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Too Old, Too Fat, Too Dumb

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Have you ever noticed how some people have an amazing ability to find reasons for not actually doing anything? Taking risks, getting uncomfortable, making tough decisions, being pro-active, being responsible for the state of their life, relationships, body, and finances.

Not you or I of course, but perhaps someone you know.

I’m too old.
I’m too fat.
I’m not the academic one.
I’m not the athletic one.
I’m not smart enough.
I have a terrible memory.
I don’t know anything about business.
I’m not the writer; he’s the writer.
My sister’s the one with the great genetics.
And so on…

We, er sorry, they, pigeonhole themselves into personal-growth paralysis.

“I would love to have my own blog site, but I can’t write, and anyway, who would want to read what I have to say; I’m boring. I don’t have a qualification in anything and I tried something similar once before, but my brother; he’s a genius; you should listen to him!”

They spend their life justifying and rationalising their psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial and professional stagnation.

Sometimes they even get angry at the world.
Or God.

‘Cause that’s gonna help.

Sometimes they really work at it and get bitter, grumpy, and resentful because apparently life dealt them some crap cards. Years blend into one another and while they are unhappy with much of their life, they don’t actually do anything to change it.

Year after year, their life reeks of sameness because they constantly focus on what they can’t do (or think they can’t do).

They are forever having the same conversations about the same issues, but don’t do anything. They tell themselves (and anyone stupid enough to listen) how disadvantaged they are, so then they don’t actually have to get off their arse and change their situation or circumstance because obviously it’s all beyond their control.

Sure it is, Pinocchio.
Boo Hoo.

One of my favourites is when people decide they’re too old for pretty much everything.

Their body is not the problem; their thinking is. Age is more about attitude, beliefs, and choices than it is about physiology or years on the planet. I’ve met many people who have successfully turned themselves into ‘old people’ in a matter of months. It’s quite the skill. They think old, talk old, act old, live old – and then become old.

So many obese people have remained obese because apparently it’s genetic!

“Mum’s big, my sisters are all big, and my dad’s huge.”

“Er, perhaps you all eat too much! I bet if I took your family for a six month holiday at camp Craig and I controlled your food, your activity level, and your exercise regime, there would be no fat family.” You keep telling yourself it’s all about your DNA; then you won’t have to take responsibility for your crappy eating, your unhealthy lifestyle, the gallon of coke per day, or your 300lb body.

I apologise if I sound harsh, but if you listened to the verbal crap I listen to on a daily basis, you’d be blunt as well.

So, let’s:

Stop finding reasons to fail!
Stop finding reasons to do nothing.
Focus on what we can change, can do, and can control.

Can you change your attitude? Yes.
Can you eat less? Yes. (I didn’t ask, “Is it easy?”)
Can you make different choices today? Yes.
Can you surprise yourself and others today? If you choose to.
Can you work around your hurdles, obstacles and challenges? Yes.
Can you communicate differently from now? Yes.
Can you work on your weaknesses while maximising your strengths? Yes.
Can you learn new things at any age? Yes.
Can you create genuine, forever, inside-out changes starting today? If you choose to.
Can you change destructive habits today? Yep. Will it be easy? Probably not. Do you want it enough? You tell me.
Can you make a decision now, right now in that chair which will change your life forever? Yep.

If you choose to.

Life’s about choices. Choices shape lives. People make choices. Or not.

Do you want an amazing life?
Do you want to be an amazing person?
Do you want to have amazing experiences? Then do an amazing thing.

Get uncomfortable. Now. Even though it’s not practical, convenient, or comfortable, make that decision. Don’t just talk about it, read about it, and think about it. Do it.

Some of you are feeling uncomfortable now. You know why? Because you know what you need to change and you know it won’t be easy at times. Do it anyway. Surprise yourself. Be different. Be courageous. I dare you.

Every successful endeavour starts with an idea and a decision. You know that (for many of us) the right time never comes. So why don’t you, right here and now, address that thing and make that decision? If you feel compelled, share it with us; it might help you create some momentum. Hey, at least you’ll have a few thousand of us to keep you honest, and we’re on your team.

Go Team!

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About Craig Harper

  • Anne K.

    Hi Craig,
    This is the first time I have read a personal development style post that cuts through the fluff. It is very refreshing.
    Well Said!
    Anne K.


    I don’t know about Australia — but here in the USA — it seems we have the opposite problem:

    a majority of people who VASTLY overestimate their talent, their abilities, their intelligence, their creativity — and therefore have some raging, aggressive sense of entitlement to all the glorious ‘rewards’ of our hyper-capitalist, celebrity-obsessed world.

    A few decades of pop-psychology/educational emphasis on the magic potion of “self-esteem” have created a few million idiots and assholes who possess little more than an unearned sense of self-importance.


    BTW: Just for the record, I put “motivational speakers” about one click below Marketing Consultants (aka “Satan’s Spawn”), TV Evangelists, and Used Car Salesmen.

    : )



    “I would love to have my own blog site, but I can’t write, and anyway, who would want to read what I have to say…”


    I can spit out my window and hit a barely-literate, aspiring novelist or screenwriter — and with eighty gazillion mindless morons out there with boring “blogs” detailing every tedious moment of their vapid lives — that’s probably not the best example, either.

    I think you’re part of the problem, mate.

    You need to come to America and start telling audiences that they’re not that talented or interesting — and that they should be happy and accept their simple lives as they are.

  • Kacia

    Thank you for a wonderful, structured and honest assessment based on your experience.

  • Martin Lav

    “Oops…sorry…wandered onto this thread thinking the subject was Dave Nalle…”


    In a way it is isn’t it?

  • Nancy

    And … if I motivate myself to think that I can compete in ski-jumping, & break my neck, are you going to be liable? Reality DOES have a place in motivational thinking, Mr. Harper.

  • Mohjho

    “Can you make a decision now, right now in that chair which will change your life forever? Yep.
    If you choose to.”

    Damn, why didn’t I think of that? Seems so simple.
    Guess I’m just not smart enough.

  • duane

    “Can you make a decision now, right now in that chair which will change your life forever? Yep. If you choose to.”

    I’ve decided to start drinking more beer. I’m ready and motivated to face up to the challenge of finding enough room in the fridge for a decent stock. I can probably clear out the vegetable bins, and get a few sixers in there. Yes, I’m good enough to do it, dammit!