This post is part of the series Losing Over 100 Pounds

Other posts in this series:

  1. Day Zero: Never Trust a Selfish Exception
  2. VIDEO: Exercise for Intellectuals
  3. Day One: Discipline is Not Punishment, Even If It Feels Like It (Current)
  4. Video: Terry Crews’ 5 Keys to Self-Discipline (Part 1)
  5. Day Nine: Stop Cheating and Prosper

Current Weight: 278.7 lbs
Body Fat %: 37.4
BMI: 39.9
Target Weight: 190 lbs
Need to Lose: 88.7 lbs

I’m Already Tired of Potatoes

I’ve only had potatoes once and it felt like the very last day of my last potato phase… not being able to stand them. It’s as though I’m starting right where those last two weeks left off. Chalk it up to vivid memories of displeasure I suppose. Maybe I’ll feel like I’ve eaten them for a whole month by the time I’m done with these two weeks. Perhaps I should have done a different vegetable this time around. ::shrugs::

This first phase of the diet is extremely important however and in turn, I shouldn’t take it as punishment (maybe “karma” for failing the diet previously?). I saw a great video (only part 1 of part 2) by the infamous Terry Crews about discipline. The major takeaway was a lesson he had taught his kid when the kid was in trouble and needed to correct his behavior. Correcting behavior is never a punishment if it’s the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t feel great at first. Changing behaviors are hard for many, but if we know we’re doing the right thing, the pride we can take away from it can be more than enough to make up for how uncomfortable it can be during the behavior change… if changing our behavior long term is even the goal.

Psychology Time

I’m big on being very cautious of where pride is placed, as the moment you attach your self-esteem/ego to a belief you might be wrong about, you’re setting yourself up for a rock and a not so hard place… the choice to face uncomfortable truths or let subconscious cognitive biases allow you to avoid the truths by any means necessary. This including things you would never never believe you would consciously allow yourself to do, like gross negligence, denial, dishonesty, use half-assed excuses or simply put… be extremely close-minded. This is especially true the longer you hold that inaccurate belief proudly, choosing the convenient potential sabotaging assumption “I would never make a mistake for that long” over the honest and potential enabling “I can’t believe I made a mistake for that long, but now I can do something about it”.

Things that are tangible on the other hand, such as career, health or just the actions you take for the better like actively loving your kids, things that aren’t beliefs on their own, you don’t need to worry about misplacing pride in them. The beliefs that we should seek advancements in our careers and live healthy lifestyles for the sake of meeting our personal responsibilities are so blaringly obvious and simple there’s no chance to be wrong about those goals. You can however be wrong about the means to those goals, which is why it’s important to only place pride in the goals themselves and not the means to them.

It’s also important to not let those actions and their results mean more than they do. For instance, just because you are good at your job, are in shape, and/or your kids love you and they know that you love them in no way means that you’re not a close-minded asshat who misplaced pride in a short or long list of beliefs that you might be wrong about (ie. religious, political, or moral/intellectual self-concept).

I came up with a worksheet that can help you see yourself without all of the beliefs you proudly define yourself with. Why this is important is because you can be and likely are wrong about many of them (no differently than those who you oppose) and when that pride is threatened by contrary evidence, so is the ego. Ego can easily sabotage reasoning on a subconscious level via cognitive biases or what many call “mental gymnastics”, which allows people to think illogically when its convenient without realizing it.

If you can find pride in yourself for just the tangible actions and in turn results of your ability, then there’s no reason to place pride where it might not be deserved… in beliefs that might be wrong (such as your inferior means to a goal we all share or in believing you’re much smarter or moral than the average horribly flawed person) and your self-assessed ability to reason well which led you to those inaccurate beliefs. This is how one piece of contrary evidence can easily threaten your ego in multiple compounding ways.

If you can add “…but I might be wrong” to every belief you have, then you can take pride in everything without risk of the desperate potential sabotaging ways in which ego tries to protect itself.

Ultra Super Mega Bonus: This is the only way to true “open-mindedness”, something the vast majority of people don’t know how to do, but (proudly) assume they do anyway. This goes back to false beliefs of their self-concept. We are ignorant of how ignorant we are and nearly no one wants to act like it.

There is pride to be had in discipline, which in itself is tangible.
The feeling of pride can overflow if you let it, no differently than any good feeling.
It’s all about the mindset you choose.

Thanks, Terry Crews.

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