“You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous
Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.
Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.
And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.
Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.
In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.
Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.
Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.
1. I don’t have enough time.
This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.
First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”.Advertising
Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?
A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.
Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.
2. I’m way too tired to workout.
Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.
If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.
You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.
If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.
3. But exercise is so boring!
You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?
So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.Advertising
The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.
If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.
4. I have no motivation to workout.
If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.
What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit. Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.
That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.
The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.
Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.
5. I have kids to look after.
One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.
Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.Advertising
If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.
You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.
6. I don’t have anyone to train with.
What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.
Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.
By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.
7. I don’t feel very well.
After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.
At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.
If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.
8. The gym is too expensive or far.
If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.
The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite. Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.Advertising
There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.
If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.
9. I don’t know how to train properly.
If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.
However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.
People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.
10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.
This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.
The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.
Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.
Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.
Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)
Last Updated on October 15, 2019
How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People
What is success to you? How to be successful in life?
To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.
All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.
There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.
With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.
What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:
1. Think Big
From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.
Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?
Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
Instead be ambitious.
2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It
From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.
Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.
If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?
Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.
Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.
Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.
3. Learn How to Balance Life
From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:
“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”
All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.
If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.
However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.
If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.
In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.
To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.
4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure
From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:
Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”
His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”
He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.
Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.
Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.
If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)
5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed
From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:
“I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”
This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.
If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.
Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.
6. Be a Person of Action
From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.
Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:
When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.
You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.
All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.
Applying this to you?
Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.
7. Cultivate Positive Relationships
From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.
People liked them. They wanted them to do well.
This is key to good leadership.
It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.
But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.
What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.
As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas
From Mark Twain, Famed Author:
“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.
Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.
If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.
9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed
From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.
It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.
10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.
Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.
If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.
However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.
11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On
From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”
It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.
When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.
Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.
If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.
12. Be Willing to Work Hard
From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:
“Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”
You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.
Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:
True success comes from work.
You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.
Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.
13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition
From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.
If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.
It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.
Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.
What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.
Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late
More to Help You Succeed in Life
- How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life
- 19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore
- How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)
Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com