Success is a funny thing.
We're all running around in some game trying to get it.
For some people, it's starting a business (maybe even selling it). For others, it could be accomplishing a hard-to-reach goal or task. Everyone has something.
But, upon further reflection, it almost always points to an outcome—an end-state.
Have you noticed that? All those hopes & dreams we have? Don't they look a lot like outcomes?
We might think: I plan to do/be/have [INSERT OUTCOME HERE]!
For me personally, that statement looks like this: I plan to one day be a serial entrepreneur.
But that sentence isn't complete...
There is another part we're missing.
"I plan to one day be a serial entrepreneur, WHICH WILL MAKE ME FEEL confident & happy."
I'll be very transparent. I am a serial entrepreneur (or will be) directly because of the expected feeling it will give me. Not because of entrepreneurship but rather what I expect doing well in entrepreneurship will give me.
But can you see the flaw in this thinking? Can you guess what it is?
The Nasty, Dirty, No-Good Trick
The problem with this thinking is that it creates a barrier between you and the feeling.
Implicit in that specific line of thought is the assumption that you NEED a specific outcome to FEEL the desired feeling. Until you have this outcome, that feeling will never come to you. That is the trick that we play on ourselves.
It's frankly a disservice not only to yourself but to everyone else. The actions you take toward reaching your desired outcomes affect everyone else. And if you fail.
Oh boy... If you and when you fail.
Because when you set up conditions around feeling good, you will eventually fail or make a mistake. And what logically follows after that?
There is another way.
What if we performed some alchemy? What if there was a way to acquire the desired feeling without jumping through hoops?
Wouldn't that be amazing? Life changing even?
Well. Let me be the bearer of great news! You're in luck! There does exist an alternative.
Create your own emotions
Here are some facts. You've felt happy before. You've felt confident before. You've felt every feeling you've ever known. There exists some memory that points to it. If there weren't, you wouldn't know that feeling.
Another fact is that our mind has difficulty distinguishing reality from deliberate thought. Maybe that explains why we sometimes never tell if we're in a dream.
With those 2 ideas in mind, here is a suggestion:
Go back to a time in your memory when you felt [any positive emotion]. Let it well up inside of you. Follow it. Recognize how it feels. Breathe into it.
SERIOUSLY! It won't work unless you stop and try.
Notice that you didn't have to DO anything to feel that way. The feeling was already inside of you. You just reached out to it. Tapped into it.
It's this reflex we want to build. The ability to tap into "feeling good" is the alternative skill we should create.
You're going to create a TINY HABIT RECIPE that will accomplish this for us in a systematic & effective manner (no woo woo here)—shoutout to BJ FOGG (I love this guy).
The basic outline is shown below:
Let's go through each (BTW, you can use this method to wire any new habit you want – literally.)
A (Anchor Moment)
So think about the things you do every day. You wake up every day and put your feet on the ground. You go to the washroom every day. You open doors every day. You drink water every day.
Make a list of things that you ALREADY do.
We will use these moments to reinforce our new habit of feeling good.
B (Tiny Behaviour)
The new behaviour we want to create is looking back at a time when you felt great.
The actual behaviour is going back, in your memory, to that moment when you felt those feelings and letting them start to bubble up. Just do this for 5 seconds.
The point is that we want to make this behaviour as TINY as possible. We're not asking you to stay in that memory for 15 minutes but just 5 SECONDS.
Don't worry if you don't feel anything; it might take some more patience and time to get there. But don't give up! Keep trying!
Once you do so, CELEBRATE!
This is how new habits get wired in. It doesn't take 21 days. It really only requires feeling good.
When you feel good, your brain captures the last few moments and makes it a priority to engage in those behaviours again.
Here are a few ways to celebrate:
- Smile real big
- Hear a roaring crowd cheering you on
- Strike a power pose (highly effective)
- Say, "Nice!" and smile
- Imagine an audience applauding
- Imagine your mom (or person you have a positive relationship with) giving you a big hug
- Imagine getting news that you got your dream job
- Give yourself a high-five
It might seem counter-intuitive that we're feeling good about feeling good. But what we're doing is reinforcing that behaviour of finding that emotion within and feeling it.
Put it all together...
A + B + C = NEW HABIT!
After I go to the washroom, I will go back to a time when I was 5 years old and hugged my friend. I will evoke those emotions again. Then, I will celebrate by smiling really big.
But wait! There's more...
A funny little byproduct of prioritizing feeling good first is that good things start naturally orientating themselves to you.
Instead of forcing outcomes, the RIGHT outcomes naturally come out of your positive emotions & subsequent actions.
How can I prove this to you? By hoping you try and see it for yourself.
"Wait, by feeling good, I get the right outcomes for me?"
YES! And you didn't have to wait. Maybe serial entrepreneurship isn't for me. Maybe it's gardening. But it's only through feeling good that I would be open enough to consider other avenues.
Think how close-minded you'll be while trying to chase a feeling hidden behind an outcome. You'd never get the opportunity to evaluate other options because once you reach that outcome, you're already too late. The next outcome conveniently exists ahead, you have no time to feel good. You'd effectively become bounded by expected outcomes and not your present moment good.
Let's just stop doing that. Prioritize feeling good instead & you'll receive exactly what you need.
So go out there and feel fucking good.
with love you dorks <3