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Joe Eames for Thinkster

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Shave Your Head

You have a goal. A purpose. You care about it. You want to build it, learn it, improve it, fix it, or survive it. It's something very personal. A business idea, a job, a relationship, an addiction, a goal. You're motivated, you want it.

But somehow, things keep getting in the way.

Maybe you are trying to build a new business, but your job and responsibilities at home are dragging you down, and the little bit of spare time you do get you spend "recharging" in front of Netflix.

Maybe you're trying to fix a bad dynamic in a relationship. You're trying to hold more healthy boundaries, instead of always getting drawn into the drama and reacting and then regretting the results. But every time it happens, you slip into your habitual behavior and the withdrawal, or the counter-attacks happen.

Maybe you're trying to gain skills to get a better job, but your current job is taking so much out of you that you feel you have nothing left.

You say to yourself that your commitment level is high, but you notice that you just aren't as focused on the problem as you want to be. You're wasting time or energy that you want to give to make it better, but it's just so much easier to give it to your phone or alcohol or something else equally distracting.
Well, I have a simple recipe to improve your focus: shave your head.


This is my friend Jesse Sanders. He runs a small developer consultant company. He's fairly active, but what he really wants to do is compete in an Iron Man. He's spent time and money on this goal. But he wasn't getting the results he wanted. Ultimately he realized that even though he was putting in "time" he wasn't putting in the time that he should. He needed more motivation, more focus. He needed to make it a higher priority in his life. He wanted a constant reminder of his goal.

So he came up with the "brilliant" idea to shave his head. He knew that with this huge change in his life, in his look, in his personal grooming, that he would have a constant reminder of what he really wanted, and that would help him to create the necessary space to get the behavior change he really wanted.

When you have something that you KNOW you need to get done, what you need is to increase your focus. Dave Ramsey calls it Gazelle Intensity.

Now I'm not necessarily recommending that you literally shave your head. For various reasons, this may not be the right thing in your life (or maybe it is). But the lesson is still applicable. Make a change that will give you a constant reminder of the importance of your goal. Posters around your house. Constant reminders on your phone. Change your friends. Unsubscribe from your distraction (for me, that was the game Overwatch). Put a prayer rock on your bed.

One of the best things to do is bring in external pressure. Sign up to give a talk. Register for a class. Enroll in a support group. Find an accountability partner. Start attending 12-step meetings. Act like it's CrossFit and talk about it so much your friends get annoyed. Not a bad first step.

Or just shave your head. That'll work too (if you do, PLEASE please please send me a pic).

Happy coding!

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