Things in the COVID realm are changing so frequently…it’d be a full-time job commenting on the updates.
No question it’s important to stay current on the pandemic. As a physician, of course I say this, but I’d hope it’s self-evident that anyone with an ounce of self-preservation would want to stay informed on the subject. More than 865,000 American are dead at the time of this writing, I’m pretty sure it’s on par with cardiovascular disease and cancer for mortality, and for Omicron having gone from 0% to more than 99% of U.S. cases in 6 weeks, I believe the operative word is “contagious.”
I don’t know what to say to those who think it’s all made up math shizz. So are calories, volts, inches of rain, and tax returns.
On the other hand
On the other hand, there’s more to life than threat management.
Even when it’s critical to assess a Threat, plan for it, then implement those plans, people don’t function well if they’re flinching 24/7. I’m pretty sure virologists play video games, and missile silo operators tell jokes. They’d be white-knuckling it so much otherwise that they’d make a critical goof, and then we’d really be in trouble.
Much as it would make my content creation easier to turn these posts into The Dr. Kim COVID News Flash Of The Week, it’s time to return to matters of non-COVID health and fitness.
The 2 sides have a way of flowing into one another, the COVID world and everything else. Spiffing up the totality of your health and wellness makes you more likely to resist COVID…and attending to COVID matters makes you better able to pursue your life goals without a side trip to the ICU or morgue.
To COVID matters, I shall inevitably return — and if you have any questions at any time, please hit REPLY and ask.
Motivation has its limits
Motivation makes us feel great in the moment. It’s inspiring, passionate, and can propel us into motion. Not gonna denigrate it.
But physiologically speaking, motivation fades. Yes, there are those who consistently display “fire in the belly,” who seem to be go-go-go at all times. And if you’re gifted with that personality type, you’ve hit the genetic lottery and can direct your attention to other matters.
But for most folks including myself, motivation goes through cycles; passion goes up and down. And more importantly, passion and motivation can get sidetracked by crises demanding our attention.
It’s a feature of the modern data-dense era: never before in the history of humanity has it been THE NORM to be confronted with existential death at every moment. Currently, to whit: a potential crisis for our democracy, armed conflict involving NATO, Russia, and the Ukraine, a pandemic that’s continuously mutating, global warming, etc.
Can I please just go to Brazilian jiu-jitsu class and roll around twice a week? I don’t think Vladimir will mind.
I know what it’s like to blast through a room or a project like a force of nature. Get the hell out of my way, I’m going through you or pushing you aside as I march to my goal. I don’t know about you, but that state of mind had more to do with being angry, offended, and self-righteous than motivated. It can bring a certain Sith-like simplicity to things — I really deserve this and you are either with me or against me — when the world is a pretty frakking complicated place.
Star Wars references aside, dispassion will get you far
In my experience, hitching your wagon to Motivation/Passion as its engine has problems: it starts and stops, gets sidetracked easily in our current landscape, and can lead you to some dark places if you’re not careful. Maybe not so bad if what you really want is excitement, to FEEL, with a side serving of anarchy plus a dollop of 50 Shades.
But this is about making progress. About waking up and realizing, I’m over here and I really need to get over there. If motivation helps get you there, great, but it hasn’t worked so far, and the prize isn’t for Getting Whipped Up, it’s for Getting Over There.
I would suggest that dispassion — doing the work with a minimum of fanfare — is more likely to get you to your goal.
Getting where you need to be is about taking the steps you need to take. Actually TAKING the STEPS. Not thinking about the steps, not feeling a thrill when talking about the steps, and definitely not getting sidetracked when someone criticizes your choice of steps and you spiral into the weeds feeling angry, consumed by doubt, or compelled to defend your decisions.
Whether it’s cutting back on grains and upping your nutrient-dense plant and animal foods every meal, being present for your family and friends every day, or going to jiu-jitsu twice a week without fail, it’s about taking. The actual. Gosh darned steps.
If something helps you put in the flight time, it’s bueno.
Excitement without movement towards the goal is a distraction at best, and can reverse your gains at worst.
Speed is fine, Wyatt Earp said, but accuracy is final.
If you need to get Over There and you’ve been going in circles, read up on habit science and create your own little progress engine. Let how your brain fundamentally wants to work take you from Step 1 to Step 2, and onward, independent of whether you’re excited or the stars are aligned.
Hitch your personal progress wagon to a steadily ambling donkey, rather than a bucking bronco. The analogy breaks down in a good way — in reality, the plodding donkey starts picking up speed exponentially, as previous improvements magnify future improvements.
Going places. It can be about the journey, but if you need to arrive, it always comes back to taking the steps.