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Training Yourself

To train any animal, you follow a simple process. You somehow indicate what you want it to do, and then when it does it, you give it a reward. Maybe in some cases you punish it if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. Then you repeat until the animal is trained. When it comes to training ourselves, though, we come up with a million weird and ineffective ways to do it.

Why is that? Maybe it's because we don't want to face the truth about what it takes to train ourselves, so we hunt and hunt for shortcuts. As someone who has trained himself to do all sorts of things, I think that the solution is much easier.

The first fix is to drop this idea of looking for a shortcut. Often times people will spend years trying to find that shortcut to losing weight, learning a new language, or developing a sense of optimism. Maybe they save a month or two, but they would have been a lot better off just doing it the hard way to begin with.

When people tell me that they're going to change, the number one indicator I've found to predict whether or not they'll succeed is how quickly they start. If they start right now they have a much better chance of succeeding than if they start, "after this pack" or "on January first" or "as soon as I'm settled in". If you don't want something bad enough to start immediately, you may as well give up and not waste your time on it. Obvious exceptions are when there's a concrete logistical reason to start later like, "I'll start training for skiing in the winter, because that's when there's snow".

Building And Leveraging Momentum

On Cameron Chardukian

The idea of momentum is really interesting. I’m not a sports junkie anymore, but when I used to be a big fan I remember momentum being mentioned by the losing coach in almost every post game interview. Often along the lines of “We were playing well, but we made a few mental errors, and after losing our momentum we were unable to recover.”

Regardless of if you’re a big sports fan or not I’m sure you’ve heard something similar at some point. Of course, momentum isn’t just important in sports. It’s relevant to every other area of our lives as well.

Momentum In Socializing

Have you ever noticed that when you first arrive at a social event it tends to be pretty dry? People may be engaging in small talk, but nobody’s really dancing, or having a massive amount of fun? This is social momentum at work.

When you unplug from work, or whatever you were doing earlier in the day, it takes a while for your brain to shift from “logical” mode to “social” mode. This is why when you first start talking to someone the things you say may not come off as smoothly, and you might feel somewhat stuck in your head.

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