Something I’ve identified in my lifetime doing quality improvement and providing education to different groups of people regarding life situations (for example, I recently have been lecturing on diabetes prevention) is the concept of forever counseling. I’ll even go so far as to call it a cycle of failure.
Although I truly hate the word failure, and I’ll discuss that concept a little bit later in this article, I felt it would be the best word to use to convey the concept I’m trying to describe here. I believe many industries in our economy bank on our failure – the failure to successfully diet, failure to exercise, failure to have money. Just look at companies that offer weight loss programs, or the pharmaceutical companies, or gyms. They hope you fail so you keep coming back and spending your money. As a matter of fact, the self help industry has grown to be an $11 billion industry. I’m thinking success is not really the ultimate goal.
With 28 years in healthcare seeing the “sick and sad”, I decided there had to be a better way. I developed the Time to Play Philosophy with the hope to trigger people to “take their life back”, to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance. My goal since I’ve started this project, and now through the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit with the mission to inspire everyone to enjoy life, was to “plant a seed”. What does that mean? I figured we could have wonderful people (the whole project is built on a “people helping people” idea) with experience in each of these areas (happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance) who could educate others with SIMPLE tips or thoughts that anyone can easily implement into their lives so they could have a better life.
I’ve learned that you can write, talk, tell people and spread all the good ideas or suggestions you want, but unless someone is ready to change, it will not matter. I’ve seen people go to programs, counselors, courses… they are “in” for the time when they are there, and then fall back into the same routine when they leave.
People close to me even speak about hating their job, not having enough money, or being displeased with a life situation; but still they remain in the same day to day (not mentioning any names here – but, hint, hint — Gregory).
Why? It’s easier. Jim, my husband, and I have spoken about this numerous times and he always reminds me about the concept of the path of least resistance. Think about that for a moment. Everything in our world does take the path of least resistance. Even water flowing down a hill will go around an obstruction first.
That got me thinking about the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results”. Think about that for a moment, as well. I had written about that same concept in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.ifIKnewThenBook.com) stating that history will repeat itself if we let it.
So, with that being said, I believe that, no matter what program, coach, seminar, book, class, or anything else you sign up for, nothing will change UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE. Even in the diabetes prevention class I recently taught, I would watch the participants come. Week after week they had excuses why their weight did not change. They would say they had a hard week, had an event, had no time to exercise, or didn’t have time to follow the program. Week after week they would have no results and become discouraged. Week after week they did the same thing, expecting different results, but there were no different results.
There are no different results until you decide that it’s time for that to happen – that it’s time for a change.
This article was not intended to insult anyone or to make anyone feel bad or angry, but to spark a thought to consider what we each need to do to make our lives better. Each of us, even if we live in the same community or even in the same house or family, needs something different in our own lives to enjoy life. We are all living our own, different, experience, and we all have different needs.
BUT, I believe it is necessary, every once in a while, for us to take a moment to STOP and evaluate what’s going on in our day-to-day lives. I believe we are put on this earth to love life and not be a “tortured soul” (explained in chapter 2 of my book).
Let’s expand on this concept of life evaluation. I believe that we get so wrapped up in the day to day that, every once in a while, it becomes necessary for us to take a moment and look around. Kind of like a performance review on our own lives by the most important person in the world to us (ourselves).
- Ask yourself – are you truly happy, healthy, have money (at least enough to pay our bills so you’re not stressed out) and/or a work life balance?
- Take a moment to evaluate your life situation and then take a moment to write down what things could make your day a little better.
- Next make a list of possible things you can do (change / implement) to make those things happen.
You have to decide if you could commit to implementing the items on the list. Sometimes the options are not realistic… I get it. BUT, I believe that, if you do just one small thing to get from here to there, it could make all the difference. Also, keep in mind that EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY is an opportunity for a “do over” in most cases. So, take those “do over” opportunities. Although I used the word failure when I began this article, I believe that, in reality, there is no actual failure, but just learning opportunities. A learning opportunity that allows for that “do over”.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year”….
No matter what advertisement sounds good, or no matter who tells you that “you should do ___________“ (fill in the blank), in the end, it is up to each of us to decide if we are ready.
I have learned that there are no shortcuts or magic potions. The answer is easy and lies within ourselves.
It is our own commitment TO ourselves.
So…. are you ready to make that change? It’s time to enjoy life.
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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlay.com