21. Create a New Habit. Right now. What one thing do you know you should be doing that would most dramatically change your life? Think about that: What one thing do you know you should be doing that would most dramatically change your life? OK. Commit to creating that habit. Now.
22. Become Aware. Awareness. It’s really the definition of enlightenment. When you’re aware you’re “awake”—that is, not asleep! You’re not just going through the conditioned moments of your habitual life. You’re consciously creating it. That’s powerful.
23. Step Forward. Abraham Maslow broke it down for us in simple terms. He told us that in any given moment you have two options: you can step forward into growth or you can step back into safety. Pretty simple, really. Become aware of your behavior.
Become aware of the decisions you are making every moment of your life—the decision to speak authentically (step forward into growth) or to say what you think you should say (back into safety). Pay attention to your decision to either go out for the run you promised yourself or to make up an excuse as to why you just can’t do it today.
Become AWARE. Become conscious of who you are, the decisions you’re making, how you’re expressing yourself and what you’re actually doing. Your destiny is shaped by your moment to moment decisions. Choose wisely. Step Forward.
24. Say Yes! Quick exercise: Take a moment and say “No!” out loud right now. Say it. Seriously. “No!” Say it again. “No!” Again. “No. No. No. No. No.”
Thank you. Alright. So, how do you feel?
Now, say “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Do you notice a slight difference?!? When you say “no” do you feel yourself almost shutting down, collapsing in? How about when you say “Yes!” Do you almost feel your whole body and spirit uplifting?
Amazing, isn’t it? Lesson: Say “Yes!” more today. Go for it. Live a little.
25. Quit Worrying About What Others Think. That’s a big one. Really big. Really really really big. First of all, let’s be clear about one thing: You’re worried about what someone else thinks of you, right? OK. Now, while you’re doing that, what do you think they are worried about? Hah. Exactly. They’re worried about what you think of them. But you’re so busy worrying about what they think of you that you’re not even spending much time thinking about them. (You follow that? 😉
To be honest, whether or not that’s true all the time is irrelevant (although I do think it’s true most of the time). In any case, if you’re going to live your life dependent on the good opinion of others for your happiness then, uh, I’ll put it to you bluntly: You’re screwed.
There’s NO way you can please everyone all the time. Even someone who wins an election by a landslide still had 30 or 40% of the people who disagreed with her.
Further, and I’d say much much much more importantly, by worrying about what other people think of you and working hard to try to please them, you’re losing the essence of who you are—you’re expressing such a small fraction of who you truly are. That’s not cool.
So, quit worrying about what other people think of you. Pretty please.
26. Listen. How many ears do you have? How many mouths? Right. Try that ratio in your listening to speaking would ya? Thanks.
27. Put the Sock Straight in the Hamper. Remember the whole flossing-do-the-little-things-thing? Good. Same thing here. Do the little things the way you know you should. Sock belongs in the hamper.
28. Push Yourself. In the words of William James, the 19th century US philosopher and psychologist, “You have enormous untapped power you’ll probably never tap, because most people never run far enough on their first wind to ever find they have a second.”
How bout we tap that power? The way to do it? Push yourself a little harder. Let’s take a quick look at the “Training Effect”—a concept used to build your body—and see how it applies to our lives.
The same principle that applies to building muscles in the gym applies to building excellence in our lives: In order to grow, we must consistently push ourselves just a little bit past our current comfort zone. In exercise physiology parlance, this is called the Training Effect. The principles involved?
Overload: You must “overload” your body with more stress than it can currently handle. (Not too much as this may lead to injury, but enough so you’re out of your current comfort zone.)
Overcompensation: Your body is smart. It doesn’t like to get its butt kicked. So, what does it do? It overcompensates and repairs itself so that next time it’s stronger–and capable of withstanding the level of stress you put on it previously.
The training effect explains how muscles grow, how your heart is trained to beat more efficiently, and how your lungs are trained to distribute oxygen more efficiently. It’s also the same principle that dictates growth in other aspects of our lives: from our ability to give presentations at work to our ability to have challenging conversations with our significant other at home.
Go out and “train.” Push yourself a little further today…
29. Move! Take Action! I often imagine a powerful river with a stream of water that is moving. How beautiful is that? How pure and powerful? Contrast that with a little stagnant pool of water just sitting there—not moving. It’s gross. Scum gathering on top, bugs all cruising around. Yuck.
The difference between the two? One’s moving and the other’s not. Lesson: Move!!! Flow!!!
Don’t get stagnant and invite the scum. Especially when you’re stressed and don’t feel like doing anything but laying in bed and moping. That’s EXACTLY when you need to make sure the pond scum doesn’t start to grow! Move move move.
30. Be Authentic. Authenticity. Did you know that the word “authentic” literally means to be your own author. Be you. Don’t pretend to be anything else. Pretty please.