YOU CAN’T, OR YOU WON’T?

Earlier this week we talked about the person looking back at us in the mirror and how we can decide who that person is. How can we change from someone who sleeps in to someone who goes to the gym five days a week when we are ‘not a morning person’? Better yet, how can you decide to be a morning person when you just really are not a morning person? Leverage.

What do I mean by leverage? One way of looking at this is putting pressure on yourself. This may sound like a terrible idea to some. Being under pressure is generally not a good feeling for most. If we want to change, however, it can be a great tool. Hate cleaning the house? How much can you get done when you discover you are having an unexpected visitor in a little while? If we want to make a change we cannot rely on our willpower alone. After all, if it were that easy we would have made the change already.

How does one get leverage on oneself? One way is to make it imperative. In the above example of you saying, “I would love to go to the gym 6 o’clock in the morning, but I am just not a morning person.” What if I told you every morning you show up before work I am going to give you $5000? Where would you be tomorrow before work? Where would you be at 5:59a.m.? What has changed? It was what became important. What you need to do is find reasons that what you are trying to accomplish is important to you. To this end I suggest using two methods. What pleasure you will receive by doing it and what pain you will experience by not doing it. Then have those reminders in front of you…daily! Don’t like how you look in the mirror? Take a picture and look at it every morning. Being happy with your appearance may get you to the gym. If being that extreme isn’t comfortable, try hanging up an outfit you would really like to fit in. Keep that in front of you daily. Maybe try it on of few times a week.

We touched on the other thing that can keep us from succeeding, and that is our personal identity. How many times have you told yourself, “I am not a morning person?” How many times have you said it to others? That is why our list of who we wish to become is so important. Reading out loud twice a day “I am a morning person!” will slowly get you moving in the right direction. This will not happen overnight. Your identity has been created over years, maybe even decades of beliefs and saying and doing the same things over and over again. Try telling yourself a new story for 60 or even 30 days and see what changes.

Get leverage on yourself. Make the change you desire to make important. Change the story you tell yourself and others and you will be amazed at what kind of changes show up in your life. It will seem like magic!

UNDERWEAR AND NICKLES

Here is one of those odd conversations you have. My friend Russ and I were recently having a telephone conversation. We try to catch up with each other about once a week if we can. Russ is like the brother I never had. We share philosophy, jokes, memories and on occasion a weird topic tends to pop up. Today was one of those days.

After the usual update on each other’s lives the topic of underwear came up. Not sure who brought it up, or exactly how and why two men in their early forties found this to begin discussing new styles of underwear we came across and how comfortable the were and how well they performed while working out. We discussed the fact that they cost a little more than we are used to spending, but how we planned to slowly replace all of our underwear with these new, comfortable and costly style.

Reading this as I type it the conversation still seems a little odd. That is who are, two odd gentleman with a¬†panache for discussing off the wall topics. Noting that, I said to Russ, if I had a nickel for every time I had a discussion like this, I would have…a nickel. We both agreed that those extra nickels would be best spent on the products we had been discussing.

A day later I began to think how a younger me would find spending so much money on something nobody else would see might seem foolish. As we grow older, our priorities  change. Suddenly buying those expensive shoes for the brand name, becomes more about buying the most comfortable and durable shoes regardless of the brand. Spending your extra nickels on underwear that keep you comfortable not only makes sense, but should be a priority. After all, you wear underwear daily, it is close to your skin and can make a big difference in the quality of your day.

Stop and think of what you are spending your nickels on. Is it to impress others? Are you focused on things that will make the biggest difference even though nobody else may notice? If you have a friend to have a crazy conversation with, be grateful, you never know where it may take you.