I used to be a chubby kid. Not fat. Just a little soft around the edges. Then, heading into my senior year of high school everything changed. I cut my eating down to one meal a day. Nothing more. Basically, I was borderline anorexic.
On top of this, I ran and worked out virtually every day. I remember time after time hitting the gym on a completely empty stomach, carving away at the excess weight on my bones.
The good news? I lost around 30 pounds and was considered to be much better looking by the opposite sex. The bad news? I was a fragile and lacking any real muscle. I was working, I was pushing forward, but I wasn’t filling my body up with what it needed. I wasn’t getting stronger. I wasn’t getting “better”.
Filling it Up
Last week, a friend of mine spoke about filling yourself up. He was speaking in a Christian context, with reading the Bible and such. Basically, everything a Christian believes is contained within the pages of the Bible. If they aren’t reading and studying the Word, it makes it kind of difficult to act out their faith. Just like with my weight loss period, there is nothing feeding and building them up.
But the more I thought about my friend’s words, the more I realized just how universal this concept is.
Say you want to be an architect. Sure you can start drawing houses and building things out of popsicle sticks, but you aren’t going to get very far if you don’t start looking at the buildings around you, if you don’t crack open a book and start reading what people have done in the past.
You Don’t Have to Invent the Wheel
It’s easy to get discouraged when you start to see everything out there. But once you get over how amazing other people have already been, you realize you get to build on top of that. You can take it one step further or go in a completely different direction.
The ground work has been done. The foundation has been laid. Why waist your time trying to do what’s already been done?
And if you aren’t filling yourself up, that is exactly what you run the risk of doing.
A Three Hour Tour
Did you ever see the Gilligan’s Island Movie? I think it was a made-for-tv thing. Anyway, the set up is this: all the people from Gilligan’s Island are rescued and return to their everyday lives they had before being stranded.
The Professor immediately returns to the lab and proceeds to invent things. His first two inventions? The Frisbee and the skateboard, both of which were already invented by someone else during the years he was marooned on the island.
You are not an Island
If you have the ability to read this post, you have a nearly endless supply of resources at your fingertips: the internet. Thanks to Al Gore, you can fill yourself up with just about anything you want to (let’s just hope that something isn’t porn).
Take advantage of the opportunity and take it seriously. Do you know any musicians who haven’t listened to every artist under the sun?
I do some work for a friend who runs his own business. He is constantly reading about and researching other companies that are similar to his as well as those that are completely different. Right now, he is beginning a brand new project. Rather than try and create some haphazard business model to build it off of, he is following in the footsteps of some other people he greatly admires.
But he is changing it and tweaking it to make it work for him.
It’s All Been Done
It’s a fact. Accept it. Take it as a challenge. Did The Beatles invent rock music? No. Did Steve Jobs invent the computer? No.
And you can bet both filled themselves up with their respective fields before they launched into their careers.
Find something you love and soak it up. After all, if you love something, you should know all about it. But once you have done that, pour it out. Don’t keep it all in. If you keep it all in then you are just like the old me. Chubby. Soft around the edges.
It’s a cycle. It takes work. But if you’re going to do something, why not do it right?
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