I want to share the best technique that I have found to improve willpower and create habits (aside from meditation). It is sort of a “Jedi-Mind Trick” and is especially useful for perfectionists who have difficulty starting the things they love to do.
Most people here at TRP probably have goals, skills they’d like to master, and a few bad habits that need removing. The best way to remove a bad habit is to replace it with a positive one.
The battle and balance between Id and Superego should not be neglected for a RP-aware man. All your “higher” aspirations of being the perfect Alpha man who fears nothing are in constant conflict with your primitive “small mind”. There is a side in you that wants comfort, coddling, and basically to return to the womb. However, I think there is another facet to the unconscious that is rarely discussed: Your Id wants you to lose. This is why most people are mediocre.
Which brings me to the next point that people like Trump understand: It is harder to be a winner than a loser.
While you’re beating away at yourself for having second thoughts at going to the gym, the demon-child in you is not only resisting the physical exertion needed to go to the gym, but it wants you to not be successful.
The reasons for this are complex but I believe stem back to childhood trauma, repressed rage, and feelings of inferiority that fester in most people. In adulthood these can manifest as perfectionistic tendencies and a fear of failure, both traits that I think would characterize a sizable crowd here at TRP. Both traits hold you back from accomplishing (starting) your goals.
So, you want to write more? Play music every day? Golf? Meditate or read every day but just keep failing to start so habits cannot form? You need the 5-Minute Agreement:
The 5-Minute Agreement:
Get a notepad and write down the things you’d like to do every single day. Lists help. Then draw columns for every day of the week to make it official for yourself. The “Agreement” you make with yourself is that you promise that you will give 5 minutes every day to said activities. Let’s say you choose 5 habits that are: exercise, meditate, read, write, practice guitar. You only have to dedicate 25 minutes a day to all 5 of them and all of those aside from exercise can easily be done before bed. Then you just check them off on your list as you go along.
The idea is that if the activity is truly something you love to do, you will want to do it for far more than 5 minutes once you begin. But if you don't, that's OK. The resistance of our Ids is strongest before we start. The pressure of expecting to dedicate all kinds of time to something is what we find daunting and will cause perfectionists to falter.
Give it a try, it’s autohypnosis and it works.
- Habits form by repetition, with starting being the hardest part.
- If you can’t dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to some habit or skill you’d like to develop, it’s not your thing.