Sorites Paradox

(This post was inspired by Gretchen Rubin and one of her posts on the one coin loophole.)

If I were to give one coin, that would not make anyone instantly rich. If a second coin was added, wealth is still not achieved. But what is rich, if not having many coins?  Which coin is the tipping point? Which workout is the one to lead to the body of your dreams? Conversely, which skipped workout will derail us? Which soda is the one that causes obesity or diabetes? How many $5 coffees can we afford before we lack the financial freedom we desire?

In my five years of experience as a personal trainer and success coach, I've had the pleasure of working with a variety of people. I've had the honor of helping many get to their goals, regardless of their situation in life. And while everyone is different in different parts of their lives, I've run across three types of people over and over again. To explain their dispositions, and how each can lead to or away from success, I present to you a case study of sorts: the Instagram model.

Type one sees the model and tends to be jealous. Unhappy with their own self image, their jealousy creates an unbridgeable gap between themselves and the model. Maybe the model is genetically gifted or has a plastic surgeon. Or worse, this type of mentality leads to devaluing themselves: that they lack time or the energy to work out. Regardless of how they define that gap, they end up stuck in their own sense of shame, soothed only by their attack on someone they don't even know.

Type two, also unhappy with their current self image, tend to at first be inspired to achieve that status. This type often takes a step in the right direction; signs up for a gym membership, hires a trainer, switches from full sugar to diet soda, and maybe even goes for a walk once or twice a week. But few are the ones who make it past the first step; they quit at the first sign of struggle and lack of instant gratification.  In my experience, they revert back to old habits within the first month of their journey. 

Types one and two are common. Types one and two tend towards an external locus of control; or simply put, the cry baby syndrome. They put up their own road blocks, or make up excuses on why they can't do what the model did, or somehow that the model is special. In doing so, they devalue the achievements of those around them in an attempt to feel better about their own short comings, and devalue their own potential for achievement.

Type three are the ones that see the model and see the countless hours in the gym. They hear every no said to the one dessert or night out drinking. They see the model never skipping a workout. These people, rather than get jealous or complacent, model the model. These are the people who see the truth: success takes work. Success takes sacrifice. Success is the product of daily habits which lead them towards their goals, and breaking the habits which impede them. 

In other words, success comes one coin at a time, and is taken away just as subtly. The question is, how do you amass your coins? And how are you keeping the coins you have, rather than spending them one cupcake or skipped workout at a time? Which of the three types are you?


(if you're interested: Sorities Paradox)

also, heard Gretchen talking on the Art of Charm Podcast, episode 388. Check them out if you'd like!