Monday, February 13, 2012

Motivatin Monday: Do one thing different!

One of struggles I've battled with in the past was that I seemed to be repeating the same old patterns over and over again. With my words, I would say that I wanted to change a habit but, no matter how hard I tried, my actions would always repeat themselves. As you would imagine, this re-enacting of the same scenarios got old but it seemed like there was no getting off the ferris wheel.

Then one day things changed. I was listening to one of my favorite books, Psycho-cybernetics, on my Ipod when the author briefly mentioned a line from a book called "Do one thing different." Instantly, I paused the book and began searching online to learn more. The basic premise of this book is that by shifting our actions, environment, or reactions even slightly, we set ourselves up to get different results.

Within my modest DVD collection is the 2004 movie "The Butterfly Effect." Played by Ashton Kutcher, the movie takes us through a series of scenarios in the lives of several young adults. Ashton has this ability to return back to a moment in time that can significantly alter the course of their futures. Each time Ashton chooses to do something different, the outcome of their future lives shift dramatically. I really was intrigued by the idea of creating a whole new world of possibilities simply by shifting one action in the present moment. That is why I was so interested in learning more about this book. Remember that every action creates a multitude of results. We talked about this in a previous Monday Motivation post. Without waiting to have this book in hand, I've decided to put the ideas into practice. I took some time to think about the most ineffective patterns that I tend repeat the most (actions that produce the least desired outcomes for me) and do something different. I saw immediate application of this principle in conversations with my husband that seemed to repeat themselves over and over again.

Looking at how I spend my week, I realize that some patterns I play out do not align with the vision of the future that I see for myself. So I've decided to create alternative actions that will produce new results for me. What I appreciate about the idea of doing one thing different is that it's about stopping an action, it's about implementing a new kind of action. A year or so ago, I decided to take a small action that I was inconsistent at doing, and complete it every day for a week. The end in mind was to build some discipline in my life. That action was flossing. I'm sorry to say it but flossing was not something I did regularly (hope my dentist isn't reading this). For a week I flossed religiously and, much to my surprise, out of that one action came several unexpected results. All of the sudden, I became neater and I started becoming more thoughtful on what clothes I would be wearing for the day. It seemed like suddenly all of these new actions were happening all because I decided to begin flossing.

One Action creates => An immediate result & Long-Term Results

I've applied this technique to my hair care journey several times. Whenever I see too much hair loss, breakage, etc, I try to shift something in what I'm doing. Sometimes the shift is small, but it's always significant and it always produces new results for me. Think about it, what new results could you produce if you adjusted your actions in the one area of your hair routine that you seem to struggle with most?

What I'm excited about is this principle can work in any scenario. Every time I produce less than desired results, I'll ask myself, "what can I do differently?" For those of you who are interested in learning more about the book, there is a free PDF download available here.

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