Throw Away the Cake

We suffered only minor damage from Hurricane Matthew here in Central Florida, but the news leading up to the most violent storm in a decade prepared us for the worst.

We bought candles and cereal and flashlights. Actually, I bought a bicycle headlight, because Target was out of flashlights. My roommate, Kelli, baked a cake and I bought enough wine to ensure that I wouldn’t feel bad about eating all of said cake.

The power went out and we drank wine and ate cake.

Which would have been ok, because the power was only out for 6 hours on a Friday morning. But, when it came back on, we kept drinking wine and eating cake. (Don’t judge.)

I went to bed Thursday night with washboard abs and I woke up on Monday morning having consumed 3 bottles of wine and half an old-fashioned banana cake with cream cheese frosting. To add to the mayhem, not a single workout transpired. (Again, don’t judge.)

This downward spiral is part of our humanity.

One misstep can take us so far down a rabbit hole that we feel like we will never be able to get back out of it. So why even bother?

I had eaten half the cake on Monday morning and I was still spiraling, so I had a slice after lunch. But that night, I looked at my roommate and I said, this thing has got to go.

“Throw it away,” Kelli said.

The thought of it was kind of painful, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I opened the garbage can, flipped the cake pan over and whispered, “I love you,” as the cake slid out of the pan and turned into garbage.

Kelli started laughing uncontrollably.

“That is the most sincere I love you I have ever heard you say,” she said through the tears streaming down her face.

Hysterical laughter ensued for roughly 7 minutes.

When I finally came to my senses, I started to think about how deeply we can become addicted to and justify our own bad habits — not just when it comes to our health, but also our businesses and our lives.

We eat the cake, because we can’t let it to go waste.

We stay in the relationship, because we don’t want to be alone.

We sleep in or avoid work, because one more day of slacking won’t hurt in the grand scheme of life.

This thought pattern is normal and it’s dangerous.

It’s how we end up 20 pounds over weight or in a miserable marriage or bankrupt.

I’d love to give you the sweet psychological formula for discipline that leads to wild success in business and in life. But, I have not an ounce of experience in coaching people through emotional blocks. I do, however, know that…

We have to throw away the cake.

We are human. We don’t have enough self-control to have whatever our version of the cake is just hanging around the house for other people to enjoy while we abstain.

Get rid of the snooze button.

Block Facebook (or in my case, Snapchat) during work hours.

Delete the dating apps.

The things that are keeping you from being the person you are called to be have got to go.

Go on, trash them.

Laura Diaz is the CEO and Senior Strategist at Kiss Me Creative where they make client love all day long. Her super powers are efficiency, follow through and creativity based on sound logic. She enjoys long sips of coffee and short lines at Starbucks.