Its easy to make excuses. You might be trying to give up smoking or alcohol. A sneaky beer, or a puff on a cigarette, is easy to shrug off as one of those things. But it’s not one of those things. By lying to yourself, you’re only consigning your goals to failure. Lying, or making excuses for your sloppy actions, means you’ve broken a promise to yourself. Once you do that, you’ll fuck up, over and over again. - Nimsdai Purja (Beyond Possible)
Maybe it was reading Nimsdai Purja’s fascinating book Beyond Possible at the start of the year that something struck in me. Even before reading these amazing lines at the end of the book I figured how easily we give up on the things that are good to ourselves and make life miserable. There are so many small actions in our life that we have to do to be on the route of the person we want to be. The actions that are absolutely required and are also largely easy if you put your mind to it.
Nimsdai had many goals in becoming the record holder for climbing the 14 highest mountains of the world in a record 7 months time, task that every mountaineer had written off, but amongst this was one really important goal that I could relate to. The goal to prove that if humans put their mind to it, the impossible stretches way beyond what they think it resides currently.
One of the reasons I like this book is also because its a strong and frank book. In a culture that is so accustomed to make you feel that its ok to miss out on the small things or its ok to not have become what you had set yourself up for, in a culture of rapid giving up, this book stands out and tells you that you are stronger than you think you are and can focus your mind to work on the things you love no matter how hard the going gets. I believe we don’t get joy in our life by relegating the things that we want to achieve or people we want to become to the backburner. Its a recipe for a regretful life. Its only by facing them head on that we engage ourselves wholly into the meaning we set for our lives.
Such things like exercising daily, meditating, sleeping on time, eating healthy, disengaging from toxic people, focusing on work, etc. might sound trivial and advised to death and ‘one of those things’ to miss out on, but simply because these things look mundane doesn’t mean they are unimportant. They have the potential to elevate or shatter your identity to pieces. James clear talks at length about how habits affect identity in Atomic Habits:
Every time you choose to perform a bad habit, it’s a vote for that identity. - James Clear
Yet underestimating this grave danger is so common.