It’s been a little while since I have posted anything on my progress on my 300 Day Challenge,
Well I am up to The Scroll Marked V and day 22 of reading this scroll. The scroll is titled: “I will live this day as if it is my last”
I don’t know what it is, but over the last few days I have struggled to find the time to read this scroll.
I don’t feel that this scroll is resonating well with me for some reason. I get it, but some of the sentences and paragraphs don’t work for me. Where as others like, “I will avoid the killers of time. Procrastination I will destroy with action; doubt I will bury with faith; fear I will dismember with confidence.”
I will keep persevering and get up a little earlier to read.
At the same time as reading the scrolls, I have also been reading Christian Larson’s Thinking for Results. This is a good reminder that instilling the right thinking will move us to where we want to be. Thinking is not the only thing we must be doing, but taking the action that supports the thinking.
Part of the action is applying the principles of Deliberate Practice. That having a goal and measuring your progress (as I do in the image above) and then applying any corrective action to being you back on track. An essential action is to take the time to pause and evaluate your progress against your plan. Be honest with where you are at and commit to improving your performance.
One of the habits I have been working at developing, is that of success.
Is success a habit? Yes it is. You may have heard the saying that “Success breeds success”. Watch a young child learning to walk, or any other task that they are trying to master. Watch their faces. They smile as they master 1 then two then 10 and more steps. Their success in walking a little way encourages them to walk further. To try new things.
I was watching my grand-daughter jump down stairs. First she jumped from the bottom stair to the ground. She landed on both feet and stayed upright. She smiled after she landed. She then immediately turned around and climbed to the second step and repeated the exercise. Again success. And you guessed it, she then climbed to the third step and jumped again. Mum rightly intervened to stop any attempts from higher steps.
Having mastered that, she then confidently jumped one step at a time. Landing on both feet and with confidence.
The Greatest Salesman In the World encourages us to develop (re-develop is some instances) the success habit. How do you do that when you are older?
Well, one of the best ways that I have found (and many people write about it and recommend it) is to write your successes of the day down, either each night or first thing in the morning.
Doing this exercise gets you focusing on what has gone well. Your focus is on success. The more and longer you do this, the more you develop a success mindset. Start visualising your successes before you start the day. As Stephen Covey pointed out – “Start with the end in mind”. Learn to practice success in your mind and record the results of your success.
Well, I am at do 80 of my 300 Day Challenge of reading the scrolls in Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World” book. I am a third of my way through reading the Scroll Marked III.
So how am I doing in keeping up with reading each scroll 3 times a day? The below picture tells all:
I must say that is it challenging to read a scroll three times a day. Some days I have little down time, and am on the go from get up to shut eye. You may notice that I did manage to get five days in a row. These days just happen to coincide with me going to work.
I am making a more conscious choice to set the time aside to read the scrolls. Scheduling time in my diary each day. This is helping to keep me on track a lot better. Previously I used to rely on my memory.
So a key take out for any new habit or goal – write it down and schedule the activity in your diary. The scheduling is important as it means that you are taking it seriously and have set the time aside to complete the activity.
Another take out it to record your progress. As you can see in the above picture, I have written out the 30 days and am marking my progress. Be honest here. You will only be cheating yourself if you don’t record truthfully how you are going. This is feedback on your progress. It is not a judgement. It is only a fact.
You can, as I have, then choose a different behaviour to bring you back on track, and help you to reach your goal.
Another takeout from Scroll I, is that Success is a State of Mind.
Nothing new there. This carries on the theme of the first scroll and that is about changing yourself.
Taking control of your thinking. Knowing that if you do, you can change your circumstances. What you are doing and where you are going.
A theme that I promote is living at cause. What does that mean?
There are two basic ways of living. Being at Cause or being at Effect. Much is written about these two. Living at cause is defined as being in control of our own destiny. Actively choosing how we want to act or react to life.
Living at Effect is being the victim of circumstance. That life is happening to you.
Scroll I is about living at Cause. Of choosing to live a new life that is actively chosen. Choosing to develop good habits and behaviours.
The first thing that I have noticed is that the book is written to emphasise the positive. To point the reader along the path of success. That success is a habit and habits can be learnt.
I don’t know about you, but I am impatient to learn and master a new task. If I don’t get it within a few days or a couple of weeks, I move on.
The first scroll exhorts one to be patient. That good things take time to come to fruition.
This is good advice, for I have many days ahead of me to complete this challenge that I have set myself. Patience is a good habit to learn. Patience with ones self for the process of learning. To not skip ahead to the next scroll to find out what the next lesson is!! To stay with the plan of only reading one scroll at a time. To master the lesson or principle contained in that scroll.
The first scroll is about starting afresh and developing new, positive, habits supportive of success and happiness.
How does it do this? The scroll is littered with metaphor. Shedding the old, being in a place of plenty and success, and much more.
The underlying message is that success is a state of mind. Successful people have good habits that support their success. Og Mandino rightly points out something that neuroscience is recognising, is that you can only replace a unsupportive habit with a new habit.
Another principle is that repetition of a habit that you want to develop is the path to success. To this end, the instruction is to read each scroll three times a day morning after waking, after lunch and just before bed,, with this last reading out loud. And to repeat this process for 30 days for each scroll. There are 10 scrolls.
Hence, the 300 Day Challenge!
Why read each scroll 3×30 times? As Mr Mandino writes in this scroll, the repetition allows the teaching to move from the conscious mind to the sub/unconscious mind. This is where habits and beliefs reside.
Another secret is in the timing of the reading. When we wake up in the morning, the mind is in the Alpha state. The information will go more easily into the sub-conscious mind. Again, the reading before bed, allows the material to be worked on by the sub-conscious while you sleep.
So, I started reading Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World” the other day. It has been on my reading list for some time after coming across reference to it numerous times over the years.
I’ve picked it up and put it down a couple of times over that time. Finally I found some time and started reading it in earnest.
I didn’t know what to expect as I started reading as I hadn’t read any reviews. I have a habit of seeing a book I think I might want to read / study so buy it. I mostly judge a book by the context I come across it. Normally when I am reading another book! As a consequence my Kindle library is growing rather large!
Anyway, here I am progressing through the start of the book, enjoying the story and wondering where this was leading. Then the ten scrolls are mentioned as the secret to the merchants success.
I don’t know about you, but I am trying to get out of the habit of just picking up a book, reading it cover to cover, then putting on the shelf and think to myself “I must do ……. (fill in the blank)'”. Oh I have made notes about ways of being and habits that I want to embody, as I make my way through the book. Unfortunately good intentions do not always translate into ways of being…..
As I am reading an idea started to form in my mind. Why don’t I take on the challenge of the first scroll and read each one three times a day for 30 days. So my 300 day challenge was born.
I have completed the first two scrolls and am now on day 10 of the third scroll.
I must say that the experience is interesting. I struggle with the wording from time to time to time. But time will and 300 days will tell how well I have taken these lessons on board.
John C. Maxwell, in Failing Forward makes the following comment:
“Don’t wait until you feel positive to move forward. Act your way into feeling good. That’s the only way to start thinking more positively about yourself.”
I can vouch for the truth of this statement. Waiting only burns time and little else. By changing my thinking and acting more positive, I became more positive. Did the change happen over night? Hell no, but it happened and continues to happen as I choose to start my day positive and have a partner who prods me when I don’t!
Amy Cuddy has proven this with her 2 minute power pose idea that she shared in her iconic TED Talk and in her book. People who stood or sat in a powerful confident pose for 2 minutes a day developed confidence.
As I pointed out in a previous post, we can only Be as much as we already Are. We have to change who we Are to become someone different. Consciously changing our thoughts and actions begins this metamorphosis into the new person we have chosen to be.
So, stop waiting for the right moment or feeling, start acting the way that you want to be.