“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential”. – Winston Churchill
Plenty of motivational words have been blathered about “Living up to your potential.” It’s almost abstract at this point. Perhaps the above quote from the brilliant and witty Winston Churchill may be an exception.
We serfs often get used to a daily routine – one that’s very comfortable. While we bounce between loving and hating it depending on whether we are enjoying life, we don’t want to quite upset that balance.
It’s why we settle for the status quo, both on a very individual scale when we are grinding out our day jobs, and simply want to relax when we get home. Living up to your potential is hard. That continuous effort… well, I really want a beer and to Netflix and chill with my wife instead.
Of all of the above, I’m guilty.
I work a job with commission opportunities with a low base hourly rate of 9$ an hour. Often, they are happy that you just show up, because so many people don’t when it comes to call centers.
I’ve lasted over 9 months at my job – which is apparently great when you look at turn over rates for call centers. Still everyday I’m at the edge of quitting and walking off.
Because I have a family to provide for, I can’t do that. However instead of applying to new jobs, I just lay back at home when I get off and relax. It’s easy. I want to unwind.
The next morning, I wake up and curse having to get ready to go back to a job I often hate. I’m my own worst enemy, a glutton for the punishment of a comfortable routine. I’m my own worst enemy.
I actually like my co-workers and both of the managers I’ve had. I just can’t chance not making commission during checks when my family is desperate for money.
Based on that alone, I should have already gotten another job. But this one is easy. I know the systems, the unwritten rules, what flies and what doesn’t – all of which take a few months to learn. I don’t want to start over and get… uncomfortable. Anxious. Unsure of exactly what the expectations will be.
Clearly, I’m hindering my own potential. I’m comfortable in my job routine while hating and loving it every day. I know so many other people who are afflicted in this same devious manner. But we are too lazy and “comfortable” to do anything about it.
We bitch about the status quo, but content ourselves in it’s comforts. I talk big and loud, but my stick is very small.
This all comes down to willpower. An honest thorough self-reflection would indicate that I’m lacking that department, or that I pick and choose. If it’s easy, I’ll leave that comfort zone, but if it’s hard I’ll certainly stay. Of course this means that my motivation will be lacking as well.
Quintus Curtius calls this Transformative Mental Change when he talks about the Foundations Of Motivation and that its needed if you want to make a step in the right direction harnessing that willpower – or at least building it.
“This source of motivation comes from an internal decision that we make. We consciously decide that we want to improve ourselves. We consciously decide that we want to begin the process of forward movement. At some point, we become tired of the old patterns and wish for a change. We wish to push ourselves into new vistas and regions of exploration. And before we do this, we make a decision.”
You would think having a family to provide for would give me that mental tazing and wake me from my lackadaisical slumber, but it hasn’t yet. That desire to do more – still lacking. Have to buckle up. I wonder if it’s an aspect of maturity that I still have to attain – a level of responsibility that has to be shouldered.
The appreciation isn’t seen right away, but the fruit will be seen in full later. Perhaps I’m too much a creature of immediate satisfaction, rather then a player of the long game. Again it’s another part of living up to Potential. You want to be all you can be.
If one really wants it, they will grab it without excuse. In a world where excuses are rewarded, I suspect this is why it takes people a long time to finally leave their comfort zone. Why would they? If they live off the government dole, there is no incentive. If they live at home and can still have their girlfriends overnight, why bother striving to better themselves?
Then again, if the system is rigged – getting that dollar too much in the next tax category, it may be a symptom of our society in general where the hardest working end up being the most penalized. This is not an excuse, but an observation.
This is not a call to be someone else, it’s a call to be the best I can be. We take a lot for granted – specifically our continued and assured situations. We never know if calamity, death, joblessness, the loss of transportation could send us to the streets. It’s almost as if we are living paycheck to paycheck.
An assured, prosperous, and at the very least – safe – future should be planned. That planning and needed drive have to be used at some point. Sooner rather than later.
Every man will experience his own “Benedict Arnold” moment. While it might not take place in a revolutionary war to determine the fate of nation being born, it will still leave a blackened stained touch in your memory.
What motivates betrayal? Often it’s money, greed, jealousy, and the desire to attain power. To do that you have to step on people to move up the ladder of power. Certainly, I was stepped on like a scared housewife stomps on an ugly bug while squeaking out a brief, “Eeek!!!!”
My own betrayal moment caught me off guard. None of the above seemed like the motivator for the betrayal. What could the reason have been? It felt as cold, sharp, and damaging as an Ozark ice storm. Even now, the though of “WTF, why?” keeps running through my mind. Often, I prefer for my dirty laundry to stay in the bin, but in this case I will have to reveal my boxers.
I’m a blabber, a conversationalist, and an open book. Some people love this about me, others loathe it, but few have ever managed to use it against me in a way that cuts deep.
Thing is, I don’t know how much was deliberate and honest-to-god opining on me and how much was cruel intentioned barbs designed to hurt my relationship with my in-laws and my wife. Timing was absolutely horrible as I’m just starting to build a better relationship with my in-laws who weren’t huge on me.
My old boss who I was my absolute unfiltered self around, a man I thought I could trust and actually have “real-talk” with, and someone who I respected – even though he let me go, delivered whatever his own brand of personal vengeance was against me managed to tell the “truth” about me in the worst possible ways.
No grudges did I hold against him when he let me go, in fact I even kept in good contact with him. However, he indeed held grudges against me which I was unaware of until he told my in-laws about them instead of myself.
Normally, this would be a landmine that would be overcome after one detonation, but he will be in a “life” group with my in-laws for the foreseeable future. Essentially, I will have someone who can’t be trusted in an environment where trust is supposed to be of the essence. Circle of trust indeed.
I’m used to detractors that I barely know, online critics, and people whose personalities clash with my own and they can all get bent. Nothing is what I expect from them. This though felt like I had been cheated on – which I haven’t, it was just that I trusted him that much. It hurts.
Imagine someone misrepresents your character as much as possible and, sprinkles in a few lies to really get the pot stirred, and plants all sorts of possibilities in your pregnant wife’s head who already is going through raging pregnancy hormones and trust issues from her past.
In this case, her parents were the recipients of Benedict Arnold and the details were passed to her and then she passed them to me. Chain of information indeed. My wife wasn’t supposed to be told, and neither was I.
Perhaps my old boss thought what he was saying was true, or my in-laws drew some exaggerated conclusions that were then passed to my wife. That would be a comforting thought. Honestly, I thought he would always be honest with any grievances against myself and come talk to me about it.
I actually thought that I was with someone who I didn’t have to filter myself and everything from “locker-room talk” to how men actually talk on the job site when you work in the trades. This is what bugs me so much. That connection I thought I had with someone wasn’t actually there – maybe I forced myself into believing it was, considering I was earnestly looking for a fellow man I could trust in an area where I don’t know anyone.
The Sword Thrusts of Betrayal
Likely it is not the case. Two lies in particular left me shocked. (1) That he paid me 20$ and hour when he paid me 13$. (2) That me and the other guy he had hired were going out after we were dropped off from work to the bar and blowing money. Odd, considering me and this other guy didn’t like each other.
The truth that was manipulated against me in fascinating way too. Apparently one such truth was how I constantly wanted to go out after work with my boss to the bar and grab a drink.
Absolutely, this was true. I wanted to bond with my boss as I believed he was someone I could be my genuine self-around. One of the best ways you can do this is to indeed grab a drink and sit down.
In his defense however, he could never really do this as he was trying to be back at home by 6 to be with his family. I can understand this and perhaps he believes me to be some kind of deviant who would rather be out drinking then helping out his pregnant wife at home – or at least that how it sounded when I was told about it.
Another “truth” was about how I misled him about my skillset, even though I told him what I knew from the start. Now both me and him were hoping I’d absorb some skills faster, but I alas I did not. Still, he felt like I lied to him, so my guess is he is doing the same back to me.
One that really got to me was about how I was lazy. When he first hired me, he was desperate for people just to show up who were trustworthy. He complained about how people would flake constantly – which they did. I arranged for him to pick me up in the mornings – which took a toll on him timewise nonetheless – to go the jobsite with him 40+ miles away.
When I was there, I worked in 90+ degree humidity outside on scaffolding. Now he was generous and bought me and our co-worker lunch everyday as well as provided us with water to keep us hydrated. To be sure he wasn’t a slave driver, and he shouldn’t sound like such.
At several points I did complain about a lack of boards to stand on when we started going four stories up. I brought up the idea of safety-harnesses, but he mentioned that it would just get in the way and make us even less safe.
I have no idea if that’s really true or not, but wow right? Also note that he went up there with us in those precarious positions trying to get work done, so definitely he put himself on the line as well.
Now, I’m not exaggerating how open I was with him. I even talked about me and my wife’s sex lives – a mistake in hindsight – and how it helped us as a couple. This was kindly relayed to her parents that all I cared about is sex and apparently how I’m not to be trusted. In particular, this blew me away.
Wisdom, Resolve, and the Long-Game
A hard lesson to learn from betrayal is that your natural state – open and honest – can be very dangerous to you and your family life. Even after this, I find the idea of talking less, being more deliberate about the company I am genuine with, and concluding that many more snakes exist in the grass then I admit to be a tough pill to swallow.
Recently, I saw him at my in-laws “Life group” meeting they hold at their house. Determined for my wife’s sake, I played nice. It was then that I heard a story involving my old bosses’ wife and some terrible things they had been through.
Wondering whether this had something to do with the backstab held my anger in check. Because of that, I’m taking the long view. Honestly, I still desire vengeance or at least some kind of vindication from this betrayal. You never realize how powerful of a motivator justice can be until you start to strongly desire it.
Given the chance I wonder, would he come clean and apologize to me or pretend it didn’t happen and act as everything was jolly?
What if the chain-of-information provided to me was wrong or someone did indeed exaggerate and elaborate details? Patience is necessary when trying to smoke out what was really said. I shall indeed play the long-game.
A friend of mine has been struggling in the dating market – to put it simply. She wants a guy that is attracted to her, and she wants to share in that same reciprocity. We will call her Liz. A Facebook status about it went up.
(Disclosure: Liz had a crush on me for a long time. Her weight was the main reason I didn’t share the same feelings. You can’t force attraction. )
Now Liz isn’t exactly the most attractive girl, and the fact that she is overweight doesn’t make it any easier for her to improve this. Most of her friends posted things like, “Oh you are sooooo pretty,” and “Guys will and/or should like you for your personality.”
I decided to be more honest, though I made sure to cushion it, “It wouldn’t hurt to lose some weight.”
Sensible advice right? Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to make yourself more attractive, assuming you are overweight. Your 20s are a time when you should be making the most out of your looks – regardless of how limited they may be. It is when you are at your physical prime.
Getting to a normal healthy weight?
Damnable fat shaming, body hate social media heresy.
One response involved something like, “Those people are shallow anyway, they should like you for who you are, and they wouldn’t be worth it if they don’t like you now.”
That’s flattering and to some extent is true, but it doesn’t nullify the fact that the potential dating pool of nice guys who may be interested in Liz for her personality and who she is are far and few between. Then then throw in the percentage of “those” nice guys who Liz is actually attracted to and the prospects are rather grim.
It is in fact a comfortable lie, but it ignores a fundamental truth; People are shallow. I’m shallow. Even those people who are not are very unlikely to give her a chance to reveal her inner beauty.
Instead of telling Liz the truth like real friends would, they continue to lie and tell her things she knows isn’t true.
“When you do these things, you are letting your girlfriend wallow in her mediocrity. If you tell your friend that she looks good when she doesn’t, she isn’t going to make an effort to look better next time”
You can boost her ego, but that won’t help her situation get any better. It also won’t promote REAL confidence.
Liz’s situation isn’t unique. It’s far more common then we realize and it means that there is a large group of people all seeking romance, but doing it with what is essentially a paper bag on their heads when compared to the more in shape parts of the population.
Basically there is an abundance of overweight people who don’t want fellow overweight people, but the slimmer more attractive folks they see in TV shows and film. We all want a mate of the opposite sex who is more attractive then us. (Excluding the 5% or lower of “other” sexual attractions.)
Don’t believe me?
A Large Nation-Wide Problem
Obesity and curse of being overweight have struck our society hard. Romance – or at least the possibility of finding it – is made even more difficult for a rather large percentage of the population:
Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 35.1% (2011-2012)
Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight, including obesity: 69.0% (2011-2012)
Let’s not pull punches. Being overweight and obesity has killed members on my dad’s side of the family because of things like heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Thing is they already know about this and about how bad it is, but it’s so hard for them to lose the weight and there is a rather scary reason for it.
If we are perfectly honest, if you were overweight as a kid, it’s much harder to lose weight as an adult than it would be if you at a normal weight as a kid.
“The number of fat cells a person has is determined by late adolescence; although overweight and obese children can lose weight, they do not lose the extra fat”
What can we do with inconvenient truth? Well, I could encourage her to “accept her body” and hope things get better. Natural confidence right? It won’t change the situation and it isn’t going to magically attract any “good-looking guys” to her, but it should make her feel happy and proud about her body.
According to the body and fat acceptance crowd at Identities.Mic it will.
“The intersectional issues of size, health and weight loss are far more complicated than we’ve been led to believe, and this lack of understanding has led to weight-based discrimination becoming a serious problem across the world. Widespread anti-fat prejudice typically stems from misconceptions about health, weight and body positivity, and negatively affects millions of people every day.
People are allowed to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies, but we need to start treating people of all sizes with respect.”
Somehow, I don’t see how this is going to help these overweight people find the storybook romance they so desperately seek instead of the in-game WOW partner we are encouraging them to quest with. Nor will it deal with the vicious health problems that will occur once you hit your 30s and later. Note some damage is irreversible, and when that becomes the kind of body power/acceptance doesn’t seem very “feminist” to me.
Now, your life doesn’t exactly stop when you are overweight – nor should it, but will you actually get the romance and love life you desire from the people you are attracted to? The crew at RandolphRiot definitely seem to think so.
“Fat Fashion is all about women feeling comfortable in their own bodies no matter how big they are! This form of feminism is helping women feel empowered by their own bodies no matter how small or big the woman might be, and I believe that is an amazing accomplishment. This gives me hope!”
Hope. It’s a big deal – for anyone. In fact without it, people have loss the will to live. It can motivate you, but is the self-backlash worse if you realize the hope is false and/or misplaced?
“…Do you think this form of feminism can lead to the elimination of the perfect body image?”
Because people are visual creatures, and because some kind of “preferrable” standard will always exist. We can eliminate all the current media driven standards on beauty and any words used to describe them, but culture will simply form new ones. Why?
People are shallow.
However, most people aren’t going to wade through the unattractive waters to see if anything desirable lies beneath. Liz won’t be given the chance. Perhaps those guys who don’t give her the chance aren’t worth it, but the guys who will? Chances are, she isn’t going to be attracted to any of them. I’ve seen it happen many times already. Is there still a chance for the magical and mystical quest that is Romance? Some fat-acceptance advocates on Psychology Today seem to think so:
“Love, sex and romance did not stop for close to a hundred million people! Let’s face it—we live in a culture that shames fat. An entire diet industry is built around that shame“
We also live in a culture that shame cigarette smokers, but I suppose that doesn’t count. Well, is it shameful to encourage people to be healthier?
“The message that is being delivered in great big heaping doses is pretty simple: if you lose the weight—you will find love, romance and sex. Thin equals happy and entitlement. Fat equals broken and not worthy. What they don’t tell you is that there are plenty of unhappy thin people too. Thin is simply not the magic bullet”
She actually is right, but it will greatly increase your chances. People might actually give you a second look on Tinder before they swipe. They might be more likely to help you out in the store – happens to me alot. Guys might actually look directly at you for a while before looking at your friends next to you.
Is this mean?
At this point in the social justice epidemic, I can’t be bothered to care anymore if I want to continue merely drawing breath; thanks Tumblr and feminist fat acceptance screeds. However, boosting their self-esteem by lying to them isn’t going to land them any more success in the dating market. It doesn’t mean that they should give up and stop trying, but things could be much easier.
In case you don’t know, I’m actually a hopeless romantic.
Deep down, I want everyone to find someone to live that idea Notebook life with – that includes social justice warriors and ardent radical feminists. I want them to experience love, romance, and that good old life that I myself desire.
Something else the manosphere has got wrong is its reaction to the fat acceptance movement and this whole “fat shaming” theory that is raging in the feminist blogosphere. I’m not shocked that overweight obese feminists want to abort beauty standards, “cultural norms” of what is attractive, and the ideal body weight. You would too if the men you were interested in were getting snagged by more attractive and fitter competition.
However, “Fat Shaming” isn’t the answer. If I’m brutally honest, I found ROK’s #fatshamingweek to be hysterical with some of their tweets. Yes, I still find dark morbid jokes that deal with obesity to be funny. (All or nothing when it comes to my take on comedy and what the limits are.)
As Mike has later realized, this does nothing to actually help, besides generating outrage, which it did very successfully. None of that however is going to convince people to lose weight. They already know they are overweight, and they know it is affecting them. The hope you can provide support to the people you value in continuing to help them lose weight, exercise, and even diet.
What Can You Do?
If you really care about someone, you present them the cold harsh truth, but you are supportive in how you do it. You are essentially giving a friendly critique, rather then a trolling criticism designed to make them feel more shitty.
Here’s a personal story that relates to my family:
My dad who was about 5 foot 7 inches and weighed over 360 pounds struggled to be able to do any exercise. He started to rapidly gain weight when he hit about 23 and the weight just kept adding up. Around 48, he started experiencing nausea, dizziness, feeling light-headed, and he was drinking an excess of water as he felt constantly thirsty. He was was exhausted and never felt rested; his sleep apnea made this even worse.
A similar weight, lack of exercise, and bad diet had killed my dad’s father at only 54. I was worried about his weight and so were my mom’s parents in particular.
What woke my dad up was finding out that he had the signs of type two diabetes. From this point, he did everything he could to try to improve and change his diet. He started to eat only whole foods, and avoided processed foods. When he ate meat, it was grass-fed. He would switch to actual raw milk.
Upon reading “Forks Over Knives” and doing a lot of his own research, he would become a Vegan for dietary reasons. Fast forward just about two years and my dad has lost over 120 pounds. He reversed the type 2 diabetes, has lower blood pressure than me, and has no signs of heart disease.
Just over a year into his Veganism, he started to be able to finally exercise, play floor hockey, and feel refreshed and full of energy. (Note, I’m not a Vegan.)
Thatsupport is key. Once you hit a certain threshold, it becomes VERY difficult to lose weight, like it was for my dad. Often people’s jobs actively hinder exercise and our American time centered culture usually entails to many people frequently eating terribly on the run.
Often, I see many people in the fat acceptance movement promote the same kinds of lifestyles that killed my Grandpa so early as something to be embraced. It is isn’t and it rather angers and disturbs me that the movement is lying to people in the way it is.
However, that won’t blind me from the fact that it really is hard to lose weight, my dad being the anecdotal evidence. My dad’s life didn’t come to a stop just because of his weight issues, but they were a profound barrier and hindrance to him living well, active, and actually enjoying each day.
People in the Fat Acceptance/Body Acceptance movement will stand by it, but sometimes it’s critics – myself included – overlook the efforts they put in to trying to live healthy lifestyle, being active, exercising, losing weight, and trying to get healthier. (Diet may be the easiest approach at first.) Instead of trashing them, we should be encouraging them.
Take for example a somewhat better known fat acceptance advocate by the name of Ragen Chastain who runs the advocacy site, “Dances With Fat”. While we may facetiously chuckle at the title, Ragen is on the frontlines fighting the fat fight – but doing at least some of it in a healthy way. She teaches a dance class, does some dancing herself, as well as from what I can tell some form of exercising.
She of course is a social justice advocate, member of the “fatosphere”, an ardent feminist, and she brings awareness to tumblrisms like, “Thin privilege,” in her fight against “cultural beauty norms”. It perturbs and saddens me. She lists more about her ideas:
As a plus-sized professional athlete, I practice Health at Every Size and as a human being I am an unwavering advocate for Size Acceptance – the civil rights truth that every body deserves respect and that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable, not contingent on size, health, or dis/ability.
The civil rights truth that everyone deserves respect… Well, with ideological opponents, you often have to agree to disagree.
She also promotes health at every size. What exactly is that? Well according to her it is:
Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes
Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects
Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes
Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure
Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity,rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss
Well there is plenty there that I and others would point out is wrong, but instead let’s focus on what she said that she get’s right which I’ve underlined and bolded. At least she is trying to do better and get others who struggle with weight to engage in things like, “Life-enhancing activity.” In fact, she does actually have some decent diet and activity ideas worth checking out.
(She actually finished a 26 mile marathon in Seattle about two years ago. For her size and weight, that’s pretty damn impressive. I haven’t even attempted a marathon that long.)
Good for her.
Hopefully, she lives a well-fulfilled life and enjoys every moment of it to the max. I do however suspect that if she lost some weight, her beauty wouldn’t be as obscured. Like it or not, people are more respectful, are friendlier, and more partial to those they regard as beautiful.
Insisting that everyone is “beautiful” at every size isn’t going to magically make it so. Reducing the word so that it means essentially nothing won’t change that either. It will just be replaced by words like, “preference”.
That is the point.
If you want to widen your net to include more attractive dating partners, you will have to make an effort to do the same. This may be shallow, but it’s something that will never change – regardless of how many times social justice warriors insist that it just merely another cultural norm that must be eliminated.
Encourage your friends to widen their nets by losing weight. Yes, you can be happy and still be overweight, but you could be so much more.
The three greatest inventions ever know to man are pretty damn obvious. They include the electric shaver, the urinal, and the internet. Okay, semantics aside dogs aren’t actually men’s best friend; the electric shaver is. Two things to consider:
1. You DONT have to be clean-shaven. You can even grow a massive beard. Even if your job bans facial hair or has strict guidelines about it, there are always ways around. Example: Go to your local mosque, tell the Imam you want to convert to Islam, and bring the proof of your conversion to your work. They won’t hassle/ try to fire you later as no one wants to get sued for workplace discrimination against Muslims. Then just go about your business like you did before.
2. Stubble and heavy stubble is your friend. There are plenty of studies out there to show that women often prefer at least a good/heavy degree of stubble. Even man-hating site Jezebel agrees with me! Do it.
Now guys who dove headfirst into their dawning of facial hair- that started at 16 for me – were first enjoyed and enthralled. I remember seeing the hairs growing and feeling almost like I had won the lotto, asserted my dominance, and gotten the girl.
Only two years later, I was getting fed up with razors and the constant irritation covering my face where ever I had shaved. Yes, I used aftershave which is a must if you want to reduce irritation afterwards. I only had slight acne a few years back, but it’s enough to dampen your confidence when you realize that girls prefer a face that doesn’t look it’s been rolled around in Poison Ivy.
It was then that invested in my first electric shaver. I noticed immediate results. My face wasn’t getting cut. The irritation was much less, if not non-existent. The shave was much faster and easier. Of course, I always used aftershave afterwards – never neglect that finish.
As time as gone by, I’ve realized that it is still difficult to get that semi-heavy stubble look I’ve been desiring as of late. I had a full beard that made me look like I was from Iran, (I have ancestors who live in an adjacent country to Iran.) but I decided it was time to try out that stubble look which I could only seem to manage well very rarely with my shaver. I went out and got another shaver that had guards with three different lengths.
Shaving my full beard down to that semi-heavy stubble was actually made very easy with the guards. I got an easy all around and consistent stubble that was actually very fast. Results?
If you are trying to get any kind of stubble look which you can easily maintain every two-three days, I highly suggest getting a cheap electric shaver from Walmart which is good for the getting the real close stuff – your cheek for instance – and a reasonably priced shaver which comes with at least three guard sizes for facial trimming and “sculpting.”