Take a moment to learn who you are to become something greater.
|Know yourself. No, like really know yourself. I’m not talking about any astrological signs, like oh, I’m a Taurus. That means I need to do this today, or my future says this. Knowing yourself is not something as two dimensional as just knowing that I really love spaghetti and really dislike mushrooms. This isn’t second grade anymore. It’s time to grow up. You need to listen to the way that you operate, not the way that is generalized to people that exhibit similar problems as you.|
You need to know yourself well enough to be able to put yourself in situations that have not happened yet. That is not to say that you cannot grab small experiences and learning techniques from others, that should actually be one of your main motives.
You need to have the uncanny ability to know what your thoughts will be days, weeks, months, years into the future.
This is not to say that you need to know exactly What you would do and every single hypothetical situation. That will require too much energy on a daily basis.
I what does it really mean to know who you are? Ever since I can remember I have been a forgetful person.(at least I can remember that!) I would always be the kid that forgot their cleats halfway on the road to a big tournament. I forget my keys at the exact moment that I have to open up my car. I forget that homework is due the next day and stay up until 10 o’clock at night, trying to do it all. I was even the kid in college that shows up to class, and everybody has a Scantron in hand, and I had no idea that there was even a test.
At that point, I am the one that is hurting myself. I cannot just blame all of these shortcomings because “ oh, I’m just a forgetful person, it happens all the time. I was born this way.”
No I wasn’t. What I was doing to myself, was like handcuffing myself at the wrist and ankles, and tying cinder bricks to my body and expecting to swim a mile. The only person I was hurting was myself.
Never did I set a reminder on my phone, never did I write a note. I I have all the tools at my disposal, but neglected to use them because it was just easy. I thought that since I was smart in high school, but I didn’t need to study. Boy was I wrong.
You might see yourself doing this is as well you might continue to put things off, you might forget to prepare for a meeting. Everyone is forgetful. Not everyone has the ability to remember everything that they see in their lives. In fact, nobody has that ability. Everyone uses different techniques to make sure that they remember the things that they need to remember.
When I was younger, my dad got really frustrated with the fact that I was “scatterbrained”. My dad, being a very logical and simple problem solver, took my sister and I to Staples. As we Peru’s, the isles, we came across the back to school section. My dad looked over to me and said “ I got sumn’ for ya. See if you’ll forget now.”
He looks down, and reaches for a small spiral notebook that couldn’t have been any larger than 3” x 5”. We go and bring it up at the counter, and go into the car. I’ll take a seat next to him, and he pushes this notebook into my chest, looks me in my eyes and says. “Don’t let me see you without this, ever.”
“This is your dumb notebook. You write everything in this. Appointments, practices, homework, tests everything.”
I hated it. I absolutely hated it. I am well aware that hate is a strong word.
Despite the fact that I so strongly disliked this small spiral notebook, I obeyed my dad. Are used it for nearly anything. Just as he have said. Are used it consistently, until the pages were frayed, I had dogeared multiple portions of the spiral notebook, I had dropped water on it, dirk found its way within the pages, the metal on the spiral part of the notebook was bent and out of shape. Not only did I begin to remember things, much better, but my mind was quieter as well. It seemed like all the effort that I normally put in to try and remember all the things that went on through the day was nearly gone. The best way that I can describe it, is that the activation energy, the energy that it required me to remember something had been greatly reduced, therefore, allowing me to remember with ease.
He not only did my father try and come up with a great solution, but my mother did as well. my dad, for whatever reason, had the ability to remember things when they needed to be remembered. My mom, not so much. My mother was just described as scatterbrained as I was. On the contrary, my mother is a highly successful woman. As I’m writing this book now, she is an 05, a commander in the navy. It is hard to be selected to become an officer, nonetheless gain as much rank as she has. Especially as a woman. The way that she taught to know and understand myself, and my pitfalls, or to patch the falls before you could even fall. Now, what does that mean? My mother had a tendency to Ferg. Forget her cover on the way to work. A cover is just a military term for a hat. she also tend to forget her keys. How can we prevent this from happening? She asked her self. And just as simple as that, she would put her hat on top of her dashboard inside of her car along with her car keys. I’m not sure if she continues to do this now, but that was the easiest way for her to do that back then. Now, obviously, this isn’t the most safe option, if somebody gained access to our garage, her car was gone. Simple as that. But what does this ingenious idea tell us?
My mother showed me that, you can take the weaknesses that you have, add some work on the front end, and save yourself time and effort on the backend.
She called this running interference. (of course she had some cool word for it)
My mother has a masters in cyber security, and also has multiple years experience of cyber warfare. But she spoke of running interference. What she meant was laying down the foundation. Oxford dictionary describes this phrase, running interference as:
“To intervene on someone's behalf, typically so as to protect them from distraction or annoyance.
In order to protect myself from inevitable failure in the future, I must protect myself now. If I can run interference on my future self, I can make my life twice as easier. This can be done in nearly any fashion and applies with anything.
A premortem is a project management strategy that will help you prepare for every twist and turn. Think about what could happen in a project - good or bad - and make a plan before it starts.
I do this with everything that I want to become a great habit. For example, recently I decided that I want to stretch my muscles more. I know that I pass my living room each morning and make coffee. Before I go to bed each night, I take out my yoga mat, and lay it on the ground in the living room. Now I know that while my coffee is warming up, I will do yoga until it has finished pouring, and cools down to something drinkable.
Another example, I know that I need three things before I go to work each morning. My phone, my wallet, and my keys. I know that I will not forget my phone or my keys, they’re too important. What I do to prevent myself from leaving my wallet at home is, I put the entire wallet on top of my keys. That way, there is zero chance that I can forget either item.
Bonus tip: Put everything that you don't want to forget in the same place every time. Our primordial brains tend to like patterns, and will be able to remember where you put something almost implicitly.
Another well known phrase for this process is known as a premortem. Not postmortem, that would be after you crash and burn after you forgot to check the gas and oil levels of a plane before you flew it. Premortem is having a plan. Having an idea what to do WHEN things go wrong. Not only to know what to do, but to have practiced it incessantly as well. To the point that, when things go wrong, the outcome should be just as smooth as if everything were to have gone right.