Being a wellness provider and consultant, the biggest frustration I encounter is that people want the ‘quick’ fix. I’m sure I’m not alone in this frustration. I think all health care providers encounter this, as well as mechanics, financial planners, and plumbers. But if the ‘quick fix’ worked, then as a nation we would be the pillar of health instead of the laughing stock of developed countries, have uber amounts of money in reserve instead of trillions in debt, and be the top in education statistics opposed to declining year after year in comparison to countries with fewer resources.
Don’t shoot me guys, but guess where the majority of these problems lie? The problem is with our manly-man Y chromosome. I’m not blaming our problems on genetics, but men tend to be the ones who perpetuate ‘quick-fix’ solutions. We get massively stereotyped that we never ask for directions. Is it a stereotype or truth? The ‘quick-fix’ solution pre-GPS was to keep driving. We often get criticized for not planning the course, so when troubles arise, our emotional egos take over instead of our logical think tanks.
I could adapt this emotion vs. logical decision making to any scenario, whether health, finances, relationships, politics, and even buying a car. My expertise is health, so I will speak to this scenario.
When I meet with a new client, they are coming to me for help. The problem is that I often recommend the help they aren’t expecting. People, especially men, come to me for the quick fix. We get talking and asking questions and come to the mutual conclusion that it’s smarter to actually figure out what’s causing the problem and make action steps to address the cause and effect.
I’ve come to realize that what seemed like a logical agreement at the time is often only an emotional decision from the client because they have their eyes set on the short term relief. The irony is that men criticize women for putting duct tape over the check-engine light so they can keep driving. The damage of the short-term fix of either scenario doesn’t often reveal itself immediately.
People come to me because they want to ‘HAVE’ something. That ‘HAVE’ could be less weight, less pain, more sleep, better digestion, or just a better quality of life. They look to me to figure out what to ‘DO.’ In the client’s mind, if they DO something, then they will HAVE something.
Change does not occur this way, at least lasting change. Think back to all your New Year’s Resolutions and average out the time you spent actually working on these. Better yet, add up all the resolutions that you actually completed… You can stop counting now because I can almost guarantee it’s less than 0.1%. Why were your changed behaviors fleeting and non-effective?
It’s because your behaviors are dictated by beliefs. I believe that gravity works, therefore I don’t jump off 10 story buildings. But where did our beliefs originate? Beliefs originate from our sphere of influence like our mothers, fathers, preachers, teachers, and drug commercials. Beliefs also originate from our experiences. Like, if I pee on the electric fence, even though I’m not touching the fence, I can still be knocked flat on my back.
The input from all those influences shapes our values. Therefore, by logical deduction, our values dictate our behaviors. Our values are the core of our ‘BE’ing. In order to ‘HAVE’ or ‘DO,’ you first need to ‘BE.’ Figuring out the ‘BE’ is actually the easiest part of creating change.
The ‘BE’ is what you value. Most people value family, finances, fun, faith, and fitness. Now that I think of it, the ‘BE’ and ‘HAVE’ are typically the same. The stress comes when we ‘DO’ something that’s incongruent with our ‘BE.’
Let’s say you come to me and say, “Dr. Kurt, I want to lose weight.” What you are telling me is that you want to ‘HAVE’ less weight. But do you actually value (‘BE’) less weight? You get on track and start making progress but the progress slows to a point you actually start gaining weight back. You come back to me furious because you are now gaining weight. Instead of taking blame, I’m going to ask for your record of your exercise log, your diet log, and gratitude journal.
It turns out instead that you have stopped drinking water 1st thing in the morning and are now eating ice-cream for breakfast. It turns out that instead of writing what you are grateful for, you are complaining about your upcoming day. Lastly, instead of doing your complete fitness program each day, you keep cutting off 10-20 seconds each time where now you are doing ½ the original amount.
These are just examples. These examples are why I get frustrated. I get frustrated because you lied to my face. You told me you value and want something but your actions are totally incongruent with those statements. I’m not going to yell at you, but I understand why coaches do a lot of yelling, at least the ones I had. The player’s actions aren’t congruent with the value of the coach. On a side note, the most successful teams I participated in had the coach that yelled the least, even though it was the same group of athletes. Hmmm.
If I’ve totally lost you on this concept, might I direct you to watch one of Hollywood’s most cinematically inspirational movies of all time to drive my point home? Varsity Blues. Yes, you read that correct. Varsity Blues. There was the epic moral battle between Mox, the underrated, back-up quarterback and living legend varsity football coach Bud Kilmer.
Bud Kilmer valued district championships at any cost (including injured players), while Mox loved the purity of Texas football. Bud Kilmer wanted the quick fix of another win while Johnny Moxon wanted to create a culture of football-loving-players to grace the blue and white of the West Canaan Coyotes field. The movie culminates with an historic cinematic clash between Mox and Kilmer due to inconsistent values.
They both valued (‘BE’) and wanted (‘HAVE’) victory, they just had different ways of ‘DO’ing it. I urge you that before you begin any change in your life, define your values. Create your action steps in accordance with those values and you will ‘HAVE’ satisfaction, completion, and confidence. If that seems to daunting of a task, at least go buy Varsity Blues and watch it repeatedly until you visualize the scene with the quote, “Tonight, we play Bingville! Tonight, we BEAT Bingville!”…Dr.’s orders.