The belief that you need motivation to take action is going to prevent you from forming any good habits. Motivation isn’t an effective strategy for long-term behavior change for two reasons. First, motivation fluctuates from day to day, and second, it tends to decrease over time. Habits not only fly under the radar of our consciousness, but they also fly under the radar of our emotions. Just like we savor the first bite of our meal more than the last, we tend to be less motivated the more times we repeat a routine. Boredom is the biggest obstacle to excellence. Many people hit the gym for two or three weeks, then lose their motivation to go and quit. They blame their lack of motivation, but it’s the idea that they need to be motivated to go that is the problem. So, if motivation isn’t the solution, what is? Learn more,,, Continue reading THE MOTIVATION FALLACY
Growing up as an overweight kid, I lacked self-confidence. Obesity runs in my family. My father was always trying to lose weight. He struggled to change like we all do until we experience a seminal moment of inspiration or desperation. My commitment to change was born out of the latter. I remember being sent to the nurse’s office at school for a sprained ankle and overhearing her describing me as a fat boy. Her words struck me. I don’t know why they hit me as hard as they did, but I am glad they cause me enough pain to take action. I resolved to lose the weight. My plan consisted of just two things, daily exercise, and NO MORE DESSERTS. I decided that I would not eat another dessert until I lost all the weight.
It wasn’t easy, but I went over a year without eating a single dessert. I didn’t know much about diet and exercise; I was only ten years old, after all. My father read countless books on diet and exercise, but knowledge doesn’t change your life. Sometimes too much information and analysis can be a detriment to doing. It is our daily rituals that shape our lives. I committed to doing a little bit of exercise each morning and when I got home from school, inspired by my comic book heroes. My transforming body was a constant reminder of the value of taking consistent action. Exercise lifted me out of depression and improved my mental focus. I started doing better in school and became more confident. Eventually, I would become a National Honor Society member in high school and graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Aristotle
All day long we transition from one activity to another. We wake up. We follow a morning routine. We commute to work. We arrive at work. We begin working on a project. We stop working to attend a meeting. You get the idea.
We transition dozens of times each day, but how often do we pause between activities to mentally prepare ourselves for the next task. Learning to master these transitions is a powerful strategy for high performance. Continue reading “BRING THE JOY!”
People will tell you what is important to them, but the best way to learn their values is through watching their behavior. You could say personal development is important to you, but if you don’t schedule any time each day to read, listen to audiobooks, or watch instructional videos each day, then I know it isn’t really a priority.
We live our values, beliefs, and standards. We model them. Show me how you spend your time and I will tell you what is important to you. Your daily rituals will tell me everything I need to know about your values. We make time for our priorities. We make them part of our daily routine. If something isn’t a daily priority, it isn’t a priority. We are creatures of habit. We form habits, then they form us. We become what we habitually do. Continue reading We Model our Values, Beliefs and Standards.