Monday, October 24, 2011

The Magic Pill

One of my pet peeves is switching the TV late at night and finding a majority of the channels trying to sell me something I don't need. They ask the most vague questions and if you answer yes to all of them you might just need this product:

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel unmotivated?
Do you want to change your life for good?
Do you sometimes feel you're working hard but see no results?

Immediately I think pause... everyone feels like this from time to time but okay let me see where this is going. A minute later they introduce a miraculous new product that is gonna change your life for good. It's gonna give you the body you've always wanted, it's gonna increase your school marks etc etc the list goes on. Essentially they advertise a product that promises you big results from small efforts.

I call it Magic Pill Syndrome.

How many times have you watched commercials and come across messages like these about scientists who have created a pill that helps you lose weight quick or authors that promise to change your life in one minute (59 seconds to be exact)? Everywhere you turn people are offering you a quick fix but here let me save you time lol :

Face facts you’re not going to achieve greatness, find your life’s purpose or become a much happier person over night. It’s a process, and great souls are grown through struggles, storms and seasons of suffering as Rick Warren puts it. So ‘don’t try get out of anything prematurely [do the work] so you become mature and well developed.’ Avoid the quick fix. There's not much else to say on this topic: Stay deaf, dumb and blind to these magic pills which offer you a quick fix. It took Einstein years of consistent effort before he was recognized as one the greatest thinkers of our time and the father of modern physics.

Personal Perspective: I’ve explained in my fitness Friday posts how I battled with my weight. To say I battled with my weight gives the impression that I was overweight but this isn’t the case. I used to research numerous methods, diets, master cleanses, workouts etc anything that guaranteed the biggest results but required the least amount of effort. From personal experience I can tell you none of these things were effective in the long term. Take a look at my before and after pictures under ‘Fitness Fridays’ and you will notice that once I put in the effort that was required the results became long lasting.

"I've always believed that if you put in work, the results will come' - Michael Jordan

We live in a time where things are available instantly. You can buy movie tickets without leaving your house, pay your bills from your couch; check the weather, news, sports, and even local events all online. We have instant noodles, instant messenger, instant results from every second product advertised on TV, we basically have instant access to the whole world from the comfort of our homes. So we have become accustomed to the lazy lifestyle where we can get more than what we put in. 

Unfortunately we expect the same formula when it comes to reaching our goals. We want to achieve big, with minimal effort. We fall victim to the late night infomercials that promise us life changing results with little or no work needed. We sleep more than we work; party more than we study, dream more than we strive and then become disappointed when we get poor results. 

The ones who do succeed however, are the ones who look past the short cuts, work through the pain, sacrifice big to succeed even bigger, commit to short term pain for long term gain, they become blind to the magic pill because they understand one fundamental idea that rings true today as it did in AD 200 when it was first uttered and that is: 

No Great Thing is ever created Suddenly - Epictetus

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