So you know where you are now and you’re aware of your current situation and have made goals and have some sort of insight as to how you will achieve those goals. You know what the next step is and you have a schedule or to-do list of sorts to get from point A to point B. You visualize, you theologize, you brain it up real good and are satisfied with the method to your madness. But, when game time comes and it’s time for action, you fall flat on your fucking face. Why?
Can you relate to this?
We have all had a problem at one time or another that kept us from getting from point A (current situation) to point B (goal). Of course we took some time to address that and figure out a solution. But why, even with our awesome plan, did we never reach that goal? I’ll tell you why. It’s because you gave up. But why did you give up? Because even though you could see yourself in the winning zone, and could see yourself overcoming anything that came between you and your goal, you consistently failed at the base. Your day-to-day involved constant failure because you couldn’t, for whatever reason, DO IT. That one item on your to-do list never got addressed; you would start down the right path but whenever it came time to do [that one thing] you somehow just didn’t do it. It’s not because it was impossible, it wasn’t even because you found it particularly difficult. YOU just couldn’t bring YOU to do it. Why is that?
Think back. Think back to a problem that you once had when you just froze up at “do it” and try to recall how you solved that problem.
Here’s how we “do it” everyday
Here’s a visualization exercise where yo go from realizing there was a problem with doing it, to changing your mind and solving the problem:
You wake up and realize “crap, I really don’t feel like going to work today.” From there you think to yourself “this is not what I want” You then you stop that thought dead in its tracks and set your sights on what you do want. You know it’s not going to be easy to turn this mountain of a thought around without having practice doing so … after all, you did call in sick last time this happened.
You decide that in order for this thought to be turned around, you’ll actually have to be able to see yourself turning this thought around. With that in mind, you close your eyes and imagine yourself saying “yes, I can’t wait to get to work today” and feel the feelings of accomplishment resulting from waking up early, and getting to work early. You think about the negative effects of not doing so, and how the whole day could easily go to shit if you don’t start off the day with something positive.
You think to yourself “maybe I can objectify this?” So you objectify it by telling yourself “IT doesn’t want to go to work today, but I DO want to go to work today and achieve my true desires instead of IT’s desires.” You split yourself in half, separating yourself from the negative bug that wants to be lazy and undisciplined.
You lean over to the side of the bed and grab your IPOD. Music always makes you feel good. You decide to play that song that makes you want to get up and be awesome. Five minutes later, you’re rearing to jump out of bed and conquer the day. After being uplifted, you further imagine yourself owning the day and feel thankful for the win. From here, you are filled with confidence and leap up to your feet.
Wait, what just happened there? – let me break it down ..
Here is the part where you realized there was a problem with doing it – you REALIZE
You wake up and realize “crap, I really don’t feel like going to work today.” From there you think to yourself “this is not what I want”
Here is the part where you STOP and take a TIME OUT
You then you stop that thought dead in its tracks, take a time out, and decide your sights on what you do want. […]
Here is the part where you apply some *tricks* and cheat codes in order to TURN IT AROUND – note: a lot of people freeze up at this part and go back to step 1 because they think it’s too hard (even though it’s not really “hard” at all, and only requires TIME AND ATTENTION).
You decide that in order for this thought to be turned around, you’ll actually have to be able to see yourself turning this thought around. With that in mind, you close your eyes and imagine yourself saying “yes, I can’t wait to get to work today” […]
You objectify it
You think to yourself “maybe I can objectify this?” So you objectify it by telling yourself “IT doesn’t want to go to work today, but I DO want to go to work today and achieve my true desires instead of IT’s desires.” […]
You boost moral
You lean over to the side of the bed and grab your IPOD. Music always makes you feel good. […]
Lets review that real quick
1. REALIZE: Whenever you realize that something is wrong or doesn’t feel right …
2. STOP and take a TIME OUT: stop as soon as you possibly can, and right at that point, take a time out
3. TURN IT AROUND: During your time out, use your tricks (see below) to turn it around; and, of course, you will need to use your TIME in order to apply these tricks.
All together now! REALIZE – STOP and take a TIME OUT – TURN IT AROUND
Why do we fail at TURN IT AROUND for some things and not others, for some situations and not others? Why didn’t I just do it?
For some things, we fly by steps 1, 2, and 3 without any thought at all. Why is that? It’s because we’ve just gotten so good at it that we’re just that aweseom already. Like tying your shoes. For other things, most of us can do steps 1 and 2 with hardly any effort at all. It comes naturally. However, sometimes when we reach step 3 (turn it around), we just sort of freeze up and go back to step one without actually doing anything, thus “failing”. In some instances, we’ve never successfully turned it around before. In others, we’ve done it once before and haven’t since. In others, we’ve done it a looong time ago and forgot what we did there. So, why the variances? Why don’t we DO IT all the time? Well..
Lets visit some examples of pwning it, doing it once, and not doing it at all:
scene 1 – tie your shoes: Consistent success! But, at first it was hard. Do you even remember how you got from “this is hard” to “this is second nature”?
Remember when you knew you should’ve tied your shoes but you just couldn’t bring yourself to do it? Now, it’s second nature to you isn’t it. How hard was it those first few months when sometimes you’d do it, then sometimes you wouldn’t. It took some time to get consistent didn’t it.
scene 2 – ace a test: Tasted success once before, but will you be successful again?
Remember when you wanted to get an A on that test, but you couldn’t bring yourself to study? Then one day, you stopped, took a time out, and used some mind bending (literally) strategies to change your view of studying. You kept your eye on the goal and for the entire following week you studied like a madman with that study group and pwned that test didn’t you.
scene 3 – wake up early: Never tasted success or seen it.
Remember when you used to complain about waking up early? – wait, who am I kidding, you still do complain about that don’t you.
Tying your shoes was once just as difficult as waking up early.
Lets gain some understanding here: tying your shoes, was pretty hard back in the day … just about as hard as waking up early is now. Sometimes you would achieve success and then tying your shoes became as difficult as acing your test. Eventually, tying your shoes became as easy as … tying your shoes. See what I did there? From that, some would say “It’s hard at first, then it becomes easier and easier everytime you do it.” If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong.
Tying your shoes is actually as hard as it ever was.
Humor me here. You still have to physically bend down and manipulate your fingers to shape some object into a knot. Generally speaking, it’s just as “hard” for you to do that now as it was for you to do those exact same physical actions a year ago. So understand that it’s not harder or easier now to do it.
So if that’s true, then how in the world did you get from “tying my shoes is difficult” to “tying my shoes is second nature”?
The only difference between now when you tie your shoes and a year ago when you tied your shoes is in your mind. And the difference in your mind between now and, lets say, when you were a little snot nosed five year old, is the TIME and ATTENTION you need to give to get from wanting to do it to doing it. Those are all invisible things and don’t require “effort” at all and are not “hard” to do.
Think about it. Once you had no idea how to tie your shoes. Then, someone showed you how. You tried it a few times and failed a few times. Your fingers finally got the hang of it. From there, it was just a matter of doing it or not. When you did tie your shoes you were so happy and felt so accomplished. When you didn’t tie your shoes, mom/dad/authority brought it to your attention … even though you already knew you didn’t tie them and just thought to yourself “i don’t wanna” because you thought it was too “difficult”. It was not physically difficult at all; the difficulty was in your head. Somehow you managed to do step 1 (realize your shoes were untied) and step 2 (you stopped and decided you wanted to tie your shoes) but when you got to step 3, you JUST DIDN’T DO IT … even though, deep down, you wanted to. It just seeeeemed so hard, even though you’ve done it many many times before and could do it in less than a minute now.
But now, step 3 isn’t even an issue. Now, you tie your shoes as soon as you see that they’re untied, not because it’s any easier or requires less effort now, but because you’ve gone through step three so many times that it’s an automated process now.
Step 3, doing it, when it’s a battle between you and yourself over doing it or not, only requires time and attention to get the outcome that you desire. At first when step three seems difficult, it will require time and attention to get through the process, and before you know it, that thing that you wanted to do – you’re doing it.
You can know all the tricks in the world, but if you don’t give step 3 (the part where you sometimes freeze up) the time and attention it needs, you will get pwned and it wont ever get started, or finished. Step 3 is like a baby, you have to give it the time and attention necessary in order for it to grow into an automated adult who needs nearly no time and attention at all.
So now you know.
When you’re banging out your to-do list and end up with that 1 item that makes you go “uck”, you can either postpone it, remove it from your list altogether, or give yourself the time and attention you need to get from “uck” to “pwned”. If you could always decide “Welp, mind is frozen. I fail this time.” But doing that just postpones the inevitable -you’re either going to do it or you’re not. And with most things on your to-do list that don’t repeat every single day, the “doing it” for that particular item might only need to be done once! Lucky you.
The reason why we fail at doing it (the area between wanting to do it and starting to do it) is because for one reason or another, if the item requires too much “effort”, it’s not worth it at that point in time. But as we’ve now come to find out, it doesn’t require effort at all, it only requires TIME AND ATTENTION. If you can afford to give the item, which you’re reluctant to do, some quality time and attention -thus giving you the opportunity to apply the tricks below- you will find that you can win them all, do them all, pwn it all.
Next time you encounter a situation where you reach step 3 (doing it) and freeze, take your time with it. Work out the kinks you have in step 3 until you are able to “turn it around”. At first, your step 3 might take a large chunk of time for you to do it, but with experience it’ll be faster and faster and eventually become automated – remember, for some things you only have to “do it” once.
To aid the “frozen” brains that lurk around step 3 without actually doing step 3, I’ve posted some tips below that I’ve picked up – you can add them to your bag of tricks so that you will actually have some way of addressing the situation once you have taken your TIME OUT.
As a refresher, lets review once more!
1. Realize <– this is where you say “hey, there’s a problem”
2. Stop and call a time out <– this is where you decide “no, this is not what I want, let me turn it around
3. Turn it around <– this is the part where you negotiate “thinking about doing it” to “doing it”
Now that you do understand you have to give step 3 TIME and ATTENTION, here are some strategies/tricks/tips (the fun part) to use while you’re giving the issue the time and attention required:
- Visualize what you’d like to do, how you’ll feel once you’ve done it, where you’ll go from there, and so on. Take time to smell the air in your visualization, touch an object in your visualization, be there, feel the win, feel the success, touch your face as you smile in your visualization.
- Seperate yourself from the problem, and then respond to the problem.
You, by yourself, are fine. You have great goals and great ambition. You’re a creater and you reach any goal that you set. You are in perfect control of yourself. You are always positive and awesome. You have complete control
The error some people encounter because they weren’t previously aware about the fix is that they equate themselves to the problem. We’re born with two. We’re born with the positive and the negative, the good and the bad.
You have to separate the two just like anything else, because a good amount and a bad amount is still a bad amount. You separate positive thinking from negative thinking by viewing the negative thought as some outside force trying to rain on your parade, and then you immediately deny that negative force and drench it with a positive one, giving it only enough attention to express your difference from it, you can do that with all other things.
This works on bad habits too. You have to separate that bad habit from yourself. Objectify it. Lets say you want a cigarette initially, so you think. Objectify it! “It” wants a cigaratte .. or “that” wants a cigarette or “the little nicotine bug is starving for a cigarette” … you don’t want a cigarette at all. It wants the cigarette. Once objectified, and separated from yourself, you can more easily and effortlessly say no. This is because you’re not denying yourself anything, you’re simply giving into your own desires … and since “it” doesn’t share your desires, “it” will just have to lose out.
Do this time and again and you’ll find you’re growing closer to yourself. Try it.
They key to a lot of these problems as I understand them is to separate and objectivity anything that does not tie into your wants/needs/whatever and choose to focus on your desires and bathe in your wants instead.
Watch/listen/do something funny and laugh hysterically or go listen to [that song] that gets you “crunk” or excited about where you’re going or what you’re going to do! Grab a friend and tell them you need some encouragement.
- Failure is like the side railing on the road to your goal. The road to your goal is dark and you can only see so far ahead -only as far as the next step- and failure is a luxery we get. Failure is our safety railing that keeps us from falling off the road into the depths of the abyss! Everytime we fall asleep at the wheel and veer off the road, we first hit the railing (failure) and that SHOULD snap us awake so that we can adjust and start going the right direction – but, sometimes we don’t take the time to learn from our history and just hit the same rail over and over lol. That’s why you should accept failure with open arms instead of fearing it. Drive down the road with your eyes closed, if you dare! You don’t even have to worry about how you’re going to get there (to your goal), because as long as your car is moving on the road at all, you’re winning! If your car hits the railing (failure), take some time out to learn from the incident.
- History is a great teacher. Gather up a list of past events where you “failed” the moment and write out a script of yourself experiencing that moment. This time though, write it out as if you’d succeeded … go ahead and let your imagination go wild. Make sure to write out the thoughts and actions you did in order to win the moment. This is one way that you can take a failure and learn from it so that you don’t keep hitting the same rail on the side of the road, keeping you from progressing. Hitting the same road (i.e. failing the same thing over and over again in the same exact way) doesn’t mean you have any thing to be pissed off about … what’s happening is just that you realize that you’re failing over and over in the same way, but you haven’t quite figured out how to learn from the failure. If you’re at that point, it would benefit you to take an active approach like the *trick* I posted to see if you can learn from the failure.
Here’s the thought that was behind this post
If you’ve ever watched a competative basketball game, you know that coaches and players call time out’s at times. Try to remember a game you saw where the losing team called a time-out and used that time out to reevaluate their stance and adjust it to fit the situation then went on to return from that time out as awesome hyped up winning machines who pwned the other team. Now, if you can remember a game like that, you can understand my thinking behind this post.
Lets say that a game equals a day in our life. Every day is a new game; there are times throughout the game/day that we need to call timeouts to reevaluate our stance on the situation! We do have an advantage though – we can call as many time outs as we want!! We’re not limited to a certain amount of timeouts like they are in basketball games. Lucky us.
Some further tips to understand how this all works:
ps: If you use wordpress and tag up your posts occasionally, make sure to uncheck the box that says “use visual editor”. If you leave that check, you’ll have all kinds of formatting problems when you post stuff.
edit: for some reason, FIREFOX makes this blog post look like crap. There are bold tags missing, bullets missing, etc in firefox, but in safari, opera, and internet explorer they’re there. WHY is that happening? Firefox, yah finally let me down.