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Commit to yourself: Take “stairs” not “magic pill” for success

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Collin Adams
  • 90th Contracting Squadron
Each day you are faced with making a decision, both personal and professional. In some situations the direction you choose takes little or no thought.

In others, the decision may involve an eight- step process.

In either case, the choice you make will have consequences, short- and long- term, intended and unintended. So, what drove you to make the decision you did?

Did you choose the easy path or more difficult one? When you arrived at the decision
point, did you have the self-discipline to take the stairs or did you take the escalator?

Living a healthy lifestyle is about taking the "stairs." Taking the stairs is a mind-set. It's about making disciplined choices and self-discipline requires sacrifice and commitment.

Sacrifice is listening to the logical side of your thoughts rather than the emotional side.
Imagine it's Monday and football is on TV; you're feeling a little guilty because you haven't made it to the gym; should you go or stay home to watch the game?

The feeling of excitement from the game won't last long, yet the emotional pull is much more intense than the one telling you to go the gym.

Our tendency is to make decisions based on feelings rather than logic. It's easy and makes us feel good in the short term.

Our choices to make life easy in the short term often conflict with what makes life easy in the long term.

Neglecting the gym due to the football game, or the myriad of other excuses we can come up with, can quickly catch up with us in reduced energy, excessive weight and low self-esteem in the long term.

Commitment is being invested in something. The more you have invested, the less likely you are to let it fail.

Your health is an investment. The more you invest in it, the more return on life you will receive. Is your goal to live a longer and healthier life?

Sure the "magic pill" takes less effort, it's emotionally easy, doesn't require sacrifice, commitment or self-discipline, but logically you know you should put the effort in now to change your eating habits and quit smoking.

Emotionally that's hard. That's self-discipline; that's taking the stairs.

You must stay committed. Once you abandon your goals for the next best thing- from the long term commitment to a healthy lifestyle to the short term commitment of the magic pill- you often find yourself right back where you started.

It's not the working out once we get to the gym that's hard, it's the sitting on the couch and deciding whether or not were going that's difficult.

We all want to live a happy and successful life, but as a society, we want it the easy way. We look for life's escalator because it's easier, yet it only makes it worse in the long term.

Often, to be successful, it's not the result of our major decisions. It's the seemingly insignificant ones collectively. It's the habit of making the hard right over the easy wrong that's important.

The difficulty of taking the stairs is short lived, once you get used to it, it becomes a lifestyle and life becomes easier.