The temptation to do what we want now and then deal with the consequences at another time is something all of us struggle with. It happens every moment of our lives.
- It’s easier to stay in bed rather than to get up and go to the gym.
- It’s easier to be distracted and look at email than to do focused, uninterrupted work for 60 minutes.
- It’s easier to spend time on YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok than it is to make time for doing sales work which is vital but which gets no immediate results.
- It’s easier to worry about what someone will think about the video we have created rather than putting it live and accepting you can’t please everyone.
- It’s easier to finish when you are tired rather than carrying on working until the task is done.
The list could go on and on. There are always times when we opt for the safe, easy route rather than taking the harder and more challenging path.
We live in a world where we have all become more conscious of our mental health and it’s great that we have. Mental well-being and fitness is something which is vitally important and encouraging others to speak about how they feel is something I champion.
We also have to though continue to look at ways in which we can overcome the short-term temptations and attractions which if we are not careful can derail our real longer-term desires and goals.
I have just finished reading and listening to David Goggins’ second book called ‘Never Finished’ (his first book, which I also recommend, is called Can’t Hurt Me). Yet again I am left inspired by this incredible man and his achievements. If you don’t know much about David Goggins then search about him. He is unique and an inspiration. I was inspired to do his 4x4x48 challenge a few years ago but what I love about his work is the fact that he is constantly pushing himself to become better.
One of the small methods he shares in Never Finished is a tactic I have come to use when I am going through the ‘easy or hard choice’ process in my mind.
Goggins talks about winning ‘15 second’ battles. This means when we have the temptation to choose the easy path rather than the path we know we should take, just try and focus on winning the next 15 seconds in your mind. Win this small battle inside your head and resist the urge to stay in bed or look at social media.
On most occasions when we give up on things or take the easy route, there is a moment in our brains when we want the short-term fix. Try and fight that urge by counting to 15 seconds and telling yourself that the harder path, is the right path.
Let’s say that you are keen to send 20 emails to potential customers that you don’t know. You have been looking to do this for some time as you KNOW it’s vital for you to build your longer-term pipeline. You are not quite sure what to say and so procrastinate about it and when that email comes in about a small issue, you focus on solving that even though it’s not as important in the long term as doing the emails.
When this happens, try and win the 15-second battle. Tell yourself for 15 seconds which is really more important and try and stay on track to do the harder task. Win the first 15-second battle and if needed win the 2nd and 3rd.
By continuing to win small battles, we build strength in our mind and when we do then complete that harder task or get out of bed or resist looking at social media then we start to train our mental muscles to do the hard things.
Will it work all the time? No! Most of us are unlikely to have David-Goggins-like mental strength right now but by training ourselves over time, we can hopefully win more of the small tiny battles that matter.
Give this a go this week. When faced with a choice between something you know you have to do or the easy path, win a 15-second battle. Use that tiny win as motivation and drive to win another and another and get the things done that are critical for your business and personal success.
I would love to know how you get on and what mini-battles you have won this week.