Aligning habits with ideals
We are all gifted one life; what our future will become is a culmination of the millions of choices and subsequent habits we build along the way. Daily choices may not seem to matter much in the long run but like flowing water over bedrock, inroads are slowly made into the essence of who we are. When thinking about behaviors that I allow myself to partake in; I put it into the time frame of a decade. Take daily exercise for example. I look at my current self and imagine two futures. Who will I be in ten years from now if I choose one path over the other? Will I be better mentally, physically and socially or worse? I project into the future and ask myself if this current habit aligns with the person I have already decided to be. For example, in ten years I am going to be fifty. I have already decided to be a fit and very active 50 year old. So therefore, I have no choice but to get after it every day of my life. I beat myself up in the gym and on the pavement in order to align daily behaviors with my ideal future self.
On a knifes edge
My life was a disaster fifteen years ago. I was socially isolated, physically a wreck, on the edge of divorce and on my way to a failed existence. The crazy part is I had no idea. When I look back its so fucking obvious how bad it was that it’s laughable. At the time however I was clueless. The year was 2004. At this point I am twenty-four. I work as a Valet for my local mall and have been married for four years already. My online friend group and I were very excited about this new game called World of Warcraft that was just about to become available to the masses. Over the next five years the main focus of my life became playing this game. Anything else that I was obligated to do was just to facilitate more time for playing. I slowly stopped communicating with my real life friends. I only went out with my wife because she “nagged” me to. I stopped any form of physical fitness. My nutrition was prepacked freezer food and at the lowest point in my depravity I started peeing into gallon jugs just to avoid walking 5 feet to the bathroom and miss thirty seconds of game time. When I re-read that last sentence to myself I am aghast that person was me. It almost feels as if I am reading about somebody else’s life but I’m not. I was the epitome of a fucking loser. My future self hung in the balance.
Something worth living for
Had I continued the above habits up until now I may not be alive. I honestly do not think that I’m being hyperbolic here either. There were a few things that took me on the path to reclaiming my life but the one that had the largest impact was the discussion of having children. My wife bluntly told me that she will not even entertain the idea of starting a family with me until I have gotten my shit together. Looking back, I honestly have no idea why she was still married to me but thank God because she has been very instrumental in helping me through the most difficult moments in my life. The very idea of having children whom would be reliant on me for their everything was terrifying. It forced to be honest with myself on what I had become. For the first time in my life I thought about making changes that would improve my current state of being and help be a better father. That process started a little over 12 years ago. Today I am unrecognizable to person that you just read about. My journey in life is one of human optimization; in essence, to be the best version of me that I can. I don’t compare myself to others. I am just ruthlessly introspective as to my own shortcomings and what behaviors I can modify to be better tomorrow than I am today.
Have there been moments of blindness in your life that you have overcome?
What behaviors have you changed to be a better version of yourself?