Here are a bunch of truisms we’ve heard over and over:
“You are what you eat.”
“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
“You’re the average of the closest 5 people around you.”
These idioms are so common that we have become numb to their actual meaning.
So let’s get real for a second:
You literally break down the cells you consume and they become your cells. The fast food you ate (that isn’t passed as waste) will actually become YOU.
Your every day patterns are reflections of neurons firing in specific circuits in your brain. The more you engage in those patterns, the more conductive that circuit in your brain becomes. The better you get at that pattern of thinking or doing. This is why it’s so hard to get out of a “rut.”
The people around you have their own biology and their own patterns. As social animals, humans are SO adept at swimming with the pack, picking up nuances in others, and adapting patterns of thought or behavior to follow suit.
But not you right?
You’re in control of your own life. You have the ability to decide what you consume, what you believe, and what you think.
Well, it goes further than that.
You are what you eat, read, watch, listen to, and do.
Your patterns are both in your control and also massively subject to the influence of stimuli and people in your environment.
The person you are is a compounding function of biology, social influence, genetic predisposition, and culture. This shouldn’t be surprising, but realizing that we need to address these factors in our every day lives is.
It’s not 50% nature and 50% nurture.
It’s 100% nature and 100% nurture.
Surprise, surprise. It’s a complicated, nuanced, convoluted, intricate interaction between the two that make the whole. There’s no splitting them in to parts. By saying it’s 50/50, we’re really failing to understand that there’s a mutual influenced interaction going on.
In the same way, it’s not as binary as “free will or fate.” It’s the same concept!
So if we want to get real about how we can change our lives, impact the planet, and influence others, we need to address these intricate relationships and start putting the future in our favor.
So how do we start?
The surprising thing is that we already know the answer!
Eat real food. You already know what’s healthy and what’s not.
Stop binging on trash TV and put your time into something that’s entertaining AND enriching. You have a million tools online to do this. There are no excuses.
Break up with the people in your life who suck your energy. You know who they are. You get that weird feeling every time they’re around–like you’re not yourself.
So if I know all the answers, why haven’t I done anything about it?
The hard part is that it hurts in the short term to do these things.
The easy part is realizing that pain is inevitable, so avoiding it is unrealistic.
You can either rip the band-aid off today, or your can suffer in the long term. Totally your choice–and if you’ve got a pattern of suffering, you’re going to need to figure out how to give yourself an edge.
2 Minute Action
Choose an edge you feel like you have the most control over:
- Choose what to put in your body (diet & entertainment)
- Choose to modify thoughts and behavior (cognitive behavioral therapy)
- Choose to increase the quality of people around you (break up with negative people)
You don’t have to do everything at once, and you don’t have to do everything today. Get real.
You DO have to take the first step, today.
So pick one edge right now, reply to this post and let me know what you’re committed to.
And then, here’s the MOST IMPORTANT part . . .
You have to take the second step.
And then the third step.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.” – Chinese Proverb
If you’re serious about a committed life of service and self improvement, you’ll put in the work.
You can do this.