Just Do It: What Nike Forgot to Tell You

Just Do It“Just do it,” Nike’s marketing slogan and brilliant piece of advice, is usually not enough gas for the jeep. It makes sense and sounds good, but a lot of the time we just… don’t do it.

You reach a point where you realize that everything is mental. No one can get in the way of your progress as much as you can. Man, what a struggle we were dealt as human beings…if things were different, things would be different.

I’d like to ask readers two questions:

  1. Do you engage in regular fitness?
  2. Do you consider yourself fit?

The two seem to go together. But I’d like to talk about their relationship if you don’t mind. I hypothesize that those who engage in regular fitness consider themselves fit, and that those who don’t engage in regular fitness do NOT consider themselves fit. It also seems that one follows from the other–“I consider myself fit because I engage in regular fitness,” and “I consider myself unfit because I don’t engage in regular fitness.” Well I want to offer the reader something to consider (do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t tell if I’m dragging it on too long):

Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe those who engage in regular fitness do so because they consider themselves fit. And people who don’t consider themselves fit don’t work out because…they don’t consider themselves fit (and working out is what fit people do!).

You see, telling a person who wants to lose weight but considers them self a fat blob to “just do it” is going to be ineffective. They’ll say “thank you” and just be stumped as to “how to be more motivated” while they go and pound a quadruple bypass burger (because “that’s what fat blobs do”).

A person who considers them self fit, likewise, acts accordingly. Not working out for a few days or a week is painful. But no matter what’s going on, for them, going back to the gym is inevitable. It’s inevitable because “they are fit,” and you can’t be fit without regular fitness.

This is not limited to fitness, though. Do you see yourself as a good brother or sister? Are you an employee that “just works there” or are you invested in the success of the company? Are you an artist? Artists paint but usually are only a little better than those who do not consider themselves artists because they have practiced more.  Are you motivated? If you believe that you’re not motivated, then you’re probably familiar with the nightly blunt, pizza, and 2-liter bottle of soda before you pass out on the sofa without brushing your teeth.

First you be, then you do, and finally you have. The illusion we go by is the reverse: “when I have this, then I’ll do this, and then I’ll be [happy].” You could just try to skip to the doing part, but that is like tinkling in the wind. Effortless action arises out of who you see yourself being. If you are a customer in a cafeteria with bus service you will get up and leave your tray there–but not if you’re the owner.

All of that said, this seems like a self-affirming cycle that sucks to be out of. Those people who consider themselves fit end up being fit because of it. And this is also why slavery was absolutely the worst thing ever done to a group of people–humans broke other humans down mentally and then raised them believing that they were worth less. Many believe that this affects those humans for generations.

But how do we break in and make the cycle work for us? This is where Nike comes in. While saying “I am fit” might feel like lying at first, consider that if your past defined you then there would be no point in living because you have no say in the matter. Can you make a change in your life? You must believe so before attempting this. “I am now fit” works fine–go tell your friends. They say if you do something for 30 days you will make it a habit, so… just do it.

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3 responses to “Just Do It: What Nike Forgot to Tell You

  1. You just imploded my brain.

    Seriously, I think you just pointed out a key piece I have been looking for the past year.

  2. I’ve had an eating disorder for 25+ years. I stopped some of the outwardly destructive behaviors and gained weight. After Lap Band surgery a year ago, I began really focusing in on the problem, the mind set and behaviors-core beliefs and not just the weight, the exterior. The eating disorder (and other addictive-compulsive behaviors) will keep you so busy looking at the surface hands movement, you won’t see the hand in your subconscious that’s actually running the whole show, like any good magician.

    I’m very stoked about this because I’ve seen it work in other areas of my life over the years, but for what ever reason, was blind to it here.

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