Be Pragmatic.

If you dont live for something you die for nothingThere’s a word that has been ringing in my head for the past few months.  It’s been a crazy ride both with expanding our community in Edmonton and Calgary, opening up a specialty clinic with our partners at Revive Wellness, and  starting the Viva Program (our online nutrition and fitness program, if you haven’t gotten a free trail yet, click here).  Whenever I’m in meetings or chatting with people the talks move from an idea or concept to reality very quickly.  Whenever the discussion gets off track this word pops in my head:


It is a state of mind and a pathway to success.  When I’m working on anything in my life I create this mindset that I must act and make something meaningful.  Call it an insatiable need to develop something tangible.  Call it a need to constantly execute a plan, no matter what others might say.  Pragmatism is an action that is done with practicality in mind.  Forget all of the doctrines, the theories, the beliefs, and all the crap that clouds the mind and prevents action; those are references in a world that has a lot of grey and not a lot of black and white areas.  To be pragmatic is to obsess with execution of concept.  Asking what the steps are to success in order to achieve a goal.  The focus is no longer centred on reacting to what happens in life but how to create the present and future.

the worst promis you can break is the one you make to yourselfThe biggest thing we need to do in order to program ourselves into a mindset of pragmatism is to define our core values, it can be words like:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Consistency
  • Dependable
  • Innovation
  • Passion
  • Adventurous
  • Health

We are meant to revolve our lives around these values.  We practise the skill of consistently referring back to these values when making decisions and acting in life.  Our actions become intentional, we live for a reason and not simply for ourselves.  Our minds revolve around execution and turning thoughts into action because we live for our values and not just to exist and react.  Pragmatism is about simplifying life.  That doesn’t mean abandoning responsibility. It certainly doesn’t mean quitting the day job or does it mean living your life as a simplistic label like “I’m a guy or girl” or “I’m young so I can live however I want.” These are excuses that we create to ditch responsibilities and, even worse, our potential in life.  Simplicity is to realize that everything that happens in our lives is for a reason; it may not be something that we can explain or see immediately.  It may not even be something that we can explain in the context of our own lives.  It would be selfish to think that the world and all that happens within it revolve around ourselves and how we interpret our experiences.  Think three generations down, your great grandchildren or your friends grandchildren, and how some of your actions and circumstances in life might affect them or their friends.  That is the type of ripple effect an experience or action may have.  Pragmatism is a mindset that, in life, we chose to act instead of react.

If you seem to be struggling in making decisions or consistently re-invent themselves by making 180 degree changes in your lifestyle try this mindset of pragmatism.  Be patient with it, give it a few months, this is a journey not a sprint!  Stop making excuses for inaction because ultimately the inability to act leads to others defining your present and future.

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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