What is a non-negotiable in your life?
Depending on what stage of life you’re in, your answer might vary. If you’re in your early twenties, your non-negotiables might be your college choices or what you’re looking for in a potential marriage. If you’re a businessman in the prime of life, your non-negotiables might be your investment portfolio, stocks, and the real estate you’re eyeing for a new house. We prioritize aspects of life based upon what we currently deem the most important for us. It’s never completely set in stone, and that’s alright, because it’s meant to change and grow as all of us change and grow.
However, there is a noticeable trend to prioritize only those things that cost us money now or in the future. Out of sight, out of mind seems to be the order of the day, and we’re all guilty of it. That’s why the objective lesson of touching the hot stove and getting burned or poking the electrical outlet when we’re young will always hit us first. We learn best from present pain, from things that cost us now, but only wisdom can teach us about future pain and what the cost will be later.
If your exercise regimen, nutrition plan, or health is not a current priority, you’re taking on pain that you can’t feel yet. Your subsidizing the cost now for a greater cost in the future. You will pay the cost when it hurts to play with your children, or a work softball game causes you to huff and puff in pain. You’ll pay it when you look in the mirror and you’re dissatisfied with you you look, feel, and what you’ve become. You’ll pay it when life feels dull and unexciting, or when your spouse no longer finds you sexually attractive.
But you don’t have to go into health debt.
You can, as James Clear states in Atomic Habits, “Turn the things you have to do into something you want to do and never work a day in your life.” You can prioritize hard work today and reap the harvest of happiness in your future. And to be completely honest, you’ll reap happiness and fulfillment almost immediately anyways. I’m not talking about being perfect. You’ll fail, and you’ll fail often. But you pick yourself back up and keep going. You don’t quit, but most importantly, you can’t quit because you’ve taken that off the table as an option. It’s not in the equation. You’re going to do it, positively or negatively, but it’s happening regardless.
The people that give up on their health and nutrition aren’t successful because they’re not good enough, talented enough, smart enough, didn’t have the right training, or didn’t have the genetics for it – they just don’t want it bad enough. And those that don’t want it bad enough will never get it. They’ll never make time for it, they’ll never prioritize it, never work hard enough for it. They won’t sacrifice for it, and they’ll make every excuse as to why they didn’t succeed.
You’ll know you’ve made it a priority in your life when you want it as bad as you want to breathe.