The starting point for making any change in your life is accepting that you are the only person that can make it happen.
Accepting that it is all on your shoulders and then agreeing to start some heavy lifting is how you will make a difference. The heavy lifting is always relative to how you feel and how strong you are, so don’t break your back at the beginning. Lift some light weights, metaphorically speaking.
Light weight lifting can be a simple morning routine of journaling, reading a couple of pages of a book, watching a YouTube video for motivation, or doing enlightenment meditation. Start with one change to your daily routine by adding something different, and then aim for consistency. Count out your habit streak, and when you have the momentum, layer in another new habit.
If you lose track of a new habit or if it’s not doing it for you, then tweak it, change it and if it is really not for you, then scrap it and chalk it up as an experience and then move on to the next thing.
Quitting is not something I would advocate because I value perseverance. However, if you have set yourself on the wrong path, the bravest thing you could do is quit and get working on something else.
I had this conversation with my son as he asked me to share a previous YouTube video that we had watched together. The video was of Tim Ferris explaining how he reads and digest books. It’s a great video, and like so much of Tim Ferris’s stuff, it was insightful, helpful and practical.
My son and I were also talking through how he was getting on with his return to school. What he was working on and what he was reading. It was a great conversation, and from it, he was also sharing the output of his first-ever Myers Briggs personality test.
I was surprised that this was a thing he would do at his age, given he doesn’t have a job because he is still at school. Schooling has changed from my days.
We talked through the idea of personality tests and the importance of reflecting when you complete one and to make sure that it doesn’t become a box for you. Instead, it should become a springboard to use as a way to explore other things and see what works for you and push the boundaries a little.
During this conversation, my son explained that he wasn’t getting the meaning of some of the reading material he was spending his time working through. It wasn’t schoolwork. He had chosen to read a book to supplement his work on building his habits and exploring his personal interests.
It was clear he wasn’t enjoying the book, but he was persevering with it, and this was why he was asking about the Tim Ferris YouTube video. At this point, we had that conversation about changing out the habit or the material for something else. My son is very focused and wants to achieve, and is a tad stubborn. I could sense that this was not necessarily something that he had thought that much about, and the idea of stopping was not high on his list of options.
I was that coaching parent again. We discussed that sometimes it is perfectly ok to pause or scrap something altogether. It is ok to change direction, and it is ok to come back to it when it means something different.
The way to decide is to take the time to know yourself and how you are feeling about the habit or material and choose from a position of internal information gained from honest personal reflection.
He said he had done that, and that was why he had decided to keep working through the material and why he needed to come at it from a different way. Hence the Tim Ferris video.
I conceded that because he clearly had a plan and as a true INTP, he would find a logical way to tweak his approach.
I couldn’t have been more proud.