How to Break Negative Mental Habits

Patterns: Breaking In To
Plato reminds us that ‘character is habit long continued.’
The Jesuits caution, ‘give me the boy until he’s 7, I’ll give you the man.’
and Dr. Stephen Covey gave us 7 habits of successful people.
What’s going on here?
Habits are held together by patterns.

Plato reminds us that ‘character is habit long continued.’
The Jesuits caution, ‘give me the boy until he’s 7, I’ll give you the man.’
and Dr. Stephen Covey gave us 7 habits of successful people.
It seems… It’s the habits we acquire that determine the patterns we engage in.
prisoners

Just Disconnect

Habits are held together by patterns.

  • Emotional patterns
  • Spiritual patterns
  • Intellectual patterns
  • Instinctive patterns

Most are established very early. The Jesuits were confident that before the age of 7, the future man was crystallized within the young child.
Yet, most book focus on creating good patterns.

  • Better time-keeping
  • Multi-tasking skills
  • Faster typing skills

New Business Patterns

One way to examine how your business works, and your role within the business, is to define new patterns. New human patterns. New business patterns.
Not revise, change, or remove existing ones.
But, create new patterns that connect the synapses together in ways you hadn’t thought of before.
It’s like thinking of a new color.

The Jeff Bezos Regret Minimization Framework

I preferred to avoid risks, especially big ones, until I saw this short video by Jeff Bezos. In less than four minutes he changed my perspective on how to take risks and have more confidence in your decisions.

I preferred to avoid risks, especially big ones, until I saw this short video by Jeff Bezos. In less than four minutes he changed my perspective on how to take risks and have more confidence in your decisions.
He describes the framework he uses to deal with risk-taking and gives examples of how you can apply this approach to your life.

[Video] Jeff Bezos & Risks Assessment

How to use the Regret Minimization Framework?

Like most great things, it’s very simple. If you have trouble making a decision, for example, leaving a high paid job with all the nice perks to start up a business, then you can use this framework.
After all, this is the way he justified his decision to himself when starting Amazon.
We’ll come back to justification later on but, for now, keep it in mind.

Regret Minimization Framework

To reduce the fear you have of taking a risk, try this:

  • Imagine you are now at the end of your life, about 80.
  • You look back on all you have done and all you have NOT done.
  • You regret certain things you did, for example, hurting others and causing them pain.
  • BUT you deeply regret NOT doing things when you had the time, energy, and opportunity to do so.

As we age, it’s what we COULD have done but did not that hurts the most. Other things we accept as they were part of growing up, maturing or things beyond our control.
Think about this…
Ask yourself, at the end of my life, would I regret not taking the chance to setup the business (when you really felt it would work)?
Chances are you’d regret it deeply. You won’t regret that you didn’t make enough money, or had a bigger car, or wore fancy clothes but you would regret not doing what you felt was part of your calling.
Others might call this your destiny, vocation, fate, talent… it doesn’t matter what you label it as. It was something you felt you could achieve and you let the opportunity go. That will hurt if you don’t take it.
Bezos assessed his life and decided that he could forgive himself for many things but this business (Amazon.com) had to happen. He didn’t want to meet himself later in life and have to justify his (lack of) decision.
and…
Taking a long-term view allows us to stop thinking about the mundane daily worries that clog our thinking.
By reviewing our lives from a future place (eg as an 80 year old looking looking backwards), we’re removed from the little things that distract us.
The other side of this is how we justify this decision to ourselves.

How We Justify Things

Another way of looking at this is how we justify our decisions.
Look at how you justify things you buy.

I often disguise my true motives with loftier aims. For example, I bought an iPad because I wanted to be in the loop. Like a small child, everyone else had one, so I wanted one.

The justification was… this is an education tool/I can learn how to monetize my business with this/my kids will learn things with it.

When I go on expensive holidays, I can justify it be pointing to all the hard work I put in over the year. But, at the back of my mind, I simply feel that I deserved it. Explaining that to other can be tricky, awkward, and embarrassing depending on who you’re talking to.

Conclusion

Emotions often drive our decisions: we use logical arguments to justify the outcomes.
We can reduce our fear of Risks if we fast forward to the end of our days and revise these decisions. From that place, what seems like a risk to us now, appears almost irrelevant.
Why would you not take the risk?
I would urge you to watch the video and see if you agree with what Mr Bezos has to say. His arguments are very compelling.
Let me know what you think.

Productivity: How To Make Friday Your Busiest Day

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

Friday is my busiest day. Most folks power down and go into weekend mode. Not here! Ask yourself, ‘why do I go down a gear on Friday?’, ‘How does this benefit my career?’ Ok, let’s be honest. We do this because others do it. Right? This is a high-risk way to manage your career. You’re letting others determine how you behave. And it damages your career in many, many ways. Here’s an alternative approach.

How to make Friday your busiest day and reap the rewards

lance-armstong-getting-things-done
7 Mistakes to avoid:

  1. Don’t fill your day with low-impact tasks.
  2. Don’t get pulled into fluffy things that you don’t really want to.
  3. Don’t do project meetings when you know it will kill your whole morning.
  4. Don’t go to long lunches.
  5. Don’t leave early.
  6. Don’t waste time studying analytics, trends, click-thrus etc… you know what they’ll say, don’t you?
  7. Not Saying NO enough.

Do this instead.
You’ll get more success if you:

  1. Plan with intention – Use Friday to plan the entire week ahead. Spend at least 2 hours on this. Planning is decision making. When you plan, you make decisions.
  2. Get Ready for Monday – planning on Friday lets you hit the ground running on Monday. See the difference? You’re already a step ahead of everyone else.
  3. Do Strategic Meetings Only – Book meetings with key contacts on Friday. Most will say Yes. They’re in down mode, so they’re easy to arrange.
  4. Find Like-minded people – Connect with people that have the same values as you. Look around the office and ask, ‘who’s killing time v who’s using it’. Link up with those doing it right.
  5. Do high impact tasks – disconnect from activities that suck the life out of you, your projects and your enjoyment in life.
  6. Share useful information – everyone wants ‘relevant’ information. Select the 5 pieces of useful information you’ve read during the week and circulate these.
  7. Authority – Establish yourself as someone who provides ‘useful’ and high value information not just cats doing ninja tricks.
  8. Stay late – when everyone is gone, you can get focused and do more work. Global clients will still be up. Call them. Chase them up. Your colleagues won’t. They’re gone, so now is your chance.

What’s going on here?
It’s about behavior.

  • It’s how others impact the way you behave and respond.
  • To succeed, in the way you want to succeed, you need to observe how others make you behave the way you do.
  • Admit it.
  • Put a plan in place to create your own blueprint for success.
  • Find ways to do this every day.
  • See where you fall down, where you can improve and what you’re doing right.
  • Keep at it.

Success is like developing a muscle. You have to train it, assess it, and increase it. Luckily, there are no short-cuts. If you persist, you’ll succeed. You have to!
What do you think?
Do you plan to make Friday’s the busiest day? What would change if you did?
Photo Credit puliarfanita