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The Program

Apr 24: Rethinking Your Walls

Apr 24: Rethinking Your Walls

Hopelessness. 

Lack of motivation. Zero drive.

We've all been there. 

When have the walls or challenges in your life seemed insurmountable? Have you found it hard to stay motivated in areas of your life, or with your DED goals this month?

How did you overcome these low times, or are you in it right now?

This morning, invite you to tune in with us to listen to Nick Vujicic explore this very topic and how he has navigated it in his own life. No matter our walk in life, whether our challenges are big or simply feel big some days, these struggles are part of the human experience, How we let them shape us, or derail us, and how we pull ourselves through them makes all the difference. Hit play, here we go.  

 

 

 

 

Apr 18: The Power of Tiny Gains

Apr 18: The Power of Tiny Gains

 

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day
failure is simply a few errors in judgment, practiced every day.

—Jim Rohn

 

Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes

As you go through Damn Early Days, you might be wondering if a single morning really matters?

I mean, in today's world it's the huge transformations and overnight success stories that get all the hype.

And why wouldn't they – they just sound so damn good.

“I lost 30 pounds in 30 days without lifting a weight”
“I made $60,000 in TWO months without leaving my couch”
"I found happiness and rode off into sunset with the love of my dreams all by taking a magic pill...

Those words and words like them litter the pages of magazines, blogs, infomercials, and courses everywhere. And with that kind of ubiquity, you’d almost be foolish NOT to believe them.

But if you’ve ever talked to anyone that has done anything of accomplishment then you know how much merit they have – nil.

Despite the underlying knowledge that there is no shortcut, we still flock to these get {insert lofty, audacious goal} quick schemes like a moth to the flame, believing that we will be the lucky ones who part the sea and get to bask in the glory without putting in the work.

But look around and let me know how that's doing for most people.

 

Breaking Our Biology

There seems to be some sort of (faulty) wiring in humans that overwhelmingly underestimates what it takes to accomplish big goals and grossly overestimates what it takes to accomplish a series of small tasks.

We buy into the narrative of a heroic, defining moment where we achieve it all and completely negate the value of making numerous small but good decisions on a daily basis. We convince ourselves that the change is only meaningful if there is some crazy large visible outcome associated with it.

And we're all miserable because of it.

See, not only is it causing us to fail, it's causing most of us not to try at all. For the sake of sanity and your life, this morning, we’re going to break that notion and make your life a hell of a lot easier (because we kind of feel bad about the whole 4:30AM thing).

 

Welcome To The World of Tiny Gains

People don’t suck at creating habits. In fact, they are really good at it.

What they suck at is choosing the right habits to build.

Most of our habits are decided haphazardly, driven by short-term desires with no care or understanding of their long-term effects on us.

Almost every habit you have — good or bad — is the result of numerous small decisions, repeated over time. There was no point that you “got smart” or “became fit”. It was a gradual change that happened through thousands of tiny choices, again and again. At some point you looked back on it all and were smarter or fitter – hopefully both?

Yet, when it comes to setting new goals and ambitions, this knowledge is the first thing we throw out the window. We choose to forget how easy it can be to follow simple decisions everyday and instead choose to focus on the biggest, baddest, most ambitious thing we can – the outcome.
 

Looking at Tiny Gains

Tiny gains are small decisions made frequently that move you slowly and steadily forward. They start small and add up to something big. Maybe you have read about this before, but sometimes, often around the halfwat mark, we need a reminder to get us back on track.

The math is simple. If you focus on simply getting 1% better every day, in 365 days you will be almost 38 times better.

Yep – 38 times better.

On the flip side, if you're bad habit is making you 1% worse every day, you'll be left with virtually nothing at the end of year. This applies to running, money, learning and just about every other life goal that can be quantified. Yet at no point are you growing (or shrinking) more than 1%.

Want to write a book? Start by writing a paragraph the first day and gradually increase how much you write as it becomes easier.

Want to run a marathon but couldn't even chase down the ice cream truck last time it was around? Start by putting on your shoes and walking around your block. Then run for 10 seconds and walk for a minute. Increase from there.

Want to learn to meditate like a zen ninja, but can't sit still for 10 seconds? Start right now by stopping everything and taking just 3 breathes. Then step it up and go back for 4.

It sounds simple – and, well, it is.

In a world of huge transformations and instant gratification, consistency trumps big but short lived spurts of energy, every single day of the week.

Find something worth sticking to, break it down into tiny components, and get after it – bit by bit, day by day.
 

So, Why Don’t We (The World) Embrace Tiny Gains?

If they are so easy and awesome, why don't we all embrace them?

Well, there's a simple reason: in the moment they feel insignificant, unsexy, and have no emotional charge.

Basically, they are boring.

If you don't believe me, tell the next person you see that you just did one push-up and tell me how they respond.

That's what I thought...

But the truth is, if you're previous best was zero push-ups then one push-up is infinitely better and closer to 100 push-ups than most people.

See, many of us would rather bask in the what-ifs of lofty goals than do the dirty (and sometimes boring) work that will help us get where we want to go. We'd rather talk about the potential of the success we could have than put in the time.

Don't be one of those people.

To make it worse, when people who are at the top talk about building the company, losing the pounds, or writing the book, they talk about it as a singular thing. They make it seem like success happened in moments, rather than being the accumulation of months, years or even decades of work adding up.

It's easy to let fall prey to these stories and let them trick you into doing too much, too soon. When you get motivated and inspired to take it to the next level, it's easy to fixate only on the end result (see every single New Years goal). It's natural to think that we need the result, the transformation, the overnight success. But know it's not what you need. You need better habits.

Audacious life goals can be fantastic and we're proud you have them. But let’s be honest for a second, it’s probably those audacious goals that are the very thing stopping you from getting where you want to go.

There is power in small wins and slow gains. Break it down. Keep it simple.

Tiny gains will take care of the rest.

And because you made it this far, you deserve this.

Apr 17: Ask Yourself

Apr 17: Ask Yourself

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.
— Carl Sagan

As you carve out time to create the life you want, morning after morning, with every small win or struggle, you can either continue to grow as you move ahead, or find yourself in a new comfort zone. A bit different than the comfort zones of the past perhaps, but still, a comfort zone none the less.   

The key is to never stop being curious.

Keep asking questions, keep finding answers. The more we explore, the more we find that there is so much that we didn't know was inside us. Questions and discovery launch us forward, enable us to learn, refine, shift, and unlock potential.

However, not all questions are the same. The types of questions we ask ourselves expand or limit our possibilities. The right questions can take us far. And so, from time to time here with the Daily Dose, we'll be dropping some of our favorite questions for you to ponder. 

You can choose to scratch the surface, but by now you know we are all about encouraging you to go all in. So find a new notebook and gather these questions and answers when they come. You get what you put in, and if you go all in on these answers and on yourself, we think you will find more than you realize.

For today, three simple but important Qs to think about: 

Where did I grow today?

What did I give?

What am I grateful for?

Take them in, set them in your mind this morning, then come back to them at the end of the day. What did you find? See how the day feels different with these guiding questions simmering all day.  

Apr 16: Think Differently

Apr 16: Think Differently

Who are you taking steps to become?

Who is the You a year from now? 5 years?

You are shaping that person today. You, along with so many others, signed up to keep moving forward with these early mornings for a reason. To work on goals. Maybe to make time for yourself. Whatever your reasons, together they will create your life and the person you grow to be.

How we think today can have a major impact on the person we grow into. How are your thoughts shaping you?

In this short video, Jim Cathcart, American entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker digs into this idea a little more. So hit play, and let these questions motivate your Monday morning.

Ask yourself -- how would the person you intend to be think? When you have an answer, make the choice to start to think that way, today. Explore and nurture your nature. Stay curious to keep learning about who you are and how you operate in the world. Then, get up. And spend some time this morning taking another intentional step towards the You you want to be. 

 

Apr 13: Get Back To Your "Why"

Apr 13: Get Back To Your "Why"

10 days ago we started this challenge because something inside of us told us we wanted more.

You might have had a clear idea of what this was or you might not have been totally sure – either way, something deep inside you told you that you wanted more out of yourself.

And you believed that waking up damn early was doing to help you get there.

For some this might have seemed just a little crazy and for others, seemingly impossible and insane.

Either way, we all had questions flying through our minds: Can I do this again? How hard is this going to be this round? Am I going to enjoy this at all? Will I be able to rise to the challenge? What if I fail?

We all stared straight into these questions and were face to face with the fact that we are reorganizing our entire lives – prioritizing the things that matters.

Our social lives might get messed up.

Our sleep habits will have to change.

We'll have to give up a bunch of the distractions we come to rely on for comfort each day.

Hell, we might even become the grumpiest version of ourselves until we adjust... if we even can adjust.

And even at that time, face to face with all of these discomforts and challenges, we still decided to jump anyways...

Why?

Exactly... 

Why did you commit to this?

Stay here for a second, because 10 days ago something inside of you felt a feeling strong enough to compel you to commit to this.

Through the doubts.

Through the questions.

Through the challenging reality you knew lay ahead.

Deep inside, you had your why. It was something burning deep inside that you believed in, and you wanted it more than you wanted to be comfortable.

And now here we are.

Tired and uncomfortable with two weeks still ahead of us.

In this moment, we're experiencing all the uncomfortable things and feelings we knew we would experience as we pursued the people we wanted to become. The only difference now is that the feelings of discomfort are real, rather than just stories we made up in our head about the future, and we need a WHY big enough to pull us through. 

 

So here's your challenge...

This morning, reconnect with your why.

It doesn't matter how you do it – just make it happen.

Ask yourself: Why did you sign-up for this again? Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish with your one short life? What thing do you not want to have to look back on and regret having not done?

Spend time getting back to the place that convinced you to dive into this in the first place.

Write it down.

Print it out.

Tape it to your bedroom door.

Put it on your bathroom mirror.

Create a cellphone background with it.

Then repeat it to yourself 100 times.

Most importantly, tap into it and remind yourself every single day. Your why is your fuel. Without it, you're just fumbling through the dark like the rest of us.

As we push through the last two weeks of April Damn Early Days, your why is what will take you straight through to the end and beyond. More than that, your why is what will help you continue to let that fire burn long after this is over.

Reconnect with it and the rest will fall into place.

Mar 23: Get Back To Your "Why"

Mar 23: Get Back To Your "Why"

We started this month's challenge because something inside of us told us we wanted more.

You might have had a clear idea of what this month was going to be or you might not have been totally sure yet – either way, something deep inside you told you that you wanted more out of yourself.

And you believed that waking up damn early (again) was doing to help you get there.

For some of us this might have seemed just a little crazy and for others, seemingly impossible and insane.

Either way, we all had questions flying through our minds: Can I do this again? How hard is this going to be this time around? Am I going to enjoy this at all? Will I be able to rise to this? What if I fail?

We all stared straight into these questions and were face to face with the fact that we are reorganizing our entire lives – prioritizing the things that matters.

Our social lives might get messed up.

Our sleep habits will have to change.

We'll have to give up a bunch of the distractions we come to rely on for comfort each day.

Hell, we might even become the grumpiest version of ourselves until we adjust... if we even can adjust.

And even at that time, face to face with all of these discomforts and challenges, we still decided to jump in again anyways...

Why?

Exactly... 

Why did you commit to this?

Stay here for a second, because something inside of you felt a feeling strong enough to compel you to commit to this.

Through the doubts.

Through the questions.

Through the challenging reality you knew lay ahead.

Deep inside, you had your why. It was something burning deep inside that you believed in, and you wanted it more than you wanted to be comfortable.

And now here we are.

Tired and uncomfortable with another week still ahead of us.

In this moment, we're experiencing all the uncomfortable things and feelings we knew we would experience as we pursued the people we wanted to become. The only difference now is that the feelings of discomfort are real, rather than just stories we made up in our head about the future, and we need a WHY big enough to pull us through. 

 

So here's your challenge...

This morning, reconnect with your why.

It doesn't matter how you do it – just make it happen.

Ask yourself: Why did you sign-up for this? Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish with your one short life? What thing do you not want to have to look back on and regret having not done?

Spend time getting back to the firey place that convinced you to dive into this in the first place.

Write it down.

Print it out.

Tape it to your bedroom door.

Put it on your bathroom mirror.

Create a cellphone background with it.

Then repeat it to yourself 100 times.

Most importantly, tap into that fire and remind yourself every single day. Your why is your fuel. Without it, you're just fumbling through the dark like the rest of us.

As we push through the last lap of this round of Damn Early Days, your why is what will take you straight through to the end. More than that, your why is what will help you continue to let that fire burn long after this month is over. And it might make you realize you want more. 

Reconnect with it and the rest will fall into place.