You are two people. The person you currently are and the person you are destined to be. We’ve discussed the integrity gap together before.
The distance between what you are capable of and what you currently do. The larger the gap the greater discomfort, displeasure, anxiety, resentment, and stress. The closer the gap and the greater happiness, well-being, strength, and authentic version of yourself you will experience.
You have superpowers. It’s true. Some of them are similar to others
- Superman and Flash are both fast as all get-up
Some of them are unique
- Cyclops shoots fire out of his eyes
You might feel like you don’t have any superpowers what-so-ever. But neither did these gents.
- Batman: no real superpowers but badass none the less. His skills are totally based on hard work and hand to hand combat.
- Dick Grayson: Crazy acrobatics… that’s it but a work ethic and consistency to practice his craft like no other.
- Howard the Duck: Quackfu is all he’s got. He’s also hilarious. I don’t want to sell him short.
But this isn’t a post about Superheroes. Well it is, sort of. It’s a post about you. It’s about unleashing your unique talents, abilities, and gifts and making an impact in this world and others in this. It’s about uniting who you currently are and who you are destined to be.
So find a phone booth and get changed into something more appropriate for this.
Embracing your alter-ego
I’m a big fan of Superheroes. I collect various and hard to find superhero t-shirts. I recently bought a few posters (I’m 32 years old, albeit) and have a shrine of those superhero t-shirts on a wall at home. Just the other day….
I mean when I was 12 🙂 I use to fantasize about having my own super powers. Which ones I would want to have, what I would do with them, and how I would help people in need. I’m sure you’ve done it too… Please say you’ve done it too or this post could get pretty weird real quick.
I often wondered why superheroes even bothered with alter-egos. I mean why be Clark Kent when you can just be Superman all the time? Why bother with being Peter Parker when you can run the city as Spiderman?
Because being a Superhero all the time would be frick’n exhausting. Walking around in your costume all the time, going to work in it, picking up groceries and a million people asking you to get stuff off of the high shelf for them, going to the laundry mat and having the old guy next to you ask if you could just run around with his clothes real fast until they dried. Oh yeah, Not to mention all the life saving, crime fighting, and world protecting you’d be doing.
You need an alter-ego just to get a bit of a break and take care of some of those day-to-day normalities and to save some energy and enthusiasm for the real daunting stuff.
Author Dan Ariely gives us a wonderful quote in an article he wrote about ego-depletion.
“…Many people probably remember the G.I. Joe cartoon catch phrase: “Knowing is half the battle.” While this served in the context of PSAs of various stripes, it can help us here as well. Simply knowing you can become depleted, and moreover, knowing the kinds of decisions you might make as a result, makes you far better equipped to handle difficult situations when and as they arise…”
Bridging the gap between your Clark Kent and Superman
And for you ladies out there, bridging the gap to finding your Wonderwoman
Often neglected are the decisions we make right now. Your future is determined by what you do today. Too often it seems like this is forgotten and lost in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day activities. Food choices you make this instant may not seem as if they will affect you a week, month, or year from now. The way you respond to a stressful situation may not appear to have any impact on your future.
One powerful way to remind yourself that the choices you make everyday matter not only now but tomorrow, the day after, and years from now is to understand that someone else’s future may be tied to yours and vice versa. The decisions you make affect others directly and indirectly.
- The food you choose to eat shows your kids what to eat
- Your optimism and determination shows your family and friends what is possible
- The way you participate on a project at work affects the results for everyone
- That big purchase may affect your significant other
What you do matters. Always.
The motivation myth
You and I have talked about it before. But it bares repeating. Motivation is a fleeting emotion that you have not control over. However, you do control consistency and that is where to put the bulk of your focus.
“The essence of human motivation is that we want to be effective. It’s what makes us feel alive,”… “We are willing to give up sensory pleasure and take on pain in order to be effective.” -Tory Higgins, Professor of Psychology/Motivation Science at Columbia Business School.
According to Higgins there are three ways to be effective (visit Columbia Edu for full article).
1. Value Effectiveness: Achieving a specific results like eating when you are hungry or winning a game of black jack (note, I don’t condone gambling…unless you’re really good)
2. Control Effectiveness: Influencing what happens. This has nothing to do with winning or losing but more so with how you play the game. If participation and rewards were the only things involved in any challenge no one would participate.
This reminds me of a section in Daniel Pinks book Drive. We all want the ability to actively participate in anything we do. To be creative, conquer difficult things, and be in charge of out own destiny.
3. Truth effectiveness: The pursuit of genuine goals, connections, and results. This varies from one to another as truth is often subjective. What may be legitimate to one may not be so much to another. This is where an open mind and the ability to respect others opinions comes into play.
Just because you differ in opinion with someone doesn’t make them wrong, it just makes their view different. Two roads can lead to the same outcome.
You can see issues with this all the time. In the words of Higgins himself.
“But all of us are motivated to know what is real. In disagreements around the globe over politics and religion, humans are motivated to risk pain and even death to establish what they believe is true.”
The key to motivation is uniting these three. Combining your goal with your vision and setting a date of achievement. Too many of us are spending an awful lot of time talking and less time actively planning and doing.
What is one big thing you have always wanted to accomplish? How would it feel if you finally achieved it. Why not put everything else on hold to get it done? What does it look like? Feel like? Smell like? If you achieved it how would your life change?
I like using Superman as an example because everyone is so familiar with him. Take a look at how he rolls for a minute. A problem arises, he changes in a phone booth, and boom! He’s on the scene lickidy-split. He doesn’t over complicate things. There’s no worrying if he’s got a clean costume on, if he should do three sets or four for his workout today, he’s not texting on his cell phone while flying to save someone, checking his email for the 100th time today, and certainly no eating dinner, while watching TV, while doing laundry, while cleaning the living room, while trying to help his kid with homework.
Things get to complex and nothing gets done. You get overwhelmed, exhausted, and you start to procrastinate.
Eliminate distractions and avoid multi-tasking
- Turn off the cell phone for a full 24 hours
- Check you email once per day after 7PM
- When you eat, just eat. No Tv, computer, or reading
Practice one thing at a time until it’s completion and then move on. I have a ton of things running through my hand at any given moment. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming and the anxiety kicks in. David Allen’s book Getting Things Done taught me how to prioritize and do one thing at a time.
When something pops up evaluate it.
Do it: If it will take you less than two minutes to complete it do it right away.
Delegate it: If it will take longer than two minutes ask if it is time sensitive, does it need to be completed by a certain date? If it does what are the next set of action steps I can take right now that bring me one step closer to its completion.
Also ask yourself if this is something that someone else might be able to better than you. Can you delegate it to them?
Defer it: For me these are things like blog posts ideas, places I want to travel, and other stuff that is not necessarily essential at the time for me. I keep track of these on my phone using Evernote. I review the list each week and cross off stuff that no longer interests me and start working on others as long as I have the time.
Way to many people see the most they have to lose in any situation as opposed as to what they have to gain. This vision in itself will completely keep you from achieving what you want. Hell, it will keep you from getting started.
Too many people are doing it ass-backwards. Instead of anticipating the least likely scenario of what might go wrong and start focusing on what will more than likely go right. How will your life change if you achieve what it is you want to achieve?
We’ve been conditioned to point out problems and to complain. Be solutions focused. Accept that there are ups and downs in any situation. Become the remedy and stop contributing to the disease. Fine, things are terrible, someone else screwed something up, I get ya. What are you going to do about it. What can you do right now that fixes the situation regardless of whether you have something to do or not with it.
You don’t decide your future
You can’t control future outcomes. The best you can do is to make definitive choices, focus on the behaviors that lead to the future outcomes you are hoping for, and establish the habits that promote consistency in those behaviors
Look for opportunities that promote learning, education, and connecting with others that are doing what you want to do.
Take jobs for what you can learn
Study courses that add resources to your arsenal.
Vincent K. Harris wrote a book called Making the Shift that inspired this post. In it he mentions that many of us spend 8 hours a day doing work on someone else’s dream. You owe it to yourself to spend at least an hour a week working on yours.
He elaborates more with an acronym called S.I.P
What types of strategies can you apply to your ideas and who do you know or want to know that can help you get to where you want to be?
Take time out to review your current beliefs. Have they contributed to where you want to be or are they holding you back? Remove the most limiting beliefs by establishing new habits.
Imagine yourself for a second with no personal growth. Physically, financialy, emotionally, spiritually, and in your relationships. How would that feel?