“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”Nelson Mandela
It’s been a long time since I wrote on this blog. It started off as not thinking the idea was good enough or on topic enough. I was judging myself a lot. The end result is that I stopped writing.
Years later now, something has changed. I was in a discussion with someone about motivation and goals which led to discussion with others about motivation and goals and finally to thoughts about my own motivation and goals.
A story I have often retold is of an American greco roman wrestler who wanted to be the best in the world. He put a picture of his top competition, the number one wrestler at the time, in his locker. His opponent was literally “in his face” everyday when he went to workout and practice.
I thought about things I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have not been putting in the effort. I haven’t been giving them a serious chance of success, for a lot of reasons. Excuses have had enough air time already so I’m going to skip them.
The first thing I thought of was to get down to 95kg (~210lbs). I’ll be one of the first to talk about not getting caught up with weight but to focus more on fitness, percentage body fat, and how you look and feel. The number is more symbolic than a metric. Also related to health was to improve my cardio and start exercising three mornings a week. I have been eating well some of the time and not so well at other times.
I was asked after telling the wrestling story “Why don’t you put the number 210 where you can see it”. This sounded like a great idea and easy to do. On my laptop there is now a sticky note that reads 210, and on the fridge there is a sticky note that reads 210. I want to remind myself that I have goals that I want to accomplish and they are important to me. Each time I see the number, I think about all things I want to accomplish.
It starts with one change.
I started eating better. No snacks in the evenings. More water. I’ve started working out again. Small improvements at a time. Improvement isn’t linear either, it looks something like this image.
It’s not much but it’s a start. And sometimes starting is the hardest thing to do.
With this article, I will have also started blogging again. It’s wonderful if people get any value out of it. What I’ve learned though is that I get value out of writing and that’s a new thing. As I continue to write, I am going to expand my topics into technical ideas and thoughts. Those ideas are often what I want to share.
I started this blog with a quote from Nelson Mandela. In no way have my struggles been comparable to his. His words though inspire me. We are surrounded by so many challenges in this world. Many people are being struck down by others, by sickness, or by ignorance. If you take a step forward in improving yourself, I ask that you also consider how you can improve someone else’s life. It’s doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just start.
Remember sometimes starting is the hardest thing to do. The second step is often easier.