Season 4 Finale – The 3rd Key – Demolition
Special thanks to all those who supported the podcast this season.
Nate Arnett Thank you for the music
Gabe and Christine Jolley – Thank you for your hospitality
Donna and Richard Garrison, Chris Krimitsos, The White Family
Sawtooth Adventure Comp. Altra Shoes, Rapid Reboot, Squadcast and Zoom Recordings, Buzzsprout, and Podfest 2020.
The 3rd Key – Demolition
Time to tear down the old walls. Rip out the cabinets and drywall. Remove the old flooring and get down to the foundation. The bare studs. The basics. Before we can start constructing, we need a clean slate. Time to change some of those negative behaviors. Do some prep work.
This can be a free and liberating time. It’s the fun part. Where we get to break stuff. Tear things apart. Remove the rotten wood and faulty wiring. Clean house so to speak. We all have faults and shortcomings. No one is perfect. Are you willing to spend a few moments and consider what those flaws might be? You know yourself well. Well enough to easily recognize your bad behavior and negative patterns. What bad habits need to be demolished. What limiting mindsets need to be knocked down once and for all? What are the insignificant habits you have developed that are keeping you from realizing that dream life? What has, over time, gradually taken over your lifestyle.
What are the habits you have created that added the extra weight to your waistline?
What are the habits that contribute to your poor performance at work?
What are some of the things you continue to put off?
What are the things that you are actively doing every day that are sabotaging your success?
Is there anything you could stop doing today rather easily, that would have an immediate and significant improvement to your life? Is there more than one? List a few and pick just one to stop today. Today, right now. Make that commitment. Go with the easiest one first.
It is much easier to stop these negative patterns of behaviors when we can replace these bad habits with good ones. This makes stopping the bad habit a little easier. With the newfound free time that was consuming your behavior, spend some time thinking about some habits that could have a significant and meaningful impact on your overall well-being. Simple things such as going on a walk every night after dinner, reading, learning a new skill, or instrument. Whatever excites you, whatever you think you might enjoy now. Today. But these habits should not just be fun, they must provide significance and value to your long-term goals. So, what are the three new habits you would like to adopt and add to your routine? List these here. Again, start with the easiest one to implement as a regular practice. If you are struggling, I suggest selecting one physical, one mental, and one that strengthens a relationship (like a spouse or loved one).
Just like the habits you have created take time to establish, getting rid of the negative behavior patterns will take time as well. So be easy on yourself. Go slow. We are not trying to change the world in a day. We are just taking one little step in the right direction. Start small.
I started with a goal very early on to make better use of my Sundays. My Sunday afternoons and evening were spent on the couch, watching football or golf often for hours. I am not much of a couch potato, but Sunday was different. Eating poorly on top of that, every Monday morning I would regret wasting all that time. So, I adopted some weekly routines to help change that. I would still enjoy my downtime and use Sunday as a recovery day, but while doing so I would write a letter to someone I care about. Taking just an extra 5 to 10 minutes to write that letter changed my mindset but also shifted my perspective so that I felt differently Monday morning. Yes, I was watching less TV, but the positive act I replaced it with really made a difference in how I felt about the day. And it only took a few minutes.
When I first started exercising it was a similar story. I was waking up on my own without an alarm and just lying in bed stressing about what I had to get done at work that day, knowing that if I didn’t get out of bed and get going, I would be stuck in worse traffic than if I just got up. This was a daily struggle. But then I made the commitment to set an alarm and get up earlier on purpose. I began exercising 2 or 3 days a week for 30 minutes before work. But it wasn’t easy at first, some days I would just roll over and hit the snooze button. As I continually struggled with that goal, I change the behavior to make it easier. I started playing basketball with friends one night a week. That was a great place to start and allowed me to have a fun experience while getting the exercise and achieving the goal. Make it easy. Make it fun. Using these micro habits makes it less painful to give up some of the old habits. And once you have taken down a few small ones, you will have the confidence to tackle some of the habitual behaviors and addictions that are not so easy…
But don’t worry about that for now. For now, make it as easy as you possibly can. Use the 1% Rule. The 1% Rule is to simply do 1% more today than you did the day before. So often when we are fed up, sick and tired and finally find ourselves motivated to change, we jump in with both feet and go at it with a vengeance. When demolishing the old space, we are ready to break out the sledgehammer and hard hats. But this is not a sustainable approach. We will lose that motivation over time. We may tear down the walls that we shouldn’t. Creating more work in the process. Rather we should take a more measured and balanced approach. Remove the old cabinets with care. We may have a use for them later on. We take a small step in the right direction and maintain it. Incorporate it into our lifestyle. See where it fits. While these small changes will not feel like much and the lack of initial development may feel frustrating, remember this is a long game, this is a big project. It will take time and patience to complete. The beauty of these small steps is that they are manageable they are sustainable. They are scalable and repeatable. And most importantly if done consistently they are guaranteed to produce results.
That being said, even the simplest of habits can be difficult to maintain. The act of flossing our teeth takes less than 3 minutes, is relatively painless, has a significant impact on our oral health and breath, yet very few of us take the time to do it consistently. These positive habits tend to not be immediately rewarding or self-gratifying enough to sustain on their own. That’s where challenges come in. Having a challenge, accomplishment, or long-term goal, make the small habits easier to maintain. Having a big challenge motivates you to show up and repeat your daily habits because you know the negative consequences if you don’t put in the work now.
You cannot just show up for a marathon and expect to finish if you haven’t created the habit of running.
You cannot publish your first book until you have created the habit of writing on a consistent basis.
You cannot buy your first home until you have created the habit of regularly saving money.
You cannot receive an advanced degree until you have adopted the habit of learning and study.
You cannot have an intimate relationship until you have mastered the habit of caring for yourself and others.
What are some challenges you could add to the mix that would force consistent change? Maybe it’s earning an advanced degree. Maybe it’s getting a group of friends together to do an obstacle course race or triathlon. Maybe it’s learning a new language. Having these challenges, along with the long-term goals that we established in creating your blueprint, will help guide your decisions when creating these new habits. Having these difficult deadlines looming will force the issue and make you much more willing to continue to show up. Continue to try…
I always encourage everyone to tackle a marathon at some point in their life. Especially for those who don’t consider themselves runners. Even though you might not be a runner, you can walk. You can put one foot in front of the other. If you can do that then you can get through a marathon. Sure, you may have to start with a 5 or 10k and it may take some longer than others. But the mental and physical toughness that you develop by doing this opens your mind to the possibility that you can do more. You learn you are capable of more than you thought. You learn you can do what some may say you cannot. You learn that you are can do more than what you tell yourself you are capable of. You learn that your limits are almost all self-imposed and can be overcome. That it is a limited mindset. That so much more is possible than you realized. And the best part about this challenge is, the tougher your individual circumstances are, the more hurdles that you personally have to overcome will make your accomplishment that much more meaningful.
That much more inspiring to your supporters.
That much more impressive to all the haters who said you couldn’t do it.
But there is a catch. There is something more you must do to achieve the desired result. The most important demolition happens between our ears.
Other things to demo
Demo your Ego, Mindset and Misguided beliefs
Now that you see how basic the process can be, have you asked yourself what has kept me from doing this until now? Why haven’t I taken this action before? What is preventing me from making forward progress in my life? Why do I feel so stuck and discontent? In order for any of these principles to work, requires a fundamental shift in mindset. Letting go of the Ego. Choose to stop being offended. This is where the real work lies. Changing your mindset and shifting your perspective is not easy. It takes time and repeated failure to realize. But as you learn to shift your perspective, create a growth mindset, it gets easier, it even gets fun.
The first experience I had with shifting my mindset was while driving. Having spent significant time in rush hour traffic and being a typical aggressive male, I developed the negative habit of being an aggressive driver. I would admit I was definitely in the road rage category. I had plenty of skirmishes and minor confrontations and accidents that thanks to the good Lord above never escalated into anything serious (although if left up to me alone probably would have). One Sunday afternoon (on the way to church no less) I found myself behind an especially slow driver and as usual I am running late. So, it didn’t take long before I found myself in the typical spot of tailgating, looking for an opportunity to pass dangerously across double yellow lines and just being a jerk in general. Now there is only one route to take to get to our church that happens to be a pretty good distance away. As we are making our way, this jerk in front of me is taking every turn I am taking, it almost feels likes he’s doing it on purpose. I imagine you all know that feeling) but then it occurs to me, the reason he is taking all the same turns, is because he is going where I am going…… Sure, enough as we approach the church the car in front of me pulls in to the parking lot. It’s not big or super crowded but I have no choice but to pull in behind him. I never felt so bad or so horrible. Then the elderly gentleman got out of the car, didn’t say a negative word to me but carried on as though it was no big deal. That man just so happens to be teaching the marriage prep class my soon-to-be wife and I were attending. We were the only ones attending. I never felt so small, it was at that point I began to shift my mindset and remove my ego from every situation possible.
You would think after such an embarrassing experience I would have learned my lesson and I would have applied these principles immediately and thoroughly. But of course, I am not that smart and unfortunately, it seems I require infinite shame and embarrassment to have a point driven home to me.
A few months later and despite making some improvements with my road rage issues, I once again found my self in a hurry on my way to church (this time it was wed. night youth activities) and once again found myself behind a particularly slow driver. Trying to remain calm at first and following prescribed methods I eventually lost it and resumed my typical obnoxious driving behavior and of course, the more I did that, the worse it got. This stupid driver was taking all the same turns driving intentionally slower than the normal flow of traffic. Slow enough to send me back to a place of aggravation and frustration.
And then, once again, it dons on me that this car is headed to the same place I am. This is yet another person I go to church with. The same dutifully embarrassment of pulling into the same parking lot after driving like a complete jerk for the past several miles. And to put the icing on the cake, the driver of said vehicle was the grandson of the teacher I had done this to the first time. Turns out he had his learners permit and was practicing his driving skills on the way the youth activities with his kind mother……. Although at the moment the rage in her eyes made it clear that her sweetness had its breaking point.
Needless to say, if I felt small before, now I just wanted to be invisible. My shame at that moment was palpable. But it was at that moment that I finally REALLY understood, what that shift in mindset really looked like. What truly limiting my ego feels like? And from there, I began the lifelong practice of empathy. Understanding all the struggles and problems facing that jerk who cut you off in traffic. Understanding that most attacks you face are not even really yours. Many times, they are manifestations of the problems and difficulties the other person is facing. And if it really is you, then there is an opportunity to better understand your self and the flaws you may be oblivious to. Having a growth mindset will allow you to experience these situations from a perspective of wonderment and awe rather than resentment and frustration.
Most occasions for shifts in mindset come from external sources and experiences that we are lucky enough to have and learn from. But as we understand the process, we can create these shifts for ourselves. We can find purpose when we look closely. What are some examples in your life right now where you could shift your perspective and appreciate a challenge more as an opportunity? What are three specific shifts you could make today that would allow you to grow and learn more effectively? Where do you have a fixed mindset and feel afraid or intimidated to fail?
The Two Grandmothers.
I know 2 grandmothers. Both have grandkids they love dearly. One lives close to her daughter and the other lives on the opposite side of the country from hers. The one who lives close to her daughter has found herself in the position of a nanny during the week while the parents are working. The other only gets to see her granddaughter once a year around the holidays. What is interesting is the grandmother who is close has over time developed an underlying resentment for her granddaughter because she feels she has no voice or say so in the situation. Duty calls. And the other grandmother is heartbroken that she only gets pictures and social media updates for her grandbaby. Each of the sweet maternal figures would do almost anything to trade places with the other. The close grandmother would be incredibly relived with the opportunity to not feel like she is trapped into raising kids again. The distant grandmother would jump at the chance to move into a full-time role for her granddaughter.
This shifting of perspective of appreciation and gratitude help us overcome our own Ego and pride. Having a growth mindset allows our ego to be bruised but continue undamaged. It allows us to persevere and even thrive as we take what we’ve learned and apply it. This shift in mindset is vital as we open the next key to greatness. The rough framing. This perspective is critical as we start building. The construction process is ready to begin. Get ready to start hammering.