Love Hack, Baby, Love Hack!
“It starts in the language. If you claim to hate doing invoices, they’ll never get easier to do. Instead, say “I love the grind. I love getting paid. I’m going to get this done so I can do other stuff I love, too.” – Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is one of my heroes, not the least because he’s the most Internet-Famous person I can claim to actually be friends with. In case you’re wondering, he’s every bit as ebullient and fun to talk to in person as he is to listen to speak or to read.
Much to my surprise, by page 20 (kindle) I was reaching for paper and pen to start making my own notes. He was talking about the difference between “willpower” and “discipline”, but that’s a topic for another day (Monday, maybe). However, he did outline several steps for building discipline, and the first one resonated:
“Change Your Program”
I’ve always been resistant to the idea of affirmations, ever since my parents gave me “The Power of Positive Thinking” as a young man. It’s awful easy for those words to go from encouragement to accusation to guilt, as research has shown. But Chris wasn’t talking about that; instead, he was talking about accepting that you might not like something, but finding some effect that you did like can help you power through it.
I’m thinking of as fine-tuning what you love. Do I love yoga? You know the answer to that. What I do love is the feeling of my shoulders and arms feeling loose and competent, and the feeling of walking up the staircase to our apartment without pain in my knees. Do I love doing my financial spreadsheet every month? Not in the slightest. But I love being able to check it off the weekly SitRep meeting that I have with one of my partners. Even more, I love realizing that there have been entire weeks that I haven’t worried about money – for the first time in as far back as I remember.
In other words, if there’s something you don’t like doing that needs to be done, don’t lie to yourself. Don’t tell yourself it’s actually fun, or good, or that you should like it.
Instead, how about focusing on why you’re doing it, and why you love those effects. Seriously, try it out. Right now, with pen and paper, write down that thing you don’t want to do, and then write down what it is that you love about it being done.
It should be easy. If it’s not…then maybe you need to rethink that thing you think you need to do. Because if there’s no reason why, then maybe there’s something better you could do?