Torres column: Some negative events are the result of bad decisions
Suffering changed my life for the better. I would not change for anything the pain I went through that put me in depression. Thanks to this pain I understand the world and other people. This does not mean that I am enlightened or that I know it all. It means that I understand that pain exists and all of us experience it in one way or another.
The moment when I fell into depression was not a coincidence or fate. The truth was that it was the result of the wrong decisions I made throughout my life. Since then I have been very careful about the decisions I make because I know they could affect my future.
Eight years have gone by since then. Thanks to many of the good decisions I have made, I am in a better place than before by improving all areas of my life. I am financially free, I am healthy, I have good relationships, I have control over my emotions, I love my profession — I usually have good results in all areas.
However, I also made many mistakes in my younger years. While many of the results of those mistakes may not be felt right away, they show up a couple of years later. I am going through an emotional problem because of one of those mistakes, and it’s one of the first real problems I’ve had since I changed my life.
Also, around three years ago, both of my dogs had accidents where both needed immediate surgery. I suffered emotionally and financially. I had to pay around $8,000 for both surgeries, which is acceptable when it’s concerning my family. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t affect my wallet.
These are two small examples of negative events that have affected in my life; one was caused by me, and the other was not.
The farmer can neglect his crops and won’t get anything, or he can plant thistle seeds instead of pumpkin seeds. A farmer who plants his crops and takes care of them is mostly getting a return. But a hailstorm can destroy his crops.
Studying history, my life and the lives of many of my members led me to conclude that there are two types of results: those that we consciously or unconsciously cause and those unexpected ones that life brings us. The decisions we make daily will cause results in the future. For example, eating healthily every day and exercising will help prevent diseases created by bad habits and will keep us in shape with a healthy body weight. Another example is if we invest our money instead of buying useless or unneeded stuff we will have more money and we will save resources, making this earth a better place with less waste and pollution.
On the other hand, if we start eating junk food and being sedentary, we can develop a metabolic or cardiac disease, gain weight, get osteoporosis or cancer, become weak and age faster. If we spend our money unconsciously, we can go broke and have more useless things to take care of and pollute the earth with. So nothing happens overnight, and there is no quick fix for the bad decisions we have made. We often repeat decisions continuously and for such long periods of time that we see negative results only when we wonder when our life is going to change. These negative results have been repeating for years, yet we ignore them until we finally get tired. Then, when we are ready to fix them, we are looking for a quick fix. For example, being overweight usually is from all the bad habits accumulated from our parents’ lives and how we have lived our lives. All the years of bad decisions accumulate in being fat and out of shape. When people want their problem fixed — in this case, being overweight — they want to take pills, do a quick diet or undergo surgery. None of that will resolve the real problem, because the person will usually continue making the wrong decisions he was making in the first place.
The only solution to fix many years of mistakes or making the wrong choices is by starting over right now — start to make the right decisions immediately. Of course we want to see results next week. However, it will take more than a week to see the results that we are looking for. Why would we expect to fix a problem caused by more than 10 years of wrong decisions in one week? It takes effort and discipline to get fast results, and even then we will have to invest a couple of years to see real results.
The other type of negative results are those that are beyond our control. Not long ago in Mexico City there was an earthquake that destroyed part of the city. This natural disaster affected people with good habits, people with bad habits, hard workers, lazy people … It affected everyone. What did the hard-working people do to deserve this? Nothing. This is the type of world we live in. For example, when I changed my life and became a better person, I did not do anything that I think was wrong to make my animals suffer. However, it did happen. These are examples of disaster that can happen to anyone.
In other words, we have control over many of the negative results we are experiencing today in our life, community, country and planet by the daily choices we are making. The only way to fix these problems is by starting to make better choices and being patient waiting for the results that will take years to realize. On the other hand, there are events that we don’t have control over, like accidents, other people’s decisions and the weather, that may bring negative results to our lives.
Taking control of the decisions we are making today to have good results is the best solution I can think of for the first type of negative results. I used to have negative results in almost every area of my life because of the decisions I made. After understanding life, I starting making better decisions, and now I have a lot more positive results than I ever had before. This is also what I have seen with our members at Custom Body Fitness.
For the second type of negative results all I do is deal with the consequences, forget about my loss and just work with what I have and continue moving forward.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.