By: Aaron Stafford, MS.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”
Many people who fail to lose weight or overcome a bad habit don’t fail because they lack commitment. This is a big piece of the puzzle that every successful self-changer must solve: Failure doesn’t always mean you haven’t made an effort. Sometimes failure is a result of trying too hard.
Trying too hard to break a bad habit is almost always self-defeating. When your thoughts are focused on the problem, it’s only a matter of time before your willpower crumbles.
Tension and negative energy build up when you force yourself to dwell on negative thoughts. Most dieters and smokers have gone through the familiar cycle of trying as hard as they can, lapsing into the same old routines sooner or later, and finally giving up with less hope than ever that they will one day be able to break their self-destructive habits.
The only way to defeat bad habits is to keep your focus on the new lifestyle you plan to enjoy once the habit no longer controls you.
Picture this scenario: A man casually jogs thirteen miles (yes, a half marathon) in a little over five hours, barely the pace that would be set by an energetic walker. It’s no wonder: Our man stopped for a beer and a cigarette halfway through his run.
At first glance, this hardly fits the picture of a committed lifestyle changer. But wait: This is no ordinary man. We’re face to face with a living legend: 101-year-old Buster Martin.
As he told ABC News, “You are never too old to do what you enjoy.”
There’s a lesson to be learned from Buster Martin, and it’s not that you should stop for a beer and a cigarette the next time you run thirteen miles. The important thing to grasp is this: Buster keeps his focus on the benefits of joyful living.
Buster Martin does what he enjoys. He came out of retirement at the age of ninety-nine to go back to work part time. And his running benefits others as well as his own cardiovascular system. He plans to run the 2008 London Marathon—all twenty-six miles. His sponsorship money will go to charity.
Buster’s formula for abundant living is a simple one: Never believe that you’re too old to do what you enjoy, and do it for the benefit of others. This is the attitude that drives all lifelong achievers.
To be a lifelong achiever like 101-year-old Buster Martin, take an attitude check today. Make a commitment to what Emmet Fox called the “seven-day mental diet.”
It works like this: For one week, you must not allow your mind to dwell on any negative thoughts.
As soon as a thought like “I can’t” enters your mind, immediately shift your mode of thinking. Instead of telling yourself you can’t, start thinking about what you need to do to accomplish it. If it isn’t important, strike it off your list and forget about it.