Stop Delaying the Inevitable

agent smith

“Do you hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.”  – Agent Smith, The Matrix

Whether it’s the Matrix, Terminator, or just about any comic, inevitability is a pretty awesome plot device. But it’s also a whole lot more than that.

Without you realizing it, “inevitability” can govern our lives, and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fortunately, we get to choose the ending of this prophecy:

Person A: Blah, I’m just going to end up fat and sad and have blood pressure problems like my dad.  It runs in my family and I’m going to become him.  No wonder I keep failing.

Person B: I’m going to break this cycle.  My kids are going to be the first in my family who grow up with a healthy dad and healthy habits.  It’s gonna happen.

Person A: I’ll just fail at losing weight like I did the last dozen times. I’m stuck at this weight and I’m not going to win against my genetics.  Why bother.  What’s the number for Voodoo Doughnuts?

Person B: I’m going to get healthy.  This is a long journey and I’m going to hit some rough patches, but my success is mine for the taking.  I know that as long as I put one foot in front of the other, I’m going to get to where I want to go.

If you associate more with Person A, today we’re going to take the first steps towards making you into Person B.

After all, it’s inevitable, so you might as well just go along with me 🙂

The power of inevitability


I remember seven years ago, I had just stumbled across Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Workweek.  I read it in a few days, and for some reason in my head, I told myself, “Hey, if he can do it, I can too.  I have no idea how, but I’m going to create my own business helping people get healthy, and along the way I’m going to have epic adventures…maybe even become a real life James Bond.”

I then bought, and with more than a few speed bumps and leaps of faith along the way, here we are seven years later.

When I started Nerd Fitness, I knew I could make it work. But why didn’t I know when it came to getting big and strong? 

I thought the inevitable was that I would never get big and strong, that my genetics wouldn’t allow it. Like I was swimming against the current and there was nothing I could do but fight an uphill battle.

Not surprisingly, my results never seemed to stick.  When I found out I had a spine that didn’t line up, it was a relief: I can blame my lack of progress on genetics!  Personal responsibility is no longer needed!

Then…I spent the past seven months proving myself wrongbecoming antifragile, and my mentality has completely shifted.  If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll reach my goals. I’ve had more success than ever over these six months, and it kills me to think where I would be if I only started with this mindset of “positive inevitability” – knowing you are going to do it.

What kind of relationship do you have with yourself?


“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Yes, I realize you’re probably saying, “Okay Steve, you’re starting to sound like one of those quacks who want me to make a vision board, read The Secret, and just sit around and wait for people to help me.”

Ok, skip the vision board and the book, but ask yourself this:

Are you the type of person who consistently looks for things to go wrong, or waits for things to go wrong, and then says “See, I told you so!”

Or are you the type of person who assumes things work out for the best and that good things are on the way…and takes action to make the best things more likely?

Whichever one you believe to be true, IS true.  We all know that pessimistic person who seems to have all of the bad luck, and conversely we all seem to know the person that has the golden touch and can’t seem to lose.

YOU get to decide which inevitability you’re working towards!

We see setbacks as speed bumps, not roadblocks.  We know what we want, and we know we need to work hard to get it, so we do so.  While everybody else is waiting for luck to find them, we’re out making our own.

As Winston Churchill famously said:  “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Each failure is one less speed bump that can block us from that inevitable success.  Like scientists proving a hypothesis wrong, each failure is a chance to get closer…NOT a reason to give up.

We expect to win. We expect to succeed. And then damnit, we bust our asses to prove that eventuality correct.  We have a personal responsibility to our inevitability.

Prove it to yourself


I realize simply “expecting to win” or “feeling more positive about yourself” is only half of the equation.

Whether you sit around waiting for good luck to strike, or waiting around for bad luck to kick in, you’ll get the same result: nothing.

As we learned from Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is nothing without action.”

In the AMAZING book UnbrokenLouis Zamperini endured the most incredible set of setbacks and never once gave up hope. He consistently did what he could to prove to himself that he was fighting and enduring for a reason.

The best way to prove to yourself that your positive inevitability (the leveled up version of you) is waiting around the corner is to achieve small wins.

Want to be healthy? Prove to yourself you CAN change with 30 straight days of walking for just five minutes.

Want to build a business? Make ONE dollar or help ONE person. After that, its simply a matter of hustle and scale.

Want to run a marathon? Run for one minute.  After that, it’s simply finding a way to run a bit further than the day before.

Identify that future version of you, that Level 50, and then take one step in that direction.

Make a change, no matter how small. With each additional change and each additional small victory, that “eventual” future becomes more and more concrete.

And before you know it, “eventually” becomes a reality.

Expect the inevitable


I bet we have a lot of rebels who fall on the dark side of inevitability, and I want to help you get over to the light. After all, we’re Rebels!

Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, run a marathon, or put on some muscle,  stop waiting for shit to go wrong and start expecting things to go right.  

Here’s the truth:

You’re reading Nerd Fitness, which means you’re a pretty smart person.

You’re surrounded by awesome people who are here to help you get healthy.

You know what you need to do, and every day you’re taking a tiny step closer.

You deserve this. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be healthy.

Every day is a chance to get closer to that eventual success, or a chance to delay it.

I’d love to hear from you:  If you were somebody that consistently saw the negative side of inevitability, how have things shifted since you became more positive?  Was it a gradual shift? Did you have to prove a win to yourself first before you started to believe?

Leave a comment and share your story.



photo pin: Kristina Alexanderson: Troopers in the sunlight, Kristina Alexanderson: Farval – Goodbye, Stathis Stavrianos: infinity, sergio venuto: agent smith, Benjamin Staudinger: victory

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    72 thoughts on “Stop Delaying the Inevitable

    1. I’m an often a positive person who, once they start to achieve any forward moving progress, starts to regress back to bad habits. Once I compromise once or twice, I seem to believe that I’ve ruined it all, so I might as well just keep indulging for a while. Then I spend a while building positive momentum again, start doing what I need to again, and then … BOOM repeat. I can see how I’m creating all this nonsense but I repeat this cycle of self sabotage regardless.

    2. Great article. This can change from day to day as well. Some days I wake up and start hammering out my to-do list, other days I start getting negative, and thinking “meh I never get anything done”. It usually just takes one bout of productivity to fix that.

    3. I am a self confessed negative person who hinds behind the facade of “realist” I’m by no means overweight – about 57kg but felt comfortable at 54 and really want to get back to healthy eating every day and being sugar free. I wish I knew where to start with the small changes. easier said than done…..where is the first step….

    4. In the first year of college, I was suffering from some sort of an inferiority complex. I was bamboozled by so many smart people around you. But what it did was also to bring out the best in me. Like you mentioned, I needed just one victory to convince myself that I can kick ass. After that, I have been pretty consistent in doing that 😉

    5. I’ve always told myself, “Expect the best, plan for the worst.” Have a back-up plan that gets you to the same place. But don’t start using it until your first plan fails completely. As in, you are pretty much dead completely. If you plan like a pessimist, you have fail-safes, back-ups, support. Everything you need to succeed. If you hope like an optimist, you succeed like one.
      There is also a less known third option. Called meliorism it holds that we are progressing, and that thereby the world is getting better. In the glass-half-full-glass-half-empty dichotomy, it would say something like, “The glass isn’t full yet, but it’s better than it was when it was empty.” I find this to be the most empowering alternative, since it encourages us to improve ourselves and the world in the name of progress. That way, in the future, we can all be optimists.

    6. Whoa. I love nerdfitness, but this is the first time you gave me goosebumps. Awesome post. When I turned 40 I decided I didn’t want to get “old,” so I ran a marathon. I completed it because it never occurred to me that I couldn’t! Then I decided to run 12 sanctioned races in 2012. I did it! I tracked them on a handwritten note posted to the wall that announced, “I can because I think I can!!” This year I went hardcore Paleo because I want the be the Super Hero version of myself. Holy cow, am I healthier than when I ate “healthy” whole grains and all that crap! My next goal is to drastically improve my 5K time. My Super Hero self is healthy, strong, lean, and flexible; has healthy sleep habits; is less anxious and stressed-out; inspires people (my boyfriend who is the sexiest most iron-willed Paleo on the planet; my co-workers; my friends; strangers/new friends); is better at forgiving myself when I make mistakes; completes her PhD; and eventually lives somewhere where it never gets too hot to run outside!

    7. This article really hit home with me! I’ve always had the mindset of ‘of course this will happen’ when it comes to my school goals, career goals, etc. But I’ve been much more pessimistic when it comes to fitness. Great points here to help reshape the way I’ve been thinking about my fitness and health.

    8. Thank you, I really needed this RIGHT NOW. There’s a box of donuts right outside my office and I have seriously been struggling with the cravings. Your post reminded me that my health is my choice. I am responsible for each and every choice I make on my path to health, and I CHOOSE not to eat that donut!

    9. This was really inspiring. About 15 years ago, I realized that time will pass, whether I work on a goal or not. A year from now, I can be a year older, or I can be a year older and closer to my goal. My choice.

    10. Just what I needed today! I was told by my cardiologist to lose weight and exercise. I’ve been walking each morning the past week, but haven’t changed my eating at all. I’m a mix of person A and B. Some days I feel great about everything and jump in, and others, I feel like I shouldn’t even bother because it won’t matter. I want to be more of person A!

    11. The first step is whatever you choose it to be. Maybe put one sugar less in your coffee/tea, walk a little more, whatever you can stick with is your first step. Also, aim for consistency. It’s impossible to eat clean all the time. An all or nothing mindset will ruin all your work and put you back at square one. Perfection is unattainable, but consistency is the result of action. So long as you CONSISTENTLY work out and eat right, your body will follow. I too am a pessimist who hides behind “realist”. Your brain will fail you long before your body will. The biggest hurdle for people like us isn’t the physical, it’s the mental. Keep working at the mental, and the body will follow.

    12. This is interesting to me, being fascinated by behavioral psych. I have dieted all my life, since I was 9 years old, in the footsteps of my mother who is a chronic victim/complainer. She remains content with trying everything sold to her, and failing every time because she expects to fail. She even got lap band surgery that worked for a year until she started eating her favorite foods again and gained it all back.

      It shifted for me when I stopped believing all the things my mother believes and tried different things. It began when my grandmother died of cancer and I started looking at alternative health rather than manufactured health for profit. I parted from the superficial belief of “losing weight to be sexy so people like me” to “I want to be strong. I want to be able to DO things instead of just be an appearance.”

      So now, instead of the boring, vapid existence of slim fast and diet coke, I’m in training for life experiences. I eat real food, I nourish myself. I lift heavy things a lot so I can lift heavier things and feel strong and capable, physically and mentally. I power through. I do Body Combat for an hour of sweating for FUN. This coming from a girl who was winded walking a few blocks to NY Comic Con 2 years ago.

      Thanks for this relevant topic, Steve!

    13. Wow, Steve – this really encouraged me in a very specific, relevant way. Thank you!

    14. I started my whatever-you-want-to-call-this a year & a half ago. I was fat, but worked out regularly. Heck, I was a marathon runner, but I just ate whatever I wanted to eat & justified things because I did some cardio a couple of times a week. I worked my way into a weight loss challenge discussion a few friends were having on Twitter. By increasing the amount of cardio I was doing, logging everything I ate, and imposing strict caloric limits, I lost a great deal of weight (about 40 pounds over 6 months). But, at the end of six months, I realized that I was: 1) on a course that was unsustainable (I was spending every spare moment in the gym and barely eating was making me far too cranky) and 2) losing weight but, as I was approaching what any weight-loss resource said should be my “target weight,” I didn’t have the body I wanted. I felt weak.

      So I found Strong Lifts, increased my caloric intake to maintain weight, and shifted my focus to strength training. And I took myself from 2 hours at the gym, most every day, to 30-40 minutes at the gym most every day. My weight plateaued, but I was putting on muscle.

      But getting to the squat rack was a roll of the dice . . . my gym had one and I didn’t have the time to wait for it, if it was in use. I found Nerd Fitness and at about the same time. I had already shown myself that I can fit-in the workouts I need in under an hour a day (so I head to the gym over lunch most every day), and you convinced me to look deeper into the quality of the food I was ingesting (I still log everything, but processed foods, sugars & refined flour are seldom in my diet). Shifting to a more-paleo diet and focusing on bodyweight exercises, over the past 2 months, I’ve: gone from making a single pull-up a miraculous feat to managing 50/day, doing pistol squats, lost 20 pounds (started at about 215, I’m down to 195 now, trying desperately to maintain while still dropping bodyfat), and on a good day, I can see my abs. More importantly, I’m not doing anything now that I don’t believe I’ll be able to keep-up for the rest of my life.

    15. I’m glad I read this today. While I generally look to the bright side and put in work toward my goals, things have been challenging in my life recently, and it can be difficult to stay positive. This was just what I needed, when I needed it.

    16. I’ve made a big shift towards positivity and mental toughness in the past few years. It’s still a process, but I think I’m headed in the right direction! It was actually starting to read Nerd Fitness that changed my outlook on exercise and improved my work ethic 🙂

    17. Today I am a positive 56-year-old woman with multiple medical problems, but a desire to get as healthy as I can be. I need to lose about 35 more pounds and want to get my strength back. Today, especially with your encouragement, I KNOW I can do it! It won’t be easy and it won’t be overnight, but I can make little changes every week that are going to add up to BIG success. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you and your business. Keep up the good work!!!!

    18. This really made me think. I have always been a glass is half full, you can do it, nothing is impossible kind of person….. that is for everyone else and even myself for things like my career, my education…… but not my weight/fitness/health! I have definitely been person B above,,, but not anymore! Now that I have my career exactly where I want it and I have my graduate degree, I have started applying my “you can do it” attitude to my fitness and overall health!!

    19. I’m loving all the articles and I really wish my girlfriend would join me. She’s not fat or anything but like me she struggles to regain her breath going up hills etc. Any tips on trying to encourage to to come along?

    20. My situation is not so much a negative to positive straight line but more of a ‘listen to yourself and do what’s good for you’. I’m learning that what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander, so to speak! For example, I do best when I skip a morning meal and have a great lunch and light supper. But it’s hard work to ignore or be kind to the naysayers that gasp and croak out ‘but breakfast is the most important meal of the day!’ This article is true though, positivity is key!

    21. Hi all, I’ve been reading Nerd Fitness for a while. This article resonates well with me. 1 year ago, I weighed 126kg, I was $11,000 dollars in debt, and worked in a job I hated. I was at a loss. Depressed, stress and felt hopeless. I was always going to be fat and poor, it was just who I was. I decided that I had had enough of being a victim of circumstance (circumstances I gave my self in all honesty). So I started to set goals, small at first, but as many people say when you start it is hard to stop.

      Now, I have dropped 16kg, and steadily dropping more, I have paid off $9,000 of my debt, I still work in a job I hate but I am studying part time to become a teacher.

      It has been a very hard year, but, by setting small goals, using positive affirmations and rewarding myself for my achievements I have made huge gains. I still get negative thoughts, but when I do I just remind myself of all things I have achieved.

    22. My history was full of half-assed attempts at fitness. So what’s different this time? I decided that whatever happens, I will make it work.

    23. I’ve always been a Negative Creep with a tendency to depression. Taking the time not just to be grateful, but even being conscious about the good things i have in my life has never been top in my list of priorities, at least since a couple of months back, when i took the initiative and tried something i never believed i was going to be brave enough to do. I have to say i failed, maybe even failed miserably, but it wasn’t half as terrifying as i imagined sunk down on my own negativeness. I may have failed at that very moment, but i also earned something way more important: a notion that, someway, somehow, i could be able to reshape my failure into success. A few hours later (4:30 a.m.) i was getting off bed, putting my old ragged sneakers and going on for a 30min. hike in a mountain nearby. When i reached the place i was heading for, i did 3 series of the beginner body weight workout. Since that day I’ve been repeating this ritual religiously every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while doing Interval Training on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays. I’ve been also eating in a way that could not be considered 100% paleo (with the occasional grains, sugar and booze) but gets close to it. I almost removed the word “breakfast” from my vocabulary; but the most important thing that I’ve done since is sticking to that -some may say desperate and unreliable- thought that somehow i could turn the tables. This is what kept me going for the first two or three weeks; and then something happened. People i see every day began to notice i was getting thinner. At first i thought it was because i was wearing slimmer clothes some days, but people went on telling me the same, and now almost everyone that hasn’t seen me for the past month and a half tells me so.

      I don’t think I’am anywhere nearby where i want to be yet, but I’ve proven myself that i can achieve things the size of the effort i put in them, one step at the time. I’m still very negative about a lot of things, and is still difficult sometimes to get away form the depressive mood, but I’ve also realized that as i keep moving, things keep improving slowly. I’m feeling a little more grateful everyday, and it feels amazing.

      Also, Thanks for this website and all these wonderful and useful posts. It wouldn’t have been even half as easier without all the help and encouragement NF provides.

    24. Great article Steve! Short and to-the-point. There are plenty of people I know who I feel this way about but you’ve articulated this brilliantly! Definitely learned a little summin’ summin’.

    25. Self destructive habits are hard to break when you are trying to self destruct. Positive thinking is only possible if you want it to be. Self hatred is hard to overcome, especially when it stops you even believing you deserve anything better, let alone are capable of achieving it.

    26. I seem to cycle from person A to person B and back again. This is partly due to my depression. I have found that since becoming a member of NF, I am more likely to be person A. But then I have great friends here on NF.

      Thank you Steve for creating this awesome community.

    27. I can feel each and every word. I do believe that the key to success is wanting, planning, acting. What matters is to make little changes, one at a time while focusing on and enjoying the process.
      Thank you guys for all the positive messages.

    28. This is a timely reminder! I’m a new author and have decided to self publish my book. For months, I was so terrified that my manuscript wasn’t very good and that no one would buy it. Finally, I decided to Get Over Myself and just force myself to have a positive mental attitude. This article has been a great reminder that if I have grit, I can become an accomplished author.
      If anyone ever needs a pick me up, listen to Zig Ziglars, “Building a Healthy Self Image”. It gets your brain going in the right direction. It was a huge help for me to start having a better self image.

    29. It should like you keep working and don’t give up, so you’ll reach your goals eventually. Hang in there!

    30. Another great and inspiring article Steve…as always I cannot thank you enough for helping me stay on track and realize the future version of me! It is inevitable….

    31. I have gone through the same process of changing from negative to being positive about life, and I have seen changes, I realized things I never thought I could do. I ask your permission to translate this to spanish so I can share it with some of my friends here in Venezuela. Thanks a lot!

    32. I understand you completely, I am currently in transition from “ok, I did it again, another failure, I’m no good” to “Little by little I grow and achieve success” and it’s crazy, a cycle that reapts itself over time.
      But! I’m feeling that, if you organize yourself and start checking things daily, you can shorten the amount of time spent on the “fuck this sh*t” zone, I know that it just takes a lot of smart and dedicated effort but it can be done, you just have to be paying attention for when that other part of the cycle begins, hope this helps, I wish you success.

      PS: Another thing that I’ve been doing is you pick one or several individuals of whom you trust and tell them to ask you this question daily, preferably at night: “What did you do today to improve your life?” And make them do it, each and every day. With that, you have an instant checking process of your day and it makes you evaluate it.

    33. Oh my gosh! I really needed this today! I start out all “I can do this!” to end up all depressed when I make a mistake or don’t do something I started out to do. I like the idea of having someone ask me how I improved my life today. I’m going to definitely get my husband to ask me this when he comes home from work! Thank you, Steve for inspiring me to greatness & leveling up.

    34. The only inevitable thing is that once day you’re going to die. I’m making sure that when the time comes I’m going to look back and feel great for squeezing life to the last drop (, without regrets.

      You can change, but it all depends on your general outlook on life. You can either be a victim or a victor in this life – the choice is yours.

    35. Hey there, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I used to have same problems but found a way to be persistent in forming habits.

      To form new habits you first need to let go of the old way of thinking. I’ve written an article on how to do it and I think you might find it helpful –

      Hope it helps! Let me know how it goes.

    36. Great job! Persistence is the key. No real change happens overnight, so start small and win the day. After that win the week, then the month, the year and so on.

      Before you know it, you’re living your dream.And once that happens – your dream has become reality.

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