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Happy Harry’s Mental Moment…

Happy Harry’s Mental Moment…

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Published by: api-25931292 on Jan 05, 2010
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05/11/2014

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Happy Harry\u2019s Mental Moment\u2026
This daily e-mail can be found athttp://twitter.com/harryreo
The \u201cSecret\u201d to Becoming a Better \u2018Man\u2019 in 2010
By Brett McKay (Art of Manliness)

It\u2019s a new year, a time for both gazing into the future and reflecting on the past. As you look back on the last year, how do you feel about the way it went? Do you have the sinking feeling that you are in the same place mentally/professionally/romantically/spiritually that you were 12 months ago? That the only thing that\u2019s changed is the date on the calendar?

There are always a lot of tips given out this time of year about how to make and keep resolutions and make
the next year better than the last.
But I have only one \u201csecret\u201d to impart:discipline. It isth e key to unlocking your potential and finally moving
forward with your life.

The reason you still haven\u2019t finished that book you started last January but have spent several hours surfing
the internet every day? A lack of discipline. The reason that you want to propose to your girlfriend or have
kids but keep holding back? You\u2019re afraid you don\u2019t have the discipline to be successful at those endeavors.
The reason you\u2019re still just as fat as last time you ate that cream puff before making a new resolution? A lack
of discipline. The reason you haven\u2019t made any progress on starting that side business, and your house is a
dump, and you feel like your life is slipping away? No discipline!

Discipline is essentially the ability to put off what we want in the moment for what we want in the
long run. By now, almost everyone is familiar with the famous marshmallow experiment run by Dr. Walter

Mischel. Four year old children were each given one marshmallow. They could either eat the marshmallow
immediately, or, if they waited 15 minutes for the lab assistant to return, receive another marshmallow, thus
doubling their prize. The kids who were able to wait generally went on to become successful and well adjusted
adults, while the kids who gobbled the first marshmallow had more trouble dealing with stress, frustration,
and impulse control.

We all probably imagine ourselves as the kid who would have waited for the second marshmallow. And maybe
you would have. But even the most disciplined among us have areas in our lives where we\u2019re failing. Areas
where we\u2019re just middling by and it\u2019s absolutely eating at us, knowing how much potential we have and how
we\u2019re not utilizing it.

Everyone wants a secret or hack on how to be more disciplined. But there isn\u2019t one. It is simply a matter of training your mind to do what you want it to do. Of saying a resounding \u201cNo!\u201d to the things that waste your life and your time. You decide what you really want out of life and you go for it. That\u2019s it.

But here are some thing to think over to help your frame of mind, for as Dr. Mischel says, \u201cWe can\u2019t control
the world, but we can control how we think about it.\u201d
Stop thinking of your \u201cflaw\u201d as part of your identity. Part of why it\u2019s hard to make changes in our lives,
why we find ourselves unsuccessful in changing our habits, is that we rationalize our weaknesses as simply
part of \u201cwho we are.\u201d We assuage our guilt but adopting them as part of our identity, as part of our shtick.

We\u2019re the jolly fat guy who makes self-deprecating jokes and amazes people with how many slices of pizza he
can wolf down. We\u2019re the funny drunk who always gets totally plastered and cracks everyone up with our
antics. We\u2019re a night owl, dammit! That\u2019s how we roll, burning the midnight oil! We\u2019re the player, not because
we can\u2019t keep a girlfriend but just because we crush a lot!

We do so much rationalizing that it can be downright painful to change; we feel like we\u2019re losing a part of
ourselves. Maybe our habits aren\u2019t making us happy, but at least they give us the stability of an identity, the
comfort of routine. What happens when the fat guy slims down and the drunk gets sober? Who are we then?

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