One of the secrets of fast mastery and quicker systemic change is to CHOOSE ONE; WORK MANY.
What this means is that there are certain parts or components of a skills set that are also parts in a range of other behaviors – whether for good or ill.
By selecting one of these KEY or CRITICAL components of several — behaviors or skill sets – by working on that one, you work across the entire range of behaviors where that component lives and works.
For example, everyone needs to remember their keys, phone, bag, etc. and the same skills for remembering where they are easily, also applies in many other situations where we need to remember other things.
I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me of their terrible, terrible memory BUT they never forget their keys, phone or bag.
Or the other hand “I have a great memory” but they are always losing phone, bag or keys. Not the narrative; the outputs…
The “remembering where your keys (or whatever) are” comes down to one thing – a “marking” strategy – you either “mark” a place or space where the keys “live” when they are at home, office, etc.; or you cognitively “mark” the keys internally (taking a mental picture or commenting where the keys are) each time you put them down.
Some people use a “second test” strategy by “marking” a checklist to check before they leave a space each time (“Phone? Wallet? Bag? Ok.”) – which is a collecting strategy.
The “marking” is creating sufficient impact for your brain to get that remembering something is what you want it to do.
You can then entrain to the mark (“a home” for your keys, wallet, etc. in each space you inhabit; a “landing strip” near each door where everything you bring in goes for further sorting, and some things “live”, etc.)
The regularity and/or intensity of the “marking act” has to be sufficient for you to remember.
The lack of intensity in “marking” for the brain… even if there are “signs” all around you, will lead to failure to remember.
For example, a friend of mine who HABITUALLY forgets where he parks his car in shopping mall parking lots, airports etc.
DESPITE having clearly marked signs (PARKING ZONE C, SPACE 25); he “forgets” where his car is, and then has a convenient moment for a little drama. Cause? Refusal to “mark” adequately.
Curiously, he also loses track of time easily, and frequently bolts from meetings as he “forgets” he has to be somewhere else.
The cause (again)? Refusal to “mark” time in such a way that he can track and anticipate where he has to be.
He doesn’t have a memory problem. He has a refusal to remember problem, which is not the same thing. By not doing the simple things that allow his brain to recognize there is something to remember; he engages in the act of not remembering.
What would be simple to remedy (“Look around where you park, and choose a landmark, or several landmarks. Take a mental picture, or an actual photo on your smart phone, or make a voice memo, or write it down…”) for him, will not happen.
Alas… my friend does not feel it’s a problem (despite his wife being compelled to be his nagging time-keeper and designated rememberer).
And this compels me to “let it go” and love him as he is. It’s tough when you think you know how other people should, but they don’t agree. Much better to “fix” ourselves, and get on with it…
Find that one thing… I’d be willing to bet you already know what the first one should be. It’s that small thing that cuts across many different areas.
It’s that thing you do so often that you know if you worked on it; things would get better.
It’s a small and specific thing, and not a big-ambiguous-metaphorical-gaseous-evilly labeled- foul smelling-blob of a bad-feelinged thing. It’s the difference between:
“I want to sit down on Sunday afternoon every week and do my planning and review for the week ahead instead of watching football all day and drinking beer and suddenly it’s 7pm and I’m too tired and blasted to do anything.”
“I want to TURN MY LIFE AROUND, and STOP BEING SUCH A LOSER. I want to STAND ON MY OWN TWO FEET and start to MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF…”
Get it? One can be worked on, and the other is hopeless. One can be broken down into tasks, and a path can be created FROM one condition; TO another. The other is just metaphors and analogies, storying-around instead of specifying.
The first one has a number of small aspects or behaviors that transfer into other areas: a desirable state for which conditions can be created (part of any purposive planning activity); recognizing that REGULARITY is a key to habituation; the inference that “plugging in” to reflecting and deciding about what is important is worthwhile activity; the inference of a mise en place for doing this; the clear statement of what the present condition is, means that it can be designed away from by taking it seriously and figuring out what seems to make it the right thing to do – the design for doing cuts around that or through it.
And in the smaller elements of doing that… the framework for a Prosperity System will be better habituated-in.
Choose ONE THING to work on, craft, refine and perfect. Use what you’ve learned.