By: Brian Gilleece
Let's start with some golden globes quotes from the man Mr. Tom Hanks and big ole' post about our primitive brain vs our frontal cortex!
" ...and he said to us, you actors, you know what your job is? You have to show up on time, know the text and you HAVE to have a head full of ideas otherwise I can't do my job"
"Showing up on time is one of the greatest liberating acts you can give your self, because when the time comes, you have to hit the mark."
- Tom Hanks.
There it is.
Be on Time. Have Great Ideas. Execute. THATS IT.
Lest we forget, none of that is doing extra or going above and beyond, that is the EXPECTATION for anything you do. Tapes, Auditions in person, meetings, on set, and in front of the camera. Those 3 things, if you don't believe Tom Hanks, well then something is wrong with you.
MOVING ON TO ANOTHER MISSION CRITICAL TOPIC...
Habits Create Success.
Idk if y'all are not aware, Jess Canty listens to MANY podcast and reads many leather bound books, she is very learned, as they would say, and yesterday she walks in and says to me as I'm eating a handful of almonds...
"you know, you don't actually have good will power, you're just very good at creating habits".
I'm all like....."Pshhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Excussssse me..."
So after further research, what she was talking about was that 45% of our daily tasks are relegated to habitual performances, things we don't even think about, that take up no brain capacity, that get done regardless of external factors. So this got me thinking, what are the benefits and traits of habits and how can the be effective is creating a great "life space" to succeed in?
THE BENEFITS OF HABITS
1. THEY CONSERVE RESOURCES
Whenever we make a conscious decision about something, we use mental resources. Every time we have to decide whether or not to floss, we use our willpower. If the behavior is automatic, though, it doesn’t require any mental energy. We simply go through the motion, conserving mental energy for other, more complicated tasks.
2. THEY ARE USEFUL WHEN WE’RE STRESSED OR TIRED
If we are stressed or tired from a full day of working, then a good habit is extremely useful to fall back on.
3. THEY ARE USEFUL WHEN IT’S MINDLESS
As long as the activity is completely mindless, the habit loop will work flawlessly. This includes things like flossing, bringing your lunch to work, wearing a helmet when biking, cooking breakfast, going to the Gym etc...
4. THEY ARE FORMED IN THE PRIMITIVE BRAIN
You know the struggle. You just got home from work and know that you need to hit the gym. but you’re exhausted. Then comes the internal debate. Part of you is trying to say that you are exhausted and you need to rest, while the other part of you is saying that you have goals and aspirations and fitness are important!It feels like we have two competing minds – and we do! One is the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions, desires and rewards (the primitive brain). It is the part of you that wants to rest. The other is the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for thinking, communication and long-term goals (the evolved brain). It is the part of you that wants to hit the gym!
Using Will Power to Create Positive Habits.
There are 3 separate types of willpower that this part of the brain uses to help us do what we really want.
I WILL POWER
This is the power we use to do those tough things to accomplish our goals. This is what we use to workout, clean our homes and follow the dentist’s orders to floss.
I WON’T POWER
This is the power we use to resist the various temptations in our lives. This is what we call upon to resist those cravings of chocolate, playing the next episode on Netflix, or holding back our true feelings to that rude customer who really has it coming.
I WANT POWER
This is the most important willpower we have. It’s the part of the brain that remembers our long-term goals, dreams and desires. What we really want. It helps us remember why we are resisting that donut or why we are on that treadmill in the first place.Unlike the other two forms, this one can seemingly produce willpower out of nothing. If you’ve ever heard a motivational speech or read an inspirational story, you’ve felt this happening. You get a rush of energy and motivation to take on the world simply by believing in something bigger.This is the part of the brain that we want to cultivate when we are trying to create behavior change.
SO, What now?
Cool, look at us! We'e experts on knowing the difference between will power and habits and we have goals we need to achieve, how do we apply all of our new knowledge? Check it, there is a whole system...
1. AUTOMATING GOAL PURSUIT
Instead of automating our behaviors, we want to automate our dedication to our goals.Automating your goal dedication is about setting triggers and reminders of your overall goal. This could be following a plan to write down your goals everyday, send yourself goal reminders or increase your self-awareness.
You get it? It's not that you automating everything in your life to the primative brain, its that you'r automating the reasons WHY your goals are important so the never leave your side. Let your cortext handle the how to get it done, and now it will have enough energy to willpower those goals into fruition because you switched that WHY into cruise control.
2. BUILDING THAT MUSCLE
Our will power is like a muscle, When we face temptations and make a conscious decision to say “no” we literally strengthen our willpower, like crushing some weighted dips, your triceps now are literally stronger then when you came in the door.Conversely, Just like someone who doesn't workout their muscles, if we don't workout our willpower, our resolve will be much weaker when the going gets tough.
3. FOR GOD SAKE, MAKE A COMMITMENT!
When you get into a relationship with someone, would you create a habit to stay faithful to him or her?No, you would make a commitment. You would have a principle (hopefully) of being faithful to that person even if someone else may tempt you from time to time. It doesn’t require that you design a habit in order to stay faithful, it just requires that you believe in the greater purpose of the relationship. The ultimate goal.This same principle holds true for our goals as well. In many cases you don’t need to have a specific behavioral response to avoid a temptation, you just need a higher purpose. Whether that is your health, being a good role model, or to be a Film & TV star.Making a commitment to your goal will help you deal with challenges that you could never foresee coming. Scientifically, this commitment calls your evolved brain into action when it gets challenged. This will give you motivation to act on your long-term aspirations.
What We Now Know
Yes. SO, what we have learned is the best thing we can do to change our behavior and give ourselves a chance at long-term success is to give as much power to our evolved, rational, “angel” mind as possible and relegate the "why" to our primitive mind. In the end, it is this mind who determines our ultimate action!
So after much research I stormed back in and said...
"NO, I am actually good at 'I want power' and relegating repeatable, energy saving tasks to my primitive brain, thus giving my will power the energy to make positive decisions..."
and Jess said...
"Great, take out the trash."
Welcome to 2020!
I know i'm ready!
Let's make it the best year yet from DAY 1!!!