Over at Forever Mountain, I’m talking about some changes I’m making to the blogs. Here, I’m sharing a bit about the process and challenges of it all.
Realizing versus doing
I’ve known for a while that I need to work on the blogs. A few weeks ago, I realized several pieces of what I need to do. I made note of them. And then…
Nothing happened because while I realized what needed to happen, I didn’t take the steps to do it. And accomplishing something requires both the realization of what you need to do and the worky icky bits of doing it.
Both take effort and learning. But they take different kinds of effort and learning. Intellectually and emotionally, they’re different processes.
The realization part might come from reading a book, watching a video, attending a lecture, or some other source of information. You have to work to get that information. You might even have to continue the “information search” work while you’re doing the doing part. But learning and realizing isn’t all you’re doing in the doing part.
When you’re putting your idea into action, you have plans to make, adapt, and follow. You have to “look under the hood” and see what’s actually going on. You need to change habits, fix old ones and make new ones. You may have to have some hard discussions with yourself and others. You may even have to admit you’ve made mistakes.
The doing part might include (should include) information gathering, but it also requires information synthesis and application. Those are more challenging processes (part of why the doing part can be so hard). You might have to get off your butt and actually talk to people and do things.
One thing you will have to do is develop (break, change, and/or create) habits to go with your new way of doing things.
Habits can be helpful. They can also cause problems.
Habits can help us be more efficient. They reduce the cognitive load we encounter while doing things.
They also make it harder to do things differently.
When we want to start a new process or system, we have to break old habits (or at least redirect them) and create new ones. This takes conscious effort and work.
Our habits help us reduce cognitive load. But when we’re changing habits and creating new ones, we have to pay for that future efficiency with additional attention and load now. It’s a problem, but there’s another way to look at it. If the habit we’re creating is good, that extra effort is an investment.
Habits can be good or bad. The trick is, we need to invest in creating habits that help us, and in changing our habits as our lives and processes change.
Creating a success environment
Like it or not, we all exist in an environment. Our habits and behaviors both shape and are shaped by that environment. So, we have an important question. Is our environment good for what we want to do?
Chances are, no matter how good our environment is, there are things we can do to make it better. If our environment is terrible, the best thing we can do to change it might be to move to a new one.
A success environment is one in which the people and things around us align in such a way that they help us move forward toward success. If you want to learn to garden, hanging out with a good and supportive gardening club will probably help you. If you want to beat that alcohol addiction, going to the bar probably isn’t a good idea.
Some elements of our environment are fairly permanent. Changing them probably won’t work. (Sorry kids, as humans we need oxygen and function best in approximately earth normal gravity. No matter how much we may want to, floating around in space without a space suit isn’t going to help us.)
Other elements of our environment are changeable. We can turn on the lights if it’s dark. We can make choices about our daily schedules. By controlling these elements of our environments, we can place ourselves in a better position to achieve and do.
Success environments depend on who we are and what we’re trying to do. The environment best for me writing blog posts isn’t the best environment for my wife to take a nap. The best environment for me to write blog posts isn’t the best environment for me making pancakes either (the desk to stove ration is way wrong!).
Creating a success environment means analyzing our environment, our habits, our plans, and ourselves, and then making changes and improvements that will better support what we want to do.
Changes are coming, dear reader. I’m building better habits and a better environment. It’s a learning process, but it’s something we (all of us) can do. Good luck in seeking your success. And, I’ll see you next post.