100% Success trial – Day 26

For 30 days, I have decided to only undertake tasks that I know I can successfully accomplish, in order to bring success in my life, and see if the common sense saying: “Success breeds more success” is true.

Since, I’ve been talking a few times about the number of words I’ve written on my novel (I’m at 8,500 today), I would like to share with you a quote I got from a novel called “A Tale of Love and Darkness” by Amos Oz. It describes so well the experience of writing (and he talks about the number of words in a book too!!)

“If you write an eighty thousand word novel you have to make about a quarter of a million decisions, not just decisions about the outline or plot, who will live or die, who will fall in love or be unfaithful, who will make a fortune or a fool of himself, the names and faces of the characters, their habits and occupations, the chapter divisions, the title of the book (these are the simplest, broadest decisions);not just what to narrate and what to gloss over, what comes first and what comes last, what to spell out and what to allude to indirectly (these are also fairly broad decisions); but you also have to make thousands of finer decisions, such as whether to write, in the third sentence from the end of that paragraph, “blue” or “bluish.”. Or should it just be “pale blue?” Or “sky blue?” Or “royal blue?” Or should it really be “blue-grey?” And should this “greyish blue” be at the beginning of the sentence, or should it only shine out towards the end? Or in the middle? Or should it just be caught up in the flow of a complex sentence, full of subordinate clauses? Or would it be best to just write the three words “in the evening light,” without trying to colour it in, either”grey-blue” or “dusty blue” or whatever?”

***

On the health front, I’m experimenting something new. I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming to see what action I was sure to succeed in order to become more healthy. At the beginning of the trial, I remember I wrote that I set myself the goal to follow the Paul McKenna rules for 30 minutes, and then at the end, why not continue and do it for another 30 minutes? I did that for about a week, and then one time I failed, so I never set myself this task again, since my experiment is to only undertake actions that I am sure to succeed.

So I set some time to think about it, and two ideas came out. First, I might brainstorm this phenomenon (i.e. my overeating) as much as I want, at the end of the day, it is a matter of the body and not of the mind. The mind can help, but my mind already has known for years that I’ve got to stop overeating. So I need to find actions that concern the body, rather than the mind!

Second, working on your health is not like writing a book. With a book, you can almost only take positive actions. I mean that even if you don’t write for one day, words don’t erase by themselves at night. They stay in the page, therefore, unless you decide to delete everything, you can only work constructively on a book. With health, it’s different, if you don’t have positive behaviours towards your health, it goes away with automatic behaviours (i.e. not exercizing, or not eating healthily). this made me think about a strategy class we had during the MBA. You acquire a capital of health, but it leaks very fast and you have to work on it everyday in order to maintain it.

So where does this lead me? I need to work on the body, and I need to find a way to do it constantly. How do I reconcile this with 100% success trial, since I’m not 100% sure I can hold healthy behaviors 24/7?

This led me to brainstorm further about the nature of negative health behaviours. When I go on an overeating run, I always have the feeling that I am not at the command of the plane; i.e. my brain is sending information to stop overeating, but the rest is not responding. It is a very compulsive attitude, almost as if I was addicted, but the problem is that there is not really a drug involved- otherwise everybody would be addicted to food and therefore overweight.

I tried to isolate this compulsive part. First, I put this compulsive part in my mind. I decided that I had some sort of a split personality problem, and that the Ben that wants to be healthy was sometimes short-circuited by some sort of a saboteur Bizarro-Ben who wants me to be fat (KPK, you know what I’m talking about!) I tried to understand this part of myself, but this path didn’t lead me anywhere.

Today, I tried to look at the problem differently. I put the part of me that wanted to get fat not in my mind, but in my body. I view my body as an animal that has bad habits. It has the habit of extending its arms towards food, take it and puts it in my mouth. So here is what I’m trying at the moment (I know it’s a bit far fetched, but remember it’s all experimental…) I’ve decided to treat my body like a wild animal that needs to be trained (like a lion trained in a circus).

Here is what I’ve done yesterday and today: I’ve decided that, for 5 minutes, I would put my hands on the table, and not move them at all. (I chose to do this, because I know I could succeed). For the past two days, everytime I’ve felt like eating compulsively, I remembered that feeling of being in control of my body for 5 minutes, of choosing to have my hands and my arms not move because my will wanted so… and believe it or not, I didn’t reach for the food I was eager to eat compulsively! So I’ll keep blogging about that to see if it proves successful in the long run.

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