Friday, April 16, 2010

What do you really want?

By Dr. Laura F. Shwaluk

I was sitting in a seminar when the speaker said the following quote:

“Most people fail instead of succeed because they give up what they really want for what they want at the moment.”

That made sense to me. I thought it refers to long-range goals like retirement plans, saving for a house or car, or getting out of debt. However, it also applies to my health as well. It really made me think of my health goals and my commitment to them. Such as exercising 4-5 times per week, cutting back on sugar and maintaining my weight.

Where my commitment most often gets challenged is around family members who do not have the same or similar commitments. For example, my husband often encourages me to have dessert or a glass of wine or port. Sometimes he even suggests that I have two desserts! Or a big bag of salty potato chips. GRRR! Clearly not in line with my commitment of having a lean, muscular, healthy body. He tempts me to have a slice of sweet, delicious Italian Cream Cake or a small glass of port, which I call the “Devil Brew” because it leads me straight to the desserts.

Reminding myself of the above quote strengthens my resolve to stick with my plan. It works, because I am more committed to my health and well-being than to the brief moment of pleasure of eating the dessert or having the port. The long-term pleasure of having a healthy, flexible body I enjoy, way outweighs giving in to a momentary pleasure.

Another way that my commitment is often tested is with exercise. To me, exercise is like housework; it never seems to end, and I don’t always feel like doing it. Unlike housework, however, I can’t hire someone to take care of my body like I can my house. I am still the only one responsible for doing the exercise when I said I would. My sister put the above quote on her desk at work, and she reads it every day. Reading it reminds her of her goals and helps her get to the gym on those days when she is tempted to not go.

This way of thinking of success applies to all goals, including business and relationships. In business, especially in sales, people give up making that last call of the day so they can leave early or have an easier day. In relationships, people settle for what currently have rather than putting forth the effort to make it better.

You might think that the hardest part is having the resolve to continually go after what you want. More often than not the issue is knowing what you really want. In the moment of temptation I must be truthful with myself about what I really want deep inside long term. When that is clear then it is easier for me to stick with my plan to attain my goals.

My question to you is two-fold. One, do you know what you really want? Really? And two, can you use the above quote to help you keep on track? Let me know your thoughts.

Dr. Laura F. Shwaluk has a general chiropractic practice in Plano, specializing in applied kinesiology. She is the author of Take Charge, Steps To Prevent Breast Cancer.


Michelle Butler on April 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM said...

Laura, thank you for this reminder of focusing on what I really want as opposed to what will make me feel good for a fleeting moment. Best wishes on your healthy journey!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on April 16, 2010 at 11:28 AM said...

Very good points, Laura. Thanks for being with us today.

Sally Kilpatrick on April 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM said...

This is wonderful advice. I think that quote and I need to become better acquainted.

Tawny on April 16, 2010 at 1:31 PM said...

Laura, welcome. What a great quote. It really sums up the simplicity of choice, doesn't it?!

Dr. Laura on April 16, 2010 at 3:10 PM said...

Thank you! Sometimes we make things difficult when they really are easy. We have been conditioned for short term gratification rather than long term gain. When it comes to health, focus on long term it where it is at.

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