Ep. #27 – Do That Thing You’ve Been Avoiding
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
– Mark Twain
In This Episode
I’m going to share with you the importance of doing that impossible task you’ve been avoiding, first thing in the day. Before you’ve done anything else. Get that big old giant scary task off your plate so you can clear your mind of it’s torment.
It’s Our Nature to Avoid Pain and Pursue Pleasure
Our drive to pursue pleasure and avoid pain is actually beneficial to us, but too often we seek pleasure NOW at the cost of great pain later.
For example, if you’re hungry, you could pursue immediate pleasure and just order a pizza. It’s fast, easy and it tastes great. No cooking, no cleanup and you have a good tasting meal. On the other hand, you could saute some vegetables, but then you’d have to cut them, clean them, cook them, season them, clean it all up afterwards and it’s probably, for most people, not as tasty as a pizza. But, this will give you more long-term pleasure when it comes to your health and well-being, but it costs you more now.
Remember when you were a kid and had to eat those peas or broccoli or lima beans? The longer you stared at them the worse they looked. You would dread it so much, even to the point of slowly chewing them because you were so disgusted.
It needs to be like ripping off a band-aid. You just gotta close your eyes and dig in so you get it done as quickly as possible.
Do The Longest Run First
If your fitness trainer said “ok today we’re going to run 10 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles and 2 mile… with a 5 minute break in between each. You hate running, so you figure, just do the one that’s least painful right up front. You start on the 2 mile run and it’s not bad. After your break, you go out for the 3 mile and you still feel ok (I’m realizing this is a LOT of running in my example, haha). By the time you get to that 10 mile run, you’re physically drained and mentally exhausted.
Invert the running, starting with the 10 mile run first, working your way down and everything is always easier than the previous thing you did.
The Hardest Part is Getting Started
Thinking about having a giant concrete ball you have to move; the hardest part is getting it going. Once that’s done, you can keep it going fairly easy. So if you’re using all that energy to get started, might as well start the toughest one first and keep it going.
Your Brain Chemistry Changes
When you do something that you were dreading, your brain chemistry actually changes. It’s kind of like the high runners experience when finishing a long race. This is part physical but also part psychological and runners actually become addicted to this high.
Not only does it change the chemistry of your brain, your mind actually gets stronger when you do this. Each time you do the biggest scariest task on your list, you make the other ones easier because you’re creating neural-pathways that say “I can do this” rather than the “I struggle with this stuff” pathways you create when you look at that task and avoid it.
Call to Action
Look at your to do list today… what’s the toughest scariest thing on there?
No, don’t stop and thinking about doing it… just do it!
Don’t analyse it, don’t organize it, don’t do anything but start on it.