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Fri, 14 Dec 2007

I just dont have the time to...

This came up during discussions today and i found it fortuitous to catch it on "Raganwald"s blog tonight:

"I can change any time I want to, I just don't want to.

Does that sound like anything you've heard before? Perhaps from a smoker? Or someone who does not exercise?

Or maybe someone who says they could learn new things, but they are too busy right now keeping on top of what they already know? Or the converse? Someone who is too busy playing with new things to buckle down and work hard with what they already know?

Change is brutally hard. Nobody finds it easy."

This has been a pet peeve of mine from long before i even knew that peeves made good pets... on that completely ridiculous note, i will now proceed to rant..

Back when i as in University i was an absolute sports nut.. i never watched or spectated much, but i played everything! Organized football more than 3 times a week, Gym at least 5 nights a week, Squash in between and once managed to even compete in a Triathlon. At the time, i was amazed (and mildly annoyed) by pot-bellied aquaintences who would mention how "they just dont have time to exercise". You hear the excuse from lots of people. My brother in-law used to tell me "you can do that while you are single, but it changes when you marry". I know marriage brings new compromises so i took his word for it.. 3 years into my marriage i noticed i was still gyming and squashing, but then he said "you can do that as a young couple.. but not when you have kids.. ".. i think i start to see a pattern here..

If anyone knows me, they would probably know that i read a fair bit.. Deels and i often spend the better part of a Saturday or Sunday sipping coffee and reading. I am often told however that this is a luxury afforded me because [we dont have kids|my job encourages it|insert reason here].. i think the pattern is obvious..

*Quick almost pointless interlude* About 2 months ago during pretty regular conversation Deels asked me "Did you ever think you would grow up to become unfit?" The words literally shook me to my core. One of the problems i suspect most males have is that we kinda form a body image in university and keep it in our heads despite all evidence to the contrary.. Interestingly to soothe the sting of her (honestly innocent) comment, i almost said "i just dont have the time.."

I honestly believe that you can make time for anything.. When you say you dont have the time, what you really should be saying is "i dont really want to spend time doing _that_ right now". There is nothing wrong with this.. I was prepared to spend more time on physical activity in my teenage years than i am now.. Its a choice i make but the different phrasing holds a world of difference. One lays the "blame" for my rounder figure squarely at my feet, while the other makes excuses for my choice and looks for some other scapegoat..

You dont have time to read? Why? i manage to find the time every day.. oh.. i dont watch TV and generally sleep <= 5 hours a night at most.. "but i need my 8 hours!".. no.. you choose your 8 hours.. and this isn't bad.. but it _is_ your choice..

We have interviewed people in the past who mentioned how they havnt read infosec / technical material for a bit because [they were tired|they were...].. i call bull#@$@ They haven't because they made different choices.. Again.. im not judging the choices either way, im just saying that one shouldnt externalise the reasons for the choices one makes..

If you have been sitting on an excuse like this, ill end with something i read recently in a Tom Peters book. He said something to the effect of "Making a change is easy.. its actually easier than you think.. its maintaining the change thats hard.. Want to start exercise? Just do it.. Go for a run right now.. The change is made.. Whether or not you maintain it will require a different skill, but the change has been made"

/mh

PS.. sorry for the long blog hiatus - i have just been too busy to blog! PPS. Been hitting the gym again regularly for the past month, and Bradley and i make sure we get in our once a week squash :>>