Why People Don’t Take Action, and How To…

September 12th, 2012 by KP

Been a while since posting on here.

So my sister just forwarded this article on Zen Habits to me – The Habit of Starting, and it sparked a few thoughts in my head of thought processes I’ve been doing lately.

I think the biggest thing for taking action, or starting & creating a new habit is all in your mind. For me, it’s making either the pleasure or pain of the result if you do or don’t take action as intense as possible. When we take action it’s almost always because we’re either moving towards pleasure or away from pain, so making the feeling of pleasure of the result if you do take action, or making the feeling of pain if you don’t take action, so damn intense that you can’t help but take action. Make yourself think & visualize circumstances that would cause pain such as “If I eat XYZ”, or “If I don’t get up & exercise right now, then I will continue to be unhappy with myself physically & mentally” and then for pleasure like “If I eat ABC”, or “If I get up & exercise right now, then I will achieve a disciplined mind & body I am proud of.” You just need to make the feelings of pleasures & pains as intense as possible when you visualize them in order to have no other choice than actually to crave taking action.

Like in the article, the reason we don’t take action is because we’re comfortable. Our comfort zones keep us standing still, comfort is the death of growth, and if we’re not growing we’re dying. So if comfort = no action, then discomfort = action. Using the visual & mental intensity to create emotions of pleasure & pain is a good way to reverse that comfort feeling that so often makes us sit still & not progress, so that it becomes more uncomfortable to actually not take the right action.

Another default I like to do when about to make a decision, whether it’s something I’m about to eat / drink, something I’m about to do etc. is weigh up the short term consequences and the long term consequences of each choice. Example: I’m hungry and want to eat something. A fast food snack tastes good in the short term, but isn’t healthy, will no doubt make me crash in 30 mins, as well as cause me to be out of shape if I continue to snack on fast foods. A salad or spending 5 mins prepping a healthier meal for example might not taste as good in the short term, but it’s better for me nutritionally, will give me sustained energy rather than a quick 30 min burst then crash, and will aid me in achieving a healthy body & mind long term.

Looking at things like this and taking a moment of conscious thought before making a decision rather than responding to the decision unconsciously (unconscious decisions are almost always made using emotion rather than logic) may seem like nothing if you don’t do it “one time”, but that “one time” of taking action is the first step in either creating a good or bad habit. I still to this day haven’t found once instance where the long-term benefits don’t out-weigh the short-term benefits. It just takes a few seconds of conscious thought to make a rational decision rather than an emotional one. The frontal cortex in our brain is the only piece of hardware our bodies have that enable us to make rational, logical decisions rather than emotional ones, and it is that evolutionary frontal cortex that separates us from the animal kingdom where all act based on emotion. When we become slaves to our emotions, we are essentially backtracking in to primal form.

It’s in our moments of decision where our destiny is shaped, so every time you need to make a conscious decision, whether it be that you’re hungry & about to decide what you eat, take a step back and weigh up the short & long term consequences of your actions. With discipline comes reward.

“We are creatures of habit, which means we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore, is not and act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Feels good to get writing on here again.

KP

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Keys To Mastery & Success: Key #5: Play the Edge

August 6th, 2011 by KP

Key 5: Play the Edge

Comfort is the enemy of the artist. If you find yourself doing something where you are comfortable, then you are doing something wrong. What comfort means, is that you’re not growing. Think of a time when you’ve been comfortable, were you growing? Was there an urge to want to grow & progress? What about a time where you were very uncomfortable, and you felt pain in an area, what about then, now was there an urge to grow & progress.

The areas we feel pain are almost always the areas that we are weak in. And that’s why we feel pain.

You have to want to expose yourself, and face down your ugly truths. That’s what can stop you from being a big star, so don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

We are pretty much all incompetent at everything we do. Someone’s fame is just because they became very interested in something and ended up taking it much further than anyone sane would ever have done.

The person who is best prepared is the person that practiced the most.

When you put fear & hope next to each other, which one overpowers the other. It should be neither. Instead, it should be fear vs. courage. But what is courage? Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something is more important than your fear. Ask yourself, is this more important than any fear?

Let go of your insignificant existence, to embrace something that when you walk in to a room people turn their heads & say “Damn there’s (me)”. All of a sudden, your existence effects the whole.

Each of us potentially is a genius. Each of us is unique in the entire universe. Never again will there be the chemical mixture that is me or you. We are all unique.

When so many pieces of the puzzle start falling in to place at the same time, and you start to achieve so many of your goals at the same time, and you’re also having fun doing it, you feel unstoppable. Almost like, what can’t I do? Not in a cocky way, but if you’re reaching your goals by doing something you love, then there’s no stopping anybody in that position.

I really believe, that a great deal of alcohol abuse, neurosis, unease, drug abuse, war, nervousness, crime, uncertainty, fear of failure, can all be attributed to the failure of developing our potential.

There’s nothing more tragic, than speaking to an elderly person and them saying –

“Looking back now, I realize that I wasted my life”
“I wish I did X”
“If only I had given X a shot”

It’s sad. But a lot of people don’t realise how short life is until the reality of time catches up with them. One thing you MUST confront, be comfortable with, and accept, is the one thing that is certain in life & that unifies every single one of us. We are all going to die. What you MUST do is think about that, realise it, and accept it. Not to live in fear because of it, but instead to face life with a new approach. A fearless approach. One where you realise time is running out with every second that goes by. You don’t scramble, instead you are patiently persistent, you chip away everyday at what you need to do, out of urgency to move as fast as possible, but not out of fear, but from a position of power & control over your conscious mind.

No longer do our emotions decide our actions. We now get clear on our goals, dreams, desires, & ambitions. The way to achieve these goals is relatively easy in theory, yet quite difficult in practice. The rules themselves are clear enough, and within everyone’s reach. But many forces, both within ourselves and in the environment, stand in the way. It is a little like trying to lose weight: everyone knows what it takes, everyone wants to do it, yet it is next to impossible for so many. The stakes here are higher, however.

It is not just a matter of losing a few extra pounds.

It is a matter of losing the chance to have a life worth living.

Developing our potential is a matter of upmost importance.

The Keys To Mastery & Success.

Mastery: Live it, don’t speak it.

KP

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