Boomerang Advice

A.V. Walters
Once I had a very long conversation with a census worker. He confessed that he loved to scuba dive, but that he’d gained some weight and his wet suit no longer fit. As soon as he lost the weight, he was going to get back to it. I looked him squarely in the face and said, “Buy a new suit.”

No, that wasn’t necessary–he was using the new suit as an incentive for the diet. So I asked him how long it had been since he’d been diving. Ten years.
Clearly, the new suit wasn’t enough of an incentive and actually, instead of being a carrot, had turned into the stick. He felt guilty about the weight and used that guilt to self-flagellate and deny himself the pleasure of an activity that would enrich his life and would probably help him to lose weight. I told him so. He looked liked I’d slapped him.

About a month later he was back on my doorstep. He’d come to thank me. With the new wet suit, he’d been diving and was feeling more alive than he had in years. Of course, then he asked me out–and I declined. Why it is that I get into these conversations with perfect strangers is another thing entirely, but the message is to get to the business of enjoying life and accepting the challenges presented. Every time we put off being who we are, we lose time–the most precious commodity of all.

It’s advice that, once given, should always be taken right back. Look in the mirror. What aren’t you enjoying today? Get to it.

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