Shift+Ctrl+Enter your life

We’re holding the key

Sometimes I wish my brain would just work like a computer and I could give it some commands that’ll get me the results I want — pronto!

If I wanted to lose weight I could simply go Shift+Ctrl+Enter >be fit and I would only crave healthy, low-calorie foods and lots of physical activity.

If I wanted to learn something new faster I’d do Shift+Ctrl+Enter >build more memory neurons and voilá — I remember and execute immediately.

I recently read the books “The power of habits" by Charles Duhigg and “The Daily Stoic" by Ryan Holiday and through them I realized: I really need to give myself these commands whenever one of my bad habits like nibbling my fingers kick in, but especially in situations where I contemplate about things in my life I can’t change.

Why do I waste my precious time thinking over and over again about something that’s not in my power to be influenced? What is that all about?

Instead, why don’t I focus all my energy and brainpower on things I can actually turn around?

Luckily, these books created this awareness and analysis of my own behaviours so that at least now I notice when it happens and I attempt to stop and think about my thinking.

And that’s the moment Shift+Ctrl+Enter comes into play:

While you don’t control external events, you retain the ability to decide how you respond to those events. You control what every external event means to you personally.”
Ryan Holiday

This is what Shift+Ctrl+Enter is all about!

Didn’t get that promotion at work you wanted? Couldn’t buy that property you love? Relationship not developing the way you wish?

Yes, very annoying, but we can choose to spend all our energy on being angry about it OR we can choose to view it from a different angle: hit Shift+Ctrl+Enter

  • maybe it’s time I analysed my professional path, options and opportunities? Can I do even better? Is this really where I want to go?
  • How can I change my circumstances to be able to buy this property? Or is this really what I want and where I want to be/live?
  • What can I do to be in a relationship I envision? Break up? Negotiate? Adapt? Get advice?

It all comes down to taking ownership of your own life, being in charge and of course accepting the consequences of our actions and decisions. This can be scary, but at the same time liberating.

“Our progress can be impeded or disrupted, but the mind can always be changed—it retains the power to redirect the path.”
Ryan Holiday

Mr Duhigg also highlights how powerful our brain can be, if we consciously utilize it:

“Habits aren’t destiny. When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”

He explains that there’s a habit loop of cue (trigger)- routine -reward. In order to break it you have to identify it, break it down and make step-by-step changes.

Sounds easy, but is it? Certainly not! We’ve worked hard to establish our habits over time and to change them will take just as much effort.

But when you come to the realisation that some things aren’t working out the way you want them to your motivation and ambition will certainly push you to implement these changes and you’ll work towards your goals.

When I understood that certain fears of mine are hindering me from doing the things I love like traveling, writing or singing I acted: I saw a professional and discovered their routes, I then step-by-step challenged myself to face them repeatedly. It’s still work in progress, but every day I hit Shift+Ctrl+Enter when it’s necessary in order to make change happen.

I found that starting with minor changes works best for me as it’s achievable in the foreseeable future and not too overwhelming. But I also agree with Tim Ferriss' advice in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week" to set yourself overall dream goals that you fantasize of achieving however long that might take. They will keep you motivated to take each step of the long, but ideal path.

What will you hit Shift+Ctrl+Enter for?