1: “The noise and distractions are relentless,” Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy write in The Gap and The Gain: The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success.
It’s easy to lose our internal compass.
The prevalence of social media means we are constantly comparing ourselves with everyone else.
“No wonder the more time we spend on social media, the less self-esteem we’ll have and the more depressed we’ll be,” Dan and Ben observe. “No wonder suicide and addiction rates are skyrocketing among teens and adolescents. The majority of their lives are spent being compared to others by teachers, parents, peers, and even themselves.”
Which can impact how we show up in the world. “We are highly reactive and ‘need’ something outside of ourselves,” the authors note. “Making it nearly impossible to truly make ourselves our own reference point.”
The bottom line? Becoming self-determined is very difficult in today’s world.
“According to self-determination theory, a crucial aspect of motivation and thriving is autonomy,” they write.
“The more independence and ownership we have for ourselves, our circumstances, and our life, the more self-determined we will be.”
When we are self-determined, we make ourselves our own reference point. Versus measuring ourselves against something external.
“Being self-determined means we’re intrinsically, not extrinsically, motivated,” Dan and Ben write.
Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of us. It’s when we do something for financial gain, recognition, or to win a contest or competition.
Intrinsic motivation refers to behaviors that are driven by internal rewards. We engage in activities because we find them interesting and internally satisfying.
“This doesn’t mean we don’t use externals as measurables,” Dan and Ben observe, “but we ourselves choose those goals for ourselves.”
Because we are clear on why we want what we want.
2: Yesterday, we looked at the importance of being psychologically flexible. We resist the trap of becoming rigid or dogmatic in our approach and mindset. Instead, we remain open to and actively seek out new alternatives and choices.
“We take every experience life gives us—difficult or easy, scary or exciting, challenging or accelerating—and we become better as a result.
“We’re either winning or learning.”
Which allows us to “move forward through uncertainty,” Dan and Ben write. “It means we control the meaning of our experiences.”
3: One effective strategy we can use is to pay attention to our actions and our behaviors. What it is we do.
Yes, “our identity is how we see ourselves, and it drives our behavior,” Dan and Ben note. “But our behavior also influences our identity. Psychologists have a term, self-signaling, and it means that we judge ourselves based on our behavior.
“If we eat a donut, we’ll judge ourselves as someone who eats donuts,” they observe. “If we get up early and go to the gym, we’ll judge ourselves as someone who gets up early and goes to the gym.”
Because our behaviors are self-signaling.
“All behavior is addictive. All behavior seeks more of itself,” they note.
If we “hop on Facebook and mindlessly scroll, we’re more likely to engage in that same behavior in the future. If we begin investing money in our long-term future, even small amounts, we’re more likely to continue that behavior in the future.”
Reflection: How much time do I spend on social media? How do I feel afterward?
Action: Focus today on my actions. What is the best version of myself? What would that person do? Do it.