The Willingness to Start

From James Clear on the idea of”Giving Up”:

Life is a constant balance between giving into the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline. It is not an exaggeration to say that our lives and our identities are defined in this delicate balance. What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?

This moment when you don’t feel like doing the work? This is not a moment to be thrown away. This is not a dress rehearsal. This moment is your life as much as any other moment. Spend it in a way that will make you proud.

I am going to reshare this line from the above because it is good for me to remember:

What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?

The next time I am struggling to write, remember the above.  The next time I am struggling to exercise, remember the above.  The next time I feel too tired to play with my daughter, remember the above line. All of these things are not just ways I contribute to the world, but they give me purpose.

And as a reminder for myself and tip for others, I have adopted the “5 Minute Rule” from Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. When you don’t feel like doing something, do it for at least 5 minutes.  The below from the article, shares why starting something and sticking with it for 5 minutes is beneficial:

“Most procrastination is caused by either fear or conflict,” says Christine Li, a clinical psychologist specializing in procrastination. Even if we’re motivated to accomplish a task, fear—of failure, criticism, or stress—pits us against ourselves. We want to finish the project, but we also don’t want our fear to become reality. “This conflict makes it seem like it would be unwise or even impossible to move forward,” says Li, “which explains why we sometimes procrastinate even when it makes no sense to do so.”

And so the five-minute rule lowers that inhibition, lulling us into the idea that we can dip quickly into a project with no strings attached, according to Julia Moeller, a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. “Thus, the person reserves her right to reconsider her engagement after five minutes,” says Moeller, “which might increase the feeling of being in control and making an autonomous decision, rather than feeling forced to do something the person really absolutely does not want to do.”

The reason I write this blog is to gather my thinking.  The five minutes that I had just committed to reading, reflecting, and sharing what I just learned (which turned into a lot more time) is a battle that I just won in the pursuit of my growth.

There is no victory without the willingness to start in the first place.

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