It's not that I didn't want to work hard -- I thought I was being smart. The problem is (gasp!) they didn't work. I don't have a photographic memory, I can't speak fluent Portuguese, I don't have 16-inch biceps, and I didn't get rich trading soybeans and cocoa futures.
I was Tantalus - the Greek mythological character tormented to a life in Hades where he stood in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree. Whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water would recede or the branches would lift the fruit just out of reach.
The promises and guarantees surrounded me, but they were always just out of reach. I went from one quick fix to the next, always hoping that "this one would be different." I wanted a fine cuisine meal but was shocked when it didn't have instructions for the microwave.
Our lives have become so over-scheduled and complex that we gravitate to anything that looks easy and promises to lift our burden. The rougher the road gets, the more we search for quick relief. As a result, we're hooked on the promise of magic pills and quick fixes.
I call these faux fixes McSolutions. These are the fast-food equivalents of positive growth/change/advancement. They're quick, easy to ingest, and temporarily satisfying. They feel good and taste good. It's also easy to get hooked on them.
McSolutions, just like their dietary counterparts, are full of empty calories. They promise answers but provide little substance. Over time, they'll leave you sick and bloated. Just when you swear off McSolutions, they tempt you with another hard-to-resist value meal. This one is bigger, easier, and better than the rest.
These types of solutions may work momentarily, but you can't fool yourself for too long. Once the euphoria wears off, reality rears its head again. Repeat after me, "McSolutions have betrayed me. They have seduced me with their empty promises and slick packaging. I will not succumb to their deception anymore."
I'm hoping you are so fed-up with McSolutions that you are open to real change that can only come through real action. I think it's time for a new mindset -- a new mantra for those who are ready.
I want the truth. I may not like it, but give it to me. Don't spoon-feed me sugar-coated nonsense just because it goes down easy. I want real solutions to the real problems I face. I might not like it. It might take more work and energy. I might even get angry, but please know that, deep down, I want to know what really works.
Your mission over the next week is to find the McSolutions in your life and replace them with real solutions and a dose of common sense (5 minute abs? Really?). What quick fixes have you been putting your faith (and most likely money) into that are not paying off? .
I want to hear from you. Tell me your McSolutions stories and what you're going to do to replace them. Don't be embarrassed. For every story you share I'm sure I could top it. Like the month I connected myself to a painful electro-shock therapy contraption that promised to grow my muscles...
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