediate pain go away?

We reach for the three best pain-killers known to man; French onion soup, Chateau Briand, chocolate covered cheesecake smothered in raspberry sauce

Voila. Pain gone, replaced by salivation inducing pleasure.

Unfortunately that pleasure is often short lived.

It is often followed by the pain of guilt, anger, despair and self hate. 

And yet, astonishingly, even this pain is not enough to stop us from repeating this cycle over and over again.





But, there is hope, a way to resolve this continuous cycle of pain we so frequently visit upon ourselves.

It is not enough to know what our goals are or even to know what achieving our goals will do for us. 


We must know WHY we want what achieving out goals will do for us.

And our reason why has to be important.

Very, very important. 

Enormously important.

Hugely important.

Massively important.

Even more important than French onion soup.

Even more important that Chateau Briand.

Even more important than chocolate covered cheesecake smothered in raspberry sauce.

 If not, well, Bon Appétit.

More on this later.

 Till we read again.

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