WHY IS IT SO HARD
TO LIVE UP TO
BY: SHAWN HUNTER, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT OF MINDSCALING
’ve known communication experts
with dysfunctional relationships,
professional speakers who decline
events because they are horrified to
go on stage, and time management
gurus who are late to meetings. I’ve met
renowned thought-leaders who fabricate
some of their work to get published,
and personal change advisors who are
terrified of change.
Why is it so hard to live our values?
Why is it we can consume so much new
information and knowledge and yet
do nothing new in our daily life? We
watch TED talks about how the mere
presence of a smartphone on the table
between us detracts from the quality of
our conversation. Over 80 percent of us
know this, and yet we do it anyway.
We read studies on the importance of
grit and perseverance, and yet we are
quitting our jobs and hopping to new
opportunities at record levels because we
feel we aren’t making an “impact” quickly
enough to satisfy our ego.
We are constantly reminded that
multitasking is a myth and only leads to
decreased work quality, slower learning,
and decreased attention spans, and yet
we have numerous email and message
alerts active on our computers
We know we can accelerate our learning
when we try new things at work, and yet
we go along with idiotic ideas, hide our
opinions, and mask our true identities,
because we are scared of being fired, or
are desperate to fit in.
We know that the quality of our sleep
is directly related to the quality of our
health and well-being, and yet we take
our smartphones to bed, and even check
them in the middle of the night. And we
know that the first five minutes when we
walk in the front door can set the tone
for the entire evening, and yet often our
first reaction is dismay at the mountain
of dirty dishes in the sink. That dismay
is a mood killer.
WORK, IMPACT TAKES
Make it easier on yourself. The
expression “activation energy” was
coined 150 years ago by a chemist.
The term refers to the minimum amount
of energy required to stimulate an
interaction between available reactants.
In other words, we should minimize the
amount of energy it takes to get us in
motion and remove all the hurdles to
taking action that we can. If we want
to start jogging more, we should lay our
gear and our shoes by the bed before we
go to sleep. If we want to become better
public speakers, we need to block off a
doable amount of time — perhaps 30
minutes each day — to actively write
and rehearse our material. And if we
truly want opinions and new ideas at our
meetings, we should make our meetings
psychologically safe for honesty.
When we make it easy to begin
something, we lower the amount of
energy it takes to get started. And
if it takes less energy to get started,
we are more likely to do it. The slow,
intentional approach to learning
something new, overcoming fear, and
leading with confidence requires guided
mastery toward self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is not self-esteem. Self-
esteem is how good you feel about
yourself. Self-efficacy is the strength
of your belief in your own ability to
complete the tasks you set out for
yourself and reach your goals.
Make it easy on yourself. Start small. +