This morning, I woke up back in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where I spent the past 3 years living with my sister and brother-in-law. My sister is in Australia (where I’ll be headed this weekend!!!), so it’s just me and my bro-in-law, Jade.
Last night, Jade and I relaxed over some pizza and wine and talked about everything from online business to human psychology to the new season of Suits.
Lately, I’ve been mentally stuck with what to do after I graduate college, so rather than being proactive and dealing with my stress, I’ve been binge watching Netflix and eating lots of chips and salsa.
As Jade was coaching me up on online business and getting my mindset right for what it takes to thrive in the online space, he mentioned something that really resonated with me.
He said that he believes that “all humans are inherently lazy and fearful.”
I truly believe that those are two battles we all must consistently fight if we want to be successful.
Battle #1: Laziness
I don’t know the exact quote, or the exact story, but I once heard somewhere that the guy who created the television was reflecting on human psychology and the path of least resistance – the idea that humans prefer to do the easiest thing over the more difficult.
So he thought, “Okay, so sitting on a couch is pretty easy, but what’s even easier than that?”
The answer, of course, is TV. It’s easy to sit down and relax, but even easier to sit and watch TV because it distracts you from your own thoughts and boredom.
We have to fight this desire for the path of least resistance. If you win the battle of laziness, it immediately puts you ahead of those watching Netflix with chips and salsa.
Battle #2: Fear
The great Napoleon Hill wrote 70+ years ago about the 6 basic fears that all humans feel to at least some degree.
- Poor Health
- Loss of Love
- Old Age
You may fear one or two more than others, but the point is that fear is there in all of us and fear can be detrimental to us achieving our goals.
Fear causes me to not write (fear of criticism), to look for “real jobs” (fear of poverty), procrastinate, have doubt, be indecisive, and worry about things that have not yet come to fruition.
Winning The Battles:
There are three ideas that help me fight these two battles everyday —
1. Make Action a Habit
“Inaction breeds fear and doubt. Action breeds confidence & courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out & get busy.” -Dale Carnegie
Action can be a habit like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Practicing taking action everyday over and over will eliminate procrastination and fear.
Its like pushing a boulder up a hill. At first, the boulder barely moves, and takes all of your energy just to get it to budge (like a new workout program, or taking the first step toward walking up to a beautiful woman at the bar).
Then, halfway up the hill the boulder is still moving, but you’re sick of pushing this damn rock (quitting in week 3 of a workout program because you’re not seeing results).
Then all of a sudden, when you’re at the top of the hill, the boulder gains momentum and rolls down the other side while you sit down at the top and have a Guinness.
Practice doing one hard thing everyday that will help you move an inch towards your goals. Anytime you hear yourself say “I’ll do it tomorrow” – do it right then and there.
2. Feed The Right Dog
A tribal elder is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he says to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two dogs. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continues, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asks his grandfather, “Which dog will win?”
The chief simply replied,”The one you feed.”
When I read the right books, surround myself with the right people, like Jade and Jill, and do things I like, I am much happier, much more confident, and much more fearless than when I am on my Netflix marathons, or talking with people who don’t “get” what I do.
Feed the right dog by surrounding yourself with people and things that help your goals, rather than harm them.
The biggest thing I try to remind myself is that I’m not a robot. I am a human being with thoughts, emotions, and fears. Fear is actually a healthy, normal defense mechanism that can protect us from harm.
Being fearless is not “being without fear,” but feeling fear, and then acting in spite of it.
Practice identifying the fear by saying “I feel fear” out loud, and then go ahead and act anyways. This acceptance of fear will teach you that fear is a part of life, but it doesn’t paralyze you and keep you from acting.