It’s quite easy in this day in age to sit in front of a screen and watch garbage on YouTube, or veg out on the couch at home watching episode after episode of Game of Thrones.
But is this good for you in the long run? Millennial and generation Z’s have too many easy options that allow them to fall into the trap of watching mind numbing media which has little to no benefit at all. I like to call it chewing gum for the eyes.
We as humans are programmed to go for the easy option, this dates back to early humans and conserving energy when we need it to survive. This may be why it’s so hard to feel motivated to get up in the morning and do exercise.
Humans are wired to do things on a reward basis system, and often the more difficult a task the more it is avoided.
It works like this. Cue. Routine. Reward.
For example – I’m bored ( cue ) I pick up my phone and unlock it. ( routine ) And then I look at messages on Facebook ( reward ).
Every time we repeat these reward cycles we ingrain them and make them habits, habits can be changed, but if you repeat a habit for long enough it becomes part of you, part of your person with whom you’re identified with. For example, if you started to paint pictures every day, people would know you paint pictures. But if you’ve been painting every day for the last twenty years, you would be considered to be an artist due to the amount of time you’ve put into the habit of painting daily.
What I’ve come to realize is that good things come out of effort and discipline. In the late 1960’s they did an experiment on children. Offering a child a choice between one small candy immediately or two small candies if they waited for a short period of time. During which the tester left the room and returned fifteen minutes later. In the follow up studies the researchers found that children that were able to wait longer for the two candies and were able to delay their gratification generally had a better quality of life in the future. This is because they were able to delay rewards and make long term goals instead of having short term rewards.
It’s not easy in the twenty first century to be disciplined with so many distractions, but it is possible. It requires planning, knowledge and most importantly effort! Sometimes the hard things you do don’t pay off straight away, but once you start to see the gains the rewards are immense.
If you’re someone who’s stuck in a rut of laziness and wants to shock yourself into a routine of discipline, you should try doing Muay Thai for a few months. You won’t see the results straight away, but eventually you will be a lean mean fighting machine. And afterwards you can apply this discipline in other areas of your life.