Conditioning

Conditioning is a tool that can greatly help you be a better version of yourself. There’s thought conditioning, where you try to have the right thought that’ll take you to do the right actions, and there’s behavioural conditioning, where if you take the right actions, you’ll get the result you want, regardless of what you think.

Thought conditioning is good and it works. It includes all the positive affirmations, positive visualizations, changing your vocabulary, and some meditation techniques. When you can’t use behavioural conditioning to get what you, or be how you want to be, the default should be thought conditioning. Everything starts with a thought.

Using behavioural conditioning to change is even better than thought conditioning because it focuses on creating new habits. It doesn’t really matter what you think of the subject you are trying to change, because when you take the right kind of actions, create the right kind of habits, your thoughts will follow, you’ll start thinking the same way of your new behaviour.

Since the Holidays, I’ve had a hard time getting up early in the morning, even with the help of my alarm. The few late night parties threw me completely out of balance. My mornings are very important for my productivity, my success, my sanity, and my self-esteem. Waking up around 8:00 or even 9:00 makes me feel like a pathetic, lazy worthless potato (sorry little pretty nutritious potato)…

So! I’ve been trying something new. Something completely unusual, even a little bizarre.

I practiced getting up. I first rehearse it in my head about ten times. I visualized every step of the process. It’s impressive how many steps there is just to get out of bed when the alarm gets off.

Then, I pretended to be asleep, set my alarm for 5 minutes in the future, and when it got off, I did exactly what I had visualized and got up. I did that 3 times, felt like an idiot for 15 minutes, but had great results the next morning, even after falling asleep around midnight. Hurray for conditioning!

Would you use conditioning to create a better version of yourself, even if it makes you feel silly?

The Simple, Easy Things I do to Save my Planet

Last week, I did a post about how to save your planet. I was expecting comments about how everyone did their part, big or small. Instead, I read a lot of excuses about why no one is saving the planet. Boo.

I’m still going to tell you what I do, because my third suggestion in the post is to tell the people around you what you are doing to make a change (big or small). I already take my responsibility, and I avidly search the Internet for what actions I can take to reduce my impact.

Here it goes!

  1. I make my own laundry detergent with baking soda, washing soda, Borax, and pure Castile soap.
  2. I do the laundry in cold water, making sure the basket is full.
  3. I use a rack to dry most of my clothes.
  4. I brush my teeth with baking soda.
  5. I use olive oil, avocado oil, tallow, and Shea butter for my skin instead of the chemical laden (and in little plastic bottles) conventional beauty products.
  6. I walk to the grocery, the gym, the pharmacy, and the bank.
  7. I drive an old, but fuel efficient Pontiac Vibe, and stick to the speed limit. I plan to keep the car until it breaks down completely.
  8. I repair my cloth instead of tossing them out when there’s a little hole. I do the same for everything else. If I can’t fix it myself, I probably have a friend who can.
  9. I remember to close the lights, and reduce the heating when not in use.
  10. I don’t buy bottled water. I use a refillable bottle that I fill with tap water. If water was disgusting at my home, I would probably use a carbon filter. I guess I’d do research for the best way to have great water with a low wasting system.
  11. I don’t buy books: I go walk to the library or read on my phone.
  12. I use a rag to clean out messes instead of paper towel (almost forgot this one since it’s so obvious)
  13. I shut the water off when I wash my body, or my hair in the shower. I do the same when I wash my hands, my teeth, and do the dishes. You get the idea.
  14. I don’t eat processed food. And I never spoil food. Ever. Leftovers are so underrated!
  15. I make an effort not to buy anything in plastic anymore. That one is really hard.
  16. I DIY, reuse, and recycle whenever possible. Recycle doesn’t necessarily means putting the thing in the green recycling bin… Just saying!
  17. This year, I want to try to buy nothing (except food and hygiene products).

Sure, there are probably things I do that are less eco-friendly, and indeed, I live with the decisions I made in the past that were not so great.

I’m also sure I forgot a lot of things that have been habits for so long they are too obvious (or personal) to share. Just think about never leaving litter behind, throwing trash in nature, or in the streets, and picking up trash people have thrown through their car’s windows. Yes, I know it’s incredible, but there are still stupid people who do that!!!

What do you do?

How to Save Your Planet

Most of us understand that if we continue in this direction, the future generations are going to face big problems. Our children’s children, will be living on a planet with around 10 billion other people. With so many people needing to drink water, eating, using their cars every day, consuming stuff and throwing it away somewhere no one wants to see it, and global warming, no need to be a Nostradamus to accurately predict the future.

It seems like not many of us give a damn about what will happen. We’re a real threat to life on this planet, but we continue to consume and destroy. We’re definitely more worried about how to make more money, have more stuff, and our precious cars than we are about tigers, trees, or bees.

We naively believe that They will find a way to make earth the paradise that it once was. They, the scientists, governments, ecologists, as if they were Gods, will make everything bad go away. The thing to realize is that we are They. I am They, you are They, we are They. 

When we talk about the future with pessimism, it anchors the tragic faith we predict, and convinces us that we can’t do anything to make it better. We’re even convinced that it’s not our fault. It’s They, Big Corp, with their marketing strategies, who make us drive our cars to go buy stuff. So we continue to consume and destroy.

Small changes can create solutions to this big problem. The first thing to do is to take responsibility, admit that we do things that destroy our beautiful planet, our air, our water.

Next, learn about what you can do (or not do!) to improve the current situation. The Internet is a wonderful place to find practical actions you can make today.

And finally, educate the people surrounding you through attraction rather than promotion. Tell your friends, family, co-workers what you do, why it works, and why you’re doing it. Let them decide if they want to follow you instead of trying to force them to your view.

Next, I’ll be sharing with you what I concretely do in my journey to save the planet.

The good always wins over the villains, right? Problem is, we’re currently the villains, but who says we can’t become the good guys?

 

Better than Nothing, Really?

How many times have you heard this little piece of wisdom? How many times have you said it yourself? I know I’ve been guilty of saying it more than I would ever want to admit it. Sometimes to encourage and congratulate someone who did something. And sometimes, as a lame excuse for not giving it my best.

It’s better than nothing. Except that nothing isn’t really that hard to beat.

In some instances, nothing is really better than something. This would be the case with relationships. A bad relationship where only one of the partner is willing to make changes and efforts is a good example.

A relationship with a family member where every single time you meet with her, they bring you down, they suck your energy up, they make you feel guilty, or they manipulate you. Even after you’ve communicated your need for a change, they still behave in an unacceptable way. This is another great example of nothing is better than something.

Using the “it’s better than nothing” adage is also a way to make us feel better about poor performances. When we use this phrase, it’s usually to cover up our shame because we know, deep down, that we didn’t give it our 100%. I’m guilty of using it too, but now that I’ve realized what I’ve done, I’ll tell myself the truth.

I am also trying to tell the truth to the people I sometimes tell it to. This proves to be a little more challenging.

In some case, though, it could be better than nothing. When you want to create a new habit, you may not be able to go full force the first few times. I mean, 3 push ups are indeed better than no push ups at all, as long as you gave it your all, and you keep progressing!

What do you usually use the “it’s better than nothing” excuse for?