Why Tough Love Is (So Damn) Important

Photo by Wendy Shepherd

It's simpler than you'd think.

Your fast (reptilian) brain hijacks you with reactive emotions all the time.

It's always the first to speak.

Your slow brain (smart/human/cerebral cortex) tries to make sense of situations and decide.

It's always second, playing catch-up.

This is why we plan and set goals – because the best way to get your smart brain speaking first is to plan in advance.

But then enter life. In real time. All day, every day. 

Reactions happen. Emotions and frustrations build up. We look for an escape. In our society where fight and flight are rarely options, we often freeze up. 

That's no solution, so the slow brain starts analyzing and suggests stopping the thing that triggers you.

Smart slow brain.

But not what you actually want. 

That's called "rationalization" aka the BS, but logical story we tell ourselves to avoid engaging with life when the thing we want to chase gets difficult to get after.

So what does this have to do with tough love?

Tough love is a way of being with yourself (and others) that does us all a favour by always being ready to cut through that loop.

Easy love is creating a great plan for yourself and your life – or even a powerful one for others. But it also allows you to stay in the comfortable confines of your hamster wheel.

Tough love is deciding to stand for what you believe in and endure whatever life throws at you once the plans hit the real-time world.

It's about being able to look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself on the stories you create to wiggle yourself out of the very things you want in life.

It's about looking at the ways we convince ourselves that the things we won't don't matter because they are tucked away behind difficulty – and then figuring out ways to tear those walls down.

Three weeks ago you chose to be here because you believed in yourself and something greater for you.

As we move into the last week, we want you to start to own those stories, apply some tough love to them, cut them out, and finish strong.

If you can master that, you master a hell of lot more than just Damn Early Days.

Enjoy your Monday, kids.

Nov2017Gordon Swenson