Change or Die

Excerpted from an article by Alan Deutschman

“Change or Die”

What if you were given that choice? For real. … What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think and act? If you didn’t, your time would end soon — a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change really mattered? When it mattered most?

Yes, you say?

Try again.


You’re probably deluding yourself.

You wouldn’t change.

Don’t believe it? You want odds? Here are the odds, the scientifically studied odds: nine to one. That’s nine to one against you. How do you like those odds?

Exercise or Die

Dr. Edward Miller, the dean of the medical school and CEO of the hospital at Johns Hopkins University… turned the discussion to patients whose heart disease is so severe that they undergo bypass surgery, a traumatic and expensive procedure that can cost more than $100,000 if complications arise. About 600,000 people have bypasses every year in the United States, and 1.3 million heart patients have angioplasties — all at a total cost of around $30 billion. The procedures temporarily relieve chest pains but rarely prevent heart attacks or prolong lives. Around half of the time, the bypass grafts clog up in a few years; the angioplasties, in a few months. The causes of this so-called restenosis are complex. It’s sometimes a reaction to the trauma of the surgery itself. But many patients could avoid the return of pain and the need to repeat the surgery — not to mention arrest the course of their disease before it kills them — by switching to healthier lifestyles. Yet very few do. “If you look at people after coronary-artery bypass grafting two years later, 90% of them have not changed their lifestyle,” Miller said. “And that’s been studied over and over and over again. And so we’re missing some link in there. Even though they know they have a very bad disease and they know they should change their lifestyle, for whatever reason, they can’t.”


While the article above is slanted at corporate leadership and mentions a particular diet plan that was more successful than others, the reason people don’t change is that the benefits of not changing outweigh the prices they are paying.

Every moment is a choice, and every choice has prices and benefits.

I’m currently about 30 pounds above my ideal weight, and that’s because I’m firmly committed to being 30 pounds above my ideal weight. There’s no other reason, no excuse, no story. It’s what I’m choosing.

I’ve released that excess weight twice in my life, and believe you me, it felt awesome. But while I’m committed to getting back to a healthy lifestyle, I may also be committed to staying safe and comfortable, because that protects me from the fear of failure – and the fear of success. Life gets in the way, and it’s oh, so easy to revert to old habits and patterns that serve as protective barriers against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

My body is telling me it’s really time for a change, and I’m feeling like the price I’m paying is higher than I’m comfortable with. Today the scale reads 187. My intention is to get back to 165, which means I’ll have 3 new suits and a whole closet full of pants I can fit into again.

Watch this space; I’ll report my progress.

We’ll see.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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