When Frank introduced this to me today I knew right away that it was a blog post.
An article in his cycling magazine told about a young man who developed this philosophy. The cyclist started out severely obese - 430 pounds, obese! He made a decision to change. And bike riding became his exercise of choice.
These two sentences from the article are the centerpiece of this post:
"Adopt a 'better than zero' mindset. Say you set out for 20 miles, if you get tired after 15, you can stop - 15 is still better than zero."
To Luke's credit, this mindset has aided him in losing 230 pounds!
I could immediately see how that thought process would impact so many areas of my life.
- No time to clean out every draw in my house. But cleaning the junk drawer in the kitchen is better than zero!
- Can't take an hour for the gym each day. But walking a couple of miles three times a week is better than zero!
- Wanted to call everyone who's missed church in the past month. But calling the ones who've been sick is better than zero!
- Not sure how to write a book (which I'd love to do.) But writing a blog post each week is better than zero!
- Don't have the means to impact the entire world with the Good News. But encouraging/praying with my neighbor is better than zero!
- Wish I could devote long hours to study. But thirty minutes of quiet time each morning is better than zero!
When you have a tendency to be an over-achiever as so many of us do in our world today, life can become frustrating very quickly. We find ourselves constantly looking at what should have been done - what could have been done - instead of celebrating what has been accomplished.
Now, I'm not suggesting the better than zero mindset as an excuse mechanism for not giving it our best effort. Not at all! But what I am suggesting is that we remember to celebrate small beginnings, the way Scripture instructs.
Someone told me once that I was waiting until I had the entire "loaf of bread" to celebrate. ("Give us this day our daily bread.....") When actually, our Father sees it as a point of faith if we willingly express gratitude for even a slice of bread. The slice says that more is on the way!
That's how Luke lost 230 pounds!
At 430 pounds, the task seemed impossible. But he learned to celebrate and be grateful for the first mile. Five miles. Fifteen miles. Each additional mile was better than zero!
I'd love to know where you would like to apply the "Better than Zero" philosophy in your life. Get started - I'll cheer with you!