Success Requires Butt Kicking

I used to watch reality programming but have since kicked the habit since we dropped cable and moved to pure on-demand TV watching (Netflix, etc.). One of our favorite shows used to be Restaurant Impossible – if you haven’t caught it, you probably know the type – this famous chef (well, at least Food Network famous) would go around to failing restaurants and in 48 hours with a very small budget (I think it was $10,000) attempt to turn them around. He would go in, see what was going on, and typically do three things:

  • Change the menu
  • Renovate the physical space
  • Yell at the owner

After watching show after show, this seemed to be the pattern. After a while I noticed that the restaurants all seemed to end up as clones of his style of restaurant, but that’s not the point. The point that struck me was that the reason he was able to effect all of this change so quickly on restaurants which were probably in this downward spiral for ages was:

  • He was an outsider
  • He created chaos and disruption
  • He forced people to confront their own failings by pushing them out of their comfort zone

Now, all of these things are important, but the last one is key. We all regularly spend way too much time in our comfort zones: we sit down and watch the game instead of writing that blog post for our side business, we hit the snooze button in the morning instead of going on that run to make us healthier, and we eat that giant plate of pasta instead of ordering the salad when we go to that Italian place.

We all love staying in our comfort zone. I assume that if we didn’t, then it wouldn’t be called that. But most likely, not all of us are 100% happy with our lives – we want to change our health, we want to lose weight, we want to make more money, we want our startup to be a unicorn, we want to eventually own that beachfront villa in Hawaii. We want these things, but in order to get them, we probably need to be pushed out of our comfort zone in order to motivate us to get to them.

There can be out-of-the-blue negative events, like a heart attack, to forcibly push you out of your zone, or you can try to push yourself out of the zone (but it’s pretty hard), but I think you need someone like a Robert Irvine (the chef I mentioned above) to basically come in and forcibly push you out of that zone.

Maybe it’s a family member, a friend, or a life coach, but if you are getting a little too comfortable and you aren’t moving, you probably need that outside influence to push you out of the plane.

If you think about it, most of those reality shows about human change (like Biggest Loser) require an outside change agent to push you to change. Maybe humans need an ass kicking in order to move, to change.

So my advice, if you want to change, get someone to kick your butt. Hard.

— image: Marines

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