One book to rule them all

I have this little black book which is ruling my life. Sometimes it ruins it, sometimes it makes it all the better. A few weeks ago something strange stirred inside of me and it sent me to the TED website. Now anyone who has been on this website knows that it changes you like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. After visiting the site you are guaranteed to be left contemplative, deep in thought and altogether mixed up.

This time something different happened: I left the website decisive. I watched a talk on how to change one small thing for 30 days. The goal? Build your self confidence in doing the things you always said you’d do; confront your ideas and make them real. I’m all for changing lifestyles when you need to (I’m an ex-smoker after nine years hooked). But something about this video called me by name in a way which was different to many of the other motivational bumper stickers or TED videos I’d watched.

While my life is ruled by deadlines I’d had the deepest disrespect for them; I would gladly take the penalty for a late submission thinking this was an act of self-validation in my work; the later the submission, the harder I worked. Bullshit. I knew it was the richest horse-dung I fed myself, but it worked. And it worked for any single deadline I’d been given or asked for. So I watched this video. And I thought that this couldn’t be too difficult, to change one thing every thirty days. I decided to jump into this, feet first and challenge my haunting habit: for the next 30 days, no more late submissions.

So now I had to hand in my assignments, essays and articles on time. This was huge. This applied to any deadline, even self-given deadlines. Hold the phone. As a result I bought a very cute black book from Clicks, and started writing everything down. I gave myself deadlines, and met them. I won’t describe the boost this small change has done in my self-confidence and commitment to doing things. I won’t describe it because it’s something that must be felt. Watch the video, make a small change and stick to it for thirty days: take out sugar, finish your plate of food regardless how full you are, drive without the radio/music playing – anything, and make it ridiculously small at first so you can achieve it.

Then? Then stand back and watch yourself grow.

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