Habits produce results; actions create answers

H

abits first — results later

Some say that it takes 28 exposures to a behavior or activity for it to become a habit.  The good news is that habits take less effort and little “brain” time.  Motivating yourself to perform a behavior or activity takes more physical and mental energy. When you form a habit, you build new neural connections in the brain.  Weak at first, they become stronger and more permanent with repeated exposure. Spend your time working on the habit — the activity will become a breeze.

Multi-tasking is multi-mediocre

The brain does not multi-task.  Rather, it jumps from one point of attention to another.  As you move from task to task, your brain takes extra time to switch gears. This background activity robs you of the creativity and mental energy you could apply to an important item.  Mediocre is OK for laundry, junk mail and routine chores — multi-task away!  When you need high achievement and mastery, focus on the one item at hand.

Less dither — more do

After some thinking, it’s better to act.  By eliminating the dither and moving forward, you benefit in three ways. First, you eliminate fear.  It’s hard to be fearful when you’re moving.  Second, you train yourself to gather information and decide quickly.  Finally, with “less dither — more do,” you set a confident and assertive example for people around you.  Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll win more often.

Action creates answers

Ever notice how great achievers rarely sit and stew about questions?  They get moving and create their own answers.  In every field, the successful ones got to the top by taking different routes. Stop worrying about which road to take.  Get used to confusion and chaos.  You only know the consequences to the choices you have made.  The rest is unknowable — you might as well do something.

No ‘smart’ questions

We take our eye off the prize when we attempt to impress others by asking “smart” questions. We hear that there are no stupid questions but fear we might produce the first! Some questioners go for accolades rather than resources.  It’s not about you.  Go for the information, not the glory.

One ridicules what you cherish — another cherishes what you ridicule.

If you want to make peace in your world, be careful what you ridicule; there will always be someone who cherishes it. On the other hand, be prepared to thicken your skin because someone will take one of your revered beliefs and wrap it tightly around a pointed finger of derision.

Dire predictions are usually neither

We fear more bad news than we get.  Older magazines show how inaccurate predictions can be. Smoking bans didn’t close restaurants — the Academy stuns the pundits — and the election … let’s not go there.  The number of wrong predictions is astounding.  Sure, bad stuff happens but not nearly as often as predicted.  Better to act on actual problems than to worry about imaginary ones.

To start is to be half-way done

The effort to start is often equivalent to doing much of work.  The beginning steps of healthy exercise or a career project are the hardest.  The act of starting quiets the painful motivational grind.  We get into the “zone” or “flow” later into a project or workout. The beginning is the hard part. When you start something, you’ve already done half the work.

We only deserve what’s in our routine

As we began, we end with habits that lean upon centuries of wisdom. We cannot expect results without habits.  The clock starts with the rituals and routines of our lives.  If our habits are self-destructive, eventually, we will suffer.  If those habits include exercise, achievement, balance, reading, etc. we’ll get the good stuff — in time.  We only deserve it if it’s in our routine.

Rick Griggs is the inventor of the rolestorming creativity tool and founder of the Griggs Mastery Academy for professional development. He can be reached at rick@griggsachieve.com or 970-690-7327.

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