Many of us meander through life partially committed to things and struggle when we are required to make a choice – should I go to the gym? should I eat that cookie? should I spend $500 to treat myself with some retail therapy?
Despite our resolutions and personal promises to go sugar free for 30 days, nothing will ultimately change unless you commit yourself to it 100% – to become this person that you are meant to be and not someone who sits in the middle and easily swayed by the expectations and identities of others.
The 100 percent rule
Benjamin Hardy calls it the 100 percent rule – a rule which you impose on yourself in order to shift your identity and transform your life with sustainable change. When you only commit to something for 7 or 30 days, the change is only temporary and at the end of your stint, you return to being the former person that you once were.
This is because short term changes is only surface change – nothing about you have fundamentally change. Your mind, your thoughts, your habits and your patterns are still the same and nothing will properly change until you begin to submit the future version of who you want to be in your current day to day activities.
It’s sort of like the person that wants to be a writer but never wants to write. Stephen King is only prolific because he commits to actively creating worlds on a daily basis.
“Focusing is about saying no.”Steve Jobs
When we commit to something 100 percent, we are giving ourselves the ability to focus by rejecting things that do not add value to our journey towards becoming the person we are to become.
We go through life distracted by expectations, trends and general confusion about what we want. When we commit, we give ourselves a clear destination and purpose of moving through life. We no longer meander through a winding path not knowing where we want to go. When there is no destination, we easily become lost in the haze and drift into a pattern of accepting whatever comes our way.
Creating the Shift
Shifts in identity and changes in life happens when we be wholly commit to a way of living. But how do you go about creating that shift?
First, you need to figure out exactly what you want. Warren Buffett calls in the top 5 priority list. While his list is goal oriented, the language that you construct your priority can be adapted for your identity shift.
Ask yourself these three important questions:
- who do I want to be?
- what does it take to be the person I want to be?
- how do I become the person that I want to be?
Answer these questions with 100 percent honesty. Be sure to not get it confused with material things like money.
Sometimes, you don’t quite know how to answer question two and three. That’s alright. Not knowing a good sign. It means that you can grow through research and continuous learning to become the person you want to be.
The answer to questions two and three shouldn’t be as obvious as you think. It’s sort of like trying to go vegan cold turkey without knowing about macros and micros. Educating yourself about the person you want to be will help you on your journey towards becoming that person.
Close the gap
You are not yet that person because there is a gap in knowledge as much as there is a gap in actions. The divide between where you are current vs where you want to be can often seem large and impassable – but what you think you can’t is often achievable through persistence.
When you shift your identity to become your future self, you are persisting towards the journey required to make it to your final destination. This means educating yourself on the topics surrounding who you are to become.
Want to be a effective and efficient programmer? Learn how to think in code, how to write good patterns and how to recognize bad ones. Want to become a happy and healthy human? Train your brain to shift your mindset into a positive space, learn which time management techniques work best for you, figure out how to reduce the noise that plagues your unhappiness and change the way you eat, move and sleep.
Everyone’s journey towards closing the gap is different but the knowledge to help you get there is available in abundance.
To instigate and maintain sustainable change, you need to commit yourself to becoming the person you’re meant to become.
There’s no use dreaming about the person you want to be – because that person will continue to be a dream until you start doing something about it.
Everything builds up with time and change only happens when you put fuel in the fire and keep it up on a consistent basis.