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.