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We do what we have to do...

Monday, January 14, 2008


“We do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do.”

That is a quote from the movie “The Debaters” that is out currently. (Very good movie…there are some important historical lessons.) That quote is a lesson that one character clearly was teaching his son over time. I thought it was fabulous and plan to use it as a life lesson.

Of course the lesson may be applied in many areas of life - perhaps in our work/career; and, perhaps in our home/personal life. And clearly, it may be applied in our health/nutrition/fitness area of our life. We make good food choices and we follow an exercise plan so that we may do what we want to do. Those want-to-do’s can be anything: have more energy, look better, be healthier, live longer, play with our kids, inspire others, set a great example for our kids, etc.

People have asked me how I stay motivated. I identified those want-to-do’s when I started working out regularly and making better food choices nearly five years ago, and I wrote them down. I listed them in the example above. They help me remember why I should work out when I don’t feel like it, or stay on target with my eating.

There are many things I can do now, because I did what I have-to-do. I feel confident in any type of clothing including a bathing suit, I can participate in extremely physical activities with my kids and never feel tired, I can do day-to-day things with ease, I can work and play all day and all night, and more. The picture above is from a trip to Costa Rica. Although I was 15 pounds heavier then, I was still healthy as I was making good food choices and working out. On that trip, I could hike through the rain forest for hours, swim in the ocean all day, ride horseback on the beaches for hours, climb cliffs on the ocean and then salsa in the clubs all night.

So, when my motivation lags, or when I feel like putting off “what I have to do”, I will remind myself of the life lesson and remind myself of “what I want to do” so that I will find the motivation and the discipline to do “what I have to do,” whether that is at work or in the gym or in the kitchen.

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