It is common practice for many of us. The alarm goes off and we immediately start justifying why we can stay in bed, just 10 more minutes, I won’t wash my hair this morning, I’ll eat my breakfast at work, it’s cold, I feel a flu coming on…. the list goes on. Sometimes there is no thought — it is just so routine — the hand instantly reaches out for that snooze AND what have we done, we have just started our day with an act of procrastination.
I recently re watched a great Ted Talk by Mel Robbins called “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over”
In this she says “Getting what you want is simple but it’s not easy.” The space between getting what you want and where you currently sit lies in the activation energy. In any area of our life we want to change, we are “never going to feel like .” It requires force…. activation energy, which the Oxford dictionary defines as “the minimum quantity of energy which the reacting species must possess in order to undergo a specified reaction.” In other words we need to put a bit of elbow in it to make it happen!
This very first decision in our day as Mel Robbins explains, is a chance to experience the activation energy required to accomplish change. It’s not easy, but have you ever regretted it? Most likely your day was a lot more productive because you started the day with action rather than delay.
This is part of what yoga and all these trendy body fitness challenges makes so powerful. By pushing through physical challenges we learn to push through mental ones.
Every day we are full of ideas, but what keeps us from activating that energy to make these happen. As Mel Robbins says it’s the “F word”… “Fine.” We get comfortable feeling fine and the truth is we will probably not ever feel like it. I’m going to add another “f” word — fear.
I have to admit, I pressed my own inner snooze button a few times writing this blog. I love writing, I write blogs in my sleep, on the train, even during yoga…. in my head! But for some reason getting them down to paper and actually sharing them, that’s another story.
Let me tell you, the activation energy that took me to actually press send on this was immense.
Then I thought of a recent talk I went to by Brene Brown, most commonly known for her Ted Talk on The Power of Vulnerability. In this particular talk she shared her inspiration behind her latest book, Daring Greatly. It came from a difficult moment in her life when she discovered the following quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly……”
I think of the leaders we work within my industry and the ones I most greatly admire, the ones with whom we get to do the most meaningful projects. They are the ones who are the first to put their hand up for 360 Feedback, to be challenged on their thinking and to recognise that to create change in their organisation things might get uncomfortable. They channel that activation energy, they get in the arena and cheer others along the way to do the same.
Whether you are job hunting, relationship seeking, trying to create change in your organisation or avoiding a difficult conversation, it’s not going to happen without force.
So I dare you tomorrow to set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier, when your alarm goes off don’t press the snooze button, tap into that activation energy, get up and get in to the arena.
By Elizabeth Loban