Did you mean right now?
1. Say aloud: “I will do pushups now!”
2. Drop to the floor and do as many pushups as you can get.
3. Stand up and say aloud: “Well done!”
4. Get a pen and paper ASAP and write three things, people, achievements, gifts, etc. you are grateful for. Any three things will do, including how tasty your breakfast was.
5. Read those three things aloud and affirm once again to yourself: “Well done!”
Do those five things and you will be ahead of 99% of the population. I can’t even tell you how far you will be in 5 years because I’m just a bit over three years into a similar program.
Nonetheless, my life has changed dramatically. Comparing to my situation three years ago, I read almost twice as fast, I am about 15 pounds lighter, and earn about 50% more. We lived in a small flat, now my family live in a small house. I broke almost 100 personal fitness records. I had an unfulfilling job, now I have… well, a less-unfulfilling job, with a bigger salary and more responsibility. I became a writer, started a few blogs and self-published a dozen books; I‘ve reached over 60,000 readers.
Let’s break down why those five things are so vital.
Jim Rohn asked about how to develop self-esteem, said that the best thing you could do for yourself is doing the things you’ve resolved to do. If you decided to do something, commit and follow through. If you know something has to be done, just do it!
When your deeds are congruent with your thoughts and words, it ensures miracles for your self-esteem. What is more, people around you start noticing your change, and they enforce this positive feedback loop. Not only you but people around you start to consider you as reliable.
2. Exercise is a keystone habit.
People who exercise regularly are more likely to take care about other areas of their life. After some time, they start to pay attention to their spiritual development, finances, relationships — everything.
We weren’t created to sit behind the desk for 8 hours a day. “Sitting is new smoking” is the new fancy saying. Fancy, but true.
Exercises are not some quick fix for life. They are the bottom line. If you start exercising today, according to my experience, in 5 years you will experience a total transformation of your life. For six years, doing a series of pushups was my daily habit. It prepared me for ‘The Slight Edge’ philosophy and the transformation I described above.
3. Positivity works miracles.
Especially when applied to yourself. The self-talk of an average person is full of crap (I’m sorry, I can’t say it mildly). In my book about overcoming shyness, I discussed how I used to trash-talk myself. Every single one of my beta readers said“Yeah, me too.”
Doing research for the same book, I discovered that self-talk is in the coaching agenda of top sport performers. Looking from the outside at them, we common folks, think regarding physical training, drills, and technical equipment. Well, anybody at the top of professional sport takes those things as a given. You cannot sit on your hands and be at the top. But what makes the difference, and what makes the winners is positive self-talk.
BJ Fogg, who studies behavioral changes and developed an awesome concept of Tiny Habits, recommends giving yourself a reward after each repetition of your new habit to enforce a behavior you want to develop. The reward may be as simple as saying “Well done!” to yourself.
One more thing to consider about positivity. A scientist studying happiness for his whole adult life stated: “When the brain is positive every possible outcome we know how to test for raises dramatically.” Among many others, he instanced things like sales, profits, productivity and chances for getting the promotion.
But what if you have a “pessimism gene,” what if your family was negative and your environment is still negative? You are surely doomed, aren’t you? Not exactly, which brings me to the next point…
4. Cultivating gratitude rewires your brain.
The scientist I mentioned in #3 above is Shawn Achor, the author of “Happiness Advantage.” In this podcast episode, he tells about an astounding experiment. A 4-year kid with a pessimism gene was being asked for one month each morning about three new things he was grateful for. It made him a hardcore optimist for the rest of his life.
Wow! Now brace yourself, they did the same with an 84-year-old guy who had the same gene. The same thing happened.
Gratitude is a powerful force. Practicing it just a few minutes a day can rewire your brain.
I didn’t do genetic tests on me, but I suspect I have this gene too. Before reading ‘The Slight Edge,’ I was a gloomy guy. After listening to ‘The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, I started a gratitude diary about my wife. I wrote down just one to three things every day describing what I admired in her, what had she done for the family that day or even how pretty she is.
A habit of gratitude is the easiest on Earth to cultivate. Little I had thought about that journal. It was such a tiny thing, but it started a gratitude avalanche in my life. Today I keep three gratitude diaries- one about my wife, one about my kids and one “general purpose” diary. Each day I jot down from 15 to as many entries as I can fit into a page. You can become a gratitude fountain in no time and reprogrammed your brain to positivity.
5. Repetition is the mother of learning, success and a zillion other things.
The etymology of the word “habit” indicates that your habits define who you are. Habit is not something you do once or sporadically on a whim. All the above points will help you immensely within five years if you start doing them now AND keep on doing them. “Rinse and repeat” should become your mantra if you want to be in a better place after a few years. Repetition will enforce and solidify your self-esteem, health, optimism, and gratitude.
The VERY good news is that developing the above habits doesn’t have to take a lot of effort or time. Resolve to do one series of consecutive pushups a day and to write (preferably in the morning) three things you are grateful for. That takes care of exercises and gratitude. Do those two things and your self-esteem will rise. You will be inclined to say nice things to yourself; self-talk is thus checked. Rinse and repeat.
Go back to this answer in 5 years and tell me how your life has developed. Do share this article with people who can make most out of it.
This answer is by Michal Stawicki, who was answering probably one of the life changing question on things that could change the life in next five years. Personally, I find this answer to be so appropriate that I’m resharing it with you here.