Blogpost

Using Your Bad for the Good

weightWe’ve all got them.  They lurk around and create mischief in our daily lives but we have trouble letting go of them.  Bad habits.  The things that we realize that we should not do at all or possibly overindulge in them.  There power over us can be based in our childhood, boredom or addiction.  No matter who you are, you’ve probably got a habit, vice, addiction or pattern that is less than favorable.

On the other hand you’ve got those good things that you cannot seem to get yourself to do.  You know it!  If you did that thing, it would help you in either the short or the long term.  Regardless of how much good you know that you’d get from it, you still don’t do it.  Perhaps you make up excuses about time.  Or you tell yourself that next week would be the right time to start or you need some other resource.  Again you’ve set yourself up to not follow through because your reasons are just not strong enough.

If you’re like me and you have this scenario in your life, I’m going to suggest that you use the bad to create the good.  Most recently I’ve been publishing, my blog on a daily basis.  In order to facilitate that happening, I do not eat until I have posted (WARNING: This is not a good course of action for everyone!  Eating disorders are a real thing for millions.  Know yourself and your issues.  Act responsibly!)  For me it is putting my bad habit of overeating against my need to follow through on my positive.  This requires a level of self-control but it is completely doable.

So if you are in need of a positive kick in the butt from yourself, try it.  Don’t use your cellphone until you’ve gone for a walk or run in the morning.  Don’t have that morning cup of coffee until you’ve done the laundry.  The habits don’t even have to be “bad”.  You just need to leverage the things that you do in order to have yourself take action on the things that you would normally skip.  It can be a powerful tool if you’re willing to hold yourself to it.

Have a great day!

Pete

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Leaders and Followers

LeadButtonIn a world where almost anyone can have 1,000 or more followers, who is doing the leading?  It seems as though there should be a connection between the two: leaders and followers.  Unfortunately the act of following has such a low threshold for involvement that many have it as the default option.  Following is easy, semi-rewarding and comes with little to no responsibility.  The problem is that just because people are following, doesn’t mean that anyone intends to lead.  Following the car in front of you is a good strategy if you’re going to the same place.  It’s a horrible strategy if your intentions are different than the person you’re following.  Leadership should be an intention, not meandering with followers in tow.  So the question is, who should be a leader?  You!

You should be a leader of at least one person if not more.  Leadership is needed now probably more than ever before in the history of the world.  The reason that leadership is in such high demand is because we as a people got so damn good at following.  We’ve become so exceedingly talented at following that we barely recognize our power to lead.  That power starts with you and your choices.  Are you leading your own life or following the rules, path or suggestions from someone else?  There is nothing wrong with following the path, if it leads where you want to go.  The issue comes from following out of complacency, fear or doubt.  These are not usually the emotions that cause greatness.

Desire, courage and self-belief are the kindling that begin the fires of greatness.  We were all meant to be leaders of at least one person.  Lead yourself in the direction that you most desire to go.  Have the courage to take steps forward.  Believe in your ability to string enough of those steps together to succeed.  Perhaps when you’ve developed the leadership muscle enough, you’ll be ready to take on followers.  Just make sure that they are following you with intention.

Pete

Good song below!

 

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Letting the Right Punches Hit You

RockyBoxing and all of its martial cousins are disciplines based on the idea of avoiding physical attacks while trying to make contact with your own.  Practitioners such as Bruce Lee took a philosophical approach to the art of physical combat.   In no way am I putting myself into his category.  The thought that I want to convey is a slightly more modern predicament that the metaphor of fighting may best explain.

So imagine if you will that in a boxing match, that some of the opponent’s punches gave you more energy.  The object would no longer be just to avoid punches but also discern which ones were helpful and allow those to land.  Despite the ridiculousness of this concept in terms of real boxing, it’s easy to see that the best boxers would be able to max their potential by taking positive hits and dodging the negative.

At the moment, you have millions of punches coming your way from a ton of “opponents”.  Almost like a battle royal, your life has an absolute melee of people and organizations who are trying to punch you in the face with their opinion, product, idea or service.  It’s not all bad but evaluating it all can be difficult.  Here are some steps to help you from feeling punch drunk as you make it through your day.

  1. Avoid the Negative Corner – There are some places where you know that you’re going to be hit repeatedly by people who do not have your best interest in mind.  There are billion dollar industries whose sole purpose is to distract your attention as often as possible and hit you with “BREAKING NEWS”.  Just because it’s happening now, doesn’t mean that it is important or better yet that it is important to you.  Your Twitter feed, e-mail, Facebook, TV, the gossipy coworker and others are not based on important, just recent.
  2. Pay Attention to the Source – Some sources will almost always negative and others will almost always be positive.  The amount of positive missed and negative endured from these consistent sources will be negligible.  Keeping a default position of avoid all or accept all may be the best position to keep decision fatigue to a minimum.  For those wild card sources, usually the most important question to consider is WHY?  Why is this person taking a swing at me, to help or to hurt?
  3. Decide on the Power of the Punches – Since we’re dealing with information here and not actual physical contact, the amount of pain that you feel is dictated by you.  So you can take the sting out of a punch by making it less significant.  Our perspective often dictates our reality.  For example, eyebrows are usually raised when I say that “Fear is a positive emotion”.  People take it as solely negative but if they focus on the signal rather than the sensation, it becomes clear.  Fear is sending a message to help protect you from some perceived threat.  That system is there to help, not hurt you.  Unfortunately many of us have our feelings on autopilot rather than recognizing the influence/control that we have over them.

So today as you brave the modern world and all of the jabs, hooks and sucker punches that it throws at you, remember that you’re not defenseless.  The world does not have to knock you senseless.  You can keep your wits about you and set up a system that protects you.  After all, you’re fighting for your mental life.  The only way that you get to control it is by keeping up the defense against those who are trying to take your control away.

So keep your guard up and only let in the hits that will help you.