Law #2 – Demanding The best from Yourself
In this chapter of T.J. Hoisington’s “If you think you can!” we focus on the challenge of defining what is the best of ourselves. Getting to that definition is a challenge in itself. We need to ask what is the best of myself, why do I want to be the best at this, and then determine the steps to demanding the best from ourselves. Sounds a lot like the goal setting process, doesn’t it? Well, you may be onto something; read on…
Aristotle said: “What you expect, that you shall find.” To get what you want from yourself, you need to expect it from yourself. For me, this means starting on something and then expecting more from myself.
There’s a great exercise for the abdominal muscles that proves this point, it’s called planking. There’s a 30 day challenge to get a flatter stomach. For those unfamiliar with planking, you lie face down, propped up on your forearms, as straight as can be. This challenge asks you to start with counting to ten, then add an additional 10 to the count each day. It also states that within 14 days you will probably stop counting and simply push yourself until you feel the burn. If done consistently, you will be planking for 5 minutes or more a day and get a stronger back and flatter belly.
Imagine that this exercise takes no more than five minutes each day, and it can teach us that building any activity by baby steps conditions us to want to exceed our previous expectations.
Jim Rohn states that “If you want your life to change then you must change.” Or, the act of changing what you do each day will allow you to learn…. making incrementally more challenging changes to a common action will improve the skills needed for that action.
What can we learn from this exercise?
1- Start small and build: how small doesn’t matter; it’s the act of starting that counts.
2- Consistently building up forms commitment to the goal.
3- Commitment changes our mindset from thinking “It would be nice to have” to “I can, I will, & I must have”.
4- Demanding only a little more of ourselves, at a time changes our expectations and motivates us to achieve even more.
5- Expecting more of yourself is a decision that will always lead to new results!
We know from more thought leaders than I wish to quote here that readers are achievers, so If reading is your challenge, do the same thing… start with one page and add a page every day. In no time you will be an avid reader and an achiever!
If it’s writing, then set yourself the goal of adding one sentence a day and watch how fast you grow your book and your skills. Pick a task, define a starting point and set the endpoint in mind, then backtrack to the smallest increments you can to get to the goal.
As I say to my daughter, only 5 minutes of reviewing each day on what was covered before, will make the studying of new things easier, because you won’t have to relearn it all again.
So, How about you? In which parts of your life could you apply this simple habit forming exercise? What are going to make a commitment to improving today?
Wishing you a Tremendous week!