Day 15: Anything Is Possible If You Pay The Price

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Day 15: Anything Is Possible If You Pay The Price

As we head into the last week of Damn Early Days, we got something for you to think about...

You get to choose who you want to be five years from now.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Yes, you get to make the choice of who you want to be five years from now.

That should be both insanely liberating and terrifying.

But the real facts are are that in today's world, five years is enough time to change almost any (and every) aspect of your life.

Your career, your love life, your priorities, your schedule, your time constraints, your debt, your income streams, you name it – all of those can be significantly changed within five years.

Damn Early Days might end in a few days

Knowing that, we have two simple questions for you to ask yourself this morning:

Who do you want to be in five years?
&
Are you willing to pay the price?

See, the real truth isn't sexy, it's actually kind of boring and has been said a million different times: there’s no substitute for hard work.

You can learn, have, or be anything if you are willing to pay the price.

You can be a millionaire in not a long period of time.

You could be an established expert on any topic.

You could be a successful business owner.

You could have deep spiritual understanding.

You could do an Iron Man triathlon.

You could be an empathetic, caring, and loving person.

You could have beautiful and meaningful relationships with your romantic partner, business colleagues, mentors, and other people who inspire you.

You could be the person you know within yourself you can be.

You can live the life you know within yourself you are meant to live.

But you have to pay the price.

You have to actually make a decision. If you try to be everywhere, you’ll end up nowhere. If you try to be everyone, you’ll end up no one.

You have to choose what you want to do and who you want to be.

You have to forego the trivial many for the essential few.

You have to forego the endless good options for the few best ones.

You have to manage your mind and your time.

You can’t continue to justify living beneath your dreams.

You have to really want it. Because once you do, nothing will be able to stop you from having it.

You have to let go of your bad habits.

You have to re-arrange your priorities.

You have to say “No” more.

You need to put first things first, every single day.

You have to pay the price.

If you’re willing to pay the price, you can have absolutely anything you want.

But you need to be uncomfortable enough with your current situation to get off Facebook. To stop consuming and wasting your time.

To focus on learning and creating rather than being entertained and distracted.

There are probably dozens are recurring activities you do on a daily basis that aren’t serving you.

You need to drop those activities from your life. Leave them in your past and fill your future with the activities that will take you to where you really want to go.

When you have 5 extra minutes, what do you do? Do you entertain and distract yourself? Or do you pay the price?

When your alarm goes off in the morning, do you hit the snooze button or do you pay the price?

When you know you should be creating, do you distract yourself or do you pay the price?

When you’re with your loved ones, do you look at your smart phone or do you pay the price?

Are you serious or still pretending?

Do you really want it or are you still unsure?

Are you moving one step in 20 directions or 20 steps in one direction?

How many hours did you waste today? How many hours were you paying the price?

What do you really want?

Are you willing to pay the price?

Nothing in life is free, especially your time. Everything has a cost. And when it comes to your time, the cost is heavy. You can never get even one second back.

You can live your life on purpose. You can spend your time on things you value. You can be who you intended to become. You can continue to progress and evolve, even after you’ve become successful and fulfilled.

But the price must be payed.

You can’t fake it.

It’s available if you want it.

But you must choose it.

Article by Benjamin Hardy

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Day 14: Self-Awareness: Pt. 2 - Why We Don't Embrace It

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Day 14: Self-Awareness: Pt. 2 - Why We Don't Embrace It

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Photo Credit: Tom Hussey

"Books can guide you but your heart defines you." – Jay-Z

If the rewards from the Self-Awareness Dose a few days back sounded so damn good, then we got to ask "why don’t we chase self-awareness more than we do."

This morning, we'll dive into exactly why, but to sum it up: it's uncomfortable, difficult, scary, and not common. All of these will initially make us shy away from it, but once we get over those emotional fears, what's waiting on the other side is more than worth it.

Play close attention because a lot of what we will talk about is your brain tricking you away from everything you actually want in life so that it can stay emotionally cozy.

"Emotionally cozy" might sound good in the short-term, but let's get real, you can't bullshit yourself on your death bed.

A little discomfort now will go a LONG way in making sure you don't have to.
 

Reason 1.
Self awareness Is (Temporarily) painful.

Real habit change comes from taking a candid look at our shortcomings. And let's be honest, no one wants to admit we suck at things – especially in our perfectionist society.

Unfortunately, unless we know where we're falling short, we can't change them.

 

Reason 2.
EXPLORING ourselves IS SCARY and requires uncertainty.

If you fall into the narrative told to us, you believe that you have to have it all figured out. Becoming self-aware about unresolved feelings threatens everything we thought we were supposed to be working towards – that "self-assured, got it all together" person.

It requires us to step out and use these three devil-ish words: "I don't know".

And without a commitment to working through it, we build mechanisms to ignore these feelings, thinking that if we shy away from them for long enough, they’ll go away.

Reality check – they don't.

They just burrow deep inside our lives and manifest in a million different ways (ie. flipping the bird to that "asshole" that cut you off in traffic...)

I strongly encourage you NOT to bury these feelings as they'll never truly go away.

Instead, sit with your uncertainty. Work through it.

Do the dirty work to figure out what's causing the feelings and figure out ways to find stable footing in them.

It's from that place that we do our best growth.

At the very least you will learn more about yourself and how you can live in closer alignment with who you really are.
 

Reason 3.
WE BUILD A SELF-IMAGE OF HOW WE WANT OTHERS TO PERCEIVE US.

It is extremely difficult to humbly admit a shortcoming instead of fabricating a tale to mitigate the blow.

You might view yourself as someone who is always on time, but in reality, you’re often late to appointments. It's so much easier to come up with "justifications" than it is to admit you're constantly not living up to your commitment.

Self-awareness is about focusing on the reality of your actions, behaviours, and habits, and not on the story you tell yourself – no matter how juicy it is.

Part of this is to justify to ourselves, but also it's to appease others.

Generally, when we are late, we know the reasons we throw out there have no weight, but still we throw them anyways to save face.

Breaking this justification is really tough to do, but your ability to call yourself out on the things that don't align with who you want to be will not only help you build stronger and more honourable relationships with people, but they will allow you to course correct significantly more quickly.
 

Reason 4.
The pursuit of self-awareness is difficult and requires dedication.

To be conscious of who you are, how you think, and what you do is invaluable because it leads to self-knowledge, and in turn, change.

And isn't that what we all want?

This is why in practices like Alcoholics Anonymous and most cognitive behavioural therapies, there is a commitment to first helping the individual become self-aware—to be conscious of their fears, thoughts, behaviours, mustering the courage to own it, and using that awareness to facilitate the behaviour change. 

The dedication requires us to change our mind AND behaviour and can sometimes be the fight of our lives.

But, at the end of the day, it's a choice and if you want it bad enough, you can make it.

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Know that it's in our nature to habituate and create routines, so that our brain exerts less effort and spends less energy. The potential danger in this is that we get too comfortable doing the wrong things, and if we are unaware of it, we have no desire to make it right.

What makes this pursuit even more difficult is that it isn't a popular topic in our culture. In very few places is it championed, so when you do step out you kind of feel alone.

As you move forward with Damn Early Days, just know that your commitment to your own self-awareness will single-handedly be one of the most powerful things you can gain from this.

And you're not in it alone.

Take 5 and go drop your thoughts on self-awareness in the Facebook group and then go throw on the jam below and get after it!

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Day 13: The Power of Vulnerability

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Day 13: The Power of Vulnerability

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute + 20 minute video

It's been a heavy week, material-wise, so today we're switching it up and got a rad video below.

Before we do, take a second to read why this topic is so damn important.

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At its core, vulnerability is about risk, uncertainty, and emotional exposure. It’s about showing up and being seen – as you are.

For many of us, we're never taught how to deal with this uncertainty or how to manage the emotional risk that comes with it, so we spend our time trying to outrun and outsmart it. We do this by making things definite and certain – black and white, good and bad - and by shying away from the opportunity to explore the muddled (and uncomfortable) gray zone that exists in almost everything.

This inability to lean into the discomfort that vulnerability brings ultimately stops us from being able to fully feel all the things we set out to chase in the first place – joy, creativity, trust, love, fulfillment, and belonging.

It stops us from truly putting ourselves out there, being seen, and exploring what actually matters to us – and what doesn't.

So this morning, before we dive into life, we'll leave you with this – one of the most powerful talks on vulnerability out there.

If you haven't heard of Brené Brown, sit back and submerse yourself. There's a reason this is one of the most viewed TED Talks ever and it's worth every second.

Enjoy.

And because it's almost Friday...

Photo Credit: Ally Pintucci

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Day 12: Let's Talk Triggers Pt. 2

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Day 12: Let's Talk Triggers Pt. 2

As we mentioned in Part 1, triggers are some of the magic of Damn Early Days, as not only is it at a time of day when you’re fresh and have a clear mind, but you also have nothing in front of you except for the things you really want to focus on.

That's a powerful combo I think we all need more of.

But for the benefit of the rest of our lives, we want to look beyond just the early wake up. Understanding all the triggers out there and how they form will give you a much better sense of awareness as to the behavioural programming that guides most of your life. It will also greatly increase your ability to build habits you care about, including getting to bed on time.

 

CHOOSING A TRIGGER

The best part about triggers is that you don’t need to spend a bunch of effort creating new ones. The triggers already exist in your life. You just need to identify which ones are already ingrained into your daily routine and then tag a new habitual behaviour onto it.

Some examples of triggers you might already have:

  • Waking up
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Showering
  • Eating breakfast
  • Reading your morning news/blogs/checking email in the morning
  • Commuting to work
  • Coming into the office in the morning
  • Eating lunch
  • Commuting home
  • Arriving home
  • A morning meeting
  • Taking the kids to school

There are many other examples, which we'll explore below, and the trick is to find ones that happen regularly and that you know are good for you.

 

The 5 Kinds of Triggers

Triggers, in essence, can be anything that causes a behaviour. So any event or stimulus from the environment – or even the thoughts, feelings, and emotions from our brain – can be used.

When you put it that way, you'll realize there is a dizzying array of ways that behaviour can be initiated. This is why it’s sometimes difficult to identify the trigger that causes a particular behaviour.

But don't worry, they are easily broken down into five different categories. If you understand each of them, then you can select the right one for the particular habit that you are working on.

 

TRIGGER 1: TIME

As one of the most common triggers, time is used to regulate our daily schedules. We wake up at a certain time, eat around midday, and go to bed at regular times. It is one of the most easily recognizable triggers and one of the easiest to build habits on.

 

TRIGGER 2: ENVIRONMENT / LOCATION

Being in a certain area or environment can cause certain behaviours to kick in.

When you enter a room, you may automatically turn on the light. When you leave a room you might shut the door. If you have ever walked into your kitchen, saw some snacks on the counter and just eaten them because they were in front of you, then you already understand the power of Environment / Location on our behaviour.

Environment / Location is one the most powerful drivers of automatic habits and also the least recognized. In many cases, our habits and behaviours are simply a response to the environment that surrounds us. Go to a bar and try not to drink. It’s a lot harder than it should be.

The flip side to this is that if you change your environment, you’ll likely be able to create new habits quite easily – so long as the new environment is conducive to the habit you’re trying to form.

 

TRIGGER 3: EVENTs

Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life. Your phone vibrates, so you pick it up and check the latest notification. Facebook drops a sound in your browser so you automatically jump to check it. The little red bubble pops-up in the corner of the app icon, so we open it up to see what it could be. These are examples of habits that are triggered by a preceding event.

When it comes to leveraging triggers to build habits, events can be one of the most useful and easiest to understand. When you get the hang of it, you can start stacking triggers and habits on top of each other to create a powerful cascade of things that all move you forward. This is some of the science behind evening and morning routines.

 

TRIGGER 4: EMOTIONAL STATE

Emotional state is a powerful trigger, but one that generally precedes negative habits, rather than positive. You know, reaching for those cookies when you’re feeling a little down or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when you’re feeling anxious. Or, maybe you default to online shopping when you’re feeling bored?

These different emotional states will trigger different habits in you.

Unfortunately, although emotions are very common triggers for our behaviour, I find that they are harder to control and utilize for building good habits. Mostly, I think this is because if you want an emotion to trigger a positive habit, then you often need to be consciously aware of the emotion as you are experiencing it. In other words, you have to be emotional and aware at the same time … and that can be hard to do. Paying attention is a powerful, but difficult, way to build better habits.

All that said, noticing emotional triggers is important as it's how most online company (Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Amazon, etc.) have created the user behaviour to come back to their platform again and again. Noticing how you're feeling and linking that to why you end up online can be a powerful eye opener for you to be aware of.

 

TRIGGER 5: THE PEOPLE YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH

It should be no surprise that the people you surround yourself with play a huge role in the development of who you become. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So last, but not least, the people you surround yourself with can act as triggers for certain behaviours.

You may not care to drink tonight, but when you're with your friends you may feel more inclined to grab a glass of wine. Or maybe, the only reason you're doing Damn Early Days is because you're doing it with a friend.

Either way, the people you hang with can be a major trigger for you and used properly, your social circle can be one of the most powerful habit builders you have.

 

CHOOSING A TRIGGER

Now that you understand triggers, the key is to actually use them to make our lives easier.

No matter what trigger you choose, there is one important thing to know – the key is to choosing a successful trigger is to pick one that is specific and immediately actionable.

Every single day, commit to doing your new habit right after the trigger. Immediately — with no delay. You’ll need to do this very consciously at first. You might want to post a reminder for yourself where you won’t forget it.

When you do the trigger, do the habit without fail.

As always, self-experimentation is the only real answer. Play around with these five habit triggers and see what works for you.

Hell, combine triggers with Mel Robbins "5 Second Rule", and you can really quickly become a powerhouse.

That's it for this morning.

And because you made it through that, I got some goods for you...

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Day 11: Your Life In Perspective

Day 11: Your Life In Perspective

This article is the crux of why Damn Early Days – and what you do with it – matters.

Whether you've read it before or are seeing it for the first time, I challenge you to dive into it. To think about it within the context of your life, and to really try to understand the point it is trying to make.

See, it can be hard for any of us to understand the value of a single day, week, or even a month within the larger context of life.

In the "grand scheme of things", a day or three really doesn't seem like a big deal.

Besides, if we're lucky, we get like 33,000+ of them.

But take a look at this visual from our friend Tim Urban at Wait But Why.

Here is your entire life in weeks, assuming you live until 90.

 
Weeks.png
 

Yeah, that's all you get.

That is your entire life. 4,680 of them – if you're lucky.

Sobering when you put it like that.

In that space is every dream you'll ever dream, every desire you'll ever have, and every chance you'll get to focus on the things that matter.

And considering that, for most of us, at least 25% of it is already behind us, you can knock off the first 20 or 30 rows.

The rest is what you have to spend as you please.

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Looking at it that way, it's much easier to understand why how you spend your time matters so much.

It should put into perspective what is and isn't important.

Think about it – assuming you're 30 years old:

  • If you drink a good cup of coffee each morning, that's just 22,000 "first cups" left. Enjoy.
  • If you get 4 good hugs a week, that's just 12,500 good hugs left in your life.
  • If you see your parents once every three months and they live for another 40 years, that’s just 120 more times you'll see them.
  • If you go on two good vacations each year, that means you have no more than 120 vacations left in your life.
  • If you see an old friend once a year, that's just ~60 more times you will see them in your life.
  • If you go on a rad road trip once every 3 years, that's just ~20 left in life. 

You get the point...

How you spend your time in the days and weeks matters, because they add up to months, months add up to years, and those years are all you get – 90 of them, if you're lucky.

Your time – and how you spend it – matters.

Please spend it on the stuff that actually matters to you.

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If you want to dive deeper into this subject, take a read of the original article in the button below.

Scroll halfway down and it gets into the good stuff.

We recommend you do, because it's one of the simplest and most powerful reads we know.

And some solid jams to listen to as you contemplate how you want to spend your time.

Day 10: Let's Reflect

Day 10: Let's Reflect

As we roll into the end of the second week of the program, we want to take a moment and acknowledge what we all have collectively done these last two weeks.

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of you have committed to winning at your own game and dove into something that most are unwilling to.

You put what matters to you before the world had a chance to take that space away.

More than that though, you played a part in building a community spanning over 10 countries and almost every time zone. That means at almost any time of the day, someone around the world is getting up to get after it.

That's powerful and we want to thank you for your willingness to embrace that side of life.

We think that's pretty damn cool.

 

Before We Look Ahead

Before looking at what's ahead, it’s worth taking time to sit back and reflect on what just happened.

Most of us have a fear of slowing down – unwilling to stop long enough to let what we’re doing catch up to us. Maybe this is because we don’t want to confront how we spend our time or maybe it’s because we feel like we’ll lose momentum, but if there’s anything history has taught us, it’s that slowing down to reflect only helps us move faster, further, and more purposefully.

With that, we have a single request from you this morning – take some time to reflect on what these last two weeks have been for you.

It will not only make a big difference in the rest of your 21 Damn Early Days experience but if you incorporate reflection into your life, it will have a huge impact on where you end up.

To get you started, we got some simple questions...

 

Questions Worth Thinking About

Keep in mind these are just a guideline to get you started. Your reflection is an exercise in asking the questions you care about.

About Damn Early Days:

Ask yourself:

  • What have you gained from waking up early?
  • What are your biggest struggles so far?
  • What positive stories have you been telling yourself throughout?
  • What self-defeating stories have you been telling yourself throughout?
  • Do you feel you're getting closer to what you want?
  • What differences do you notice in your life, routine, and mood before and during 21 Damn Early Days?
  • What emotions have you gone through? What caused them?
  • Were there mornings that were particularly tough? What contributed to them being that way?
  • Were there mornings that were particularly enjoyable? What made them more enjoyable?

Looking Forward:

Ask yourself:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes at the end of Damn Early Days. What do you want out of this? What defines “success”?
  • What do you want to feel at the end of this?
  • What do you need to do next week to move yourself closer to your own success?
  • What can you carry into next week that you learned this week? What can you drop?
  • What’s the top priority in your life right now?
  • How can you use 21 Damn Early Days to focus on it?

And of course...

Day 9: Self-Awareness, Pt. 1

Day 9: Self-Awareness, Pt. 1

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

It’s (always) worth taking some time to talk about and understand self-awareness.

Like most of the concepts important to a full life, the word “self-awareness” has been over-used, under-delivered on, and in many ways washed of its meaning.

So before we dive in, let’s take a second to drop the mainstream BS we’ve heard about self-awareness. Not doing so might ruin one of the most valuable things we got.
 

So, What Is “Self–Awareness”?

The simplest and most down to earth way to understand what self-awareness is is to break it down into its components.

“Awareness” is what you notice in life. It’s about paying attention to what’s around you, spending time reflecting and analyzing it, and about having knowledge or perception on a certain situation or set of facts. It's the details you pick up by paying attention to the world around you and actively taking in and processing your environment.

In many ways, it’s how you experience life.

Nowadays, with the increased flow of communication and information, there’s an endless amount of stuff to be aware of. Understanding awareness and being able to only take in what matters and filtering out the noise is more important than ever. Hell, just look up from this post and scan what’s around you. What did you just notice that has been in front of you the whole time?

Keep in mind that everybody takes in the world slightly differently. We all notice certain things depending on the lenses we use to look at the world through. No form is right or wrong, they are just different. All can be useful or damaging depending on the situation and are determined by both natural and learned tendencies.

Looking at the other half, “self”, is simply reflecting that awareness back on you. It is paying attention to the world inside you, actively taking in and processing your physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, habits, actions, emotions, and reactions to life – honestly.

Building self-awareness means you are aware of all those different aspects, as if you were another person on the outside observing them.
 

"Spend your life building, but please don’t spend it building the wrong things."
 

Why It Matters

Self-awareness will help you cut the noise and more quickly align with the important stuff – determined by you. It's the foundation of figuring out who you are, where you are, and where you want to go.

Growth

Self-improvement and growth isn’t possible without self-awareness. Any kind of improvement requires an understanding of where you currently are and the gap between that and where you want to go.

Self-awareness gives you an honest and accurate sense of who you are and helps you sort out what you need to improve. It will reveal what gaps you have that you need to work on or accept.

Strengths and Shortcomings

Self-awareness will help you sort out what you’re good at and what you suck at. Knowing both will help you focus your energy where you can have a big impact.

For example, believe it or not, I suck at getting up early (or more honestly going to bed at the right time). Left to my own devices, 9PM bedtimes quickly turn into 11PM, which rolls into the early hours of the morning. However, I crave what mornings bring. Understanding how bad I am at getting them and how much I gain from them, I know it’s important to surround myself with people who hold me accountable to getting up early and do so effortlessly. This not only gets me out of bed early every day, but makes sure I need way less willpower to do so.

Intuition

While we have built a society that deeply respects logic, we are now beginning to understand the importance of intuition and how our emotional brain and gut-feelings actually work. The science clearly shows we shouldn't discount them.

A well-developed self-awareness will help you understand what and why your intuition is nudging you in the direction it is. Given that many of the decisions we make in our daily lives are done so with large amounts of unstructured and ambiguous information, a honed self-awareness can help us maker decisions that are more in line with who we are and do so more effectively.

Self-awareness can’t change the world as it is, but it can change the way you interpret the world and that can improve your experience of life. Self-awareness can create an understanding and opportunities for better work-life balance, help you to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and improve your ability to respond to the world.

To put it frankly, self-awareness will help put you in control. Not of the world around you, but in how you react and respond to it and that's the key to a good life.
 

"To have greater self awareness or understanding means to have a better grasp of reality."
– Dalai Lama
 

Self-Awareness and 21 Damn Early Days

If you’re in this challenge, I assume you want more time in your life and want to get more done. To get that, you’ve opted to get up early and create that time.

Throughout 21 Damn Early Days, our goal isn’t to tell you what you need to do and know, it’s to give you frameworks to decide that for yourself. That foundation of deciding comes down to your self-awareness.

Looking at that, the true point of 21 Damn Early Days isn't to under sleep, get up damn early and grind out just to get a little further ahead. It’s to create a structure that allows us to have a distraction-free period each day where we can focus on the things we deem most important.

For many of us, we’re unknowingly drawn to the morning because it brings a distraction-free, FOMO-free period that's void of life’s typical interruptions. But in reality, with the right discipline, we could create this period any time of day.

Self-awareness is the tool that will help you sort out what works best for you and the life you want to live. 

As you go through the rest of 21 Damn Early Days, I challenge you to increase your self-awareness, giving yourself a better understanding of why you're doing this, what you want from it, how you're feeling throughout, and what it enables you to do.

We'll have more on that in the days to come.

But until then, this should quench your thirst.

Day 8: Let's Talk Triggers Pt. 1

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Day 8: Let's Talk Triggers Pt. 1

Contrary to what you might think, Damn Early Days is designed to make your life easier, not harder.

Weird, right?

But if you keep reading, it will all start to make sense.

Getting Started With "TRIGGERS"

Triggers are the little-known secret to forming new habits (or breaking old ones) and whether or not you’ve consciously heard of them before, they’ve helped run a majority of your life.

A trigger is an event that automatically kicks off the urge to start a habit.

It may be waking up in the morning, your first cup of coffee, climbing into bed at night, or getting a notification on your phone – there are literally thousands.

Each one of these (and the thousands of others) can, if designed right, start a cascade of other behaviours – some good, some bad.

But just know that used properly, they are your best friend.

 

SOME TRIGGERS YOU ALREADY KNOW

To give you a better idea of what constitutes a trigger, we’ve listed some below. Take a read through and think about your day-to-day life and you’ll realize they are everywhere.

Trigger: wake-up in the morning
Action: crave a coffee, have a shower, brush your teeth, kiss your significant other

Trigger: smell McDonald's fries as you drive past their restaurant.
Action: desire to eat those french fries

Trigger: get a notification on your phone
Action: check phone, open a certain app

Trigger: hear knock at the door
Action: get up, walk over, answer it

Trigger: get in your car and start driving
Action: turn on music, put your phone in the GPS holder, put on your seat belt

I could go on...

What makes triggers so powerful is that they move from trigger to action more-or-less unconsciously.

Designed and implemented right, you don't have to put much conscious thought into brushing your teeth each day, responding to notifications, or driving your car.

And that’s the point.

The power of triggers lies in the fact that they start a more-or-less unconscious habitual behaviour.

 

USING TRIGGERS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

Now herein lies some of the magic of Damn Early Days – waking up damn early can be one of the most powerful triggers there is.

Not only is it done at a time of day when you’re fresh and have a clear mind, but it’s also a time of day when you have nothing in front of you. You are free to focus on whatever you want to focus on.

That's a powerful combination.

Designed properly, triggers can be powerful tools that will keep you focused day-after-day and help you chip away at your goals without nearly as much effort as we’re used to putting into them.

They are something that pushes us to have an automatic response that leads us where we want to go.

Habits will become automatic after we’ve created a bond between the trigger and the habit and the stronger the bond, the more ingrained the habit.
 

How To Use Them

The key to triggers is to slowly build the habitual behaviour you want right behind a trigger that you know happens often. We want to put our new habits on autopilot, right after a trigger.

With Damn Early Days the trigger should be waking up damn early and the action should be whatever you have defined as the actions that will get you to your SUMMIT.

Then, what you want to do is create a strong bond between the trigger and the new habit. In the beginning, each time the trigger happens, you will need to consciously perform the new habit. It will likely be very conscious and deliberate at first, but over time it will get easier and the new habit becomes almost automatic.

Once it becomes automatic, life becomes a lot easier.

Knowing that, you can start to look at so many other areas of your life and notice where triggers play a roll, as well as areas you can identify triggers you can use.

This morning, I want you to identify at least 5 existing triggers and the corresponding action that exists in your life, as well as 5 existing behaviours you have right now that could act as triggers for something good.

We'll leave it at that for the morning and dive in deeper a little later on.

For now, I got some jams while you sort out some existing triggers.

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Day 7: How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

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Day 7: How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Estimated watch time: 21 minutes

We all know what to do. We just don’t know how to convince ourselves to do it.
— Mel Robbins

If you really wanted to, you could walk into a bookstore right now and buy at least 10 books by authors in any area you wanted to pursue.

You could open up Google and find at least 100 step-by-step-by-step instruction guides on how to get it.

Hell, you can search anybody online that's "been there / done that" and be in touch with them in under an hour.

So why don't most of us have what we want?

Well according to Mel Robbins, one of the most badass experts on leadership and defeating doubt, it's because we have an instinctual habit of screwing ourselves over.

Watch as she drills through the mental clutter that stands between ourselves and what we want and gives us a straight-forward answer on how to get after what we want.

Sit back and enjoy it.

It's worth it.

In five seconds flat, self-doubt can take over and rob you of your power, and rob you of joy, and rob you of potential. Or in five seconds flat, you can use one stupid little trick, to take it all back.
— Mel Robbins

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Day 5: Time To Talk Weekends

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Day 5: Time To Talk Weekends

When we first started Damn Early Days, we very purposely decided NOT to include them in the official 21 days for one simple reason:

We started this create a better life for ourselves, not just prove that we can grind out a month of hell. We wanted to create a space that we would consistently be able (and want to) show up to, month-after-month, year-after-year. We know this was a key to this being successful in the long run.

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Day 3: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

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Day 3: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

One of the biggest things we hear is how people don't realize there are so many others going through this.

There is.

Take some time out today – either right now or later in the day – to share with the rest of the community why you are here and what you hope to get out of Damn Early Days.

Sometimes, powerful things can happen when you put your intentions out to a group like this.

At the very least, you'll realize so many other people are going through the same struggles you are.

 

 

Day 3: You Have To Be Willing To Fail

Let's be honest, most people are not willing to fail.

They hate it.

They run from it.

In their eyes, if they suck at something, it means they suck. Since their self-worth is tied directly to their performance, any failure is proof they aren’t good enough.

Sound familiar?

But that is exactly why most of them stay mediocre.

If they aren’t willing to fail, they aren’t able to learn from their mistakes. If they never learn, they’ll never grow and develop into something more.

 

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success."

- Thomas J. Watson   
 

 

IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO FAIL
YOU GUARANTEE YOU’LL STAY AVERAGE-AT-BEST.

If you want to grow into an extraordinary version of yourself, you must be willing to fail — a lot.

That sucks to hear, but it's also the truth spewed by so many of the greats over the last 1,000 years.

Failure brings humility.

It develops your character.

It helps you laugh at your mistakes and not take things so seriously.

Like a plant placed from the shade into sunlight, your growth rate will accelerate 10x.

If you embrace the possibility of failure, you open yourself up to enormous success you’ve never seen before.

Keep that in mind as you go through Damn Early Days.

-

And because life is better with music, I got something for you.

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Day 2: Motto of Real Champions: 'Just Don't.'

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Day 2: Motto of Real Champions: 'Just Don't.'

Alright – who here is more excited about early mornings than you have been in a while?

*raises hand*

And, by chance, who here also already cut into their sleep by letting a late bedtime creep up on them?

*sheepishly raises hand again*

It happens.

Breaking old habits is hard. There's just something so seductive about an intimate late night cellphone session in bed or that afternoon cup of coffee. It's just so good in that moment – until early mornings find you and you hate the fact that you ever committed to this.

While these last few days have been about dreaming, setting intentions, planning, and getting our goals and systems together, the real magic in this is learning how NOT to do things.

Sure "Just Do It" is great for when we need motivation and need to pull through, but what about all the other stuff we shouldn't do? What happens once the momentum isn't riding high and the old routines start to creep back in?

The real motto of champions is "Just Don't".

You're here, doing this hard thing, so you clearly give a damn about yourself and your goals. So what do you do when all the things you shouldn't be doing start to creep back in? What things are you giving a damn about, but really shouldn't be?

If you're are going to be successful (and rested) throughout this, you have to be able to say no frequently – to others and yourself.

Ask yourself: what things in your life are good in the moment but actually killing you in the long run?

To give you a few ideas and a little inspiration, take a read. Mark Manson has a hack for stopping all the things you really shouldn't be caring about – and he calls it The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. It's worth the read.

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Day 1: Understanding Why You Are Here

Day 1: Understanding Why You Are Here

You committed to this challenge because something inside you told you you wanted more. More from life, more from each day, and more from yourself.

This morning, we're focused on that why.