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The Story of a Lazy Teenager

Before I get into the next series of posts I’m planning on writing, I wanted to tell the story of a lazy teenager. Growing up he had dreamed of being an athlete and having superhuman strength, his ideal job was to work as a computer programmer. So what was he doing to try to achieve these goals? Well at the age of 18 he had pretty much given up on being an athlete and did very little exercise; on the other hand he was studying A-Level Computing so from the outside it looked like he was at least doing something to achieve this. However, Computing was not going well, instead of putting in the hours to study and improve his knowledge, he was addicted to computer games; his grades were suffering as a result.

With 2 months until the deadline of his 2 year Computing assignment he hit a major setback, after failing to properly backup the project, he suffered a computer failure which lost a month of work. Did this serve as a kick up the ass to start working hard and redo the work? No, unfortunately, he used it as an excuse to drop out of A-Level Computing to “concentrate on his other subjects”. That’s right the teenager who wanted to be a Computer Programmer dropped out of A-Level Computing to concentrate on Accounting and History, both of which were not relevant to what he wanted to do with his life. Perhaps not surprising at this point, instead of investing his extra free time into studying hard in these 2 subjects, he mainly spent it playing computer games.

The end of year exams went past, he got average going on poor results for his 2 other subjects. At this point he had no desire to go to Uni, that would be too much hard work and didn’t want all the debt for nothing; so after taking 3 months off to doss about with his mates before they all disappeared to Uni, he got a part-time job working at Marks and Spencer in retail. Why retail and nothing to do with Computing? Well, it was a part-time job but was still more hours than he’d ever worked, so he’d have a bit of free money and plenty of free time. Furthermore, in his mind retail would be an easy job where he wouldn’t have to work too hard.

If you haven’t guessed by now, this lazy teenager was me, I’ve perhaps been a little harsh on myself, but that is not far off what I was like when I was younger. I finally went to Uni, studied my ass off and graduated with a First Class degree in Computer Studies; now at the age of 32 I live on the side of the world in Sydney working as a Senior Programmer in a great job at Hotels Combined. Whilst I don’t have superhuman strength (yet), I would now consider myself to be a bit of an athlete, especially when I compare myself to what I used to be. My philosophy in life now is if you really want something, you work hard until you achieve it, back then I would dream of having something but expect it to fall into my lap. Incidentally, the thing that changed me was probably because Marks and Spencer was not the easy job I imagined, in fact after a few months I was nearly fired. That was the kick up the ass I needed, I eventually got myself back into education, and whilst I do still enjoy playing computer games, I now don’t get quite so addicted to them the way I used to.

So what was the point of this short story? I wrote this because some time in my early 20s I realised that if you really want something in life, you’ve got to work for it; in the real world we don’t get bitten by spiders and magically develop superhuman strength. This is the philosophy I take into my training. When I first read Convict Conditioning I decided then and there I would do a one-arm chin up, one arm push-up etc. It may take time to reach these goals but then where would be the achievement if they happened overnight?

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