secrecy

There are few secrets in this world.

I was speaking to a friend who is a personal trainer, and he was recalling about how when he starts doing an exercise, gym observers start to copy it, because that must be the secret to they they are unfit/unhappy with their bodies.

Internet adverts that shout the “one secret the industry will never tell you” are ubiquitous – and are designed to continue to sell the idea that you are not being told something. This is toxic thinking – it takes away your personal responsibility to act. If you are convinced that achieving your goals is impossible because of some corporation not giving you the secret, then you will lose motivation to ever try.

This is a simple lie.

Lying to yourself is easy. Convincing yourself that the reason you can’t lose weight because of one thing, that you can’t save money because of one thing, that you can’t get fit because of one thing, are all lies.

There is one secret to achieving any goal: consistent hard work.

My definition of hard work is work that you wouldn’t ordinarily put in.

Take running as an example.

When you set out to run more, you may analyse why you don’t run more already. Perhaps you think that your trainers are looking a bit old, and a new pair should make you run more. The new Nike Apple Watch has some really awesome features that will get you excited to run more. But you’re so busy at work at the moment, you’re always exhausted by the time you go out for a run. And the weather isn’t brilliant at the moment, so maybe you should wait until the weather improves. And you’ve put on some weight, so you aren’t going to look very good on the road. Maybe you should buy a treadmill so you won’t get ridiculed.

Recognise any of these?

Running a 3km run once in your pair of £80 trainers doesn’t make you a runner. Buying the trainers won’t make you a runner. Downloading an app that tracks your running won’t make you a runner. It won’t make you fitter.

Planning a series of runs of increasing length, with programmed rest periods and then executing that plan, that will make you a runner. Regardless of the weather. Regardless of the shitty day you had. Regardless of the excuses you came up with. And your fitness will improve.

But this isn’t a secret, and it isn’t sexy.

There does seem to be one secret to all this.

That is: You didn’t need me to tell you this. You knew there wasn’t a quick fix. You knew this in your heart all along. You knew that you would have to make changes if your vision was to become a reality. And change is scary. You might find it difficult. You might have to put in some hard work.

If you don’t want to put the effort in to achieve your goal, you don’t have to. But the goal is unachievable until you do.

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