Self-Discipline

If You Think You’ve Got it Rough, Read This …

For every single person who has ever lived, their life has been difficult to some extent.

Yes you heard me right –

Every. Single. Person. I have a hard time believing there are people in the world saying their lives are perfect with zero difficulties.

Brain Injury Awareness Month - Rock Bottom

No matter if you’re Kylie Jenner, Tony Robbins, a 9 – 5 secretary, or living on the sidewalk … you’ve probably suffered some sort of hardship because:

(1) all people have different ideas about what life should be like, and

(2) all people are influenced to live life in various ways.

… So, the results are relative. Our vastly different lives result in experiences that might be hard for some and not as hard for others.

BUT does that mean some hardships rank higher on the “my problems are worse than yours” scale? Well interestingly enough, I think the answer to that question is both no and yes

Here’s a scenario to best explain:

If the worst thing that has ever happened to you is X, then you have no worse personal problem to compare X to. And if that is the case, X might just be your personal version of rock bottom.

Now, if you’ve hit your rock bottom you can either,

1) downplay your personal problem because you think it isn’t “as bad as someone elses”

OR

2) be ignorant to the fact that other people have problems, and claim your problem as the worst.

However those options aren’t mutually exclusive… so below you’ll find my explanation for surprise option 3 –

3) Acknowledge you have a problem and take responsibility for finding a solution. Big or small, you have to acknowledge your problem’s existence so you can start implementing actions to fix it.

That could mean removing yourself from the situation, changing your behaviour, grieving, praying, learning, practicing, etc.

BUT, at the same time, you have to remember your situation could always be worse. And somewhere around the world it is incredibly likely that there is at least one person suffering that “worse problem” you just imagined.

And if you’re still confused about option 3, here’s a sick analogy to help explain:

The other day I got home from work and went to wash the dishes. I put my hands under the running water but immediately removed them because of a stinging pain I felt. The culprit? Two small scratches. WOOPDY FRIGGEN DOO.. right?

At that point I could have stopped washing the dishes because my dinky little scratches caused me minor discomfort. But instead. I acknowledged that (1) my dinky little scratches would not kill me or cause me dire pain, and (2) I could be working 12 hour shifts on an assembly line in a developing country causing me to have 5000x more beat-up hands.

Be grateful for what you have - obstacles are gifts.

So after approximately half a millisecond of focusing on the stinging on my hands, I decided not to be ridiculous and fixed my problem by washing the damn dishes.

The fact of the matter is my scratches stung, but that problem was so incredibly minuscule it would have been utterly comical, ignorant, and ungrateful for me complain about it.

So maybe you are someone who’s only ever experienced scratch-type problems in your life. If that is the case, you should consider yourself lucky and empathize with those whose problems are worse than yours.

But at the same time, you suffered scratches and you’re allowed to take a moment and say “this sucks”. You have to acknowledge the scratch and then decide if it is worth bandaging-up or leaving as is.

And if you’re someone who’s mostly experienced factory labourer in a developing country-type problems, I hope you can do your best to find solutions. I, as well as others, empathize with you. But remember that those who’ve only experienced scratches have no clue what your pain is like; so try to make them understand your pain before you squash their pain as living “an easy life”.

So if you think you have it rough, maybe you do. I hope you can find a solution. But if you think you’ve had it the worst, I can’t be sure … And unfortunately neither can you. But I still have your back, and I still hope you can find a solution.

Whether your problems are scratches or deep cuts, you are responsible for finding solutions. And at the end of the day, the decision to take responsibility may be the hardest for all of us, no matter our pain.

As always, I hope you have a productive day and Happy Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Self-Discipline, Selfcare Tips

The Horror of Habit: Why Too Much of a Good Thing Can Seriously Break You

It’s easy to get stuck …

… in your daily routine, in your job, in your relationship.

The explanation for this? … Habit.

My Monday morning habits!

Since starting this blog, I’ve talked a lot about how staying disciplined to good routines can help you create good habits – therefore making the challenging things in life easier.

And if you haven’t guessed yet, my advice for sticking with a good routine is to practice self-care, self-development, and self-discipline, in that order.

(Side note: If you haven’t read my three-part series on self-care, self-development, and self-discipline be sure to check it out by clicking link 1, link 2, and link 3 which will open in a new pages.)

But did you know those three phases occur in a loop?

Let’s call it the “personal-development loop”.

The Personal Development Loop: self care to self development to self discipline.

My goal for you is to make moving through the personal-development loop a continuous habit. However, just like moving through the loop can become a habit, staying in one phase too long can become a habit as well … a bad habit that is.

Now why can habit be a bad thing?

Because it makes you reach for ice cream when you feel sad, and it causes you to change lanes without checking your blind spot. And believe it or not, it can also lead to laziness as an excuse for self-care, unorganized activity as an excuse for self-development, and over-working yourself as an excuse for self-discipline.

And now I’ll admit something embarrassing:

Not too long ago, I realized I was stuck in a bad habit of self-care. I needed to un-f*** … ugh sorry, autocorrect … I meant to say I needed to un-stuck myself.

This all started when I was caught in an equally bad habit of self-discipline. I worked my brains out, and because I stopped moving through the personal-development loop, I burnt out. I sought help and learned how to implement self-care to get back into the swing of things.

So I started practicing gratitude and meditation. I started sleeping-in when I woke up tired after a crappy sleep. And I started drawing when I had spare time after work. I pressed pause on my competitive edge and learned how to take care of myself first.

Here’s where the problem started…

Once I was ready to take the next step in the personal-development loop (i.e. self-development), I couldn’t break my self-care routine. I became too cozy in my self-care lifestyle that I let it turn into a bad habit.

So instead of waking up to my alarm each morning, I started sleeping-in because I thought I was “doing my body good”. And instead of doing my regular high-intensity interval training, I drew pictures because I didn’t want to “over-work” myself. What I was really doing, was justifying laziness by calling it self-care; I got so used to my former self-care lifestyle that I was inhibiting myself from personal development.

Now let’s look a little deeper at how habits form.

I am currently reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (and I freaking love it). The book explains that habits are formed in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia (see the figure below).

Your brain on habit - the basal ganglia.

The book states, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain […]. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits […].”

The good news is, “once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a job or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit” (page 20).

If we want to form good habits, we need to start very clearly laying out our goals. We need to be self-aware and recognize when we are stuck in a bad habit. And to break a bad habit, we need to start implementing new cues.

Want to wake up on time? Write out your daily schedule down to the minute. Want to work-out in the morning? Sleep in your workout clothes. Want to stop with the ice cream? Stock up on frozen fruit.

So don’t fall into the same trap I did. Personal development is a loop and a balancing act. Create good habits, even though it will be hard.

But I promise once you create good habits, your routines will rock and you’ll truly begin to understand the power of habit!

If you want more information on habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Click here to get yourself a copy.

Have a happy and productive Monday! ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: Please note that some links may be affiliate links which means I will make a small commission of each purchase. Any commission I make will help me to continue creating free content.

Self-development, Self-Discipline

The Ultimate Return on Investment

Stagnation. Stasis. Still.

Are you ok with that?

I’m not.

I like progress. I like the feeling of success. And more importantly, I like the feeling of long-term and well-earned success.

Notice what I said there? “Well-earned“.

Success takes hard work and self-discipline. Want to lose weight? Sure you can drink smoothies for 30 days and lose 15 pounds, but what will you do after the 30 days are up? Drink smoothies for the rest of your life? Probably not… In order to keep the weight off, you have to form and stay disciplined to healthy habits as well as understand the concept of delayed gratification.

Earn your weight loss. Earn it through realistic food intake, realistic workout regimens, and a realistic time frame. If you follow that recipe for earned success, not only will you lose the weight, but you’ll have a higher chance of keeping it off.

If you learn to not expect an immediate return on investment, you’ll stop seeing short term failures as huge obstacles – you’ll start to accept failure as part of the journey. You’ll learn from failure more quickly, you’ll move forward even when you think you should quit.

I want you to keep going.

I want us all to keep going. I want us to fall down the mountain over and over again until we learn the quickest and most efficient way to climb to the top. And once we climb it, let’s not climb back down, but build a house on top. Maybe a civilization on top. Because what good is the climb of you can’t stay on top for a while? Let’s do things that are hard knowing they will lead to inevitable success. And more importantly, let’s earn it.

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Self-Discipline

Are You Ready to Reach Your Goals in 2019? (Part 3 of 3)

Think about this … “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” That couldn’t be more true … but I bet you’ve never considered this before:

“When the going gets easy and we forget to make it tough again, nothing goes.”

So what happens when nothing goes?

Easy: we lose. We stopping growing. We stop developing. We stop moving forward along the path toward success.

Part 3 – Self-Dicispline

Let’s begin our anecdote from where it ended last week: You began to water your seed and gave it proper sunlight; as a result you now have a little sprout. Maybe you even started to see a flower bud. Good enough, right? Wrong. The flower will eventually get old and die, so you need to plant new seeds and water them daily. We want to grow a entire garden. And to do that, you have to give your little sprouts the proper amount of water and sunshine each and every day. No excuses, no complaining. If you want a garden, you have to put in work.

You have to start doing things that are hard. You have to start challenging yourself. Every. Single. Day.

10 second exercise: Get a pen & paper and start making a list of things that are difficult but should be done. What’s on your list? Here’s a fraction of mine: Start reading 6-7 times a week, stop eating sweets during the day, stop following social accounts that don’t provide me with value, start making weekly YouTube videos.

Got your list? Good. Now start repeating the items on your list 24/7 in your head. Seriously – that is exactly how I stay on track. Don’t fall off your path and don’t let your thoughts talk you out of anything.

According to Elbert Green Hubbard, self-discipline is defined as “the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not”. So, when your alarm clock goes off at 5 AM tomorrow and you’re too tired to go water your sprouts, you get out of bed anyways and go water them. And when the temperature drops to 15°C and you need to bring your sprouts indoors, you go pot them and bring them in. These disciplinary actions repeated over time will eventually create habits. And when you create habits out of actions that are hard but necessary, success will become inevitable.

I know you’re capable of living your best life. So go get ‘er done and make your success inevitable.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

PS: For the ultimate self-discipline coaching, I highly recommend you watch this entire interview with David Goggins on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

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