It Has to Hurt

What motivates us to make a change for the better? Do you want to lose weight? Get fit and strong? Learn to water ski? Write a best selling novel? Beat cancer? In order to do any of these things, you will need to make some changes to your current lifestyle.

Change is difficult. We tend to resist change. Why? I guess because change is scary. Anything new or different could be a threat. We like to be comfortable. Even if our comfort zone is killing us.

I recently tore my calf muscle in a dance class I was teaching. The pain was so intense, I could barely walk. If a bear had lumbered down the hallway, I would not have been able to run away. I would have been eaten, then and there. I wouldn't be writing this blog right now.

But this injury, and the pain it brought me, taught me something important: I was dehydrated. How could I let myself get into that state, where my body was vulnerable to this kind of injury? I got lazy. I got sloppy. I didn't put in enough thought and preparation. I let stuff slip through the cracks. I spent too much time scrolling through Facebook.

It's way too easy to get distracted from the things that really matter. For me, my body is my instrument. It is my avenue for expression. It is my tool for teaching. If I don't take excellent care of my body, I could lose my job, my career, my livelihood, my main source of joy and mastery in this world. And yet, I sit on my ass scrolling through my FB newsfeed instead of making sure I drink a full liter of water before I go out to teach.

I realize this makes no sense. We human beings are brilliant creatures. And complete idiots.

We are constantly tripping ourselves up. Instead of making the right choices, the best choices, we choose to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, experiment with the latest drugs (prescription or otherwise), have unprotected sex with strangers, gamble away hundreds or thousands of dollars, eat an entire pizza, or spend another 45 minutes on Facebook looking at akita puppies. (Guess which one of these I am guilty of...)

So here's what I've decided: it has to hurt before we are willing to make a change. If we aren't significantly uncomfortable, we're just going to put up with the status quo. We need a smack in the face in order to see the light.

So where will you get your smack? Do you need to end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning? Do you need to hit rock bottom and break a few bones? Or is this blog post enough to jar you into making a change?

Let me know.