Life Coach Magazine

Don’t Use Skepticism As An Excuse For Inaction

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Now Is The Time To Try Something NewLast week Tim Ferris, of The 4-Hour Workweek fame, put out a new book called the The 4-Hour Body .  In it he describes the variety of ways in which he’s hacked apart his body and put together a healthy lifestyle.  It’s filled with a lot of tips, entertaining stories and a variety of pseudo science the likes of which every diet book contains.  It’s even got a great section about sexual performance with a hilarious addendum on sperm donation.  I picked up this book because I like Tim’s blog but I didn’t really have an intention to follow any of the ideas in it.

You see, as I’ve learned more and more about health, I’ve also become more skeptical and jaded.  These days, when I read a new book about diet or fitness I think to myself “blah blah blah, yet another fad diet” or “yah, whatever, it will never work”.  Partially it’s because of the diet business itself, the industry is full of get rich schemes and questionable science.  However, I think part of it is natural laziness.  It’s easier to say “this will never work” than it is to actually try something.

Here’s the kicker though, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to try new stuff!  Once you get over the initial laziness, it’s a blast!  If you’re like me, you get wrapped up in the new thing, think of ways to modify it, are impatient about results and love telling everyone in your life about your new obsession.  Yes, it means your girlfriend occasionally gives you that “seriously?  Are you going to tell me all about your breakfast for the fourth time?” look and that your mother feels depressed that, once again, you’re embarking on some “crazy” diet that means you won’t eat her goulash (Hungarian beef and potato stew which my mom makes and which is absolutely better than anything any mother out there ever made!!!) but IT’S FUN!

“IT” could be a new diet, a new exercise routine, learning to play the banjo or just trying a new route to work, but whatever it is, I’m done with letting “it will never work” be my excuse for not trying out new things.  I’m done with using skepticism as an excuse for procrastination and allowing that to suck the joy of discovery right out of my life.  Discovering new things is a blast, even if you discover that something just doesn’t work.

Common Sense

Now sure, you want to use common sense here.  Trying out heroin just because it’s something new probably isn’t a good idea.  Trying out steroids because you’re trying out a new workout method is also probably a bad idea.  However, most of these new things are perfectly fine.  If you look at Tim’s idea for a diet it’s:

  1. Avoid “white” carbohydrates – Basically, don’t eat any bread, rice, cereal, pasta or potatoes.
  2. Eat the same few meals over and over – Avoid variety if possible.  Stick to what you know is healthy.
  3. Don’t drink calories – Water is your friend!
  4. Don’t eat fruit – Tim’s idea is that fruit contains too much sugar and should be avoided.  So much for superfoods huh?
  5. Take one day off per week – To provide psychological support, Tim’s diet allows you one cheat day per week on which you can and should binge on all the sugar, fat and carbs you want.

Yes, I find avoiding fruit to be a bit questionable, but trying this out for a month isn’t going to kill me, nor do any major damage assuming I avoid overdosing on deep fried twinkies on these cheat days.  Common sense tells me that no harm will come from this experiment, where as it’s quite possible I will learn something in the process and quite probable that I will have a blast doing it.  So I’m going to go for it and you can read more about it here at my fitness blog if you’re interested.

Steve Pavlina’s Abundance Idea

On a similar note, Steve Pavlina is a personal improvement author with a wide variety of ideas.  Some are great and some are crazy but they’re all interesting.  He’s a big proponent of The Law Of Attraction which essentially says, if you think about something hard enough, the universe will manifest it for you.  (All you LOA people out there who just flew into a murderous frenzy at my butchering of this philosophy in a one sentence summary, please relax.  This isn’t a post about The Law Of Attraction and hey, I did link to Steve’s site!)  Now personally, I think this is ridiculous.  The universe will manifest something for me if I just want and think about it hard enough?  Damn, if that was the case then Heather Locklear should have been manifesting in my bedroom every night back when I was a teenage boy! (I was a big TJ Hooker fan).

However, does it cost me anything to try this out?  Does it set me up for some kind of big failure?  Of course not.  Worse case scenario, I spend a few days thinking really hard about money or food or a new iPad or whatever it is I want these days and see what happens.  Best case scenario…. well, if the best case scenario happens than I’m guessing I’ll be posting all upcoming posts from my own private Caribbean island, but either way, I’ll have a lot of fun.

So to hell with skepticism.  I’m going to try something new, have a blast and learn a few things on the way.  What about you?

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