This article is heavily inspired by J.D. Roth’s awesome article over on Get Rich Slowly.? J.D., hopefully you don’t mind me borrowing your concept and nerdifying it!
Life is made up of Bowsers and Marios: talkers and doers.? Some people wait for life to come to them, others grab it by the horns.? Some people put off until “the time is right,” others start today.? I am a former Bowser/current Mario, and I’m here to hopefully inspire you to make the switch along with me.
Are you in?
Talkers and Doers
Bowser is a talker.? Sure, this big green reptile loves to discuss his plans world domination, occasionally taking the time to kidnap Mario’s girlfriend, Princess Peach.? What does he do after that?? Does he:
- Go out and recruit a bigger army of koopas?
- Kidnap other princesses, demand huge ransoms, and hold the whole Mushroom Kingdom hostage?
- Hone his skills to prepare for the inevitable epic battle with Mario?
NOPE.? He simply sits in his castle like a complete chump, waiting for the action to come to him.? Eventually Mario shows up, kicks his ass, rescues the princess, and he goes back to being a waste of space.? A lot of talk and not a lot of action.
Mario, on the other hand, is a doer. When he sets out to rescue the princess, he has no idea where he’s going or what he’s doing – he’s a plumber for crying out loud!? He fails constantly by falling into pits, running into bad guys, and getting attacked by damn Lakitus.? Each time he dies however, this short stocky Italian gets a little bit smarter, progresses a little bit further, and eventually does the impossible – he defeats Bowser and rescues the princess!
Why is he so successful? Because he puts one foot in front of the other.? He isn’t afraid to fail, he doesn’t allow his fear of the unknown to slow him down, and he does what he has to in order to succeed.? Sure he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but he knows that just by doing SOMETHING he can fail, fight, and figure out the rest along the way.? He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t blame others, he simply takes care of business.
In short, Bowser is a loser and Mario is the man.
My Experiences With Bowser and Mario
I’ve definitely been Bowser many times in the past.? Here are the three biggies I can remember:
I “worked out” for five years without really having a clue about what I was doing. I didn’t want to take the time to learn how to exercise properly, and I blamed my lack of strength on my genetics.? It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego that I really understood the basics of strength training and proper diet.
I bought the domain for NerdFitness.com four years ago, and told myself that eventually I’d start a website. It wasn’t until last January that I finally stopped waiting around for the perfect time and decided to just launch a blog.? I didn’t have a perfect master plan and I had no idea how things would work out, but I figured I’d just start writing and figure the rest out on the fly.? So far, so good!
Last fall, I realized that Nerd Fitness had the potential to becoming a full-time job. I told myself for eight months that eventually I would start a company, “when the time is right.”? Heck, I wrote my first draft for the Rebel Fitness Guide back in October of 2009!? It wasn’t until May of 2010 that I decided to stop waiting for “eventually” and went with “now.”? I quit my job, spent a few months finishing the guide, and started my own business.? I don’t know how the next few years of my life will go, but I can’t wait to find out.
In each situation, I had an opportunity opportunity staring me dead in the face,? but I chose instead to wait until “later.” ? Fortunately, I eventually snapped out of it and forced myself to take action – my only regret thus far is that I didn’t take action sooner.? This is what I’ve learned from my experiences:
- Eventually never comes. Stop telling yourself “tomorrow is the day” – years will go by if you let them.
- Don’t wait for the stars to align, don’t worry about having a plan that is 100% perfect, just start doing SOMETHING.
- Have a goal. It’s much easier to get stuff done when you’re doing it for a reason.
- Recognize that failure is an inevitable and important part of success.
Which one are you?
How many times have you told yourself “I’ll get in shape next week, because I’m busy this week?”? It’s easy to talk a big game like Bowser. It takes a special breed of person to take action like Mario, knowing full well that it’s going to be difficult.? Sure, you will stumble, you will fall, you will fail.? Ultimately however, you will succeed if you refuse to give up.
Need some more inspiration? Try these quotes on for size:
Thomas Edison: “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.”
John Beluschi in Animal House: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
It’s the day after Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer. It’s easy to tell yourself “It’s almost Fall, so I don’t have to worry about getting in shape right now; I can do that next Spring.”? After a long day of work it’s easy to skip going to the gym because you had a tough day, especially as it starts to get darker earlier.
Talkers and complainers need not apply: Nerd Fitness is for DOERS!
If you want to get in shape, start today.? If you want to lose weight, make your very next meal a healthy one.? If you need to get out of debt, put a plan in place immediately.? Whatever it is you want to do, find a way to do something to get you closer.? “Tomorrow” can quickly become next week, which can become next month, which can become next year.
The 28-Day Challenge
Today is the start of the next 28-Day Challenge. Hop on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards (completely free), and post THREE goals that you hope to accomplish in the next 28 days.? Two of these goals can be fitness related (do three pull ups, fit into size 36 pants, or follow a Paleo diet, for example).
The third goal needs to be something related to leveling up your life outside of fitness: whether it’s setting up a 401k or Roth IRA, starting a blog, taking a Spanish class, building that swing set that’s been sitting in a box for months, whatever.? Nerd Fitness is about more than just losing a few pounds and getting stronger – it’s about finding balance in your life, taking action, and making things better.
At the end of the challenge, I’ll pick one winner who accomplished the three goals to the best of his/her ability.? The winner will get a free Nerd Fitness t-shirt! (see my goal #3)
I missed the last challenge – inexcusable, I know – but I’m back! Here are my goals for the month:
- Put on 5+ pounds of muscle – this will require a heavy diet of GOOD foods and enough sleep.
- Strength train 3x a week and go for 30-minute walks on off days – I usually don’t do much on my rest days, but I think a good brisk 30-minute walk will keep me focused and give me plenty of time to brainstorm article ideas.
- PRINT NERD FITNESS T-SHIRTS. I have sent three designs to my buddy Joe, so you’ll soon be able to vote on which shirts you’d like me to have printed.? Sorry for Bowsering this one for six months.? Jeez.
Less Bowsering, more Marioing (hopefully that makes sense). Hop on the boards, post your three goals, and then DO IT.