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Almost Impossible to Fail

When beginning some new undertaking, I ask myself: what would I have to do for it to be nearly impossible to fail. Certainty of success is an illusion, but by for any given goal it's possible to come up with some process that would nearly guarantee success.

For example: when starting SETT, I asked myself this question. I thought that there were lots of ways that blogging could be improved, but decided that if we could build something that got people more comments and more subscribers, we would be successful. Further, I figured that although I'm not the best programmer in the world, if I just worked every single day as hard as I could, I could eventually build something that would get results like that.

Sure enough, two years of hard work later, we have built a blogging platform that demonstrably gets people more subcribers and more comments. Whether we'll be ultimately successful or not is still in the air, but things are looking good and we continue to work very hard.

What would it take to make weight loss nearly impossible to fail at? Remove all unhealthy foods from your house, commit to only eating at home, plan every meal in advance, and make sure that you have a caloric deficit made up of only high quality foods. If you follow that protocol, it is impossible not to lose weight.


On grow

I started reading a book entitled You Are Not Your Brain written by Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding. The authors specialize in a field of study called neuroplasticity, which is when neural pathways change in the brain due to changes in behavior or the environment, for better or worse. In their book, they claim that we can direct these changes as opposed to having them change against our will.

They use the example of a woman who suffered from a stroke and her journey through rehabilitation and recovery. Parts of her brain shut down as a consequence of that event, but through effort, she was able to regain certain functions that were ultimately assigned to other active parts of her brain. She used her behavior and her environment to recover from otherwise tragic circumstances. She was persuaded that by making the changes necessary, she could reverse the damage.

The word "persuaded" is important because it comes up whenever Jesus talks about faith. You see, faith is being persuaded and convicted by truth. Sometimes, when Jesus healed someone, he would tell them that their faith made them well. And other times he would tell the people that he healed to go and sin no more. So, there's an element of belief and another of action. Remember that time Jesus couldn't heal anyone in a town that had so little faith? (It's in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew.)

So, how do neuroplasticity and Jesus go together?

As I read this new book and when I reflect on the gospels, I see Jesus directing more than doing. I see him teaching, conducting, and persuading. He's showing people that they can be restored, but they have to do two things:

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