It’s not a priority if you don’t do it

From Shane Parrish on LinkedIn:

A lot of people say they want to do something, but they don’t actually want to do it.

Here’s a story.

I have a friend who has told me they wanted to get in shape. He talks about it almost every time I see him. When I ask him what he’s doing, it’s always something new. I’m researching this new Pilates class. I’m trying to find a gym. I’m exploring online options.

When I follow up, it’s there is always a reason that thing didn’t work out and there is a new thing to be excited about. Everyone was in shape at the Pilates place, and I felt like it wasn’t for me … but i found this new thing.

Finally, I just told him that if he doesn’t figure it out, I’m going to send a personal trainer to his house every morning at 5 am and send him the bill. That prompted him to finally get a gym membership. I asked him when he was planning to go, and he said soon, but work is busy. We both know he won’t go regularly. If at all.

There will always be an excuse. There will always be a reason. And so nothing changes, and our friendship is damaged because I pushed to have him do what he said he wanted to do.

There are a few lessons I take from this.

  1. People don’t actually want what they say they want. Wanting something feels better than grinding away to get it. You can’t solve for what other people say they want but don’t actually want.

  2. Fear is an anchor. The fear of looking like an idiot. The fear of looking out of place. The fear of trying to get healthy and not succeeding. The fear of succeeding.

  3. It doesn’t matter what you say; it’s not a priority if you don’t do it. Talking and doing are two different things. You can listen to someone talk. You can drop them off at the gym. But they have to walk through the door and do it.

goals Shane Parrish

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