It is Sunday night and I just got home from a mate’s leaving drinks.
There were about 20 of us, sat around a big outside table, absorbing as much of the remaining Melbourne sun as we good, painfully aware that the winter months are lurking and wondering why we aren’t all moving up the coast to warmer climes like our departing friend, when 9pm came around (seriously that’s when I used to start my nights out; now it’s dangerously close to my bedtime).
I had a decision to make.
Get up and leave. Or stay.
Sounds simple right?
Just do what you feel like doing, Em! No big deal!
But it is a big deal. Every day we are shaping our very realities by the seemingly irrelevant choices we make.
Procrastinate over making the sales call = Don’t make the sale.
Eat the cake instead of working out = Increase your body fat.
Say yes to a Jayne-From-Yoga’s BBQ even though you only know Jayne and none of her mates and you don’t even know Jayne that well and what am I even doing but sod it I’m so bored of my own loneliness and if it’s shit I can always come home = Meet new people.
Every second of every day we make decisions which impact, in some way, the next bit of our lives.
It’s cause and effect. Basic.
We like to blame other people and circumstances for our results (easier. Too cold to leave the house and go to the gym), but really, we are in control of our reality (and yes, the universe loves a good curve ball, but we are always in control of how we respond to those curve balls and that response usually plays out the next layer of ‘effect’ or reality/results.)
The truth is we all know that our actions manifest our results – If you want to play the piano you have to practise the piano. Wanting it isn’t enough.
But most people, when they want to change their results stay focused on the action.
What do I need to DO?
The problem here is that a lot of the time to DOING is hard, overwhelming and nothing you’re in the habit of doing (otherwise you’d already have the result, right? If you were in the habit of making sales calls, you’d have the money in your bank account).
So, we need to start DOING something we’ve never done which means in some way we need to BE a version of us we’ve never been before.
The more you want your external results to change, the greater the internal change tends to be.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”I mean, tell it like it is Jim! Jeez. he’s punchier than me!
— Jim Rohn
This is a real struggle of will if you are still thinking from the same mindset of who you are now.
For example, if you have always had bad sales results because you only make sales calls sporadically and avoid learning about how to improve your sales strategies, you are going to be having thoughts in line with that reality.
I mean, you’re hardly thinking “I love sales, they are fun and easy!” if your action is to do anything and I mean anything to avoid them! (wait, let me just scroll through Instagram for 37 solid minutes before eating the entire contents of my fridge in preparation for starting Desperate-Batchelor-Reality-Shitstorm-Island ep3 Season 4).
No. You’re thinking something along the lines of, “sales are scary and make me feel rejected like when Mark Burton dumped me after double Science in Year 10” and so we find the things which relieve this feeling of stress and anxiety in the things we know, the strategy which is comfortable in the now, even if we know it won’t help us in the future (which is why we eat cake despite knowing it is another step on the path to Type II Diabetes).
Behavioural economists call this time inconsistency (also known as hyperbolic discounting – ooh clever!) and it refers to the brains survival mechanism of prioritising the present more than the future.
For thousands of years this wiring served us well. After all, when we were hunting and foraging it was a clever idea to eat ALL OF IT because who knew where the next Wildebeest was coming from.
Our entire environment was only to be survived if we thought and acted depending on present circumstance, conserving energy when we could, taking advantage of food supply when it was there and doing the most efficient and comfortable thing to survive the wild.
‘The wild’ these days is leaving your phone on a train or missing the Uber Eats window (it’s the WORST) but just because our environment has changed so rapidly doesn’t mean our genetics have caught up.
We’re still using the same brain as our ancestors of 50,000 years ago so of course we’re screaming “eat the cake and run away from the scary sales call”.
But before you use this as a wonderful excuse to keep doing what you’re doing and getting the same results, let me remind you that your addiction to instant gratification is getting you the very results you want to change.
How much do you want different results?
Because to get them you probably have to do the action which doesn’t always feel good now.
If you really (and I mean really) want the change, then use this question which I have used to change my whole life and business around.
I ask myself this simple question on the daily. Every time I find myself picking up the phone to scroll or pressing snooze instead of getting up for a run, or not writing that chapter of my book (Desperate-Batchelor-Reality-Shitstorm-Island ep3 Season 5)I catch my behaviour and ask myself, What Would I Do?
It requires me to engage with two versions of myself.
The first, is the version of me I am now, who wants to play out the behaviour I always play out.
What results is this me getting?
Am I happy with these results?
If the answer is no, then I engage with the future version of me who has the results I want. What did she do in this moment? And then I do that.
Usually it gives me Tight Butt (watch this 50 second video if you don’t know what Tight Butt is) and is often the harder of the options available to me. But while I think from the version of me that I currently am, I will continue to get the same results.
Change your thinking to be in line with the version of you who has next level results and your results must fall in line.
What Would I Do?
I would stay out drinking and partying until the party was over and rock up to Monday dusty and sloppy, smashing some junk food to get me through the morning. And my results reflected this. Inconsistent sales. Unfinished projects. Lethargic wobbly body.
What Would I Do?
I would go home at 9pm, sober and having had some beautiful conversations that I remember with some of my favourite humans. I’d spend an hour organising my mind and diary for the week ahead before spending 10 minutes scrolling through social media, reading about Desperate-Batchelor-Reality-Shitstorm-Island ep3 Season 6 (because, #unashamedlyhuman) and setting an alarm to get up and go for a run to start my Monday strong.
So, that’s exactly what I did.
And after a while, you begin to realise that this new way of thinking, feeling and doing is manifesting in results beyond your dreams.
You don’t have to lose out. Not if your dreams are compelling enough. Your just get to evolve.
For anyone wanting to know more about creating a compelling future (more clients, financial freedom, travel, love, health – it’s all possible) then feel free to flick me an email firstname.lastname@example.org telling me how you are experiencing feeling stuck. I promise to respond personally.
As for this blog, if you love it, like it. And let me know how you go using the simple question, “What Would I Do?”
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Thanks very much for reading, Em x