When you outsource your happiness, you’ll always be under stress.
Connection with your purpose.
Use whatever it takes to do what you know is important to you.
You can choose what success in your life looks like.
And if you make your daily successes achievable enough so you feel successful every day, guess what: you’re a successful person now.
There’s a reason it’s called Tiny Trust Builders, not massive out-of-reach Trust Builders.
So celebrate that one-minute workout you did.
That one sentence you wrote today.
That one new word you learned in a new language.
That one time you didn’t give in to cravings.
Because daily Tiny Trust Builders create massive momentum and massive self-trust.
And I don’t know about you, my friend, but I’d rather feel successful every day than like a failure because those good feelings will carry over in all other aspirations and relationships.
Unintentional living and identity building look like this:
- Actions are inspired by pain and pleasure.
- Repeated pain and pleasure lead to repeated actions.
- Repeated actions lead to habits.
- Habits shape your identity.
“Life made me who I am, and I can’t do anything about it.”
Intentional living and identity building look like this:
- Who do I want to be? What’s my desired identity?
- Which habits that would turn me into that person do I not have in place right now?
- Which repeated actions that would build that habit am I not currently taking?
- Which reactions to pain and pleasure triggers in my life can I change? Which pain and pleasure triggers can I ban out of my life completely?
“While the past has shaped me, the way I choose to live my life today, tomorrow, and every day after, will determine who I am.”
You’re living anyway. Your actions are votes for an identity anyway. So you might as well do it intentionally.
Am I doing this because of who I want to be? Or in spite of who I want to be?
Do I act a certain way automatically?
Who or what made me believe it’s a necessity?
Do I even know who I want to be?
Questions that lead to intentional living.
Regularly asking “Where else?” is one of the simplest ways to become more creative and generate innovative insights.
Not only does this allow you to connect new insights with existing knowledge and experience, but it also invites you to imagine new use cases.
- “Where else have I seen this (or something similar) before?”
- “Where else does this apply (to my current knowledge)?”
- “Where else might this apply (in contexts where I haven’t discovered it yet)?”
Harvard Medical School professor Herbert Benson suggests the neurotransmitter NO (Nitric Oxide) may be the catalyst for breakthroughs and “aha moments.”
Where else have I seen this before? -> Pranayama/Yogic Breathing: Nasal breathing (and humming “om”) can increase nitric oxide production fifteen-fold. Humming your way to epiphanies might be worth a try.
Learning a language by grouping words instead of reducing it to words and grammar. Where else does this apply? -> Conversation Based Chunking; learning series of digits by grouping them together;… See: chunking concept in cognitive psychology
Uber made it possible for people to share/rent out their car.
Where else might this apply? -> How about sharing/renting out your home? That’s how AirBnB was born.
You don’t have to look elsewhere.
See what’s already there, then ask…
One of the most potent drivers of change AND perpetuators of old habits is cognitive dissonance:
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information, and the mental toll of it. Relevant items of information include a person’s actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, values, and things in the environment. Cognitive dissonance is typically experienced as psychological stress when persons participate in an action that goes against one or more of those things.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
What’s interesting about cognitive dissonance is that both “sides” of the dissonance are not equal:
If you think one thing, but you do something else, eventually you’ll start believing what you do, not what you think.
In other words: actions overrule thoughts.
- If I tell myself I can’t write a daily post (thought) and I don’t write a daily post (action), I perpetuate the belief.
- If I tell myself I can’t write a daily post (thought) but I gain enough courage and I actually do write a daily post (action), I will start shifting my belief towards the actions I’m taking. In other words: I’ll start believing I can write a daily post.
- If I tell myself I can write a daily post (thought), but I never actually write that daily post (action), then my belief will start shifting again, and I’ll start believing I can’t write a daily post.
- If I tell myself I can write a daily post (thought) and I do write a daily post (action), my belief grows stronger.
We usually start in the first scenario until we gain enough leverage over ourselves to change our actions. The moment we change our actions to actions that conflict with our thoughts/beliefs, we’re creating cognitive dissonance.
Then, if we follow through with our new actions, our beliefs start to change.
The big turning point is that moment where you start taking a different action.
Which begs the question:
- How can we gain enough leverage over ourselves to go against our beliefs and change our actions for the better?
- How can we make it so important to us to change (or so painful NOT to change) that we start taking different actions?
Identify your leverage points that jolt you into action, and you gain power over your beliefs and identity.