Thursday, June 18, 2015

Think Positive. Take Action. Be Accountable. BLARGH.

But first, I will take a selfie.
"Health and wellness" type pages on facebook seem all be either one or the other type of polar opposites.

At one end you have the all doom and gloom, guilt and shame pages about how "everything out there is killing you, but join our food cult and you'll be alright" variety... and... they're dressed up with a facade of positivity, but make no mistake... it is still based on scaremongering + the suggestion that anyone not in the gang/tribe/cult/whatever is some kind of dumb, lazy, undisciplined slob who actually doesn't deserve health or happiness.

Join us and live by our made up rules to prove that you do though, right?
Everyone knows how much I'm against that sort of nonsense, especially as all of the fearmongering is completely unfounded and only leads to all of the usual problems associated with restrictive dieting. You know what I'm talking about here.

At the other end of the scale you have the more "New Age" style positivity type pages which tend to be just a bunch of feel good crap with no substance behind it, as well.  Just peddling a bunch of easy answers, really. Decide that you're happy and the universe will deliver everything your heart desires because of your positive energy, or something.

As a side note I'm actually heavily influenced by so called "New Age" philosophies such as Taoism, Zen & Bushido especially from my days practicing martial arts. However, well... it gets complicated. On the one hand "with our thoughts we create the world", but on the other hand particularly in Taoism the universe is seen as cold and uncaring and what you "deserve" is irrelevant. That's my limited understanding on the subject, anyway.

You might pick up on that influence in some of my writing. In particular, many times I've talked about how "you don't get into shape by proving you're a good person, you get into shape by training and by providing sufficient energy and resources to perform, recover and adapt favourably to training". A puritanical approach to eating is entirely irrelevant in this, and if anything is actually less conducive to meeting those increased requirements of energy and other resources.

But anyway, I have digressed as usual.

Those two extremes are kind of like fire and ice, with the puritanical disciplinarians at one end and the hippy feel good stuff at the other end. I see my role as somewhere in the middle of those two extremes (like lukewarm water), providing sense and strategy for the minority of people out there who are too intelligent to be manipulated by those sort of shonky tactics.

Here's the thing. You DO need positivity and an approach that is about feeling good about who you are and where you are going. HOWEVER...

Just thinking positively isn't enough. You need to take action.

Just taking action is not enough. You need to know that you have the correct (or I should say, "a suitable") course of action.

This has come up in conversation with a few of my clients recently. Clients who ARE getting somewhere NOW and who were not prior to working with me. It has come up a couple of times, how so many coaches out there seem to have nothing but "think positively, take action and be accountable" to offer.

It is nice advice in theory but entirely useless if they are not also providing you with that strategy, that suitable course of action that ENSURES success as long as you keep working at it.

It's a bit like someone asking how to get to your place for your BBQ or whatever. You don't just tell them “oh, you should drive in your car”. They need directions. They need a strategy. They're coming from a unique starting point to a specific destination. Each person's journey will be a little different although the goal is the same.

If you're shopping for a coach, that's the question you should be asking. HOW is this going to ensure success in my goals? If the only answer is “because you'll be taking action and being accountable” there is a huge part of the plan (aka, the actual plan) missing and I would suggest that that's actually the main component you were paying for in the first place.