Because Life-Hacks Are Bullsh*t.
In the world we live in today, more and more we’re looking for the quick fix. Delayed gratification has basically gone the way of the dinosaur and we’re looking for a fast and easy solution to fix our problems:
“Give me a pill, a 5-step process, and a list of who to follow on Insta & Twitter to make my life better and I’ll be on my way thank-you.”
Ok. Ok… I might be exaggerating a little… but not much. People are always looking for the quick fix – it’s in our nature to find efficiencies. We’ll try a bunch of things, never find the answer, get fed up and inevitably give up or settle (see last week’s article on settling HERE.)
I think spending energy looking for the quick fix in some life areas is a worthwhile use of time. Listicles on Buzzfeed wouldn’t be nearly so popular if we weren’t obsessed with our quick-fix culture – “How to use 2 red solo cups and a paper towel tube to Macgyver a speaker for your phone!”
The trouble comes when we let the desire for the quick fix bleed over from wanting a cheap speaker, into some of the bigger more complex areas in life… Health. Career. Relationships – don’t even get me started on the Tinder quick fix…
For example… just watch cable TV on any given weeknight after midnight and you’ll see ad after ad after ad for some type of rapid weight loss pill that’s “guaranteed to shed FAT NOT WATER” in only 2 short weeks blah blah blah…
If you talk to any expert that’s not trying to make a quick buck off the insecure and inert masses, they’ll happily tell you the idea of an effective weight loss pill is a dream never to be realized – and that even if the pill worked, it wouldn’t be sustainable weight loss. They’ll tell you that it took time to put the weight on and it’s going to take time to take it off. They’ll tell you that it’s not just what you eat and how you exercise that will need to change, but your attitudes about diet and exercise PLUS how you view yourself that will have to get addressed.
Is there an app for fulfillment?!
Finding fulfillment in your career isn’t something that just happens overnight with a pill… It’s the kind of thing that takes effort – sweat equity if you will – you get out what you put in. I work with a number of entrepreneurs and super satisfied business people in my career and I’ll tell you one of the key things they all have in common is that they all work. HARD. Every day…
The place I spend most of my time working with people though is around relationships in one way or another. Being in relationships of all kinds is a necessity in life and the healthier and happier they are, the better or happier our lives will be. The thing is, most of us don’t know how to actually have healthy relationships… Most of us know how to tolerate and avoid in relationships. Even more frustrating, is that people often figure they should just be able to just ‘fix’ things, as if learning a new method or strategy should fix things instantly and solve all the built up hurt feelings, disconnection, and resentment like flipping a switch – give me the 5 steps or the script and I’ll do it!
It Doesn’t Work That Way!
If you’ve ever had a broken bone, you know there is always a treatment plan:
- Get a cast, leave the cast on for a period of time, follow-up with your doctor to monitor progress.
- You might be sent to see a physiotherapist to ensure you’re healing properly and that you regain proper mobility. With that, there is usually a plan for a series of treatments and then assigned exercises for you to do on your own for proper recovery.
- And of course, there are things you’re told to do and not do: get adequate rest, don’t walk or lift anything too soon, don’t drive too soon, don’t overexert yourself. It could be you’re even told not to do some of these things – like driving – because you’d also putting other people at risk…
If you don’t follow all the prescribed steps in the treatment plan, you risk significant scarring, infection, compromised mobility, and long-term irreversible suffering – plus you could be putting others at risk. Yet how many of us follow this prescribed treatment to the letter?
It’s a rare human that does what they’re told – even words of wisdom from experts tend to get ignored! Especially if what they’re suggesting doesn’t fit in with the amount of time or effort we’d like to put in. We typically try to cut corners as much as possible and assume that because we’re feeling better the experts must be being overly cautious and we’re the exception – you know… because we’re bionic and they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Even if you haven’t experienced a broken bone before, can you catch the drift here? Human beings generally like to avoid doing the work, even when experts tell us that’s what needs to happen to get the results we want.
The Hard Truth
Why am I shining a light on this today? Well friends, I hear people lament all the time about their lives and relationships not being what they want them to be. They ‘make do’ with how things are, but they’re not truly satisfied with the results in their lives. When they ask for help and they get the prescription, so many times people give up on the process because they’re not seeing results fast enough. That, or they decide they know better and end up (whether they recognize it or not) going back to doing just a different version of the same thing they’ve always done.
I think the really hard part for people when they’re looking at their life and whatever ‘prescription’ they’re supposed to be following for success, is that unlike a broken bone where you can see and feel the progress of healing, life and relationships often don’t work that way. When we’re doing the work on ourselves and in relationships, it’s not often that we experience massive and inspiring breakthroughs. Instead, it’s usually a lot of hard committed effort over time and blind faith that what you’re doing will make a difference… That’s not the norm for human beings.
Here’s the deal though: just like it took time to put weight on and it’s going to take time to take it off and keep it off – even with a ‘Slim-band’ surgery it still takes up to a year for to be the size you want to be – it’s also going to take time to unlearn old patterns and replace them with new and effective behaviours that will help you create the life you want.
There’s A Prescription For Everything!!
Including having a happy and fulfilling life. If you’re not willing to take the steps as prescribed, even when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, you’re likely to keep circling around the same places and patterns until you die…
Here’s something to bear in mind, something I’ve heard all kinds of powerful life and relationship experts talk about including Tony Robbins and the late Dr. Wayne Dyer: work on 1%.
Make a 1% shift in your life every day and sooner than you can imagine you’ll be where you want.
We get stuck looking for the 50, 75, or even 100% game-changing solution and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t exist. Focus on the 1%. What is 1 thing – a SMALL thing – you can start with today?
Is there something you can start doing?
- Consciously reminding yourself you deserve love and respect?
- Going to bed 15 minutes earlier?
- Starting to floss once a week instead of trying for daily, failing after day 3, and giving up?
- Making a conscious effort to put your phone down and be present with someone for an hour?
- A simple daily gratitude practice? There’s gotta be 3 things you can be grateful for every morning while you’re brushing your teeth? (The fact you have teeth and a toothbrush could even be one!)
- Tell someone important to you once a week that they’re important to you and why, instead of assuming they know?
- Starting with a walk around the block? Instead of expecting a 6-day-a-week exercise plan to automatically take hold in your life.
- Practice saying ‘no’ in an area of your life where you’re likely to be supported? Instead of thinking that because you know you should say no that should equate to you being able to say no, and then berating yourself for not saying no and in turn never really learning how to say no effectively… confusing but totally normal vicious cycle a lot of people fall into.
It starts with 1%. Every. Single. Time.
What’s The 1% You Can Start With Today?
I’d love to hear your suggestions and plans!! Share with me what you’re up to in the comments or send me a private email and let me know! I’d love to support you along the way!!
How’re You Doing?
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