Just off a fascinating conference call with a cognitive behavioral therapist on, in a nutshell, how to achieve certain goals related to health. The deeper we got into the discussion, the more and more clear the underlying topic became:

Can perspective change outcome?

How do you look at a challenge? Where are you standing, what direction are you taking, what angle, what perspective? Does it matter? It’s all towards the same end, the same goal, the same solution, right? It doesn’t matter how you get there, right? It does matter.

The conversation was so animated and full of energy and excitement, you’d think we were talking about the Oscars or the Super Bowl. I know, maybe it’s dorky, but I get SO thrilled about this stuff. Why? Because it’s powerful. It’s the ability to change your life in small ways that lead to bigger lifestyle changes. What could possibly be more exciting than lifestyle change that you have control of?

Imagine these two scenarios.

1.) I Want to Lose Weight

Great! Maybe you don’t care how you do it. You’ll do some crazy diet (or even a not-so-crazy diet) and you’ll lose those pounds. You’ve achieved the goal, the outcome you desired. If you can keep the weight off, good for you. Good luck with that. This is how most people go about achieving a goal. From A to B, but it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

2.) I Want to Improve my Nutrition

Choosing this direction is choosing to change the factor that will effect the outcome. Choosing to strive for only losing weight as the goal is focusing on only the outcome, not the process. Maybe one of your goals is to lose weight. Fantastic. But by focusing on nutrition, you’re focusing on, to put it in traveler’s terms, the journey and not the destination. A traveler enjoys getting there, a tourist just wants to get there. The traveler even enjoys returning home because they’re, again, traveling. For the tourist, the destination was reached, the trip is over.

“But,” you exclaim, “the outcome is the same! They both lose weight.” Yes. But no. Again with the traveler and the tourist: they both got to Point B, but the tourist is done, his goal achieved. For the traveler, Point B is one of many points and he’ll get to C and D and so on. The journey is his mission, his passion, his outcome. He is achieving his outcome by doing it.

Nutrition or weight loss? No. Weight loss through nutrition.

  • Possible: lose weight
  • Impossible: eat less healthy and lose weight (without amputation … )
  • Repossible: eat healthier and lose weight (as a “side effect”)