A Story of Inventing No Excuses

In an upcoming issue of SUCCESS, we’re devoting the monthly Corner Office column to a prolific inventor who says his secret to ingenuity, which has led to some 80 patents, is to “try to learn the source of a problem.”

I would like to think those words of wisdom led me to the smart solution I recently discovered.

See, I’ve always dreamed of inventing a great product everyone can use, but I’m not really mechanically inclined. Rather than tinkering with things when I was a kid, I spent most of my time with my feet propped up, playing video games. And that hasn’t changed much in adulthood, either.

My problem is this: I’d like to be in better shape. I don’t feel the need to look like an action movie star, but I also don’t like having to suck in my stomach while I’m around my girlfriend. I could afford to lose about 20 pounds. And after losing those 20 pounds, I want to be able to have a cheeseburger here and there without feeling guilty—and still keep the weight off.

But as you might imagine from hearing my plight, I don’t make it to the gym very often. Exercising before work would be ideal, but I’m not a morning person. And my schedule makes it difficult to get to the gym any other time during the day.

So as our inventor advises, I tried to find the source of the problem. After a lot of thought, it came to me, and the solution is actually pretty simple. I have free time for exercise almost  every day, but the only thing stopping me is that instead of working out, I spend that time… with my feet propped up, playing video games.

It turns out there’s no reason I can’t while away all those same hours on my PlayStation and, at the same time, get some low-impact exercise. A lot of people watch TV while walking or running on a treadmill. So why not hook up the PlayStation to the TV?

Even walking at a slow pace, say, 2 miles per hour, I’ll burn 250 calories every 60 minutes. In a given week, I might spend 15-20 hours on my PlayStation. Now I can make use of that time—pretty inventive, I think! A pre-owned but perfect treadmill arrived last night, and I’m thrilled to have it.

As I learned in writing a story on human longevity, some of the world’s healthiest, longest-lived people are those who do lots of walking throughout the day. And a lot of folks who live to be 100 don’t make a point to exercise; it just comes natural for them to move around town.

They also don’t eat too many cheeseburgers, but that’s another problem for another day.

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