Run in Charge: How to have lasting change
Disclaimer: This is not a source summary. This is something more meaningful that needs to be said now.
Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There is no poof and everything is better. The only way that something changes is if something externally occurs, i.e. you get kicked out of the house, the economy collapses, an act of God, whatever. Or you make the change.
Change is hard because it is fighting everything in your body that is happy and comfortable. Why is it so damn hard to get out of a warm bed on a blistery cold day in the winter? Because you’re trading safety and comfort for living your life.
Extreme example? Maybe, but the point is still there. Change has to come from within or from an external force.
Either way there needs to be a decision to change.
Decide is a nice word that kindly means cut off. Cut off the fat, cut off toxic people, cut off being lazy, cut off the same habits that get you the same results.
Most people say they decide to do something, but really leave both options open. It’s a weak answer, in the same way a high school girl will say yes to going to the movies unless a better option is available to her then she’ll say no and take option B.
However, that leaves too many doors open. There’s a fancy term for that now, having too many options and not making a clear decision. Researcher Barry Schwartz calls it “choice overload”. The more options you have, the more time it takes for you to make a decision and guess what, you start regretting that option you pick more and more, even if it was the right one.
We can’t swipe left or right on our lives and just float around hoping to get results. There needs to be clear cut decisions to take option A and completely cut off option B from ever existing. Not saying I’m against backup plans, but most people say they have a Plan A and a Plan B 70/30 or 09/10 split, but really they have a Plan 1A at 55% and Plan 1B at 45%.
Pick your plan, making your decision to change, and change.
MOTIVATION vs. DISCIPLINE aka Procrastination Killer
The more I dwell on this one, the more it bothers me.
Motivation is trendy, but a time suck. Instead I implore you to deploy discipline.
Poaching directly from reddit user zbysheik, they state:
Motivation, broadly speaking, operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.
That’s completely the wrong way around.
Discipline, by contrast, separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving them.
Motivation opens up the door to make an excuse to not do something.
Oh I couldn’t go to the gym because it’s too close before or too soon after dinner.
Oh I couldn’t run today because it rained.
Oh I didn’t want to work today because I wasn’t “in the mood”.
Oh I didn’t perform well because I had an “off day”.
Oh I can’t change my life because of the gremlins in my brain telling me I’m not good enough.
Here’s the secret. There will never be a right time to do the things you want to do. There is never a perfect time to go back to school. There is never a perfect day to start a diet. Even though you feel like setting the world on fire after watching countless motivational Goalcast videos on Facebook or perusing Youtube for montages of your favorite person in the world doing what you wish you were, it will be fleeting with motivation. You’ll feel like doing in the moment, but that “Go” switch is only lightly pressed and by morning or even an hour it’ll flip off again.
Motivation opens up the doors to excuses to procrastinate and be less than. Discipline on the other hand, bluntly, doesn’t care how you feel.
Discipline is routine. You do it because you do it and you are going to do it. No questions asked. There’s no second guessing. There’s no pondering. There’s no hesitation. There’s no uncertainty. There’s no brainpower involved whatsoever. It’s just do. Go. Work.
Why? Discipline doesn’t care why. Discipline doesn’t even know how to answer to why. It just is. You just do it because you do.
You might say this sounds great and all but how do you get from unmotivated to disciplined in 3 easy steps?
That’s the secret. There is no easy steps. Nobody starts out a universal expert. There is no perfect human Swiss army knife for every situation of life.
However, if you start now, you can practice. You can improve, you can fail and learn and grow. That is how you change. That is how you get to lasting and meaningful change and the results you desire. You can become the specialist.
Start. Take the first step to doing whatever it is you want to do.
Want to learn how to cook? Learn to boil water. Learn to cook eggs. Bake a cake. Then keep adding tools to your cooking toolbox. Will everything come out perfectly great and you’re the next five star Michelin restaurant? Not likely. But you’ll learn why you oil the heck out of the bottom of your cast iron pan pizza so your crust doesn’t stick and burn. So you change that up next time.
Want to be a better basketball player? Practice shooting. The ball goes all over the place? Look up how to shoot a basketball. What cues should you focus on? Where do your hands go? How should you jump? You should jump?
Step 2. Find someone better than you.
Mentors are easy to find now. You don’t have to be the only apprentice of some Greek philosopher. You want a mentor? You have Youtube. You have Medium. You have Facebook. You have Twitter. You have Instagram. You have millions of people who are good at what you want to be good at. Follow what they do. Ask questions. Try it out for yourself and see if it gets you a step closer to where you want to be. Mentors have been in your shoes and then some. They can not only save you time and pitfalls, but also steer you in the right direction to being truly successful in your craft no matter what it may be.
Step 3. Keep doing.
While motivation is fleeting and discipline survives, there is one clear cut deciding factor to keep going on even when someone turned the suck button of life on hard mode: passion. If you love what you are doing, if you really care to learn something and be better at it, you’ll do it. You’ll do all the hard work and you won’t question why. You’ll go above and beyond average. You’ll become obsessed with your favorite thing and have it define your human existence.
Real life example
I stopped writing for a long time other than school/academics and social communication via texting. What a shame, basically two plus years wasted time where thoughts could’ve hit paper and solidified into quality ideas the world missed out on.
Same thing with the source summaries. Because I didn’t feel like writing the fourth summary, because it was too much work to open up a word doc and see which source do I truly believe the world needs to hear more about than boring academic speak and analysis. Because I felt that I couldn’t churn out “quality” writing I shouldn’t write that second summary. How selfish of me to keep the sports science “secrets” that could be saving others from the same pain and misery I experienced all because I wasn’t in the mood to write about a topic or thought that I wasn’t going to produce “good enough content”. What a bunch of lame and tired excuses. Sit down and say what you have to say.
The secret about writing just like anything else though, is that it improves with practice, time, and effort.
Will every post be Source summaries now?
No. I have too much more important things to say. The source summaries are going to be dual posted to LinkedIn. But, articles like this one may or may not make it to both.
Will I post everyday?
It depends. If we look at things like streaks. Streaks produce better results. If I write everyday, I’ll get better at writing. I’ll produce better content. I’ll think better. I’ll feel better. So I should write everyday. Then again, there will always be mishaps, excuses, and assorted “life” reasons that I won’t.
However, I will promise to share my work with the world. I won’t selfishly be ignorant enough to think the world has heard everything I have to say.
With that being said, I appreciate your readership.
Porter, J. (2014, June 05). Why Having Too Many Choices Is Making You Unhappy. Retrieved June 09, 2017, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3031364/why-having-too-many-choices-is-making-you-unhappy
Zbysheik. (n.d.). [Discussion] Screw motivation — what you need is discipline. • r/getdisciplined. Retrieved June 09, 2017, from https://www.reddit.com/r/getdisciplined/comments/2scdwz/discussion_screw_motivation_what_you_need_is/