Lesson 6: Self Improvement – A General Sense of Wellbeing

Tip # 74 Let’s get physical…

You’ve complained enough about your weight. Your parents are tired of listening to you, and so are your friends. It’s been a yo-yo, on and off, touch and go affair with the scale.

You’re only 23 but you’re overweight by twice that number. The doctor just said that you’re a likely candidate for diabetes if you don’t do something. See which of these statements apply to you. “I’d feel better if I lost weight because

• I would like myself better. I’d be happier about my physical appearance.

• If I learn to like myself, my friends and family would like me better too. I’d be more positive about life, and I’d slowly build up my self-confidence. These qualities attract people.

• I’d be more comfortable in my relationships with the opposite sex. I would stop agonizing about what they’re thinking of me being such a fat slob. I want them to think of me as attractive, and pleasant to be with.

• My doctor would stop nagging me. My blood pressure, my cholesterol, and my blood sugar levels would be lower, and with some effort, I’d probably regain that old energy I had in my teens.

• My friends would respect me more and seek my opinion about their own problems.

• My doctor would stop nagging me. My blood pressure, my cholesterol, and my blood sugar levels would be lower, and with some effort, I’d probably regain that old energy I had in my teens.

• My friends would respect me more and seek my opinion about their own problems.

The benefits are immeasurable. If you stop procrastinating, you can enjoy these benefits today.

Tip # 75 The gym can be a scary place

If you go to the gym frequently enough, you get used to seeing certain types: the fanatics, the confident and the driven.

Then there are those who can’t look you in the eye – they’re attired in clothes that camouflage their size and their demeanor suggests they’re embarrassed about being in the gym at all. They look miserable, move awkwardly, and are terrified of the machines.

You were there once. Don’t delay about giving them encouragement. A simple, sincere smile would go a long way. Don’t give advice; don’t offer to show them how a particular machine can be adjusted. If you smile at them everyday, chances are by next week, they shall have mustered enough courage to ask you to help them figure out their fitness routine. It works all the time!

Tip # 76 You’ve reached a plateau – at the gym

Even your fitness program needs re-hashing. If you stick to the same routine for more than 6 weeks, and you’ve got fitness goals to achieve (stronger hamstrings as an example), then don’t let your shyness stand in your in achieving those goals.

Get a fitness trainer to help you. The essential thing about fitness is variety. You can’t be doing the same exercises indefinitely without varying your routine.

First, you could be less enthused doing those repetitive movements with the same muscle groups, and second, those muscles may get overworked to the point that they’re no longer reacting to your pushing and pulling.

Don’t let a trainer intimidate you. They’re always willing to discuss your goals - that’s what they’re trained and paid to do. If you procrastinate, you may not learn the secrets to turning your biceps into the watermelons you want them to be. They’ll remain the size of plums.

Tip # 77 Cosmetic surgery: not a sin these days

Why should it be? People have a right to change their appearance if it gives them more self-confidence, and less of an inferiority complex.

If your long hooked nose has been bothering you for years and you can re-shape it safely, why not get a nose job done? People do it all the time. And even if half of them won’t admit, they’re suddenly looking wonderful. And they’re happier, more radiant. Don’t procrastinate. Cosmetic surgery is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Get a new nose, be nose-happy and nurse that bruised ego back to health.

Tip # 78 Did you make it to the list of 10 worst dressed this year?

It’s been ages since anyone complimented you on your wardrobe. You walk along the office corridor and you notice people turn away.

Perhaps you’re imagining it but they seem to be suppressing a giggle every time they see you. Okay, you’ve never been vain about your appearance, but we’re not sure that’s exactly a good thing nowadays, especially if there’s so much press coverage about the oft-repeated concept of “dressing for success.”

Not sure you’re wearing 21st century attire? Not sure your make-up isn’t more appropriate for the circus? Not sure the colors match? Do your shoes look like you haven’t stepped into a shoe store for the last 15 years?

If you procrastinate about seeing an image consultant, you may not even make it to the first step of the corporate ladder. Your brains and experience got you this far. Are you going to let your image set you back a few light years?

Don’t hesitate. Image consultants would give anything to turn a project into a success.

Tip # 79 That turbulence inside…

Thank goodness for the 21st century. We have cosmetic surgeons, image consultants, and we also have…psychologists. You sure deserve an “A” for appearance: you’re the envy of your friends, the campus belle, and the office “beauty and brains” who’s loved, hated, loved.

Your ideas are imitated by management, your flawless complexion is making everyone curious about the night cream brand you use, and none of your muscles is out of place. What’s even more aggravating is, in spite of your God-given gifts, you’re unpretentious and unassuming.


That turbulence inside you is slowly becoming a full blown unstoppable thunderstorm. It’s eroding your confidence, and your wounds remain uncared for. We all agree. Emotional wounds take the longest to heal. You need an expert who’ll come to the rescue.

That list of psychologists has been sitting in your drawer for the last six months. Staring at it won’t cure you. Dial the first number on the list. Ask to see a psychologist. If you procrastinate some more, you may need more than a psychologist. Psychiatrists have been also known to cure old, festering wounds.

Tip # 80 Avoiding procrastination means you don’t have to change your life radically

People procrastinate because they’re overwhelmed by the enormity of what they’re facing. To stop procrastinating does not mean radically changing your life, or suddenly switching from one profession to another.
As Carter and Sokol explain, “There is usually a reason why we chose the work we did, have the friends we do, and lead the lives we lead. If you are like people, you don’t want a different life; you just want to be able to manage the one you have.”

Do bear one thing in mind. The more you delay, the more dissatisfied you will be with your life.

Tip # 81 Stress: either manage it or stay away from it

Many people have been known to suddenly wake up one day and decide they want out. They walk away from 20-year marriages, break a childhood friendship and disengage from lifelong commitments.

They decided it was better to walk away from a situation that was generating more stress than they could handle - a wise decision on their part, given that a few reports have zeroed in on it as a potential leading cause of cancer.

Give this simplistic equation a thought or two: stress  indecision  more stress  procrastination  in action  triple stress  illness!!

Tip # 82 If you decide to manage your stress…

You’ve heard the expression, “something’s got to give.” If you wish to deal with your stress more effectively, you’ll have to cut back on some of your activities because you’ll need a reservoir of strength to confront that stress.

But make a decision now about what you can give up, so that you’ll have some energy remaining for other challenges that come your way.

For instance, if you do volunteer work three times a week at the home of battered woman, how about diminishing the frequency to once a week.

Your daughter who was being physically abused by her husband finally had the courage to pack her bags and leave him. She’s now come to you for help and you know it will be a lengthy recovery period. Charity begins at home. Don’t create two different sources of stress. Decide which is more important and take action.

Tip # 83 “My name is Tess, and I’m an alcoholic”

Alcoholism is a SERIOUS problem, no two ways about it. And it can be criminal, if you drink and drive and hit someone. If you’re drinking everyday and you’re feeling helpless and desperate, and these feelings are leading you to drink more, you need help. Don’t delay. There are humanitarian organizations in your community that will provide referrals. Or go on the Net and begin your research into recovery.

Tip # 84 “Hi, my name is Ted…no sorry…it’s J…J…Jed…and I’m on drugs.”

Drugs are bad news. You could destroy not only your future, but also your family’s future. Drug rehabilitation clinics have mushroomed all over the country. That’s why you’re not alone, and that’s the good news.
Stop procrastinating and see a drug counselor in school, or ask for your doctor’s advice about where you can go. It’s best to invest in drug rehabilitation now than to squander your lifetime savings on a never-ending need for drugs. Don’t procrastinate in withdrawing – and this isn’t a contradiction of terms. We just want to say, don’t delay about getting treatment. You’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms at first, but they’re only temporary.

Tip # 85 And then there was light…

You’ve tried everything – plan A, plan B. This option, that option. You’ve taken detours…short-cuts. Even dabbled in medieval art, of all things. A solution is nowhere to be found. Your life is one shattered mess and you’re feeding on the splinters. Yours is a “life of quiet desperation,” as one famous writer once said.

There’s one person in your entourage that you’ve forgotten: your parish priest. The reverend Jesuit, the Chief Rabbi, and the Holy Iman – whatever religion you were born or converted into – never procrastinate in getting that much needed spiritual guidance.

Your problems may be your wake-up call to the fact that you’re spiritually devoid and empty. Spiritual leaders rejoice and give thanks whenever one of their prodigal sons returns to the fold. Don’t wait until you plunge into complete darkness. There’s one flickering candle left. Grab it and find your way out of the dark hole.

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