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Snowball Effect And Rationalization Of A Navy Seal Habit

A retired seal commander Jocko Willink, wrote a book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. Lately everyone was focusing on his early mornings, however his habit of “making up your bed” was way more intriguing. By this point you’ve probably heard that it is the very first task of the day which you accomplish, and that would encourage you to execute another task.

“I’m not going to lie, after a few times of making up your bed you simply ignore it as if nothing actually happened, as if you brushed your teeth. However, if you don’t, you will feel kinda shitty about it.”

However, the snowball effect is more severe when it comes to bad habits, way more… As I keep noticing from coaching experience, it starts small. One day you skip your workout. Than it moves on to two or three days. And if nobody is around to snap you out or give you a nodge, eventually it becomes a week. After a week if it gets to two weeks, said person is basically screwed within two-three months. No, he might get back in the gym, but it will take him a hell of a while to get back on track. Now, I do understand that I am pulling these numbers out of my ass, however I highly doubt that any coach would truly disagree with me here.

 

How to avoid this? I can only bring up two non so vague things.

 

Firstly, feel of the guilt should be there. If it’s good for you, your family and society, you should be ashamed.
Secondly, under no circumstances make any goals. I am serious with this one, as soon as you start making goals on how many pages you will read or miles you have to run, you are screwed. Your entire focus will be set on those exact numbers or kilometers, the whatsoever joy we find in things during those activities (and there are barely any) will disappear and hate for the said task will dominate.

 

In short: Do your best, fuck the rest. You are still better off with even 10% done on what you’ve planned than none. And that brings us back to the 2nd point, if you will do let say 10% of said task, you will feel like shit. So do not focus on those numbers. You have them? Great. Go do your work and check up with them once in a while just to have some sort of landmark.

Featured Image: BEER by Charles Bukowski

Aidas Sungaila

Jack of all trades. www.barbfintess.me

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