Role Play

You don’t decide what role you want to play in life. You’re a mother, father, brother, or sister. You’re a lazy employee, a good citizen, a renter, or a home owner. You let your environment and situation decide who you are, and what you do. If you’re not having much success in your life, you might think you’re a failure.

Even if the situation can be changed, your behaviours and your beliefs make you think you can’t do anything about it. You learned to be who you are instead of deciding who you want to be.

You get trapped in a state of mind as if in a bad dream from which you can’t wake up.

Your beliefs get stronger because you accumulate evidence of who you have become. Even if the evidences are false in reality, they would still strengthen your beliefs because you give them the power to define who you are.

So, how do you become who you want to be?

Destroy the evidences by making them stand in front of reality. Only then can you change your beliefs and your behaviours.

If you believe you’re a lazy couch potato, and you’ve accumulated evidence that you are a slouch, you’d need to find all the instances where you were diligent, disciplined, and smart-working.

And when you’re actually on the couch doing the hot potato, remember that this is earned relaxing time to unwind from your productive, disciplined day.

Now, define who you want to be. That’s where the fun begins. You can be anyone you truly want to be. Write down all the qualities you want to have, and all the things you want to be able to do. Make yourself extraordinary according to your standards.

Example:

I am a kind and compassionate wife. I enjoy being disciplined because it makes me strong mentally, physically, and in all other areas of my life. My trial skills are progressing; I can make a controlled wheelie to cross big rocks and tree trunks…

Role play: act like that person you just defined. Breath, walk, speak, eat, smile like that person you want to be. Imitate him or her. Ask, “what would she or he do in this situation”, and do it!

You’re already role-playing your life, might as well be on your term! Agree or not?

***

Update on the Useless Stuff challenge.

So far, so good.

I’ve made an IKEA list, but didn’t check out.

I’ve got a camera and a lens in my amazon shopping cart that’s been sitting there for about 2 months; I didn’t check out.

I didn’t buy new books; this is my weakest link, and it’s almost a daily struggle. I have more than 500 books in my Kindle app, I guess you could say I have enough.

Our Default Self vs Habit Design

People rarely change their behaviour for good. Your brains tend to revert to your old ways of thinking and doing. The old pathways are still there and because they are so familiar to you, you use them when you’re not paying attention.

The habits you most recently acquired are the ones most likely to go first. The enemy of your brand new habit is your past behaviour.

There are a few things you must do if you want your new shiny habit to stick.

The behaviour you’re trying to make into a habit needs to be repeated  often, and/or must be perceives as having a high degree of utility. This means the behaviour needs to give you great pleasure, or help you avoid pain.

Indeed, a behaviour that provides minimal perceived benefit can become a habit just because you repeat it often.

Science has yet to determine the length of time it takes to form new habits. If you read it takes 21 days or 6 months to form a new habit, these are just myths that have been debunked many times already.

Habits are wonderful tools that can help you create a rich life. If you carefully plan which habits you want to establish, you’ll get more success in making your dreams come true.

Combine the formula to creating habits with frequency, perceived benefits, focus, and persistence will most definitely turn you into a master habit maker. The formula that creates habits (good or bad) is a follow:

Cue -> Behaviour -> Reward = Habit

If you think habits are boring, that you hate routines, and you think you are living your life with spontaneity now, think again. You are already living at least 40% your life through a routine. If you didn’t design the habits yourself, chances are other people — your boss, clients, marketers, spouse, children, friends, family, yogi master — have done it for you.

 

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?

If This, Then That

Back in 2003, I changed my life over, and learn PHP. I used this skill to build websites, and earn a living until something bad happened; I didn’t get paid for a big project I already had spend countless hours on. I decided it was enough. I used the skill to build my own websites, and be free of people who don’t pay.

I tell you this because many programming languages use the If/Then statement. It got me thinking that this way of conducting ourselves is being applied to real life situations. Except that we’re not aware this conditional statement is driving us.

What if we became conscious, and use the If/Then statement to create new habits?

Habits are created through a formula that goes like this: you get a signal, or cue, that triggers the desired behaviour. This desired behaviour is then rewarded.

Habit = Signal > Behaviour > Reward

The signal is the If in the If/Then statement, and the behaviour and the reward are the Then. Because the signal, the If, is what makes us do the desired behaviour, the Then, it makes sense to focus on creating strong Ifs.

There’s also the possibility to use the behaviour, or the reward, as an If. This is even better because it creates an infinite Loop of desired, rewarded behaviour that signal the next desired behaviour.

It might look like using this technique would make us behave like programs. Whether you like it or not, you’re already acting as a program. During any given day, we are 80% habit driven*, but most of those habits would need a major upgrade. Besides, I’d rather be the one taking decisions concerning the important things in my life.

Do you have a chain, or a Loop of habits that would need an upgrade?

* I don’t remember the source of this statistic, but when I do, I’ll add it as a reference that I’m not throwing numbers out in thin air for the fun of it.