“One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, when you come to a cliche in the middle (or beginning) of an article, stop and see the truth that’s within. We so often just glance over it, yawn, and look for the next sentence. There is so much truth to cliches, that’s why they’ve stuck around for as long as they have.
When it comes to your health and the apples, eating one a day might keep the doctor away, but you might need to look in the mirror and see if you are a good one or a bad one. Are you intentional about your choices, or could something else spoil your bunch?
Today, let’s take a different approach to this age old adage and think about the barrel that the apples are in. If you have a bad barrel, and perfectly fine apples, wouldn’t that spoil the whole bunch?
If you come across a spoiled bunch, take a moment to find out what is really causing the issue.
(Ok Adam, now I want some apple slices and almond butter…)
What are some barrels, some external forces, in our lives that we need to evaluate to improve our health and fitness?
The information you consume every day can lead you to wanting to be healthier, or steer you on the path of future disease. As they say, “garbage in, garbage out” and that doesn’t only pertain to what you watch on TV.
We start each day with a fresh empty mental glass, just waiting to be filled to the brim. We can choose to fill that glass with inspiring, educational, and motivational water; or we can fill it with unhealthy habits, cravings, and negative vibes.
We are subjected to so many advertisements that we don’t choose on our own. Billboards, commercials, news in the airport, it goes on and on. We must be intentional about what we voluntarily put in front of our face. It makes a difference.
I follow a small doughnut shop on Instagram. Man, do those doughnuts look delicious, they seem like they are more of a piece of art than carb filled goodness. Is that smart for me to do if I want to refrain from eating excess carbs? Hell no. I’m an idiot for doing it, but they are an hour away and I don’t love doughnuts enough to drive that.
When you come across a post or a picture on social media that makes you want to do something that you consider unhealthy, ask yourself if that account is worth the follow?
One bad barrel can spoil the whole bunch, and the information you choose to consume can play a huge part in that.
“You become the average of the five people you hang around the most.” Jim Rohn
Who are your five? Think about it for a second…
You become the combined average in terms of financial income, relationship building, health, and many other areas of your life. We talk like they talk, read what they read, eat what they eat, and dress how they dress. Take a look around, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
We are often nudged in these directions, without any thought to what’s happening. If you look in the mirror in five years, will you like what you see?
A powerful truth about our associations, is that if we are aware, we get to choose who impacts us.
The manager who always seems to be in power meetings and getting all the big time clients, ask him to lunch and pick his brain. The dude in the gym who squats the whole room, ask him how he started and maybe he’ll write you a program.
Be intentional about your group of five and see what kind of team you can put together.
There is an old analogy that says goldfish grow in relation to how big their fish tank is. If you have a small tank, the fish will remain small. If you have a large tank, the fish will grow large. If you move a small fish into a bigger tank, it will then grow.
Think about your health in terms of this fish. Do you live in an environment that is sustainable to healthy choices? Are you set up for success? Can you streamline your habits without feeling like some unknown roadblock will get in your way?
Think about all the environments we encounter every day. Our homes, work, school, restaurants, grocery stores, the mall, our neighborhood. How could they be arranged to help us out in our fitness and health quests?
A couple examples might be:
-Keep healthy snacks visible and indulgent treats hidden away or out of the house.
-Always have a water bottle at the ready when thirst or hunger strike.
-Drive past your gym in the morning or after work so that you have no excuses not to get your workout in.
-Only shop in the perimeter of your grocery store (where all the good stuff is).
-Steer clear of the break room with the leftover cake, or the candy jar at work.
-Keep the kitchen clean so that nothing gets in your way of making dinner at home.
There are countless ways to arrange your environment to suit your goals and healthy habits, we must first become aware of them and then be intentional about how we set them up for success. Recognize that you have control over what you see and how you respond to your environment, take back the power of your attention.
We can all look in the mirror and see if we have been a bad apple, but seeing the bad barrels around us is much harder. They are often unassuming and just a normal part of our days, but they can nudge us astray from our goals and greater health. Check in with your inputs, associations, and environments this week and set them up for your success.
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