The Hard Things

This past week has been one of significant realization. I’ve learned that if I want to be or do something, achieve any goal I set out, I can’t wait to feel like doing what it takes. To make it through, there’s hard things to do, challenges, and obstacles and I have to FORCE myself to do them.

The problem is that my “old” brain doesn’t want to do the hard things. It sees the hard things, the challenges, and the obstacles as threats to my survival because they trigger stress in my mind and body. All it wants is to protect me, and keep me alive. It doesn’t know the difference between the hard things and a sabre tooth, so it will always try to tuck me out of doing something difficult by making me doubt, telling me stories about why I shouldn’t do it, and lie about the reasons why I can’t be or do it.

By being aware of this, I’ve been able to tell my “old” brain to shut up. Even better, I don’t give it a chance to say anything. I have my plan that guides me though what I have to do to become who I want to be, and to have what I want, and I just do it. If by mistake I take a little too long before I get going, and my “old” brain starts to ramble, I remind myself that I’ll never feel like doing it, and might as well do it right now and be done with it.

This process has started to build some serious discipline muscles. It has also been the most successful experiment I ever did. The results have been instantaneously visible. Instead of feeling guilty because I didn’t do what I had to do, and then rush to try to make it by the end of the day to finally fail, I’m relaxed, happy, and my hard things are done early in the day.

I’m sharing this because we all have dreams and goals, but we fail to make them come true, not because we’re a procrastinating lazy couch potato, but because we fail to understand how our brain works.

The post I wrote about “How to Get what You Want in 5 Seconds” will guide you through the information that changed the way I approached  my life’s dreams and goals. Listen to Mel and see your own life change!

How to Get What you Want in 5 Secondes

Ok, maybe not in 5 seconds, but I really want you to read this. It can change your life.

This week, I’ve watched a Ted Talk that inspired me so much, I want to share it with you. It’s called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over from Mel Robbins.

It always bugged me that even tho we had all the information (blogs, books), the networks (social medias), the circumstances (welcome the 21st century) to change our lives, and change the world, we still didn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand why.

Mel says it’s because we say we’re FINE. We’ve convince ourselves that we’re fine not having/being what we want.

She also says that we snooze off all our fantastic ideas that pops-up in our head all day long. The same way we hit the snooze button in the morning when we don’t want to get our of bed.

One more reason why we don’t do what we have to do to change is that motivation isn’t happening; we’re never going to feel like doing something hard. Changing requires a truck load of energy, and the only way to go is to FORCE ourselves into action.

Her trick to outsmart our brain to make us into the extraordinary being we out to be is the 5 second rule.

The moment you feel an impulse to act on a goal, start counting backward from five (5-4-3-2-1), and physically move immediately. Write down the email, walk to that girl and say hello, pick up the phone and make the call, get dressed and go to the gym.

It works with bad habits that you want to change too.

The concept isn’t new, it’s just framed differently from what you’ve already experienced… Remember… You’ve got to your knee in cold water, in a lake or a river, and you can’t get yourself to dive in, so what do you do if you don’t want to look like a pussy? You count 1-2-3-go!!! And you dive 😛

Mel explains why and how the 5 second rule works, and she also wrote a book about her nifty little trick that will be out on February 28th.

Have you heard about the 5 second rule before? Have you used it without knowing (please share examples)?

P.S.: I hope you had a laugh at the picture, and that you returned the grimace!

Don’t Rely Solely on Motivation

Because motivation is unreliable, you shouldn’t base your success strategies on it. Yes, it can sometimes help you get your ass off to the gym, or make you work on your side project. The problem is if you depend on motivation to get things done, or to accomplish your goals, you might end up achieving nothing because you have no control over when it’s going to hit you.

Motivation is simply a desire to do something. Often, when motivation strikes, you hit Google for instant gratification and an overload of information instead of working on a simple task that would bring you closer to success. Indeed, doing only 10 push ups is 100% better than watching 10 videos about the best workout in the world.

What about getting motivation from a reward, an external source? Looks like this is a poor route to take because as soon as the reward is removed from the equation, performance decreases.

A reward can also shift your focus from the task to the motivator (reward) when you need to use more brain power. Therefor, it reduces your accomplishments. However, it can work great for very simple or repetitive tasks where you don’t need to think.

If an external source of motivation won’t get you to do what you want to do, it’s time to take a look inside yourself, tap into this abundant resource some call drive, passion, self-discipline, or self-motivation. You can build strong self-discipline by starting small. You’ll still get a reward, but the reward will be your accomplishment. Progress, and the simple act of completing something are going to be your awesome rewards.

Are you a motivation addict? I know I used to be until I understood the simple distinction between external motivation and self-motivation. I can now rely on motivation to start something (see the big picture), and use self-motivation to accomplish my goal.

Thanks for reading, and take care!

Have Fewer Rules

Rules are an important component of our society. There’s the written rules. Those rules are in the books of law of every country. There’s also socially accepted implicit rules. Those are the rules you follow when you’re in public spaces, at your friend’s house, or with your family. And then, there’s your own personal set of rules, they’re your creations based on your values.

The written rules are reinforced by the law enforcement, and there are specific punishments for each broken rule.

Although, there’s no one appointed to the job of making sure the socially accepted implicit rules are followed, you’ll know when you’ve broken one as you’ll get punished by society in some form.

One of the best punishments -and my favourite too- is to ignore the bad behaviour. In most cases, when someone breaks a social rule, it’s to get attention. Pay no attention to the behaviour, and the person will feel stupid, and won’t break the rule any time soon.

Your personal rules are reinforced by you, of course. You create your own set of punishments when you don’t follow your own rules. Shame, blame, and calling yourself stupid are some of the most popular. As with most types of punishment, it’s not very effective. If punishment was all it took to make us follow the rules, there would be no crime, and we would all be perfect beings.

What if we had fewer personal and close relative rules? Instead of playing law enforcement with our kids, we could give them values. Instead of having conflict over a trivial rule we set with our significant other, we could passionately love each other. And instead of declaring war to our parents, sisters, or brothers over some meaningless rule, we could have the best time of our lives together.

The more rules we have, the greater the chance they are going to be broken. And if we set too many rules, we become rigid, vulnerable, and brittle.

What are some rules that aren’t important that you could let go?