It was three pm on a Sunday afternoon when Bill awoke to empty beer bottles on his bedside table and two full size half eaten bags of crisps. Bill had been going through a rough patch for the past month because his girl friend had just left him and he was drowning his sorrows in the best possible way. Partying every night and hooking up with random girls was his remedy to getting over his loss.
The interesting thing to note is that no matter how much Bill partied, he would still muster up the motivation to go for runs around the park. He found that his two ways of dealing with his break up was to party every night and run his anxiety away every day. Funnily enough it seemed to work, but everytime he would sit for a moment and think he would focus on his ex girlfriend and what he should do next.
Because Bill was so focused on his anger he decided to set himself a goal and become the best possible version of himself and achieve massive success. “This will show her” he thought.
That day Bill decided that he would change his life around and start improving in important areas of his life. Later on in the day however was a friend’s birthday party, so that was going to be his celebratory departure from one life to the next. It was an alcohol filled frenzy that went down and Bill blacked out, only to awake to the empty beer bottles and half-eaten packets of crisps next to his bed. His mouth was sore from eating so many crisps the night before and the taste in his mouth left him feeling disgusted. He felt sick and a bit disappointed in himself for having those two bags of crisps there.
The thing is, Bill was a massive crisps addict and he had always tried to control his urges. His weakness was when he had too much to drink, that was when he would splurge and go all out. You can only imagine how many bags he was eating during his couple of months of getting over his ex. That morning however was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Bill took the two bags and threw them on the living room table for his flatmates to eat. He cleaned out his room, removing all the empty beer bottles that were lying around and he sorted out his desk. He had made a decision that he was going to start educating himself as much as possible so that he could have an edge on everyone around him. That was his first step and the way he was going to do that was by reading books.
Bill was never a big reader and wasn’t very patient either, but he had heard multiple times that reading books is for the mind like exercise is for the body. He decided to begin reading books that interested him, with captivating stories. The books always focused around area of interest that would improve his understanding of a situation or a topic.
His books of choice, were psychology, health and advertising. Bill couldn’t believe it, after only a couple of months of reading daily he was hooked and addicted to learning. He felt great learning new things, it made him feel empowered. It made him feel like he was growing rather than wasting away. On top of this he started reading books on health and nutrition and this also changed his body. The information he gathered made him change his nutritional habits to healthier ones. He lost the excess fat he had built up over the past months effortlessly and he had more insight into why he sometimes suffered from dips in energy through out his day. He also found out what the best way is to lose fat and keep it off which made him feel even better about himself and more in control. When he'd look in the mirror he was proud of the person he was looking at, lean and healthy. He was no longer sloppy and bloated.
All of this new found knowledge put into practice gave him a new found confidence and improved his mood and all round environment. He kept his learning up and made a plan to travel back to London and pursue a job in advertising. He decided to apply everything he had learnt over the past nine months. When he arrived in London it took him a few months of hard work and searching to finally make it to the position he wanted. When the day of the interview came however, he was ready. Full of confidence and full of knowledge, Bill crushed his interview and made his way into the advertising world.
He can thank his anger for motivating him to want to learn and better himself because if had never found that angle he would never have been ready for his interview.
We all have different triggers, some respond to positive triggers and some to negative. The easy way to respond to bad news is with activities that give us pleasure in the moment but are damaging in the long run, such as eating food to comfort ourselves, drinking large amounts of booze or simply burrying ourselves in tv shows. The trigger to positive action only occurs when one day you look in the mirror and you really hate what you see and decide to take action, which makes the tragedy even bigger because now you have more work to do.
We don’t have to wait for tragedy to strike for us to find a moment of inspiration or motivation, that moment can be found at anytime if we choose to focus and figure it out. Even though it's difficult, thinking about our actions and their consequences and painting a picture of our future selves as a result of those actions could motivate us to act differently.