Nothing risked, nothing gained. Wise, time-honored advice. But, that time-honored advice were obviously and simply taken.
NEURO-PSYCHOLOGY IS AGAINST US
This advice is difficult. Because it runs against our old-, subconscious-brains’ neuro-physiological imperative of “playing it safe” and “surviving.”
Risk-taking is dangerous. Fear of failure, strong. And to the old, unconscious brain, risk and danger are to be avoided. The unconscious brain doesn’t rationalize relativity. It overwhelmingly, perhaps exclusively, seeks survival, not growth and success.
BUT, WHAT IF… MIND-HACK
But what if we make a conscious effort to regularly take “small risks?” And, in this way, effectively “retrain our brain?”
No, we won’t reverse hundreds of thousands to millions of years of evolutionary engineering. But, we can blunt and mitigate its limitations.
ESTABLISHING NEW AND PRODUCTIVE HABITS
As with all new habits we seek to establish, the best way to a new habit is to simply add it, as a new, simple and non-negotiable step to another habit we already have.
For example. Let me use my current activity, writing an article.
I am on my computer every day. Even on days that I put on all-day seminars, I am still on my computer, mostly in the evening.
And, truth be told, I hate writing and editing. For me, there is considerable risk and fear. After all, whenever we put ourselves out these on the internet, we risk appearing irrelevant. Or worse.
I’ve really only begun posting articles and videos for about 20 months. And the past 6 months I’ve been too consumed with other priorities to do much writing or taping. So I’m an unknown quantity in this particular realm. And the fear of judgment and failure is considerable.
What to do? Because visibility, marketing and establishing yourself online is a crucial component of productivity and success.
BACK TO THE PRODUCTIVITY HABIT THING
So… to jump-start myself, I simply add a rule that at least once a week, while at my computer, I must add the step of going to my e-folder of beautiful pictures on which I’ve pasted wise and inspiring quotes. The “once a week ” rule will soon go back to every Wednesday or Thursday, as it previously was. (Clarity and discipline are important).
Looking up an inspiring pic with a quote is a simple step that takes maybe ten to thirty seconds. Quick, easy and painless. And, in fact, for me, pleasurable, given the reward of seeing a beautiful picture and an inspiring quote. A step I cannot and will not justify NOT doing.
Once there, I add the personal imperative to succeed and make a rule that I must then take the simple and non-negotiable step of pasting this quote on a blog article.
Once I’ve done this, I don’t have to add a non-negotiable, simple, next-step, because the inner motivation I have to share and to succeed supersedes my pain of editing. The long-term gain significantly outweighs the pain I experience in the moment.
BACK TO YOU AND RISK-TAKING
So, how does this relate to building in greater risk-taking and strategically using small (inevitable) failures into your daily mind- and behavior-set?
What if you determine exactly in what areas of your professional (and personal) life you stand to gain significantly… Significantly, BUT, ONLY if you take more risks (more often).
And what if you structure whatever simple, non-negotiable, initial steps you must take to act on this risk-taking and you add this simple step to another, established habit you already have?
IT’S YOUR LIFE. ARE YOU LIVING IT
I don’t know your passions, skills, dreams or goals, but there are, no doubt, many habits and activities you don’t (regularly or at all) engage in that could make a huge difference in your life.
Who was it that said, something to the effect that, “it’s the people willing to do the things other people won’t do that succeed.”
We all want more. And we all want to have an impact and to matter. Sadly, few of us achieve anywhere near our potential in these aspirations we all share.