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Monday, April 20, 2009

What Do You Never Regret Doing That You Never Do?

I have a confession: I skipped going to the gym yesterday. Shame, shame, shame...

My friend once told me, "You never regret going to the gym." I have say, he was right.

I am definitely not one of those "addicted to the gym" people. To me the gym is quite often a necessary evil like immunization shots or Burger King Ads. Some days I have a Lincoln-Douglass-esque debate going on in my head as to whether I should make it to the gym as I planned. I know I should, but then I feel tired, or sore, or busy, or just incredibly lame. And the debate in my head goes on and on...

But my friend's advice has always been true. When the "forces of good" in my brain win out and I go to the gym, I am always happy I did and never regret it. Even if the workout is terrible, I am hapy I tried. Even the one time I hurt my back squatting, I didn't regret the fact that I had gone. I did regret the fact that clearly something was off with my form and I hurt myself, but I didn't regret making the trip.

On the other hand, most of times when the "forced of evil" win out and I skip out on going to the gym I feel lazy, fat, undisciplined, guilty, and very annoyed at myself. Not a good way to feel. And, because emotions are unfortunately work on momentum, those feelings carry over and make the next workout harder, which makes me guiltier, which makes the next workout harder, and so on and so on.

Then I started thinking about other things in my life that are the same way. I have recently gotten back into creative writing. Writing a novel has been a goal of mine since I was in third grade. I guess 28 years is long enough time to let the idea marinade! So one of my daily action items is to write. Regreattably, there is a similar "good vs. evil" battle going on in my head for this too. Just like working out, I never regret writing, but I almost always regret not doing it.

It's a weird thing, but we all occasionally succumb: not doing things we know we will be happy we did and know that we will regret not doing. We all have that battle of "good vs. evil" in our heads. As good as we know we feel by taking action, there's that insidious little voice that tells us, "no, dont. It's hard. You don't need to. There's always tomorrow."

How about you? What do you never regret doing that you never do?

Step #2 in the step-by-step process to improvising with anything is to say "yes, and" instead of "yes, but." This is the perfect place to implement that! The next time the battle of good vs. evil rages in your head, simply ask yourself, "will I regret doing this? Will I regret not doing it?" Then kick yourself in the butt, say, "yes, and," and do it!

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