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    One Year Of Discipline

    I enjoyed Aaron Clarey’s video titled “Pull the f*cking trigger already“. Pulling the trigger and taking action is undeniably one of the easiest steps to take, hardest to execute – or it must be, because so many people are not doing it. Why not?

    If I look at myself, change is something I don’t naturally embrace. I rather continue doing what I’ve always done. Or not done. And I suspect that is true for most people. It’s even worse nowadays, where we can cruise along live with minimal effort. The world comes to us, and Facebook “friends” are just a mouse click away.

    But this world that comes to us is a world of illusion, and actually DOING something requires contact with the real world. Ironically it’s called “a leap of faith“, when it just means holding on to reality.

    By taking action, you embrace center stage in your own life. And that can be a very scary thing.

    Moreover, all the mass media, the junk food and yearning for the latest celebrity gossip appeals to our short-term reward centers – people are addicted to this illusion of a world. Taking action means stepping out of that drug haze. And that is really something not everyone is ready to do.

    Pulling the trigger is a simple step. But it can be as difficult as taking away the bottle from an alcoholic.

    Now you are sober. Now you are VULNERABLE.

    And I speak from my own experience. How often have I told myself I would do xyz, only to realize that I was too scared to actually do it? Most prominent example: in 2012, I wanted to take control of my dating life. But I was literally afraid to just greet someone walking on the other side of the road. So for a while, I created this illusion of myself of being able to surround myself with beautiful women – until at one point, I found it too painful to just dream of girls and not taking steps to meeting them. But it took me months to get there.

    Now here is a quick observation I make every day.

    Every evening I leave the commuter train from work, there is an escalator next to a normal staircase leading out of the train station. Crazily, there is a big jam at the escalator entrance, while the stairs are completely empty. I counted it. Only 10% of people use the stairs. Hell, I don’t want to spend one minute longer than I have to in the train station. But most of the “escalator people” are apparently fine with waiting. Their heads are hanging low and their shoulders are slumped.

    If you are happy going with the herd, then use the escalator.

    But if you wanna use the stairs, the path is completely open for you.

    Taking action is the first step you have to take, after that – you have literally no competition.

    If only 10% of people are using the stairs, then my guess is that also only 10 – 20% are actually pulling the trigger and taking action.

    Just by putting in the work, you are already ahead of your competition. How cool is that?

    So – how do you actually pull the trigger?

    To me, “pulling the trigger” is a mindset. You have to get into the habit of “making things happen”, otherwise it can be difficult to always withstand the headwinds that tell you “don’t do it now, do it maybe later”.

    #1 – Get used to immediately taking care of everything that only takes one minute.

    I got that rule from a blog about Happiness, and it has worked great for me so far. For example, my apartment is much cleaner and orderly now.

    In addition, measure the time of different activities. For example, the dishes in the sink always looked overwhelming, until I realized that I never need more than 15 minutes to clean them. 15 minutes! Clearly doable.

    I think one of the biggest reasons for not pulling the trigger is that we feel overwhelmed by the task. If we break it down into small steps that just take a couple of minutes each, we can much more easily get started.

    And this is how you enable yourself to actually pull the trigger and take action.

    For example, let’s say you play the guitar and want to give lessons. Somebody suggests you should start a blog and YouTube channel where you advertise your services and give people the option to contact you. Seems like a big task, doesn’t it?

    Smaller steps: Sign up for a hosting package or free WordPress domain -> film three different videos of yourself playing guitar, using the camera on your iMac (!) -> write a couple of texts that tell people who you are and where they can contact you -> upload the guitar videos to your homepage. You could do that within a week, spending not more than 30 minutes each day. And you are in business. It probably won’t be perfect, but you may already get clients, if you spread the word amongst your family members and friends.

    Make it as easy as possible.

    #2 – Embrace change.

    Life never approaches us in a straight line. That is because our thoughts never align completely with reality, at least not in the beginning. Things are never going as planned.

    Therefore, people often don’t heed advice and do something that could help them. I fall into that trap myself. I often have a very clear view on how I want things to be, and when someone suggests to do something differently,. it takes me a while before I implement change. In the end, I have rarely regretted accepting the help and take the advice. You can at least try out what your friend suggests. If it does not work, go back to your own ways. If it does work, though, you got the chance to improve and maybe even make your life easier.

    #3 – Get your ass up and focus on the moment.

    People always say they want to do xyz, while sometimes they just say that to flatter their egos. It is easier to tell everyone what you are going to do – you can live vicariously through the glory of the events that will be. However, putting in the actual work can be very mundane, and working on it every day can be a slog.

    Don’t look only towards your long-term goal. Get started and see every day as a goal in and of itself. Focus on the moment and work on it for a little bit.

    For example, taking your book and reading 10 pages enables you to get throng the book within one month. If you see this as too much work, however, and never start reading, then you won’t have done anything by the end of the month.

     

    Summary of Day 25

    Below you will find

    (a) a quick description how I fared on my main goals – losing body fat, working on my blog, installing good habits;

    (b) my thoughts for the day;

    (c) how the rest of the program went and whether there were any irregularities or other noteworthy points.

    Day 25

    Losing body fat

    Body fat slightly up: 22.5%.

    Breakfast: Coffee, Eggs, Protein Shake.

    Nothing for lunch, Burger with fries for dinner – today was my “cheat day“.

    Today’s juice: Apple Spinach Carrot Juice. You can see the recipe here; check also Juicing for Power. (*)

    Calisthenics routine:

    120 push-ups – not easy, several breaks, but i finished out 120 complete push-ups.

    120 squats – good form, in one go.

    120 sit-ups – no problems.

    I like that with just minor modifications in my body position, I can make it harder or target different muscle groups. For example, the closer my arms are together when doing the push-ups, the more I use my chest. The more drawn-in my legs are,m the tougher it becomes to do the sit-ups.

    Working on my blog

    I wrote this blog post here.

    Habits

    (a) Emotional Health: Talked to some more friends today.

    (b) Spiritual Health: I continued the Happiness Habit. What was I grateful for?

    1. Beautiful weather.
    2. Writing for my blog.
    3. Friends and family.

    (c) Mental Health.

    10 ways to get a good night’s sleep.
    1. Shut down electronics one hour before bed time.
    2. Make a detailed daily plan and make sure you are finished on time.
    3. Leave your work on a high note, so you can’t wait for next day.
    4. Make your bed first thing in the morning, so it will be good-looking when you go in.
    5. Darken your room with window blinds..
    6. Figure out which time of the day is best for your to work.
    7. Keep your bedroom comfortable.
    8. Write down your daily thoughts and leave them in your diary.
    9. Have a measurable goal you are working towards.
    10. Find out your best time to sleep and keep that routine regularly.

    Thoughts for the day

    What did I do well?
    Finished work in a focused manner.

    What do I want to improve?
    I slept a bit too long.

    How will I improve?
    Going to bed earlier.

    30-Day of Discipline items

    Here is a list and how I fared:

    1. Eat three meals or less: ate two.

    2. Get up between 5 and 7 am: got up at 7 am.

    3. Cold shower: yes

    4. No Porn and Masturbation: check

    5. 100 push-ups/squats/sit-ups minimum: each 120.

    6. Dress to impress, dress for success: check.

    7. Make a to-do list: check

    8. Stand tall and proud: check

    9. No excuses/explanations/BS: check

    10. Keep those ideas written down: check

    11. My purpose: lab and blog. check.

    To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.

    To see yesterday’s post, click here.

    To get back to the homepage, click here.

    (*) I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.