Contractor Tip Of The Month: When Too Much of a Good Thing Isn’t a Good Thing!

Words: Damian Lang

When Too Much of a Good Thing Isn't a Good Thing! 

Damian Lang

Too much of a good thing isn’t always good, particularly when the excess leads to overindulgence. Ever asked a group of people if they wanted to make more money? I have. Hands quickly and passionately raise. But ask the same group if they’re willing to do what it takes​ to make it—working longer and harder, being held to higher standards of accountability (because to whom much is given, much is expected), expectations of continuously strong productivity (often inducing higher stress levels)—and the hands drop just as quickly. You see, too much of a good thing may not always be so good. I.e. What if you’ve worked your butt off and deemed super successful according to society’s standards, but no longer have the time or health to finally reap your rewards? Have I ever told you that I’m one of nine brothers and sisters? Dinner every night mirrored kids fighting for candy from a recently broken piñata. When mom served us, we raced to stuff our plates, each grabbing as much as we could before the others got theirs. We were silly. It seemed our only options were going to bed hungry or starving all day if we didn’t stuff our bellies to the max. I was no exception. I was just as greedy as my siblings. I perfected my craft, and I’m sure my brothers and sisters felt they had too. When mom set pizza on the table (a personal favorite), I quickly hawked at least three pieces, fearful my scavenger siblings would leave me with nothing. In reality, the food grab was unnecessary. We always had plenty to eat. There was a caveat though; if we grabbed it, we had to eat it. That was Dad’s rule and he made sure we cleaned our plates! Until six weeks ago, these inherent learned behaviors so deeply ingrained in me remained, evidenced by the 30 extra pounds I’ve carried. When I suffered my eye stroke a year ago, I was overweight, causing my triglyceride and cholesterol levels to remain consistently too high. After talking to my doctor and taking personal inventory of my situation, I knew it was time to change. It was then that I registered for a seminar by Alok Kalia, MD and author of Don’t Take Dieting Advice from a Skinny Person​. One of my biggest takeaways was learning the difference between eating for pleasure and eating for happiness. Kalia says pleasure gained from eating lasts for only the three minutes during which you’re actually indulging. He must be right. Think about it, you don’t really taste food or feel that pleasure a few minutes after eating. Kalia also says that the amount of food in your stomach—whether a little or a lot—has the same impact in relieving hunger pains. Therefore, he argues eating a small portion of food will cease hunger pains within 15 minutes, just the same as eating a large portion does. This was shocking to learn, because it ran counter to my childhood beliefs of gorging or starving being my only options. If pleasure ceases shortly after eating, wouldn’t you be better off striving for happiness, the kind that comes from a healthy mind, body and spirit? If developing healthier eating habits is all that stands in our way (and we can even have healthy snacks throughout the day!) don’t you think you can change? I’m here to tell you it’s doable and in all reality, not that hard. Heck, if I can do it, you can too! Kalia mentions it’s imperative to also control calorie and carbohydrate intake. Carbs are sugar. So if you limit your carbs, the fat takes care of itself. Stay away from bread, potatoes, donuts, ice cream, cookies, chips and desserts. Kalia also stresses the importance of quitting or limiting sodas and fruit juices and eating more vegetables and less meat. Something I had backwards for 40 years. So what does this have to do with running a business or contracting? Well, your body (which includes your brain) is your best asset. I have learned that if you’re in good health, your mind is sharper and you produce more every day. And if you produce more, you earn more. Whether you’re an owner, manager, supervisor, or employee, it’s important to maintain good health. It’s as significant to your career as it is to your personal life. You can’t be at your best—mentally or physically—if your health isn’t at its best​ ​. When choosing to satisfy current pleasure or long-term happiness, just remember the pleasure is dead in about three minutes. Devouring​ more than your share could have lasting negative impacts in your life and in your business. And as far as my program, the six-weeks metrics are in and the results have been fantastic! I can’t believe how easy it has been to drop 18 pounds in such a short time. I still have 12 pounds to go, but have no doubt I’m going to make it. Life is short enough as it is. You owe it to yourself, your family and your co-workers to be your very best. Do this with self-control and mastery over your impulses, making the most of every day. You will be better for it, as will your performance…and hopefully your revenue!
Damian Lang owns and operates several companies in Ohio. He is the inventor of the Grout Hog-Grout Delivery System, Mud Hog mortar mixers, Hog Leg wall-bracing system, and several other labor-saving devices used in the construction industry. His latest venture is Malta Dynamics Safety Company that focuses on bringing quality safety products to construction customers at the best possible prices. He writes for Masonry Magazine each month and consults with many of the leading contractors in the country.
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