Try as we might, we can’t convince our daughter to eat her vitamin first. “It tastes like chalk.” I know, sweetheart. I ate them when I was a kid, and they probably had more sugar then.
So every morning, it sits there, in the corner of her placemat, looming over her while she eats. No matter how much we encourage her, she refuses to eat it. We try to explain that if she would eat it first, she would get it out of the way and be done with it. She could get the chalky taste out of her mouth by following it up with milk or a waffle dipped in syrup. She just shakes her head and seals her lips.
We all have our vitamins, and the same stubborn refusal to eat them and get it over with. How much of your life are you spending making yourself miserable by putting off the inevitable?
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
If you start your day by eating the biggest frog on your plate—tackling the most important task on your list—then you’ll know your day is only going to get easier from there.
It’s not a bad image to get you take on the hard stuff instead of avoiding it. If you can do this, you can do anything.
But the tricky thing about these big, important tasks is that we often find them unpleasant. No matter how positive the change they’ll effect, it’s still change. Change is hard.
Even when we know we’ll be better off—perhaps dramatically—change can be hard. Change means we have to leave our comfort zone, develop new habits, and become someone new.
When we focus on the short-term, we push back on anything we don’t like.
I don’t want to eat my vegetables!
I don’t want to mow the lawn!
I don’t want to go to the dentist!
I don’t want to get up early!
I don’t want to lose 20 lbs!
I don’t want to limit my sodium intake!
I don’t want to pay with cash!
I don’t want to save for retirement!
I don’t want to write a will!
Don’t focus on the short-term. The short-term is rarely fun. It’s the price you’re paying. It’s the sacrifice you’re making.
Focus on the end results you’re trying to achieve, not what you’re going through to get there. That’s where you find inspiration, motivation, and the energy to keep going.
When you focus on the end you want, the present doesn’t have quite such a chalky texture. With a clear vision of what success looks like, that’s all you can taste.
When it’s time to take your vitamins, run at it. Eat the frog. Rip the band-aid off. Stop procrastinating. Get things done then go have fun.