What's A Nice Person Like Me Doing In A Life (or Mess) Like This?

“What’s a nice person like me doing in a body like this?“

We were throwing around titles for my lifestyle/weight loss/energy boosting book. That one popped out of my mouth, and my publisher loved it.

I wrote the book because I had been involved in a research project helping diabetics (type two) attempt to lower their medication with lifestyle changes.

In the research project, the lifestyle plan resulted in significantly reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, depression, body fat, and weight.

In addition, there was a significant increase in energy and libido. It was a project that changed the lives of many, many diabetics, and also resulted in a significant reduction in diabetic medication, including insulin.

It was a game-changer for the health and well-being of the test subjects. But almost without exception, the thing they were most excited about was the weight loss.

I took the lifestyle plan, modified it, and wrote a book about it, stressing the plan’s promise of improved health, weight loss, and a boosting of energy. 

I taught the program around the globe and had many success stories.

While the plan had several specific helpful recommendations, at every presentation, I told people that it was 80% psychology and 20% plan.

We did follow-up studies where we separated those who got the full “80% psychology, 20% plan” version; from those who only got the “20% plan” version.  The results were definitive: those who got the full plan that included the psychology part had superior long-term results.  The results for those who only got the 20% plan were much less significant, and were shorter in duration.

Not long ago, I was teaching a workshop about stepping into world-changing and extraordinary fulfillment. Someone who had great results from my lifestyle plan was in attendance.

He came up to me on a break and said, “What’s a nice person like me doing in a mess like this?”

We both laughed out loud because we knew he was doing a play on words from my lifestyle plan. 

He shared with me how Covid had severely damaged his business, and how he never thought to connect the same 80% psychology that he learned from the lifestyle plan to his current situation.

He said, “You are teaching the exact same thing that you taught in the 80% psychology plan for weight loss. But I never thought to connect the two.”

He advised that I should write the book, “What’s a nice person like me doing in a mess like this,” since many of those with “messes” to deal with might never read the lifestyle book.

I’m not sure I’m up to a book at this moment, but I thought I would share the “80% psychology” concepts with you.

It is definitely true that even with a great plan, you will not find success without getting your psychology straight. Here are the key areas of psychology that you must employ: 

1. Get a plan and take massive immediate action

In the course I was teaching that day, I was recommending my online program, “Created for More,” as the plan to get people started. That plan works in that situation, but you need to develop your own plan that addresses your “mess.“ 

The key is to commit to the plan that you develop.

This is where the 80% psychology begins. Most of us get a plan and think we will start it on Monday, or after the holidays, or when we feel better, or when we lose 10 pounds.  On and on, we have a reason to delay.

NO!  The first psychological key that you must embrace is massive immediate action. That means action before the sun goes down. Even if it’s a small step, you must take action.

That action could be printing your plan and identifying a once-daily step for the coming week. In my lifestyle plan, I recommend that everyone go home and either eat or get rid of every food in their pantry, fridge, or freezer that would be a temptation to them.

Why massive immediate action? Because without it, you are telling your brain, particularly your reticular activating system (RAS), that it is not all that important. And when you send that message to your RAS, it will comply. It will help you find reasons why it’s not that important. You must rev-up your RAS with massive immediate action.

2. Correct your “stinking thinking,” and stop your “lesser loser” self-talk.

What do I mean by stinking thinking? I mean the chatter that you hear in your head about why you’re not qualified, why you’re not ready, how you’ve made too many mistakes, how you have nothing to offer, how nothing works out for you.

Write those thoughts down. Then write empowering statements that crash those thoughts. Take a dart to the thought balloon of stinking thinking. Blow it up with empowering statements and keep them handy.

When I work with people about being “created for more,” I am astounded at the thinking that has been programmed into them from very early on. Thoughts like:

  • No one will ever listen to you
  • Your life is such a mess; how do you think you could make a difference in anyone else’s?
  • You aren’t enough (old enough, young enough, educated enough, experienced enough, smart enough, thin enough, and the list goes on and on).

It’s amazing how paralyzed they feel when trying to write empowering statements. I bet you know what I mean. You’ve heard them so long, and your brain is so set on them, there just doesn’t seem any way to make them go away!

It’s fun to play with empowering statements that totally blow these up. For example, to blow up the above “stinking thinkings,” consider statements like this:t

  • There is always someone who is not as far along as I am that will gladly listen to my words of encouragement!
  • I will take the “messes” of my life and turn them into “messages” that will help others.
  • God does not make junk, and he made me, so I am enough!

You must stop rehearsing “stinking thinking” statements in your mind. Catch yourself. Tell yourself the truth. Do not play that game any longer!

You were created for more! Your time and energy is better served when you put away this negative talk long enough to see what’s possible. 

3. Be willing to embark on “the road less traveled.” 

One thing I learned early on when I begin addressing my sick psychology, my 80%, was that there will not be a crowd on “the road less traveled.”

You can’t just do what everyone else does and get to where you would like to go.

For example, in my lifestyle/weight loss plan, I would tell people that I know everyone shows up in the break room at 10 am to get a hot doughnut. But what you have to be willing to do is be the one that goes out for a 10-minute walk!

For those interested in “stepping up to make a difference,” I tell them that I know that your friends hang out watching something on Netflix all day on Saturday. The people on Netflix don’t need your help. But their neighbors might. 

You have to be willing to do some very different things. This is not a popularity contest! This is your life! This is your fulfillment, the deep meaning deep in your gut.

The road might be less traveled, but I can assure you that the people you meet on that road will inspire you to the greatness that’s already in you! (Couch potatoes will not.)

4. Hold yourself to a higher standard. 

When you are stepping into the arena of world-changing, of making a difference, of embracing the fact that you were created for more, you must abolish this statement from your mind: “Everyone else is doing it.“

Your goal is no longer the status quo. It’s no longer to do what everybody else is doing.

Your goal is to raise your standards.

I remember when I was first challenged by Tony Robbins to raise my standards. I had this crazy little idea in my head that it would appear to be “egotistical” if I raised my standards.

But after being challenged, I realized that raising my standards was not for anyone else! It was for me! And that my current standards did not propel me forward, nor did they inspire anyone else.

What were those standards? 

  • Get up at the last minute, throw myself together, and barely make it to work or school on time. (Not to mention arriving frazzled.)
  • Eat pure junk all day long and wonder why I was always crashing and tired and dragging myself around.
  • Doing just what I had to do to get by. 

When he said to me, “Your unlimited influence and greatness will never emerge as long as you live by ‘low, barely get by’ standards,” I knew I had to change my standards.

You know exactly what that means, don’t you? Do you want so badly to follow that yearning within you to make a difference? But you are afraid that raising your standards will just create more stress? That you will never have that longed-for fulfillment?

Can I just share with you my experience? Because I felt the same way. But when I raised my standards and brought my best game every day, my life changed! And it didn’t take long. By the end of the first week, life was turning on a very different light for me.

I want that same experience for you! Up your game! Raise your standards! You can do it! And that very thing will begin your journey into influencing for good and making a huge difference!

5. Burn the boats. 

What on earth does that mean?

Well, if you were going to an island by boat, and you had great plans to turn it into your own paradise with your husband or wife, you might be tempted to abandon the plan the night of the first thunderstorm. Or when the mosquitoes got bad.

But, if you had unloaded all of your supplies and then burned the boats, you would have a hard time giving up on your dream. 

So burning the boat is the way to commit to your plan. No turning back!

One of my first moments of burning boats scared me to death.

I had just finished my first year of college. I had worked as a lifeguard at a deaf camp in Louisiana for several summers. (There were very few camps for deaf children at the time.)

I was in a singing group that summer, and we were singing at a Vacation Bible School for deaf children. There were literally hundreds of deaf kids there.

One of the Moms who was helping said to me at the end of the week, “My two deaf boys live for this. I just wish there was a summer camp that they could go to and soak these things up.”

That deep yearning in me was churning ferociously! I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blurt it out or run away.

For the first time in my life, I burned my boat! I let the words slip out of my mouth, “Well you know what? We are going to have a deaf camp here next summer.”

Before I could say, “Gee, I hope I can figure out a way to pull it off!” She was literally running from Mom to Mom, getting commitments for their kids to attend!

What could I do? I immediately began receiving letters and phone calls asking me the dates and the place. I had never done anything like that before! But when I started getting letters from the deaf kids themselves telling me how excited they were! And could they bring their friends? I knew I had to pull it off.

And we did! Now those kids are adults, and I still hear from them on Facebook!

Terrifying? Absolutely! But I would not change it for the world!

I’m always looking for new boats to burn.

Why? Because it is in that moment that you can be assured that what you will do will make a major difference. You may feel “eagles, not butterflies,” flopping around in your stomach at that moment. But remember this: you are about to step into a fulfillment that you’ve only allowed yourself to dream of in the deep places of your heart.

Will you join me in burning some boats? Will you join me in making a difference?

You know you were created for more! Find some boats to burn!

I’ll see you and celebrate with you on the road less traveled!