No silver bullet?

Where does that saying come from anyway? In deference to the fact that my blog is TCK oriented, not every body will necessarily recognize the reference.

It comes from the fact, in western (European) cultures and mythology primarily, that a silver bullet is the one thing needed to kill supernatural creatures, mainly werewolves. From that it grew into a way of speaking about a simple solution to difficult or intractable problems. E.g. "I may have a silver bullet for this problem."

I have been listening to a large number of podcasts the last few months, many of them self help related. "How do I fix my life.", "How do I start a business when I'm in debt and working 80 hours a week already?", "How can I lose weight and get in shape?". "How can I become a better person?", etc.

Well, for all of these questions ... there is no silver bullet. And although I consider myself a  fortunate person, even I had a considerable amount of problems at one point a few years ago. And I wasn't reading or listening to any self help stuff at the time, but I did have an "oh shit" moment when I just paused, looked at myself and my life and said, "Anthony ... you have to do something about all of this.".

In looking back at what I did, and listening to all these various pod casts, I realized that a common thread runs through everything. There is NO silver bullet for "fixing" your life, fitness, weight, finances, etc.

What there are is the same few things, that, if done together, absolutely will work.

  1. Take responsibility
  2. Exercise
  3. Meditation
  4. Diet
  5. Sleep
  6. Incremental changes
  7. Setting priorities / goals / visions
  8. Imperfect action better than no action
  9. Minimalism

I will not quibble about the exact makeup of this list, although I strongly think that the first item is non-negotiable. 

If you cannot face up and own that you are the only one responsible for what happens to you ... none of the other items mean squat. You will always be able to equivocate on the other items because they are "out of your control". Harsh words but true.

My graphic - Crude but I like making pictures :-)

My graphic - Crude but I like making pictures :-)

I will not quibble about the exact makeup of this list, although I strongly think that the first item is non-negotiable. 

If you cannot face up and own that you are the only one responsible for what happens to you ... none of the other items mean squat. You will always be able to equivocate on the other items because they are "out of your control". Harsh words but true.

I believe (because my health had really gone down hill) that 2 - 5 are pretty crucial also. If you aren't feeling good, it is going to be nigh impossible to make effectual progress on anything else.

Use the concept of "Incremental changes" as your watch word. Don't try to change everything overnight. Start small. Even a tiny success can help bolster your confidence for trying something more.

Goals - It really does help to write them down. I don't know where I heard this (I'm terrible at attribution) - but the concept of writing down 3 week micro goals is great. That is stuff you can get done in a short term and just DO IT! Then use that to build (this part is me), 3 month goals, 6 month goals, 1 year goals. Anything beyond 6 - 9 months is sort of dream / vision category - and you should have that without doubt. But use conrete micro goals to get there. That way you can see concrete progress.

If you wait for everything to be perfect before you execute ... probably will not happen. At some point, just go, do it. Sure you'll make mistakes, but you will learn. That is exactly what I did with this web site. I dithered for 5 weeks before going live. And now that it is live, I am seeing all the things that can be better ... and I'm fixing them. But I wouldn't have known about a single one if I hadn't gone live.

Minimalism - Google "Essentialism" - Greg McKeown - great book. I'm not saying reduce your life to having 50 things or 100 things. I'm saying de-clutter your life to what is essential for you to be happy. Again .. small steps.

I would love comments on this :-)