Feb 24, 2020
In the final part of this popular podcast series, I will be looking at the most valuable thing you own, but you may not realise it - It’s your attention.
Where you focus your mind at any one time is vitally important to making progress in life. It is also a key component in the use of willpower.
Just consider – if you are multi-tasking, with bits of paper all over your desk and music in the background and the phone pinging with social media notifications every ten seconds, just how well do you make decisions. The more distractions there are, the more of your time is spent not fully concentrating.
That can add up to a lot of time. And a lot of stress.
I mentioned stress in the last blog in this series and the devastating impact it has on willpower.
The good news is the Kelly McGonigal, author of ‘The Willpower Instinct’ has discovered a technique which is the antidote to ‘fight or flight.’ She calls it ‘pause and plan’ and it makes use of your ability to catch an impulse, pause before you act on it and then decide to make a better decision.
This ability to pause is helped massively by meditation – which teaches you to slow your mind and connect to the present moment.
Meditation isn’t the only answer of course – otherwise everyone would be doing it and we’d have world peace by now. If you want to win the willpower game you need to create an environment which minimises the drain on your attention.
So, declutter your workspace and create an environment where you can concentrate. That may mean putting your phone on silent and into a drawer; sorting out the piles of paper which clutter your desk and which cry out ‘pay attention to me’ every time you look at them.
Another vital factor in winning the willpower game is the ‘pre-match’ preparation. In other words, what you do in the first hour (or half an hour or two hours) of your morning before you go off and do whatever it is you need to do for the rest of the day.
There are plenty of books on this and those who are a part of my coaching community (Mi365 Elite Pro know it as the Mi365 Morning. What you do isn’t nearly so important as doing it consistently.
Planning out the things that matter – journaling, meditation, exercise, reading, working on self-development to name just a few – and doing them every single day puts you in the best possible position to have a fantastic day, every day.
Even if you do this, though, there will be times when your willpower isn’t there and you make a decision you wish you hadn’t.
When that happens, don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to everyone and it isn’t what you did that matters. It is what you are going to do next.
So don’t give up. Look at what happened, see what you can learn from it and get going again in the path that leads you to success.
If you want to set yourself up for success every day, then check out my free training at coaching.petecohen.com and arrange to speak to me.
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About Pete Cohen: Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted on the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes and the everyday person. Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be both personally and professionally.
It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.
He is the author of 19 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years. His new book Inspirators - Leading The Way In Leadership is available for free here