You can change

Here’s what you need to know. 

You can change your habits, your mindset, and your grit. Most people don’t tend to change, but you need to know that you can.

Near constant exertion

God has designed this mortal existence to require nearly constant exertion. I recall the Prophet Joseph Smith’s simple statement: “By continuous labor [we] were enabled to get a comfortable maintenance” (Joseph Smith—History 1:55). By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires.

D. Todd Christofferson, Reflections on a Consecrated Life, October 2010

The accessibility of habits and grit…

It strikes me that two major determinants of success, habits and grit, are accessible to most people. Certainly, talent and intelligence will play a role in success, but I suspect they play more of a role in where we succeed, not whether we succeed. Those who succeed the most, I think, pursue their areas of special ability with good habits and grit. They recognize their strengths and follow them, but continuing to work on their weaknesses.

Much like the tortoise and the hare, those who continue to move forward may succeed despite an apparent lack of native ability. Fortunately, habits and grit can change, even if we can’t change your native ability. This is how we develop skills.

I injured myself today doing a deadlift where I didn’t realize how much of a jump in weight I was doing. I have worked hard to avoid injury in CrossFit, but I learned today that I will need to be more careful. I see the potential for learning a lot from this injury and how I might’ve avoided it. Injury can slow progress. We need to learn from these experiences and then carry on.

Two books to review:

The power of habit.

Grit.

Which Decisions are Strongest?

Are my decisions strongest when I am making them in the moment? … or when I have carefully considered and planned them?

Often, I get distracted from goals and plans because I make a different decision in the moment than I did when I carefully considered it. This doesn’t seem like the strongest strategy. I think that I need to have more confidence in my planning and then follow through.

Break Bad Habits with a Checklist

The idea of changing habits with a checklist is a powerful one for both individuals and organizations.

For individuals …

https://hbr.org/2017/02/break-bad-habits-with-a-simple-checklist

For organizations …

https://www.amazon.ca/Checklist-Manifesto-How-Things-Right-ebook/dp/B0030V0PEW

I need to have enough confidence in the checklist to trust it enough to discount my feelings in the moment in order to stick to my plan (that I have carefully thought through).