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One of my greatest dreams in life was to do a TED talk. I thought I’d walk off the stage feeling energized, motivated, and ready to take on my subsequent pursuit. But instead, I felt indifferent and uninspired, which was enormously frustrating and confusing. I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong until I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.
There were two issues. First, I had to reframe my objective. I had made the goal of giving an impactful speech on a TEDx stage my intention, which is why I wound up feeling empty instead of enthused. To regain my motivation, I needed to focus on the mission behind my goal. Meaning I had to shift my attention to why I wanted to be a public speaker in the first place, which was to inspire others and make a difference in the world.
In the buildup to the talk, I was very strict with my diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and schedule, ensuring my healthier habits would afford me the energy, focus, and recall for delivering a powerful speech. But as soon as it was over, I fell back into my old ways. I’d made the talk the reason for my temporary behavioral change instead of understanding that I’d have to continue these new habits to sustain the physical and mental stamina needed to grow and advance professionally.
I realized if I wanted continuous improvement in my life and career, I’d need to consistently adopt these healthy habits, not just during key vocational moments.
Related: The Top 5 Habits of Peak Performing Entrepreneurs
The more research I did, the more I appreciated the nexus between habits and success. Yes, chance, randomness, and innate talent play a role in our lives, but we do not control those. However, we do have command over our patterns, which play a much more significant role in our long-term accomplishments, particularly when we reach the top of our field.
Many people make the same mistake I did, believing goal creation is what sets them up for success. But we can’t achieve our objectives without the proper action steps. Goals are there for inspiration, motivation, and direction, but you still need systems in place to ensure you progress beyond the milestones you set yourself.
As James Clear shrewdly states, “You don’t rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.”
How do we create healthy habits and stick to them? Building on a powerful 3-step principle that scientific researchers have professed for eons, James Clear enriches the formula by taking it one step further.
Let’s use the infamous Pavlov’s dog experiment since most are familiar with it. …….