Mind Games, or Dealing with the Chatter that Derails Your Life on a Daily Basis
The “personal development” business must be booming. There are certainly many, many people selling all sorts of books and programs designed to move any interested individual toward being the “best version of themselves” or to build a life “doing what matters most” to them.
Brendon Burchard, Hal Elrod, Mel Robbins, Dean Graziosi are just some of the authors I have read, watched, or from whom I have downloaded some daily checklist or other — all with the idea of making it easier for me to organize, track, and make the most of my days.
They don’t work.
Boiled down, these tricks are just another series of mind games we play to delude ourselves into thinking we are actually making progress toward our lifelong goals.
How many nights did I spend completing the checklists, filling in forms that were supposed to be my blueprint for the coming day, only to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of it all? Too many, but I consoled myself that I had at the very least completed the checklist.
How many times did I awaken each day, counted down, launched myself out of bed, only to use the bathroom and crawl back under the security of pillow and blankets? Sadly, too many; but I did follow through and then convinced myself that I had followed Mel’s 5-second rule, even if it did not move me forward toward my goals.
How many times did I awaken each day ready to start that “miracle morning” only telling myself that I can spend that first hour working through the life S.A.V.E.R.S formula from the comfort and security of my bed only to fall back into an uncomfortable sleep? Again, sadly, too many.
How many times have I started this article? I began writing this in February and for several weeks it just sat in my Medium box with only a working title. Then it sat there with a few paragraphs, which, by the way, are no longer part of this piece.
I am determined to complete this today and publish it, no matter how much it stinks...and no matter how much it feels as if I am swimming against a tide of chatter in my head.
That is it. It is the chatter in my head that derails me every day.
The chatter that tells me there is too much to do to be completed in the time I have, so why bother even starting?
The chatter that convinces me to get home from the office as quickly as possible so I can work on my writing, but the reality is that I want to get home so I can be distracted in a different way from doing the things I need to do. Distractions like laundry…who knew laundry could be so appealing?
Funny how I thought I was really making progress in my goal to be a published writer (maybe even paid) just because I had a few tricks up my sleeve to keep me on track. Reading and taking advantage of the personal development gurus knowledge and experience is not enough. And then I ran across this:
“For studying courage in textbooks doesn’t make you any more courageous than eating cow meat makes you bovine. By some mysterious mental mechanism, people fail to realize that the principal thing you can learn from a professor is how to be a professor — and the chief thing you can learn from, say, a life coach or inspirational speaker is how to become a life coach or inspirational speaker.
So remember that the heroes of history were not classicists and library rats, those people who live vicariously in their texts. They were people of deeds and had to be endowed with the spirit of risk taking.” –Nassim Taleb, author of Skin in the Game
All this time I have not been investing in myself. I have not put any “skin in the game” by first taking responsibility for my lack of success. It is not Mel’s, Dean’s, Hal’s or Brandon’s fault I have not made progress. I have been living vicariously through their stories of success, but not creating my own.
Their methods have worked for others who took the risk to do something different in their life. Will any of these plans ultimately work for me? I don’t know. All I know is I have to believe these will and put the effort toward that end. Silence the chatter, shut down the mind games and take the risk…each day.