Without a rope and a plan, you’ll fall too far too fast. Why not learn a few simple techniques to stay in the game?

rope, good story

You’re a climber.

We already know you are a man with high ambitions. This is part of your problem. You want a lot, but you’re not sure how to get there yet. So you fritter away your time and energy on stuff that makes you feel bad, and drags you down. When you feel bad, you do stupid things and take excessive risk — or you do nothing at all. What you want is a way to make steady progress toward your goals without excessive risk.

Rope up to climb higher.

Unless you ratchet your way up, you will either not climb as high as you want, or you’ll seriously injure yourself with a bad fall (metaphorically speaking). You know what I mean: you start your day with high ambitions. But then a little slip (overeating, not getting the proper exercise, indulging where you don’t belong) and the shame monster comes out of hiding.

Get me a rope. 

Get protection against a fall. The image is from rock climbing. When you climb, you drive little loops into the rock called pitons incrementally, along the way. That way, if you slip, you won’t fall too far. And because you have this rhythm — drive a piton, climb; drive a piton, climb — you keep climbing, rather than getting freaked out that (climbing without a rope) if you fall, you die.

For example.

Here is a triple-braided rope you might try: 

  • Write
  • Ask
  • Act

The simple act of writing down what is in your head can make it real, which then allows you ask yourself the question: “Is it true?” and then to act on what you decide is true.

Because slips do happen.

For example: You get up one morning intending to work out. You don’t do it, though, because the dog was sick on the carpet and by the time you clean it up, you’re disgusted and off-track.

You could feel defeated, or you could grab a piece of paper (you’ll want to have it handy) and write down: “I’ll never get back to being in shape again.” And then you ask: “Is that true?” The simple act of writing it down and asking the question brings your general feeling of self-loathing into focus. Is it actually true that you will never get back to being in  shape again? You are at a moment of truth now. And then, decide on an action. One action might be to drop down right then and there and do a few pushups (at least it’s something) — or you might make a solid plan to exercise tomorrow or later today. Or you could decide to just stay flabby — but I doubt you will decide to do that — now that you’re thinking about it clearly.

Key Point

We all slip. The question is: do you have a plan to stay alive and keep going — even something threatens to get you off-track?

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