Reactive language puts the control outside of you and gives it to someone or something else. Using proactive language puts you in control. You select the consequences you desire, then choose the actions that you believe lead to those consequences.
“Have To” or “Choose To”?
“I have to stay up till I finish this paper,” my daughter said to me. She was in middle school and I had gone in to remind her that it was close to bed time.
“Have to?” I asked. “Or choose to?”
“Oh, I have to finish it,” she replied.
“What happens if you don’t finish it?”
She gave me a look that said, “Can you really be that dumb!?” Out loud, she said, “I’ll get an F on the paper!”
Continue reading “What You Have To Do”
A rule of thumb is a type of heuristic that can help you perform desirable behaviors more consistently. Applying rules of thumb can also eliminate some mundane decisions, thereby conserving willpower.
Decision Making Short-Cuts
“Eat a fruit and a vegetable at every meal.”
“Pay yourself first.”
“Fill your gas tank when it reaches 1/2 full.”
These are “rules of thumb” – common sense guidelines that provide guidance in daily situations. They are short-cuts to decision making.
The phrase rule of thumb refers to “a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It refers to an easily learned and easily applied procedure or standard, based on practical experience rather than theory.” [Wikipedia]
Continue reading “Rules Of Thumb”
To reach any BIG goal, you must grow to the person who can achieve it. You grow by taking one small action after another. In this way you prepare for the opportunity when it appears.
Do you remember the movie, Cast Away, where Tom Hanks is stranded for several years on an island in the South Pacific? In the movie, Hanks is a time-obsessed trouble shooter for FedEx. At a Christmas dinner with family, he is called to resolve a problem in one of their foreign offices and leaves the dinner to catch a flight on a FedEx plane.
Continue reading “Castaway”
“When we try to change our behavior, we strategize about our motivation and self-control. But what we should be thinking about instead is how to set up new habits. Habits persist even when we’re tired and don’t have the energy to exert self-control.” ~ Wendy Wood [Life: Wellness]
The Parable Of The Threads
A father gave his young child a thread and directed her to break it. This she did easily.
The next day, the father wound two threads together and asked the child to break the pair. Again, she easily broke them. Continue reading “Make Success A Habit”
“The mature human being goes about doing what needs to be done regardless of whether that person feels great or terrible. Knowing that you are the kind of person with that kind of self-control brings all the satisfaction and confidence you will ever need. Even on days when the satisfaction and confidence just aren’t there, you can get the job done anyway.” ~ David Reynolds
“He didn’t feel like it.”
Once upon a time, there were two friends, Sue and Stan. One day, Sue and Stan decided they needed to get in better physical shape. They joined a gym and made plans to work out.
The next morning, Sue saw that she was scheduled to work out, so that’s what she did. She got dressed and went to the gym. She had a good work out and left feeling energized.
Stan woke up and saw he was scheduled to meet Sue at the gym. But he hadn’t slept that well and decided he didn’t feel like working out. So he didn’t.
Continue reading “Don’t Feel Like It? Do It Anyway.”
“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply: by the lives they lead.” ~ James Baldwin, No Name In The Street
The Key To Success
Once upon a time, there were 3 friends, Ron, Tom, and Oswald. (*This example is patterned after one presented by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect. See Resources.) They grew up in the same neighborhood and remained good friends through school and later after they began their careers. They made about the same income. All three were married and were raising families. Continue reading “Your Super Power”
“The amateur focuses on outcomes and expects immediate results. The professional plays the long game and prioritizes the process, perfecting it for years with no immediate payoff.” ~ Ozan Varol
“We decided to use the approach that we’re not going to focus on the outcome. We were just going to focus on the process of what it took to play the best football you could play, which was to focus on that particular play as if it had a history and life of its own. Don’t look at the scoreboard, don’t look at any external factors, just all your focus and all your concentration, all your effort, all your toughness, all your discipline to execute went into that particular play. Regardless of what happened on that play, success or failure, you would move on to the next play and have the same focus to do that on the next play, and you’d then do that for 60 minutes in a game and then you’d be able to live with the results regardless of what those results were.” ~ Nick Saban [Elmasry]
Nick Saban is considered by many people to be the most successful coach in college football. He has a lifetime record of 218 wins, 62 losses (and 1 tie). He is tied with the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant for most NCAA championships. [Wikipedia] Saban credits much of his success to the fact that he and his teams follow what he calls “The Process.” Continue reading “Effort or Results?”
“The most meaningful thing you can do is make a promise to yourself and keep it. You start to feel like you can trust yourself and rely on yourself.” ~ Phil Stutz
The path to Lifetime growth.
Do you want to build your self-discipline? Do you want to build trust in yourself and your ability to do what you say you will do? Do you want to practice the virtue of Integrity? These are valuable steps on the path to lifetime growth.
One way to practice these steps is to instill a daily habit. Make it something that is good for you and makes you feel good about yourself. And once you start, do it every day until it becomes second nature. Discipline improves with practice. Continue reading “Make a Commitment”
Small, simple daily disciplines practiced each day become habits while also building up your willpower. That ‘s a huge benefit in a tiny package!
Self-regulation (or willpower) is one of the most important strengths to develop. [Miller 91] In fact, developing other strengths often depends on our practicing them when we don’t really want to. In other words, by using willpower. Continue reading “Small Simple Daily Disciplines”
Ready? On your mark. Get set. GO . . . consistently!
Consistent action is the key to growth.
“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Remember the fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare? The hare sped way out in front, then decided to stop for a bite to eat. The tortoise plodded along, slowly and surely, never wavering. When the hare saw that the tortoise was gaining on him, he took off again, far outdistancing the tortoise. He got so far ahead, in fact, that he decided he had time for a nap. Meanwhile, the tortoise plodded along, slowly and surely, never wavering. You know what happened — eventually, the tortoise passed the hare, who was otherwise engaged, and won the race. Continue reading “Steady Wins The Race”