I’m a guy.
And us guys….well….we try to beat the system. We ALWAYS try to beat the system!
Traffic jam? Heck! We will drive 15 miles off route just to keep moving. We know (in our minds) that our way HAS to be better than the alternative of sitting in traffic. We probably save ourselves 30 minutes every time we fight the machine. Right?
So the other day when I was making my 2 grande-non-fat-Americano-2-Splenda run to Starbucks (one for me and the wifey), and I once again had the opportunity to show the world that it could not hold me back.
When I approached, there was a WHOPPING 9 cars in the drive-through. The line was practically wrapped around the building (In-and-out Burger style).
There was no way I was going to sit in my car for 20 minutes just to get 2 drinks! I knew, as I always “know”, that I could simply beat the system by going inside. After all, everybody else and their mothers were in the drive-through.
So I parked in the nearest spot.
I jogged to the door, opened it, and found that there were only 3 people standing in line. Brilliant!!! I would be in-and-out before the “In-and-out” line outside ever budged.
But, of course, I had to prove that I was right.
So I cleverly counted the number of cars I saw pass through the window. Surely it would only be a few before I was out of there with my steaming hot Americano and a sense of steaming pride.
13 Cars Later!!!
I was defeated. How could I be wrong? There were only 3 people at the counter in front of me and a parade of cars outside. Why…tell me why…could I not beat the system???
It came down to simple math.
You see those 9 people in line outside, even though they were in line, had already placed their orders. And don’t forget there were also 3 people in front of me at the counter that had also placed their orders ahead of me.
Throw in the fact that some of the cars outside were just regular coffees that didn’t need making, and my ship was sunk. I would have been better off just patiently waiting in my car listening to Muse in the News with the great Gordo (P1s…you get me!). At least I would have had some entertainment, and I would have gotten my coffee quicker.
You see this is what we do. Our “beat-the-system” mentality shows its ugly face everywhere – the line at Starbucks, traffic jams, and most definitely in the world of fitness.
And I will go one step farther.
There are THOUSANDS of fitness gurus, pill pushers, and weight loss gimmicks out there that feed on this very fact – we WANT to beat the system. We HAVE to beat the system.
There’s only one problem. We can’t.
Just like my little trip to Starbucks, it comes down to simple math. And sometimes that math requires us to patiently wait as we make the slow crawl toward our chance at the window. But when we get there, we get the reward.
And we often get it faster than we would have had we tried to find a short-cut. Let me re-state that. We ALWAYS get it faster than trying to find a short-cut GUARANTEED.
While the short-cuts may seem faster, we often have to get right back in line and do it the right way.
So why not start there?
Why not do it the right way from the very start? Why not surrender to the system, realize it’s there for a reason, and realize that it works?
Well…you could waste your time, waste your money, waste your frustration, waste your happiness, and waste your life trying to beat the system.
You can get in line, drive slowly, and make it to your destination on your FIRST attempt.
The next day at Starbucks, I waited in line. It didn’t take as long as I thought.
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