I have a structured way of eating my food. Don't know why I like to eat like this, and I'm sure that I've been eating this way for years.
If I have several types of food on my plate, I would only eat one thing at a time. So, if I have chicken, mash potatoes, and mac and cheese on my plate, I would usually start with the chicken first. Then I'll head to the mash potatoes, then hit the mac and cheese.
As the grand finale, I would wash everything down with my drink. I don't even touch my drink until all of my food is gone. No, I don't even sip on my drink while there's food on my plate.
Again, I have no idea why I eat like this. But I can tell you this: I rarely ever waste food, and if I waste anything, it would be the drink because I might be too full to finish it -- but that rarely happens.
Now, let's go to my son (who takes after my wife). He eats and sips, eats and sips, eats and sips. My son was really bad at this, because he would take ONE bite of food and immediately sip his drink. Then he would take another bite, or maybe two bites, and sip again. It got on my nerves! And because he was doing this, he would frequently waste food...mostly because he would drink all his water or juice before he finished his meal, and would be too full to finish his meal.
Now you have my daughter (who takes after me), who eats everything first and then drinks. She rarely wastes food.
Is there a pattern here? Why is it that I could not waste any food with my structured eating pattern while my son (and his mama!) would waste food with his unstructured eating pattern?
Well, the biggest reason is because I want to make sure I finish each food. If I have hamburger, fries, and water, I want to be sure that I finish all of them. If I take a bite of the hamburger, a bite of the fries, and a sip of water and keep going back and forth with this pattern, I might get too full and not finish any of them. If I focus on one item at a time, then if I do get full, I would only have wasted just one item instead of three items.
If you've worked in food service, you'd know the frustration of picking up plates that are FULL of wasted food. I've worked in food service back in college, and man, it's unbelievable at what people do with their food.
God bless America: the land of plentiful food, most of which is being wasted....
If you're the type who sips and eats, you really have no priorities on your food. You just eat whatever you feel like while you're drinking, and in this way, you'll have waste.
Starting on different projects in your life is very much like eating a meal. You have several meals to choose from, plus a drink. With your projects, you could tackle them one of two ways: by hitting one project at a time or by hitting all the projects at the same time.
Now, I don't think I have to stress which of those methods is better. I believe most of us could agree that tackling one thing at a time is much more effective than trying to tackle everything at the same time.
My wife and I have agreed that one of our weaknesses in running a business is that we have so many options and we want to do them all at the same time -- but we also don't finish most of what we've started.
Some of you are great starters, but horrible finishers. The starting part is exciting, just like getting your meal. But once you get going, you get distracted with other projects that you'd like to start -- just like when you're eating one thing, you want to eat something else before you finish the other food. If this keeps up, you would have found yourself starting everything and finishing nothing -- just like with food.
When you waste food, you probably seen that you've eaten some of everything, right? Maybe you might have finished ONE thing, most likely your drink. But everything else lies around half-eaten. Now, you're too full to finish your plate.
In the same way, when you start everything, you MAY finish one or two things, but then you'd be so burnt out that you don't want to complete your other projects. Now you have unfinished projects that lie in waste.
In order to avoid starting everything and getting nowhere, you ought to tackle one project at a time and get that project to a place where you want it to be. Then you could tackle the next project.
Now, there's a psychological thing that happens to me when I work on one food at a time. I see all the other delicious foods that I want to tackle and I want to get to them as soon as possible. So, I don't waste time eating one thing. I want to finish it so I could get to the next thing.
In the same way, if you have several things that you want to do, you won't want to waste time on one project. You would want to finish it quickly so you could get to the next thing.
But when you tackle EVERYTHING at ONCE, there are no other projects to look forward to, and eventually you'll just get burnt out. You're going to start saying to yourself that this project isn't working, that project isn't working, the other project is a flop, etc., etc. And the reason those projects aren't working is because you're not devoting enough time on them. You're too busy doing everything at once, and when you do everything at once, you don't spend much time on any one thing.
Why is it that kids have such a hard time learning in a traditional school setting while kids in smaller, less traditional school settings are excelling? You have a class with 30 kids, and all of them learn differently. How could a teacher address everybody's learning preference all at once? You will have kids who excel, kids who do "all right," and kids who just fail because the teacher cannot focus on any one kid at a time.
Trust me, I've been there on both ends of the spectrum: as a public school student and as a public school teacher.
In the same way, if you have several projects to do, some may excel, others may do "all right," and others may flat-out fail. But more realistically, maybe ONE of those projects would excel, others may yield SLIGHT results, and the rest would just fail.
So, instead of setting yourself up for failure by tackling all your projects at once, set yourself up for success by tackling one thing at a time.
Multitasking, in my opinion, is a bit overrated. When your attention is divided among several things, then the amount of time you devote to those things would be divided.
One time when I was at a wellness club, I noticed that the club would be ran by just ONE person at a time. This one person would be making smoothies, doing a wellness consultation, and maybe answer the phone at the same time. I thought that was a horrible way of doing business! The client you're sitting down with has to compete for your attention.
How many of you like being put on hold several times when you're on the phone with customer service? Yeah, I didn't think so....
Treat your projects as your clients. They ALL deserve your full attention. When you're done with one client, move on to the next. Don't try to see five clients at once.
Look at the unfinished projects that you have. Now pick which of those you want to tackle first. Once you pick that project, resolve to do nothing else until you finish it.
I don't care how hard your job is, there is no job as hard as self-improvement. You will have many challenges in life, but none of them would compare to the challenge of making yourself better.
Yet, despite this job being so hard, it's also the most rewarding job that you could ever do. If you could master the job of self-improvement, your life would be much easier and much more enjoyable than it is now.
Some time ago, my wife met with a man and his mother at a nutrition club. The son was over 400 lbs! After meeting with those two, she mentioned these people to a regular client of this nutrition club. This client told her, "He needs a psychiatrist!" How in the world could you determine that a weight-loss client needed a psychiatrist if you didn't even the know the client?
Simple: the client was over 400 pounds.
When I thought about it, it made sense that someone that obese would need to see some professional help, because you just don't get that big because you like food. Heck, there are plenty of people who love food, but you won't see them that big.
His weight was more personal than his desires to eat.
My wife told me that she did notice how the mother talked to her son...almost as a child. He was a grown man! I guess his mother played a part in his obesity.
When people get so big, no, it's not because they love food. It's not because they're irresponsible with their health. They have a self-development issue that they need to work on. They need to work on making themselves better, not on making their weight go away.
You see, there is a reason why I send these e-mails out every week. While it has almost NOTHING to do with fitness, it DOES have lots to do with self-improvement. If you don't work on improving YOU, then you won't work on improving your health.
If you're overweight or downright obese and you look at the mirror, know that it's not a food problem. It's a YOU problem -- if I may be so blunt.
When you decide to lose weight, why do you do it? If you simply try to lose weight because you just want to get skinny, I bet you have failed at weight-loss MANY times. But if you try to lose weight because you believe you could be a BETTER PERSON, then I bet you have made some significant weight-loss accomplishments!
I'm big into supplements, but I have wrongfully try to sell them to people whose issues weren't simply obesity. I had clients on weight-loss supplements who looked like the perfect candidates for these supplements. Why did my clients still fail? Why did they lose SOME weight and then drop off the face of the earth?
It's because their problem wasn't weight. They had other issues, and those issues affected their weight. What I did was address their WEIGHT instead of addressing their PERSONAL DEVELOPEMT.
Or in other words, I addressed the PROBLEM, not the INDIVIDUAL.
When you work on YOURSELF, other challenges in life would either not exist or would not be so bad. When you neglect yourself, be prepared for a HARD life.
Let's think about some things that could make life rough for you....
All of these are self-improvement issues -- they are PERSONAL. They aren't the problem: they are ingredients for a problem.
If you're always late, then...
Procrastination could be very costly, right?
So, if you're always having money trouble and I don't address your chronic procrastination tendencies, then no amount of help that I could provide would help you save money.
When someone comes to me and they have every problem in the world, I can't help but to think that HE or SHE is the real problem. When you have a new problem every week (or everyday!), I'm sorry to be blunt about this, but this indicates that YOU are inviting those problems into your life.
Think about yourself as a magnet. You are always attracting something to you. What you attract depends on what you are.
So that you won't attract the wrong things in life, you need to change WHAT you are so you could attract more of the good stuff to you. In order to change what you are, you need to work on yourself.
We spend too much time working on problems than we spend working on ourselves. If we would just admit that all of life's problems are drawn to us because of who we are, then we would be more serious in changing who we are so we could avoid many of those problems.
Let's go back to the weight-loss issue again. You have someone who is 400 lbs. He could do everything he would think of to lose that weight, but unless he works on HIM, then that weight ain't going nowhere.
He needs to, instead, work on the following:
When he works on these things, then the weight-loss would be a natural result, because he would see himself as too valuable to hold onto all that weight and all the problems that weight would give him.
See how that works?
We used to have a neighbor who, despite my protest, had gastric by-pass surgery. And she wasn't too obese! She got the serious surgery where the docs chop up and re-arrange your guts and reduce your stomach organ to the size of a thumb! You can't reverse that kind of surgery.
Well, she did lose weight -- and then gained it back again. She still had medical issues, and the ambulance was frequently at her house.
Guess what? She dealt with the problem, which was her weight -- but she herself was a mess. As long as she is a mess, then that weight of hers won't go anywhere.
Whatever problems you have, stop focusing on those problems. Focus on what kind of person you are, and if you could fix who you are, then you could almost automatically fix your other problems.
Of all the things to spend time on, spend MOST of that time working on YOU. Don't spend most of your time working on...
You see, all of these other things would fall into place very nicely if you would only work on yourself.
There's a saying that goes like this: "In order for things to change, you have to change." While it sounds cliche, there is power in that statement. Nothing around you will get better unless YOU get better. Of all the things to work on, let YOURSELF be the number one project!
Focus on YOU. Put most of your focus on YOU. Once you do that, everything else will follow closely behind.
You are a slave right now. There is a master that you are always serving, and you don't even know it. This master is pretty much ruling your life and you can't get any peace because of this master.
This master is called "The Now." Whenever he calls, you answer. You would drop everything just to please him. Everyday, The Now calls you to do an additional task -- and you haven't even finished the last task.
As a true introvert, I despise this master! I don't like having to do anything NOW. Heck, I don't even like answering my phone right now -- and I barely answer my e-mails right away.
Unless the task is urgent, I don't care to do anything NOW -- and YOU shouldn't feel that you have to do anything RIGHT NOW.
My wife would tell you that you ought to never, ever, ever put me on the spot to make any decisions right away. Unless it's a life or death situation, the decision could wait. Yes, I'm one of those odd folks who like to take a day or so to think about my decision. Most of the time, believe it or not, I have already made a decision on the spot -- I just don't want to give you an answer on the spot.
I know...sounds weird....
You see, I don't want to be a slave to The Now. I want to be the one in control. The Now could wait until I get ready for him -- if I ever get ready for him.
In our society, we're always hit with The Now. Deadlines, bills, applications, cleaning the house, losing weight, appointments, the list goes on. When you're in the process of doing one thing, The Now throws another task for you to deal with, and even before you get to that additional task, The Now decides to toss in one more task to do.
Then you'll be running around doing everything and accomplishing nothing.
Why is it that we feel that we need to do everything now? Is the task really so important that it can't wait? I bet that most of the tasks that you feel you have to do NOW could actually wait until tomorrow -- or next week.
The answer to all of these is NO. So, if attending to a matter right now would make no significant impact on your life, why rush to do it right now?
There is one thing that you do need to do right now: you need to take time for yourself and just chill.
When you're rushing to do this, that, and the other right now, you're not earning any bonus points for yourself. You're just raising your blood pressure! You get no extra credit points for heaven. You get no pat on the back. You don't even get an "attaboy." All you get is stress.
One lesson I'm teaching my kids is that when they wake up in the morning, don't ask Mommy or Daddy for any crap! Or when we get to the house, don't ask for jack! Daddy wants to come home and chill for a few minutes. No, I'm not making this, that, or other. I'm not attending to anybody's needs. Just leave me alone so I could think!
And yes, it works on my kids -- because they have no other choice but to do what Daddy tells them.
Ever been to a Time Share presentation? This is when reps would tell you why it's important to invest in vacation homes. My wife and I went to one of these presentations in Disney World so that we could get $60. We were actually duped, because I heard of other people getting $120 for wasting their time in those presentations!
Anyway, the rep had us sit through a video, then showed us around the resort, and then finally sat us down hoping that we would make a decision RIGHT NOW! Yes, we needed to make a major real estate decision at that moment -- and he even said that there is research showing the importance of making an immediate decision. I'd like to see his sources!
Mind you, I just wanted 60 bucks. I ain't had the cash to purchase real estate on a Disney Vacation!
After pressure from him, his manager, and another guy, they finally realized that I wasn't budging. After two and half hours of my life taken away, I finally got my $60 -- and even questioned if it was worth it.
You will get constant competition for your attention. Everything around you wants immediate action from you. The Now wants to be your master. But you need to learn to say NO to The Now as many times as possible. Most of those tasks that you feel to you need to do right away could actually wait.
And purchasing real estate could definitely wait!
The older I get, the more I realize that there is value in taking your time to tend to matters -- and there is NO value in taking immediate action.
Unless you're about to get evicted from your home...
Focus on tending YOUR needs first, then you could focus on tending to someone else's needs. Your immediate need is to relax. Don't get caught up with doing everything at this second. Most of your tasks could wait. Let your attention be on YOU, not on The Now.
Right now, I want to give you this charge: be successful at something. I don't care what it is, and I don't care if it makes you money or not. Just be successful at something.
Around 1996, I got my very first personal computer. I also got this free trial from American Online (AOL) to try out the internet. One of the things I've experimented with was making websites. AOL had a free program where their members could make their own little websites. I thought working on websites was pretty easy, so I made my own and kept trying new things with this website.
Now, I didn't expect to do anything more with working on websites other than to have fun.
Let's fast-forward to the 2000s. I had so much practice on working on websites that I developed my own ZUMBA website and got it on the first page of Google. If you were to type in "Zumba in Raleigh" (a very generic phrase), I would be one of the first ones that show up.
So, because of my success at getting my website on the first page of Google, I decided to use this skill to help the school I used to work for. They had a website, but it was BURIED! One parent said at a meeting that he searched all night for the school's website!
Once I took over the website, it wasn't long until my school's website was on the first page of Google!
Now, I have a dentist who is very interested in PAYING ME to do the same for his website.
But listen, this all started because I decided to play around with making websites. I never imagined that I would be using my skills to help me and other people.
So, be successful at something. At anything. I don't care what it is. Do something and be good at it because you NEVER know where it might lead you.
On my personal Facebook page, I am ALWAYS posting photos of my back deck garden. People start asking me how they could do what I'm doing. I'm growing cantaloupes, beets, spinach, hot peppers, eggplants, broccoli, tomatoes, bok choy, garlic, mustard greens, lettuce, basil, and an avocado tree -- all on my back deck.
Where is this going to take me? I don't know, but so far, people are admiring my work. I'm hoping one day that I could grow enough food to feed my entire family, but it starts with me getting good at gardening right now. Who knows, I just might be asked to travel around the country for paid speaking engagements on back deck gardening.
This is why you must pick something to do and be successful at it. Stop thinking about getting more education, or getting more licenses, or getting more certifications. Just do something and be good at it.
I don't care if you're good at...
It doesn't matter what it is. Just be successful at it! If it takes you nowhere, or well. If it takes you somewhere, great! Worst case scenario is that you gain a new skill. Best case scenario is that you'd get paid nicely for it.
I'm an artist. I could draw and paint pretty well. At my old school that I used to teach in, I would draw these portraits on my bulletin board. My portraits were so impressive that the principal was willing to have me be an art teacher in addition to being a physical education teacher. I didn't accept the role, though.
Never go around saying that you're not good at anything. If you do, then start working on being successful at something. Pick something. Pick anything! It could be playing video games! Just be successful at it! You just might land a job where you play video games all day -- and yes, those jobs do exist.
I have an old high school buddy who loves comic books. He loves comic books so much that he made an internet show about his reviews on comic books. Dang it, he even made a guess appearance on a morning talk show in California!
Yes...all because of his successful love for comic books...
One thing one North Carolina state employee has told me that when human resources look at job applications, they pay special attention to your skills. You probably have several Master degrees, with certifications in this, that, and the other. But human resources want to know what your skills are -- that is, what are you good at doing. It doesn't matter if it's playing an instrument. Write down all the stuff you know how to do well, because, according to her, you might be offered a job based on those skills. It may not be a job that you applied for, but it would be a job in something where you could actually use those skills.
But, how could you have skills if you don't know how to do anything? Start doing something NOW and get good at it! Be an expert on it. Be the go-to person for that subject. Whenever people think about this skill, let them think of you!
My wife is a dental assistant. That job obviously comes with skills. Do you know what else she's good at? Couponing! We used to be on the WIC program years ago, but because of her couponing skills, we gave up the WIC program. We no longer needed it! She was bringing home bags and bags of food for a FRACTION of the cost! Because she was so good at what she did, she was asked to teach couponing classes at my church.
I can't stress this enough: BE SUCCESSFUL AT SOMETHING! Anything! You never, never, NEVER know where it might take you.
And listen, if you're having a hard time getting a job, you know what you could work on? Getting good at a new skill. You know of all the rich people in the world, most of them got their riches because of a skill they had to learn on their own. They didn't get those riches because they went to school. They had a skill, got successful with that skill, and then monetized on that skill.
Do the same thing. Learn a skill, be successful at that skill, and see where it would take you.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.