Harajuku or Die


I’ve been reading The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It’s his new book, and I would say even more of an opus than his previous offering The 4-Hour Work Week. Second to the Bible, I would say that this book has most amazing capacity to change your life. This morning after breakfast and a hearty P90X workout I was reading the section where Tim talks about the Harajuku moment. He defines this as the moment where a person is actually ready and willing to change their life.

This Harajuku moment is often reflected by something physical like weight loss or a change in lifestyle for medical reasons. The reasons for the moment are as different as the individual. Because much of my work coaching people deals with life balance I often encounter people in these situations. Sometimes they respond to the moments that God sends them and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the pain of sitting still isn’t as bad as the pain of moving on to something better.

I recently lost a coaching client because of this. We worked together for two months and just when we got to a point where I was pushing him to define his goal, he said, “I’m not ready yet.” The pain of the current situation wasn’t bad enough yet.

I know a young woman who allowed her weight gain to run rampant to the point where it ruined her physically, endangered her health, and threatened the very existence of their marriage. Yet she never changed. Neither her health nor her marriage were enough to inspire a Harajuku moment. What will be her moment? Since she wouldn’t respond to lesser although extremely important cues it may take a heart attack or her husband leaving her to change. The current pain just isn’t enough.

Harajuku moments are extremely powerful and change lives. They’re almost always positive events. There’s one big problem though. It’s the time of occurrence. Some people wait too long. When this young woman responds will it be too late to keep her husband? Will she suffer a debilitating health crisis? What about my former coaching client? Will he waste years of his workinglife in misery before it happens?

I always enjoy watching the television show The Biggest Loser. It’s inspiring. It’s uplifting. It changes lives for the contestants and many viewers. It’s chock full of people experiencing Harajuku moments. One of the contestants on the current season is Rulon Gardner, a gold medal winning Olympic athlete. In other words, an elite athlete. Gardner let his weight get away from him though and is now more than 200 pounds over his wrestling weight. He experienced his Harajuku moment at his induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

He had gained so much weight he could not fit into his tuxedo. When he watched the ceremony on the tv he thought, “They have a clip of me, and I did not recognize the person in the TV footage…That was the day I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Holy cow. I’m so physically unhealthy, so obese. It’s time to make a change.”

He reached a moment where the pain was enough.

That was his moment. Have you had yours yet? Are you going to wait until it’s forced on you or will you respond to it now?

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