Be Faithful in Small Things – Wednesday

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies Mother Teresa

If there’s one piece of advice that I could offer any aspiring creative, it’s this. Develop a habit of consistently doing something. It doesn’t matter what it is, how small or how big it is.

  • It can be as simple as going for a walk or meditating for 2 minutes.
  • It can be as hardcore as writing 1000 words a day or going for a 5-mile run.

The power of consistency is profound and underrated. It can help you overcome a lack of natural talent, and allow you to focus on the process instead of the prize.

If you can learn to do something consistently, you’ll tap into a much greater superpower than the habit itself: the belief that you’re completely capable of changing your behavior.

Once you’re capable of changing your behavior, you’ll be capable of making massive changes because little things done repeatedly lead to big changes in our lives.

1. Inconsistency Squanders Your Creative Potential

There are few things that will kill your confidence and your ability to succeed in a creative career or any creative endeavor for that matter, like inconsistency. I’ve seen incredibly talented people amount to a fraction of what they’re capable of solely because they are so inconsistent with what they do. They start something new frequently, but never actually finish anything.

A few years ago a friend of mine who is a highly paid corporate employee told me about his plans to start a business. He already had clients lined up waiting to actually pay him. In the years since, he mentioned this business to me. He’s spent a year attempting to design a website, setup an email address and design a business card. Given his salary, he could have easily hired someone to do this. The only thing he hasn’t done is start the business.

On the flip side, I have a friend who was in high school band with me. His first two entrepreneurial ventures failed miserably. So he got a job at a startup. The startup hired a full-time life coach to motivate and inspire employees. He told the coach that he wanted to help small businesses with data and analytics. He had no clients waiting to pay him. He contacted me and asked if he could show us what he had in mind using our podcast download data. 24 hours after we gave him access, he delivered an in-depth detailed dashboard. I was blown away by it. When I called him, he simply said: “I don’t fool around.”

So what’s the difference between these two friends of mine? The second one is in the habit of consistently trying even if it means failing a few times. It’s almost impossible for people to take you seriously if you’re inconsistent.

On the flip side, the pattern I’ve noticed over and over in people who have successful creative careers is consistency.

If you create media, the sustained attention of an audience requires consistency. Think about your favorite TV shows. If they aired on different times and days every month, you’d never form the habit of watching the show. If you want to benefit from exercise or learn a new skill it requires consistency.

  • By the time Ryan Holiday submits a manuscript for one book, he’s usually submitted a proposal and sold the next one. Consistency has enabled him to write 3 books in 3 years.
  • Seth Godin has published a blog post every day for more than 10 years. The results of his consistency speak for themselves.
  • We release new episodes of the Unmistakable Creative every Monday and Wednesday and we have for more than 5 years. Barring a natural disaster, World War 3, or my death, there’s always an episode.

Doing a little consistently is always going to be more effective than doing a lot inconsistently. And this holds true across any positive behavior or goal we’re attempting to achieve.

Now let’s talk about why consistency is so powerful.

1. Consistency Creates Momentum

If you ask me how to write a book, it’s simple but not easy. Write a little bit every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood, feeling inspired or having a bad day. What matters ultimately is that you’re in the habit of showing up and trying.

Momentum is based on the idea that an object in motion stays in motion.

  • This is why it’s more effective to write 200 words every day than it is to write 1000 words once a week
  • This is why we’re better off practicing an instrument for 15 minutes every day than we are an hour once a week.

When we’re consistent with anything that we do, we stay in motion. When we stay in motion we gather momentum, which is the lifeblood of any startup or creative endeavor.

2. Consistency Increases Your Willpower

I eat the same breakfast every single day: bulletproof coffee, eggs, and bacon. I do this because the first three hours of my day are the most valuable to me. I don’t want to waste my willpower figuring out what I want to eat for breakfast. Whether it’s eating the same breakfast, a daily ritual or keystone habit, having something that you do every single day actually reduces decision fatigue and increases your willpower.

3. Consistency Helps Turn Habits into a Part of Your Identity

I never have to put “write 1000 words” down on my to-do list or calendar, even though I do make it a point to block out writing time each morning. Because I’ve done it so much, it’s a part of my identity. This is what James Clear refers to as identity-based habit formation. Whatever you’re doing goes from being an item on your to-do list to a part of who you are.

4. Consistency Amplifies Skill Level

When I surf or snowboard for multiple days in a row, my skill level appears to increase almost exponentially. By the last day I’m taking risks that I wouldn’t have taken before, making waves I would have missed, and flying down parts of the mountain that I would have hesitated on just a few days prior. When we do something consistently, the process of myelination occurs.

“When we go through some struggle to learn a new instrument, learn a new language, learn a new behavior, we then forge a new neural pathway. The more we work on that new behavior and move through discomfort, the myelination process occurs. Think about an electrical wire that has a coating on it. Myelin takes that new behavior and neural pathway and takes it from dial-up to broadband”- Christine Comaford

The result is a significant increase in your skill level. With consistency, we move from a place of conscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

5. The Myth of Superhuman Discipline

One of the misperceptions we have about people who write about productivity and habits is that they have super human discipline. But this is far from true. As my friend Ben Austin says, we tend to write about these things precisely because we struggle with them. The truth is that almost nobody has superhuman discipline. Despite how much I value deep work and getting work done, there are days when I screw up and waste my day checking email, facebook, and twitter. The discipline to do something on a consistent basis is a learned skill. It’s a lifelong work in progress that that requires constant iteration and experimentation.

Many of the bloggers that started their blogs when I did are no longer around. Some of them had a great deal of natural writing talent. The reason they’re not around or relevant anymore is simple: They were inconsistent with their efforts and never finished what they started. If there’s anything I attribute to my most significant creative accomplishments, it’s a pattern of consistency.

Look back on hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted, and countless conversations, if there’s one thing that sets apart peak performers from everyone else, it’s consistency.

If you want to change your life, start by changing your behavior, and make the new behavior something you follow through on consistently.

Today’s article is shared from the following website: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-profound-power-of-consistency-3f1a361bb8fd

 

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The Two Saplings – A Story About How to Maximise Personal Growth

Even the tallest mountain is conquered one step at a time

An eight-year-old boy went to his grandfather and proudly announced, “I am going to be very successful when I grow up.  Can you give me any tips on how to get there?”

The grandfather nodded, and without saying a word, took the boy by the hand and walked him to a nearby plant nursery.

There, the two of them chose and purchased two small saplings.

They returned home and planted one of them in the back yard.

The other sapling was placed in a pot and kept indoors.

“Which one do you think will be the most successful in the future?” asked the grandfather.

The boy thought for a moment and said, “The indoor tree.  It’s protected and safe while the outdoor one has to cope with the elements.”

The grandfather shrugged his shoulders and said, “We’ll see.”

The grandfather carefully tended to both plants and in a few years, the boy, now a teenager came to visit again.

“You never really answered my question from when I was a young boy.  How can I become successful when I grow up?”  he asked.

The old man showed the teenager the indoor tree and then took him outside to have a look at the towering tree outside.

“Which one is greater?” the grandfather asked.

“The outside one.  But that doesn’t make sense, it has to cope with many more challenges than the inside one.”

The grandfather smiled, “Yes, but the risk of dealing with challenges is worth it as it has the freedom to spread its roots wider and its leaves towards the heavens.  Boy, remember this and you be successful in whatever you do; If you choose the safe option all of your life you will never grow and be all that you can be, but if you are willing to face the world head-on with all of its dangers and challenges, the sky’s the limit.”

The young man looked up at the tall tree, took a deep breath and nodded his head, knowing that his wise grandfather was right.

The same is true for all of us.

If you choose the safe, well-worn path, then a life of mediocrity awaits.

But if you have the courage and capacity to live in the elements, you give yourself a great chance of reaching your full potential and being successful in your chosen field of endeavour.

God created trees to grow outside.

He created people to live lives of significance.

So let me ask you, are you an indoor tree or an outdoor one?

Today’s story was shared by Darren Poke and is shared from the following website: https://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2013/03/08/the-two-saplings-a-story-about-how-to-maximise-personal-growth/

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Change Only Happens From The Inside Out

If you’re searching for the key to success, look inside yourself Unknown

“I think I’m done with therapy!” I told my therapist, outpouring my pent-up frustration. “It seems that all this talking and introspection is useless. Four years of continuous work and I’m still unsatisfied and constantly disappointed!”

And so I kept on rambling. “What’s the point of it all? I’m finally married to someone I love, after getting out of an unhappy marriage. I shifted to a career that I’m actually passionate about. I moved to another country, particularly to a paradisiacal city which most people would be thrilled to even just visit. I dropped over 25 pounds and feel very comfortable (even proud!) with my physical appearance. I’ve even discovered new hobbies that have shown me a different way of living. And all for what?”

There was a minute of silence. And then my therapist, after having told me so a million times before, once again calmly said: “Remember that: Change happens from the inside out. Not the other way around.”

Oh how I hated that she was right! I had managed to radically change my outside world completely, yet I still felt the same. Everything around me looked so different and so similar at the same time. Because even though my external world had changed, I had not.

It seems that despite my therapist’s words of wisdom, all along I chose to believe that if I created that perfect life I had always dreamed of I would finally be who I wanted to be.

So I spent all my energy and effort in changing everything about my circumstances that did not make me happy. Much needed changes that I don’t regret. But that time showed me were not enough for a true transformation.

As much as I wanted it to, changing the outside did not change the inside.

You can move to the other side of the world. Start a relationship with the partner of your dreams. Or even accomplish the professional goals you desire the most. But what I learned is that: Wherever you go, whoever you’re with, or whatever you do, you take yourself with you. 

And if despite your choices, you still remain the same person you were before, your life won’t be much different.

Only real personal change, the change that comes from within, can turn your life around.

So here are 6 tips to keep in mind during this journey toward personal transformation:

1. Nothing ever changes, until you do. If you have external circumstances that are making you unhappy, by all means change them. Change them in an intelligent and unwavering way. But keep in mind, that whatever role you are playing in that unhappiness will continue, unless you change too.

2. If you want true change, face yourself. There’s no running or hiding. You have to look at your biggest fears straight in the eye. You have to dig deep into your old hurts and wounds.  And you have to challenge your self-limiting beliefs and toxic ways of thinking.

3. Believe you can change, then persevere. Don’t hope you can change. Believe that you will. The right mindset is critical for this mission. Because defying your lifetime habits will not be easy. It will feel like swimming against the tide. And it’ll be your faith and determination what will give you the courage to carry on.

4. Watch out for your unconscious along the way. Challenging yourself will feel so threatening that you may rely on defense mechanisms such as denial to avoid facing your reality. This will “protect” you from the anxiety of confronting some ugly truths about yourself. But will only delay, or even sabotage, your road to transformation.

5. Avoid a real self vs. ideal self war. Fighting against your (not-so-desirable) actual self is not only pointless, but steals away the energy you need to transform into your ideal self. That person you aspire to be. The more you fight who you are now the harder it’ll be to let go of it. You need to accept yourself just as you are so you can then start working towards transforming into that person worthy of your admiration.

6. Take it day-by-day. Step-by-step. Transformational change is created through daily individual actions. There’s no milestone to be reached. Because it is a process that lasts a lifetime. All you can do is take a step every day to get closer to the person you wish to be. And every now and then, stop to reflect on who you are today, and compare it with who you were yesterday.

We can all undergo a process of personal transformation or “metamorphosis” (as I like to call it), if we’re willing to let go of who we are to become who we truly want to be. And just like the caterpillar completely rearranges its form to emerge into something so beautiful, we too can emerge from our cocoon to transform into the best version of our unique wonderful self.

It is not the beauty of the butterfly what makes it so remarkable. It’s the changes it has gone through to achieve such beauty.

Today’s article was written by Jessica Beltran, MS and is shared from the following website: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/10/change-only-happens-from-the-inside-out/

 

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How To Use The Power of Gratitude; An Easy Way To Feel Happier Everyday

Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy Fred DeWitt Van Amburgh

In my book Nothing Changes Until You Do, I tell the story of a simple but powerful conversation I had with a cabdriver a few years back that had a profound impact on me. I was in Houston, Texas, on my way back to the airport to fly home after speaking at a conference. The driver and I began talking. He had a beautiful accent. Based on how he looked and sounded, I assumed he was from somewhere in Africa, but I couldn’t tell exactly where. It didn’t come up in what we were talking about, so I didn’t ask.

Right before we got to the airport, however, there was a pause in our conversation, so I inquired, “By the way, where are you from originally?”

“I’m from Ethiopia,” he said. He then proudly stated, “I’ve been here in the U.S. for twenty years. I’m an American citizen now; so are both of my boys and my wife.”

I’m not exactly sure what prompted me, but I then asked him, “What’s your perspective on American culture, given that you didn’t grow up here?”

At first he didn’t say anything, and I thought maybe I had offended him. We were just arriving at the airport. He pulled up to the curb, put the cab in park, turned around, and looked me right in the eye.

“Can I be honest with you?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said.
“Well,” he said, “I think most people in this culture act like spoiled brats.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Look, I’m from Ethiopia,” he said. “Every day here is a good day.”

I was taken aback by the simplicity, wisdom, and power of his statement. And, I was grateful for the reminder.

Gratitude is a Practice, Not A Concept
I’ve been speaking and writing about gratitude for many years, and I’m still amazed at how challenging it can be to focus on what I’m grateful for at times. We live in a culture that has an obsession with negativity, and it’s easy for us to get caught up in how “bad” things are, as well as in our own personal and insatiable desire for more, thinking that what we have and how things are in our own lives is never quite good enough. However, regardless of the specific circumstances of our lives, even and especially when they’re difficult, if we stop, pay attention, and look for it, there are always so many things we can be grateful for—if we choose to be. Gratitude is a practice, not a concept. And, like any other practice, the more genuine and consistent we are with it, the more valuable and beneficial it is.

Most of us, especially those of us on a path of personal growth and discovery, know that gratitude is important. We’ve heard about it, read about it, and been taught about it for years. In the mid 1990s a wonderful book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach came out. Sarah was a featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Oprah talked about how Sarah’s suggestion to keep a daily gratitude journal—to write down five things each day that you’re grateful for—had a profound impact on her life. Oprah became a passionate advocate for the power of gratitude and since that time has continued to encourage millions of people around the world to keep their own gratitude journals.

Create A Gratitude Journal
Like so many other people, I took Oprah’s advice and started my own journal many years ago. I found it to be fun, inspiring, and empowering to look for, find, and write down things I was grateful for. When I started speaking, coaching, and writing, much of my work focused on gratitude and appreciation. The technique of the gratitude journal was something I often suggested to people. However, over time it became one of the many things that I “know” and even “teach,” but had stopped practicing consistently in my own life.

A few years back, as a New Year’s resolution, I recommitted myself to the practice of my gratitude journal. I bought a new, beautiful journal and decided I was going to start using it. It took me a little while to get back into the practice of writing in it consistently, but once I was in the swing of it, it was pretty easy. Later that year I had a few months where things were going really well in many important areas of my life. As I sat down to write in my gratitude journal one morning, I decided to look back at some of the things I’d written over the past few months.

As I turned the pages, I realized that I hadn’t missed a day of writing in over three months. I was amazed. It was less about the consistency of my writing, and more about the consistency of my excitement to do this exercise and the benefits I got from it. Things were going so well in my life, and the positive turns seemed to be directly connected to my use of the gratitude journal. I said to my wife, Michelle, “I’m not sure if things are going so well because I’m writing in my gratitude journal every day, or I’m excited to write in my gratitude journal every day because things are going so well. I bet it’s a combination of both. At some level, I don’t really care—I’m just grateful for how things are going and for my journaling practice.”

The way gratitude works is that the more we focus on feeling grateful, the more we have to feel grateful for. And while many of us have experienced this personally, recent scientific studies have concluded that gratitude can have significantly positive effects on our health, our moods, our productivity, and our relationships.

In one specific study, conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, participants were given one of three tasks. Each week, they kept a short journal. One group was asked to write down five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another was asked to record five hassles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they weren’t told whether to focus on something positive or negative specifically.

Ten weeks later, the people in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole, plus they reported fewer health complaints, and exercised more.

Like many other things in life that we know are good for us (exercise, eating healthy, sleeping enough, drinking lots of water, telling the truth, and so on), it’s not the knowledge that will benefit us; it’s the practice. The amazing thing about gratitude is that there’s no “right” way to practice being grateful. Whether you choose to keep a journal, thank the people around you, use positive affirmations, ask other people what they’re grateful for (one of my favorites), focus on gratitude in your quiet time of prayer or meditation, or simply remind yourself to slow down and breathe—taking time to focus on what we’re grateful for is one of the easiest and most effective ways to empower ourselves, calm ourselves down, and remember what matters most in life.

Today’s article was written by Mike Robbins and is shared from the following website: https://www.healyourlife.com/how-to-use-the-power-of-gratitude

 

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Don’t Miss This Incredible Video on Gratitude!

The secret to have abundance: Stay focused on what you love and express is fearlessly Anonymous

I had to share this video today! Never underestimate the power of gratitude! I am convinced that gratitude is one of the most powerful choices we can make! I hope you will watch…and then start your own gratitude project!

Today’s video is shared from www.365gratitude.com

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