HOW TO PERSUADE YOUR BRAIN TO ALTER BOTH ITS ROUTINES AND ITS COURSE IN LIFE
In order to get something that you have never had, you must first do something that you have never done.~Unknown
All of us may draw inspiration from heroic people. They are shrewd, in addition to being strong and powerful. They achieve success despite the overwhelming obstacles. They will go on regardless of the circumstances.
They could experience dread, but they are not overcome by it. And just when you thought that they had given up, that it was over, and that there was no way that they could change the situation, they come storming back out of nowhere, launch an attack, and emerge victorious!
The last step is for them to cross the finish line. They are destined for glory. From this point on, everyone will think of them as the wonderful individuals that they were in the past.
Oh, the road to glorification!
This way of life becomes compulsive for us. We have a strong desire to take on the role of heroes. And yet, despite the fact that many of us are putting in tremendous effort, we continue to fall short.
I didn’t understand why we were failing until I learned that there are truly two categories of heroes: those who are more concerned with glory, and those who are more grounded in reality.
Let’s use working out and maintaining a healthy diet as examples.
A lot of individuals make the decision to lead better lives, particularly in January when they make their New Year’s resolutions.
They are certain that they will be successful in achieving their goal this time! They are on the path to glory! And they go forth. Full-speed. They had a lot of success, at least in the first few weeks.
After then, they begin to lose momentum in a very gradual manner. They are unable to continue following their diets as they were, and they are skipping out on more and more of their exercises. By the second week of February, a significant number of them will have already left the company.
There is no praise for those who give up; just shame and remorse. They did not make sufficient efforts. They gave up without much of a fight. They were slacking off. Or they just did not want to change significantly enough to make the effort.
When I discovered that, despite my best efforts, I had gained twelve pounds in two years, I was dining out the majority of the time, and my exercise habits were yo-yoing, I had that idea a few years ago. At the time, I was eating out the majority of the time, and my exercise habits were yo-yoing.
When I reached this point, I had the epiphany that if I allowed this pattern to continue, within a few short years I would be overweight and unhealthy. Because this is the stealthy way in which extra pounds are gained. We gain a few more each year, and then one day we’ll look in the mirror and wonder how we got to this point.
It was imperative that I discover a means to make a lasting adjustment to my way of life. This week you will workout five times, but the next week you will not exercise at all. No more salads on a daily basis for the next two weeks, and then a sabbatical from veggies that is more or less permanent.
It was necessary for me to form good habits, particularly ones that would last.
As a result, I began studying the operation of habits, and the following is what I uncovered, much to my astonishment:
The fact of the matter is that the majority of those of us who fail to stay constant on our trip or give up are not slothful, do not give up too quickly, and did our very best!
We were not successful because we were too concerned with achieving glory.
This strategy works very well for tasks that just last a few minutes. Willpower and motivation are two of the most useful skills for achieving short-term objectives. Nevertheless, adopting a healthy way of life is a shift in lifestyle that must be maintained over time and calls for a unique strategy.
Willpower is depleted not just by the act of living itself but also by the act of going to work, doing things for our family that we didn’t wish to do, and going through a decluttering task that leaves us feeling super-tired.
Why? Because of the way that our brains are structured.
Let’s break the mind down into its two components: the executive, also known as the conscious portion, and the habitual, also known as the unconscious half.
The conscious part of your mind is in charge of your logical thoughts and your speech, while the unconscious part is in charge of your feelings and reactions, in addition to everything that you do when you are operating on auto-pilot, such as driving, eating, and brushing your teeth, among other things.
Can you guess which area of your brain is responsible for controlling our routines? You are correct; the unconscious is responsible for it.
You can’t just decide that, starting today, you’re going to go to the gym six times a week for an hour and a half each time, for instance. That’s not how it works.
To clarify, you do have the ability to make this choice, but even if you do, it won’t make a difference—at least not until the first week has passed.
Because you employ logical reasoning and the area of your brain associated with conscious awareness while making these judgments. The conscious portion of your brain, on the other hand, has little influence over your behaviors.
You have just made the decision to change your routines, but the unconscious portion of your brain is the master of your routines and the boss! The next week, maybe, is something you can influence, but what about the following year? No. The boss is the one who has power over this matter.
Your well-reasoned decision to become a gym junkie—did the part of your brain that doesn’t get used to making decisions agree with it?
To be honest, no.
If the plan does not get approval from the manager, then it will not be put into action. If you say that you want to live healthier but you don’t, it’s because your employer hasn’t given the green light to your plan yet.
Because of this, a significant number of individuals give up on their resolutions in the month of February. They have not yet managed to convince the boss! I gained twelve pounds in only two years due to the fact that the boss did not give his blessing to any of my initiatives to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Therefore, the issue that has to be answered is: what are some effective ways to encourage the boss to make long-term changes to his or her lifestyle?
The voyage taken by the hero in search of glory is not warmly received by the employer. This hero’s journey is wonderful for our executive brain, but it is not beneficial for our habitual brain.
The hero’s journey that is grounded in reality is really something that our habitual brain, also known as “the boss,” reacts positively to.
1. Glory-seeking heroes try dramatic change. Heroes with a grounding in reality go for the spare change.
Your superior will have a fight-or-flight reaction in response to significant changes (run by the amygdala in your brain). If the change is significant, the boss will opt to flee.
Instead of making a big alteration, try making a little one to avoid stimulating the amygdala. Even though your executive brain may not be impressed by only five minutes of exercise each day, the boss will be quite impressed.
2. Glory-seeking warriors accept tasks that are challenging. Heroes with a grounding in reality choose tasks that are rather straightforward.
The completion of simple objectives gives you a sense of satisfaction and encourages the boss to give you further challenges.
The manager can’t wait to get their hands on some more of it! It thrives on the satisfaction of a job well done. You have developed habits, which is a significant step in achieving your goals.
To be clear, I have nothing against heroes who want fame for themselves. They are quite impressive, in my opinion. But at the same time, I believe that the road to fame has led me wrong, just as it continues to lead a great number of people astray.
Even if effort is effective for achieving short-term objectives, it is not the only factor that determines whether or not you will be successful in the long run. Long-term objectives require that you remain consistent.
Many individuals shed pounds in their pursuit of fame, only to put on those pounds again at a later time. They did not have the permission of the manager. They did not develop the behaviors that would have assisted them in keeping their weight stable.
I have realized that if I do things the way my employer instructs me to, I will obtain the outcomes that I am looking for. And I shall achieve glorification. Not just for the next few months, but also for the rest of my life, I will be looked up to as a hero.
And I will accomplish all of that without feeling guilty, working harder, or beating myself up—all signs of a manager who has not yet given their blessing to the plan. Instead, I shall perform it in a relaxed and unhurried manner.
I now go to the gym routinely five times a week, and I’ve also taught myself how to cook, so I eat all of my meals at home. Oh, and what about the adverse effect? shedding the extra twelve pounds that I had gained.
What kind of shift are you looking to bring about, and what concrete actions can you take right now to lay the groundwork for a new routine that will become second nature?
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