in Friends, Family, and Fun

Breakthroughs

In the last 6 months I’ve established a habit of regular exercise and eating less sugar (here’s my 4 hour body cheat sheet). I should’ve been doing this all along, what was it that made me finally able to change?

The power of a breakthrough moment is incredible. One experience can completely change your life. One moment, you make all of your decisions one way – then you see something in a new light, and from that moment on you see everything differently.

What goes into a breakthrough? Is there a way to induce a forcible paradigm shift in a persons thinking? What is involved in really getting something?

I think the keys are experience, and seeing correlation (positive feedback).

Experience is key to learning, though it seems like such an inefficient way to learn. So much time and effort is wasted in life trying and failing in order to experience understanding. For many lessons, experience is truly a requirement. Motivation alone, now matter how much you have will not give you understanding. It may even require reaching “rock bottom”, but once you are receptive you can recognize whether something is working for you, and if not – try something else.

If you try something, get positive feedback, and see a direct correlation – you’ll keep doing that thing. You might even change your schedule to make room for your new priorities.

Hedge your bets with:

  • Breaking whatever you are trying to do into tiny steps
  • Positive reinforcement for those baby steps
  • Telling people about what you’re trying to do
  • Reminders (photos), that re-inforce the underlying why

An interesting implication of this is you can use it for your own persuasive power. If you are trying to convince someone of something, simply make them feel like it was their idea. Show them the positive implications of some tiny step. In the meantime, I’m looking for more breakthroughs for myself.

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  1. Hey Adam, have you tried Crossfit? There’s a Crossfit gym on 11th between Pike & Pine (www.foundationcrossfit.com) that I started going to in November. I really enjoyed the group dynamic and saw results rather quickly. I left Seattle in February to travel for a few months and have really missed the workouts — looking forward to starting up again when I’m back in July.

  2. Brad: I actual checked it out online. It definitely looks interesting, but right now I’m focussing on biking. I saw from your site that it looks like you are on a crazy round the world trip?! Awesome.

  3. I like the idea behind “baby steps” because just about everything in life requires taking those first few unknown steps. It’s very difficult achieving a goal immediately. I’ve tried to quite soda pop multiple times throughout my life and I think one of the missing factors for true success is telling people about my goal. Thanks for the tip and hopefully everyone else takes your advice. But, I would also like to add that thinking about the consequence of your current action effects your future state (ex. drinking caffeine later in the day results in less sleep). Thanks Adam.

  4. It hurts like hell hitting rock bottom. Im on the rock bottom stage right now or so i think. I wish there were such a thing that would help me understand things without reaching this low. But yeah the problem is we know things in theory, but we only truly learn things at heart and we learn things at heart when it hurts us like it is etched on souls. Thanks for the tips.

  5. @Brad Brenner I heard about crossfit gym from friends. They say the instructors are pretty strict military style. You couldnt get breaks when you want to. You’ll really be forced to sweat it out even if you feel like giving up.

  6. @Brad Brenner I heard about crossfit gym from friends. They say the instructors are pretty strict military style. You couldnt get breaks when you want to. You’ll really be forced to sweat it out even if you feel like giving up.