Knowledge Put Into Action = Results
“Motivation is like bathing, you must do it everyday to get the full effect.”
It’s one thing to be motivated but it’s another thing to take action. We can have all the motivation in the world during one moment in time and the next we can find ourselves watching another 2h of youtube videos without even noticing the time go by, finding ourselves back in that familiar position… Telling ourselves that it’s too late to do anything today, so tomorrow we’ll begin…
We get so easily caught up in life’s distraction that we never truly focus on what’s best for ourselves. Especially when what’s best is something that takes energy to do. For example exercising and eating healthily take physical and mental energy to do. Physical activity will use physical energy but eating healthily will demand the use of mental energy in choosing an ideal and appropriate meal.
The funny thing about the body is that it doesn’t like wasting any kind of energy. We’re hardwired this way due to the fact that we come from an environment of scarcity (our hunter/gatherer ancestors). Back then it made sense to want to save energy and eat lots of calorie dense foods (whenever they could be found) because a steady source of food was so difficult to come by.
Today, however, we no longer live in an environment of scarcity but one of abundance. We have everything at our disposal and everything is so easily accessible and available. We no longer have to hunt for our food and we no longer even need to waste physical or even mental energy. Technology has solved these problems and has allowed us to glide through life without really needing the use of our bodies anymore. Transportation, electronic appliances, ready made meals, the internet… all of these amazing creations have given us so much but on the flip side have taken away so much as well.
The ease and convenience that all of these devices and appliances offer us actually takes away from our basic motor skills. We use less mental energy to work problems out and we use less physical energy because technology is there to save the day. This leads to an even greater inclination to not want to use our brains or bodies because we know there is something that will facilitate this need. This has lead to a decline in our critical thinking capacities and in our physical well being, with the rise of non-communicable diseases (obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke).
The environment we now live in makes it extremely difficult for us to want to take action because on a subconscious level, on an animal level, we are geared towards wanting to take the easy option. Which means saving energy and storing calories (as fat) by eating caloric foods because we think this will ensure our survival. Today, these urges are being catered to by the food industry. Big business is also created by those who can best solve the problems that people face. Unfortunately, problems are now being manufactured so that products can be created and sold to us, and the convenience that they offer us makes them pretty damn irresistible (saving time & energy).
We are fighting a battle against an opponent that is clearly much stronger than us. So what can we do?
Although the opponent is stronger than us physically, we are however, smarter, which means that we have the upper hand mentally if we choose to apply ourselves. By using our brains correctly and effectively we can overcome this great opponent. By becoming conscious of our environment, the technology that we use on a consistent basis and the foods that we eat daily, we can identify the patterns that we have adopted. They are either negative or positive. We want to focus on the negative patterns and change our behaviours so that we give ourselves our desired outcome.
The fact that we succumb to “availability bias” which means that we usually do what is most easy and accessible to us, should make us become aware of the importance of preparation. We know that our environment contains cheap, processed and unhealthy calories because that is what is sold in the majority of the establishments. So we must either have a plan of action in what to do when out and about or we should already have a snack packed for when the time comes. This will begin to work against the availability bias because you have now anticipated its influence.
By recognising whether you always take the escalator or lift instead of the stairs will make you more likely to maybe take the stairs every once in a while. Same goes for transport. Our bodies were designed to move and when they’re not used, we store all of those excess calories that we consumed during the day as fat, which also effects our cardiovascular health. So any type of physical activity is helpful and the easiest form is simply walking and using the stairs more.
Just think, that if walking a little more and taking the stairs a few extra times a day burns an extra 100 calories. If you did that everyday that would be an extra 700 calories you would be burning a week! Just by shifting little habits. Over the course of a month that’s 2800 calories and over the whole course of the year that would be 33600 calories! That is pretty unbelievable when you think about it! Sure does put things into perspective.
It’s important to remind ourselves that we are in control of our minds and bodies and so it is up to us to feed and maintain them so that they run smoothly. A body needs good nutrition and exercise to run well and the brain needs valuable information and critical thinking for it to grow. By gathering information and testing the theories out, you’ll build a solid foundation of knowledge for you to shape your new behaviours. The knowledge that you put into action will generate results and it will then be up to you to track these results and make modifications where you see fit.
Knowledge + Action = Results
Ignorance + repetition of old actions = unhappiness and confusion (disempowered state)