1: Over the last several days we’ve examined the components of philosopher Brian Johnson‘s self-mastery formula.

Self-Mastery = Willpower + Habits + Algorithms.

Our goal is to use “our willpower wisely to install habits that run on autopilot.”

But what happens when we don’t?  What happens when we fall short?  Because we will.

With our behaviors.  Our thoughts.  And, certainly with other people.

Like the director in our own movie, we will have “mistakes.”

2: Brian suggests we create a “needs work” algorithm for when we mess up.

An algorithm is simply a rule we create: “If this, then that.”

First, we remove any hint of judgment.  We don’t beat ourselves up.  We treat ourselves as we would a beloved child.  We give ourselves some grace.  

Next, we approach the situation like a scientist.  We rewind to the moment of choice. We envision what we could have done instead. We imagine ourselves doing this opposite behavior.  We commit to what we will do next time.  Then, we let it go.

3: Brian calls someone who can take an unwanted behavior and do the opposite the next time an alchemist.  When we are tempted, we commit to do the opposite.  This ability becomes a way to spiral up to the highest version of ourselves.  

We get good at recovering.  We learn to catch ourselves.  

If we forget or fall short today, we make it the #1 thing on our calendar tomorrow.  We repay the debt.  If we know we are going to miss, we can “pre-pay” and do the behavior in advance.

After completing something, we reflect: 

What went well?

What did I learn?

How do I optimize for next time?


Reflection:  How have I responded in the past when I’ve done something I’ve regretted?

Action:  Look for an opportunity today to show myself some grace.  Then, consider what I will do differently next time.

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