I like minimum investments, the smallest amount of work that will maintain forward momentum. Get them down small enough and you have an amount so tiny that there is no LOGICAL reason not to do them. The real reasons are revealed as emotional.
Here are some examples:
- The “Smartphone” diet. Simply take a digital picture of everything you eat before you eat it. Don’t have to modify your eating at all–just be sure you are 100% conscious of every bite. Amazing how hard this is. And how effective.
- “Five Minute Miracle”– one 60-second breathing breaks, one every three hours. A total of five a day. Re-patterns your stress response. Amazing. Combine with your very best abdominal exercise, done very slowly (one sixty-second rep), and you up the game.
- A sentence a day. First step of the Machine. Because of a variety of logistical and psychological factors, you can ride a sentence a day to a book a year. Again, it is amazing to watch.
- Morning Ritual. 10-20 minutes of movement combined with affirmation and dynamic focus. “Flooding” yourself with positive emotions.
One of the saddest things that I see is people who feel that, without their pain, they would not be creative. All I can wonder is: whose voice is that in their head? Who told them this? What is their experience of joy?
Both pain AND joy can motivate us. If I had to use one or the other, would definitely choose carrot over stick. If you cannot find pleasure to focus on, then pain will do…but wow, would you treat your own most beloved child like that? And if you wouldn’t, why are you doing it to yourself?
Consciousness, speaking the truth, is a sovereign remedy for most of what ails us, even if it leads to temporary pain. “These cigarettes will kill me” causes the temporary pain of discipline, guilt, withdrawal. And saves you the long-term pain of mortal disease.
Adulthood is about speaking the truth. Keeping your word to yourself. Choosing long-term pleasure over short-term pain. Taking responsible for your own emotions and actions. We know this in raising children…
Why do we forget it for ourselves?
Don’t lie and say you don’t have “the talent” to do something: you don’t want to spend the thousand hours. The fact that others might get more results for that investment of time is irrelevant. You can ALWAYS find someone doing better, or worse, than you.
Don’t lie and say you don’t have “the time” if you can start with five or ten minutes a day. Ummm…you had time to read this, correct?
Don’t lie and say you have nothing to be grateful for. You can read, correct? You have the resources to get onto the internet, correct? Wouldn’t you miss your eyes and computer if they were gone? Then you can be grateful for them now.
Your focus determines how you feel. Your ability to tell the truth creates an accurate map. Your ability to keep your word to yourself determines whether you will take the small, constant steps that can lead you to love, or health, or success.
- Start by loving yourself. (why change if you don’t love the person who will benefit?)
- Love one other person (we will do things for others we won’t do for ourselves.)
- Understand the world without guilt, blame, or shame. (Forgive yourself. You’ve done the best you could, with the resources you have. This will require that you forgive others as well–the same is true for them)
- Find your tribe. (you cannot rise to your next level without allies and mentors. Mentor and support others, and you gain the cosmic chips to ask for allies and mentors to help you.)
- Win. (Define victory so that you can achieve it, EVERY DAY. Five minutes a day will start you. And from there…the world looks and feels like a different place.)