I'd just got back from meeting some friends in town for a catch up and had walked through the door of my apartment block. It was the end of the day. I was tired and ready to crash. I looked briefly at the elevator and then at the stairs. There was a split second battle in my mind about what to do and then...
I took the stairs.
Because I know the stairs will get me where I want to go in a way the elevator NEVER will.
Taking the elevator doesn't burn calories.
Taking the elevator doesn't require discipline.
Taking the elevator doesn't require choosing the hard path over the easy path.
Taking the elevator doesn't require conscious awareness.
Taking the elevator won't work my legs or my lungs.
Taking the elevator won't make me feel good about myself. It won't make me feel good full stop.
Taking the elevator is the exact thing you have to train yourself NOT TO DO if you want to get yourself where you want to go. Because taking the elevator is this:
Short term pleasure in exchange for long term results.
I'm a big fan of massive action. I'm a fan of risks and courage and jumping head first, belly first, feet first or whatever else first into life and living and all the things that scare you.
BUT, I'm also a believer in the tiny little steps taken consistently over time. I understand how the small things add up day by day and week by week and month by month. And they can either add up positively, or they can add up negatively.
Every day you either burn those calories, or you don't.
Every day you either strengthen your discipline or you weaken it.
Every day you either train yourself to choose the hard path over the easy path or you train yourself to always do what hurts least in the moment.
Every day you either make conscious choices or your walk like an automaton through your life.
Every day you either work your legs and your lungs or you let them sit inactive, becoming increasingly inefficient.
Every day you get to do what makes you feel great, or what makes you feel lethargic.
Choosing short term pleasure will NEVER get you where you want to go.
So what do you do? How do you stop being the person who takes the elevator and start being the person who takes the stairs?
How do you start being the person who gets out of bed instead of hitting snooze? How do you start being the person who does the work instead of taking a nap? How do you start being the person who sits down to create instead of scrolling, again, through your Facebook feed?
Here's what you do:
You sit yourself down with a pen and a piece of paper and you write down and get crystal clear on the results you want in your life.
For the last 3+ months I've been writing this in my journal every day:
"I'm in perfect physical health and fitness. I'm strong, lean and flexible."
EVERY DAY I write this down. Every day I focus on these words.
And so every time I'm faced with a decision where I have to make a CHOICE between the hard path or the easy path, I take the hard path. Why? Because I'm in perfect physical health and fitness and I'm strong, lean and flexible. It's WHO I AM.
It's no coincidence that I started doing home workouts a couple of months ago, started researching more about nutrition and now started kickboxing (went to my second class yesterday - oh my goodness AMAZING).
I create these things in my life by focusing my attention on them and setting clear intentions about who I am.
And the more I focus my time, energy and attention on those things, the more naturally and easily I take the action necessary to bring those things into my reality.
It's so damn easy to take the elevator. That's why the vast majority of people are living lives they freakin' hate. Because as much as they say they want to change, they're not ready to start CHOOSING the stairs.
But not you.
Definitely not you.
I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're a person who can choose to take the stairs. Every. Single. Time.
It's why you're here. Because you KNOW that I'm just a reflection of you and your own potential. You know that this is who you are too. You know that you're a person who takes the stairs, who jumps head first, who does the work, who makes things happen.
It doesn't matter what you did yesterday. Doesn't matter if you took the elevator, had a nap or spent hours on Facebook. Today, right NOW, you can start writing a new reality. You can start becoming the person you know you are by focusing your time, energy and attention on the results you want to create. And you can focus on them every day. So that more and more when faced with the choice, you'll choose the path that takes a little more effort.
You'll choose the path that leads you to the results you want.
So if you do one thing today, do this:
Sit down with your pen and paper and write down, clearly, what the results are that you want to create. Write down WHO you are, even if you don't feel like you're that person yet.
And then get to work.
Take the stairs.
Love and courage,