Don’t Skip What’s Good for You

By | November 24, 2019

[November 24, 2019]  Much has been said about adopting and the maintaining of good habits (see links here, here, and here)  Humans, nonetheless, possess an inclination to shortcut or completely skip behaviors that are good for them.  For example, my daily back exercises are something that I do only reluctantly because it takes time and it hurts.  Any excuse is good to forego my morning back ritual.

Eating properly, exercise, fresh air, a good night’s sleep, and proper hygiene are daily activities that are good for our mind and body.  Not only do we know this but reminders are found throughout our day as we go to work, watch television, or just walk around our neighborhood.  Your mother is another source of first-rate advice you should not ignore.

A number of years ago while I was deployed to a combat zone, one thing we were told by soldiers of the unit we were replacing, were to keep up healthy daily habits.  That meant to brush your teeth, put on dry socks, and a basic list of simple actions that should not be sacrificed to the daily grind of combat.

Yes, occasionally emergencies will arise.  Major events will pop up out of nowhere to throw us off our routine.  Those are short in time and should never give rise to giving up on what’s good for you.  To illustrate this point, my first day in combat included an inspection of our physical fitness gear (the next day we were in formation running two miles; with rifle and ammo).

The 20 minutes that I devote each morning to do my back exercises could be used for something more productive.  Or, so I tell myself.  This is not true and I know it.  Telling myself the truth about the need to keep up good habits, is part of the proper way to live.  My exercises are a responsibility to my future self.  If I want to be pain free 10 years from now, I will be rigid in following those good habits.

Leaders have the responsibility to teach, mentor, and coach those around us to not shortcut or skip what’s good for us.  Otherwise, we will walk down a path that leads to an unfortunate end.  Our job is to motivate through encouragement and support.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

20 thoughts on “Don’t Skip What’s Good for You

  1. Bryan Lee

    Gen. Satterfield, another worthy article. Thanks!! It is not easy, I am sure, of pushing the envelop of ideas for leaders. But what I’ve learned here applies just as much to the individual regardless of position in society. I know you said you are no philosopher yet much of what you say has been captured in philosophical documents for thousands of years.

    1. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      Yes, and thank you Bryan for pointing this out. This is the kind of basic advice that I wish I had when I was a junior officer or, even, younger as a teenager. No one seemed to have decent advice on how to make me better as a person.

  2. Mr. T.J. Asper

    Another article that is worthy of using in my High School classroom. We are off this coming week due to Thanksgiving but first thing Monday after, I’ll be discussing this. I do think, fortunately, that my football team already has the message and they are driving themselves to be better. But the average HS student is lazy and needs some additional motivation.

    1. Kenny Foster

      Good luck with your students. You are right about HS students being lazy. However, there will always be bright spots with some of them. Today, teachers are just too willing to allow laziness.

  3. Darwin Lippe

    Adopt responsibility, do those things that are good for you, tell the truth, — gee, imagine how much better off the world would be if everyone started to improve upon their own lives.

  4. Bart Rhodes

    Great article, this morning, Gen. Satterfield. As usual, you’ve come to my rescue. I was talking to my wife yesterday about this very topic and how we should begin a daily walking routine; to get some fresh air and exercise. She just pooh-poohed my idea. Now, I’ll show her your article.

  5. Max Foster

    Some folks say that there is no need to “do things good for you” but only “do things you want to do.” There is “no crime here” ….. “I’m okay, you’re okay.” These ideas are typical lazy intellectuals telling us “heathens” what to do. We all know that certain things are good for us like get married, have kids, stay out of trouble with the law, don’t get drunk or do illegal drugs. These things should be self-evident but you won’t know it by listening to our political elites these days. Poor leadership is upon us and we are welcoming it.

    1. Jerome Smith

      This is part of the feminization of our society. We should be more compassionate and willing to “feed everyone a fish today.” Of course, they will never learn to fish for themselves.

    2. Doc Blackshear

      Spot-on comment again, Max. Poor leadership is an outgrowth of the intellectual dumbing down of any society. America is just the latest. That is why the USA is supposed to be a republican govt and not a pure democracy. Tyranny of the masses!

        1. Dennis Mathes

          Dead on target, Kid. Leadership of a country is a reflection of the intellect and strength of the citizenry. I worry out most Western nations as they drift toward a devaluation of certain segments of the population – like manliness.

  6. Linux Man

    Unless you are in the most extreme emergency (which is temporary), then you should be practicing those things that are good for you on some schedule. But first, what is your goal? To be healthy? If so, set up a schedule (write it down) that allows you to make incremental improvements. Doing this slowly avoids injuries and builds confidence.

  7. Georgie B.

    I was just thinking this morning that I should re-start my daily exercises and, POW, along comes your article. I know it’s important that I stay in shape and flexible. But it’s such a pain in the a$$. Off to the gym. See ya’ll later.

    1. Roger Yellowmule

      Diet and exercise = okay.
      Less caffeine and alcohol = not okay.

      1. JT Patterson

        You got my vote Roger. Hard to give up my morning coffee. Tried several times and went for a couple of months but the smell of fresh brewed coffee was simply too much. I avoid illegal drugs because I know, in my heart, that I cannot even give up coffee.

    2. Jane Fillmore

      Yep, doing what’s good for us — oh, the horror — and maybe we should also be doing what’s good for others too.

  8. Doug Smith

    I’ll say! Great article, Gen. Satterfield. We all tend to forgo those things that require effort and time.

Comments are closed.