Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Willing to be Awesome

So it turns out, your willpower is finite. You need to budget that shit.

But in my quest to be the embodiment of awesome, I need to throw around willpower like I'm Pacman Jones at your favorite gentleman's club.

And so the dilemma steps into the light: How to reconcile my limited ability to make good decisions with my need to always opt for the best option? What is a fledgling entrepreneur and self-development obsessed individual to do?

I think I've got an answer: Put that shit on autopilot.

By this I mean, enslave yourself to good habits, of course. The beauty of habits, are that they are automatic behaviours. They are something of a heroin-addicted, Ukranian whore to put in their place, but once established they will perform dutifully without you having to do much more than flex your pimp hand.

It's not quite that easy though. You really need to look at your behaviours. You need to remind yourself of your goals when you are at the decision making point. You need to deconstruct your goal and focus on small aspects of it. Declaring to lose weight, or get in shape, for example, is too ambiguous. Take a month to put a specific habit in place. Replace your morning donut with an apple. Do this every day until it becomes the natural thing to do; until it becomes easy; until you don't need to exert any willpower to opt for the apple. At this point, you can focus on running every morning, or swimming four times a week.

It's unrealistic to think you can wake up to a changed life. You need to make the change happen by making the right decisions. The right decisions are hard, and require tackling very specific behaviours one at a time. It's not glamorous, it's not fast, but it works and is sustainable over the long term. It always seems to come back to incremental improvement as the best way forward.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Maybe this begins to explain why a teenaged @jiashwu eventually caved to peer-pressure, after a valiant attempt at being responsible. Sorry to drag you down, old pal.

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