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Break Free From Your Biography

Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.

I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.


Amuse Bouche

My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.

Oxygen and potassium went out on a date and it was totally OK… but then I saw Oxygen with Magnesium yesterday and was like Omg he is cheating on Potassium!

Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?


Goal Success by Choice

Do you have dreams that you are trying to make come true? Do you have a goal that you are trying to crush? Success doesn’t happen by chance. You don’t have to get lucky or win the lottery to live the life of your dreams. 

You just have to choose to be successful. If you make the right daily choices, adopt good habits and behaviors, and approach life with the right mindset, you can make your dreams come true. 

Goal Success by Choice helps you make the choices that will move you closer to your goals and keep you from holding yourself back. 

I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.

Break Free From Your Biography

“Your biography is not your destiny, your decisions are.”

Tony Robbins

Biographies are powerful literary tools, but they have their limitations.

A biography is a description of a person’s life, but they are more than just recitations of vital statistics. Biographies tell a person’s life story and share their experiences, interconnections, lessons, and the choices they have made.

I have never written a biography (autobiography, technically), but I have many life stories and experiences that connect to form powerful lessons. I will share one chapter from my hypothetical biography with you today. This is not just an isolated story; it is a fair representation of many of the early chapters of my story.

Powerless

It was a cool Fall Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, thirty years ago when my family was just sitting down to eat dinner. It was pizza night, and the four of us were going to eat while watching American Gladiators, followed by COPS.

This may sound like the start of a fun night of family togetherness, but that isn’t my story. Our family was just minutes away from an event that would reveal the difficult truth. We were a family living in survival mode and losing their battle with poverty.

Right as the best part of the show was about to begin (The Eliminator), everything suddenly went dark. In an act of desperate futility, my father looked out the window to see if it was the whole neighborhood or just our house. He did this while blocking the multiple “past due” notices and the notice of disconnection from his head.

We lost our power because we didn’t have money to pay for it.

The power company was just one of the utilities, creditors, and other obligations that had not been paid. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only place where the lack of payment was catching up with our family. We were stuck at home eating pizza delivery, using a credit card “borrowed” from my grandparents because we had no transportation. Our only car having been repossessed a few days earlier.

This was far from our first power shut-off, so we knew what to do. As the oldest of the two children, about thirteen at the time, I had work to do. It was my job to take a heavy-duty extension cord next door to my grandparents’ house so we could borrow some power. At least enough for a lamp and the television. Then a kerosene heater would provide warmth in the absence of a furnace.

When I walked into my grandparents’ house, my grandmother was home alone ordering things that she didn’t need from a television shopping network. Fortunately, my verbally abusive alcoholic grandfather was not home because he was out at a bar getting drunk. I explained the situation to my grandmother then plugged the extension cord into one of her outlets to borrow some of her power until ours could be restored.

My grandmother would likely be the one who would be paying for our power restoration. She was essentially keeping our family afloat despite not being able to afford that responsibility. Like the items she was purchasing from television, she was supporting our family with credit cards, and she was digging herself into a deep hole of debt. Little did we know that she was only about six months from sudden death, throwing the family into turmoil.

I headed back home to finish dinner wishing that I could be anywhere but at home that night. But I didn’t have any other option. As a poor, fat kid, I was often bullied and didn’t have many friends, so I had no choice but to be home witnessing my family melting down.

When I walked back into my house, my parents screaming at each other and blaming each other for the situation. My dad was yelling that it was my mom’s fault for losing her job again – a common occurrence. My mom was yelling back that my dad should get a job instead of continually paying to go to community college instead of working. Their marriage was hanging by a thread, but they were staying together for the benefit of my brother and me.

I quietly returned to eating my dinner: pizza with a cheeseburger on the side and onion rings on the side of that. No vegetables, minimal nutritional value, and no physical activity were all making my obesity even worse.

We were powerless. I was powerless.

Limitations of Biographies

The early chapters of my biography were difficult, to be sure. We were poor and had no light at the end of the tunnel. I had terrible role models for what a marriage should be – really, any interpersonal relationships. I did not have healthy fitness and nutrition habits. We were entirely dependent on my grandmother. She had her own challenges like her terrible health, kidney dialysis, crushing debt, and an alcoholic husband.

This shaky foundation could easily have led me down my own difficult path – poverty and obesity tend to be multi-generational problems. But, that is not how my story went. I knew I wanted more. I knew I would have more.

I turned my story around when I became a first-generation college graduate. Much of my college education was completed through independent study because there were things that I wanted to learn that weren’t taught. I learned enough that I was able to start my own freelance technology training and consulting business in college that led to a great career. That career plus smart saving and investing resulted in me having more financial security than my family ever had.

I learned to build solid relationships built on humility, mutual respect, and consideration for other people. This led to a life rich with friendships and service to others. All of this helped me build a strong friendship and a happy marriage of over twenty years with my best friend.

Plus, as you know from following my blog, I also conquered obesity in my forties and continue to live a life of balance: exercise, nutrition, goal setting, meditation, and stress management.

My biography up to the point of starting college was filled with stories like the one I shared. Having lived this way for my whole life to that point, was I sure that I would be successful? Was I confident that I would build a better life for myself?

 Absolutely not. All I had known to this point was the difficulties associated with poverty, uncertainty, obesity, and isolation. I had nothing that indicated that my life would be different.

This is where we see the limitations of biographies: they only look backward. A biography only includes the events and stories that happened in the past but, past performance is not an indicator of future results.

Or, as the Tony Robbins quote I shared at the beginning says, our biography is not our destiny.

Choosing a Different Path

We all have dreams and goals, but how do we turn those dreams and goals into reality?

Each week in the Operation Melt blog, I share tips, tricks, and techniques to help you achieve your goals. But, all of these techniques all based on the one most important tool we each have to make our dreams come true.

Choices.

Every one of us has the power to choose not to let our biography define our future. At any point, we can make a choice to pivot and build an entirely different life for ourselves than the one we have known. We can choose to succeed. We can make a choice to make our dreams come true. We can choose to be happy.

Is this easy to do? Probably not. And the greater your adversity in your biography, the more effort it might take to break free from it. But, at any point in your life, you can make a change.

Your biography is not a life sentence.

Like many things, the first step to breaking free from your biography is your mindset. You have to believe that you have control of your destiny. You have a choice. You can be anything you want.

If you want to make your dreams come true, you need to embrace a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck explains that a “growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.” In other words, you are never stuck with who you are. You can decide to change, to grow, to reshape, and to become more.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I have choices. My past doesn’t own me!” Do this every day until you truly believe it.

What parts of your biography do you want to break free from? What parts of yourself do you want to change, grow or improve. Are you ready to take that first step? Do you believe that you can do it?

Today is the right time to take that first step. Set a goal, share it with somebody else (if you aren’t sure who to share it with, share it with me, I’ll be your hype partner), and start doing the work. Your dreams are within reach.

Good luck, let’s crush some goals together!

Did You Like What You Read?

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Published inGoal Success by Choice

Disclaimer: The Operation Melt website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.

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