I Hope I Screw This Up, Pages 53-68

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Did some more reading tonight while snuggling my baby girl. Chapters 6 and 7 was interesting to say the the least.

Chapter 6 was……pointless. I feel it highlighted his struggle in writing. That is all I have to say about that chapter.

Chapter 7 had a couple of good take aways. After almost falling asleep the first two pages into chapter 7 on account of being sleep deprived, I woke myself up determined to learn something from this chapter. I learnt that Kyle really is using this book as a means to overcome his fear of writing. I learnt that watching him go through this process throughout the book is kinda brutal. Sometimes it is a bit boring or random or messy; but isn’t doing things we find scary that way anyway? Kyle wrote this book to transform. He is walking his own talk. I think that says a lot about him. His writing style does not impress me, but his perseverance and follow through does. His choosing to do the very thing he tells his clients to do speaks volumes. That is what I want for my life.

He had some awesome tidbits of wisdom throughout as well.

“When your intention beats habit, you win the game of life.”

“I know that the simple things I’m doing, and not doing, on a daily basis are actually profound actions that are creating the foundation and internal alignment that are allowing me to write these words faster and more effectively.”

“If we stop believing the lies our minds tell us about what is and isn’t possible in our lives, we can untie ourselves from those beliefs and allow our balloons to naturally rise.”

The Psychology of Action: Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior, Pages 1-9

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As mentioned in my first blog post, I recently started reading The Psychology of Action on Goggle Books. It is a 600+ page textbook full of amazing geekery on how our behavior is linked to motivation (the general desire or willingness of someone to do something) and cognition (the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses); and I love it! The first 9 pages gave me so much insight that my brain was on overload. I’m only going to mention a couple here however.

Over the last few years, I have set multiple goals, and failed at most of them. Particularly the goals surrounding my business. It was almost as if I could count on the opposite of my goal happening if I set a business goal and told someone about it. It has been torturous. Why was it that I could set and complete a goal to fast processed sweets for 6 weeks or redo my porch (which took 2 years to complete), but I could not for the life of me complete the vast majority of my business goals? Then in the process of attempting to attain the goals, at times my business would actually go in the opposite direction. It just didn’t make sense. How was it that I kept sabotaging myself? How did I continuously attract and enact bad behavior such as to undo my goals as fast as I could make them?

These and other related questions have been on my mind for awhile. I started noticing the pattern a couple years ago. So, after watching the Ted Talk “Keep Your Goals To Yourself,” and finding myself resonating with it, I decided to look up this Peter Gollwitzer. When I saw this book on goggle books, it called to me. I felt like I may find some of my answers there, and the first few pages did not disappoint.

Pages 1-5 introduce Part 1: Sounces and Contents of Actions Goals. This first part focuses on where goals come from, and why a person may be driven to set and execute a goal. From the summary, I am excited to get to chapter 4 wherein it talks about entity theory and incremental theory in relation to moral character and  intelligence. The notion that some people truly believe these two traits are fixed is fascinating. I consciously believe that improvements can be made to moral character and intelligent, and that failure is not the be all end all, but subconsciously I do not always act accordingly. I have this nasty habit of self-shaming, or taking my interpretation of others thoughts about me to heart, which then fixes my traits, instead of leading from my mistakes and moving on.

The first 2 1/2 pages of chapter 1: All Goals are not Created Equal, can be summoned up in one sentence – The authors are exploring Self-Determination Theory. This theory assumes that there are three basic psychological needs when setting goals: autonomy, relatedness and competence. I see all three of these factors playing out in my goal making decisions.  When I set goals for myself, I feel I want them to be autonomous from those around me. They are my goals, and no one else’s. I feel a need to relate to my goals and to have others relate to them if I share them. I also feel that the completion of my goals needs to help me feel competent. That I have learnt new skills and now “know what I am doing,” to a degree at least.

Now on to read the next section in the chapter about The Why of Behavior. Why do we do what we do when we set goals?

I Hope I Screw This Up: Pages 1-52

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This book was a whimsical purchase. I saw an ad for one of the authors videos on Facebook, watched the first 20 minutes of it (never was able to get through the full hour due to being around my children and not wanting them to hear some of the adult themes in it…..don’t worry it wasn’t to over the top, I’m just super sensitive to those things around my kids), then decided to preorder the book because I loved what I saw in those 20 minutes. When the book showed up sometime in May, I didn’t read it. It went on my shelf. Until 2 weeks ago after I had my 3rd baby. The book seemed to be calling to me. It has taken me two weeks to read the first 52 pages, but it has provided some key insight that I need in my life right now.

Before I started reading it, I read some reviews on Goodreads. I tend to find some good ones taunting it as the best thing since sliced bread, and some awful ones claiming the book was a waste of time. After reading this review, I decided to jump right into reading the book:

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After these first 50 pages, I think his all-over-the-placeness writing style is part of the point. This book is about HIS journey to write a book. Kind of what I am doing right now as I document my drive to read the books I have in my possession. He even says on page 11 in chapter 1, ” This book is literally me giving myself advice, and I’m realizing that the true reason I’m writing it is to move past my own fears…” I appreciate that. I appreciate documenting the actual thoughts you are having, as you have them. Kind of like chatting online or texting someone. The thoughts just come out, and you can edit the them if you wish, but leaving them largely raw and unfiltered seems to be more authentic.

As I continued to read, this sentence struck me on page 31, “How would it feel to be the person who is actually moving toward that thing that calls to you?” This very question has been posed to me in one form or another by different people for the last five years. Ever since I began my journey building my network marketing business. In those moments that I am moving towards the things that call me, magic happens. The stars align and I feel free. My limited beliefs are shed. I feel like myself. Then my “addictions” hit. The kind of addictions that he speaks about in chapter 5. The need to find approval is my addiction. That approval tends to limit me tremendously because I tiptoe around my calling instead of moving forward with purpose.

I’m loving these insights, and am looking forward to what I will learn as I finish the book.

My Little Home University

A couple months ago I realized that more than half the books I own, I have never read. I bought them with the intention on reading them, and then proceeded to let them collect dust on the shelf. I’m sure there are others who can relate. Most of these books fall in the “self help” category. Some are biographies or autobiographies, and others are scientific. Those scientific ones deal in matters of brain chemistry or psychology or fragrance chemistry. I love neurology. I love psychology. I love essential oils and fragrance.  I love chemistry and biology. I love people and learning about them. Oh goodness my interests take me down a varied landscape of knowledge and wonder.

With all these delightful, unread books, I had unmet goal after unmet goal to read them. I’d start a few and never finish one of them. I’d read 2 pages, ponder those two pages, then set the book down never to be opened again. Then, last week, I read the first few pages of the textbook “The Psychology of Action: Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior” on Goggle Books. It was spurred by watching this Ted Talk: Keep Your Goals To Yourself. One of the editors, Peter M. Gollwitzer, was mentioned in the talk, which led me to Goodreads and Goggle to discover his works. (I love social media and search engines!) I wanted to understand why I continually lost motivation to achieve my goals (and not just my reading goals). Why it seemed that when I disclosed my goals to someone else, I worked less towards them instead of working more. Accountability to actually achieve those goals seemed futile. So when I read those first 9 pages of that book, they were eye opening, exciting, and brought epiphany to epiphany to me…..and I want to share my epiphanies, which is resulting in the the birth of this blog.

I have learned that my motivation can be spurred by attention. I am not ashamed to admit that I am motivated by attention. It is a part of my psyche that I embrace. There is a hope that what little attention I get will help someone else improve their life. That by you reading this, you’ll be inspired to go and pick up your dust collecting books, and learn from them. Books are the window into someone else’s thoughts. They can propel you into new ways of thinking, which will thus change your life. Join me as I change mine.