Habits: How to acknowledge and manipulate them
Habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. This does not pertain to bad habits only.
I attribute much of my success to habits. I study the habits of my opponents. I don’t necessarily study the habits of each individual boxer. I study the human tendencies that they all possess. I use this tactic on my opponents to create frustration, and to beat them mentally.
A right handed boxer relies primarily on the left jab. The two signs that telegraph a jab are tension in the muscle of the left side of their neck and then raising the left elbow. As a southpaw, when I see this, as counterintuitive as it may seem, I move towards that punch.
The jab travels over my left shoulder. For a split second my opponent’s elbow hovers above my shoulder, leaving them susceptible to my straight left hand. Just to be a showoff, I throw a looping right uppercut and quickly sidestep my opponent. I do this action with the first three jabs my opponent throws.
The fourth time he throws a jab, I slip it. I don’t throw an uppercut, but I establish eye contact with him, confirming to him that I can execute this action whenever I want. My opponent is then reluctant to throw their most effective punch in their arsenal. This leaves me facing an essentially one-handed boxer.
Okay Cam, How can this translate to real life? Well, in many more ways than you can imagine. Pattern recognition will keep you ahead of the competition in anything; from boxing to the boardroom. The reason that I appear to be faster than my opponents is simply because I pick up on patterns before they do.
HOW TO ACKNOWLEDGE HABITS
While recognizing patterns is vital in any business, what is far more important than reading other’s patterns, is understanding your own.
The reason boxers shadow-box in front of a mirror or have a coach hovering over them, is so that they can identify their own bad habits. I know that when I throw my right jab, my left hand goes behind me. This is an issue for many reasons.
If my opponent takes notice, he can take advantage of this in a fight. Even if I realize that he’s keyed in to this movement and is capitalizing on it, there is nothing I can do about it. This is already an established habit. I’m going to have to take that butt whipping, and later return to the gym to fix that habit.
Manipulate your habits to allow you to become as efficient as possible.
Habits don’t form overnight. They aren’t corrected overnight. I speak about work/life balance and that is essentially built around habits. So, how do we fix bad habits?
HOW TO FIX BAD HABITS
The lack of habits is better than bad habits. Unfortunately, we all have habits. What are your bad habits? Identifying your bad habits is the most difficult part of the whole dynamic of changing them.
Habits are decisions and tendencies that your subconscious self makes without asking you. By definition, you don’t even think about your habits.
I would suggest taking a pen and paper (yes, like they did in the 90’s) and making a list of every thing you do from the moment you wake in the morning. How many times did you press sleep before actually getting out of bed? 3 to 4 times? This action cost you 30 minutes of sleep, or 30 minutes of making the best out of your day.
Do you sit at the edge of you bed for another 15 minutes while you scroll through social media? Do you then, frantically get dressed, tripping over items in your closet because you aren’t a “morning person”?
If you don’t believe that you’re a morning person, take a moment before bedtime to set your shoes, socks, underwear, pants, and shirt in the bathroom so that you can start getting dressed right after you brush your teeth.
Before you can figure out how to become more affective at work, you need to become to become more affective as a person. How are your habits inhibiting you from performing at a higher level at work?
I found a solution for this problem. Although I often get mocked for it, and it’s not exactly a visual stimulus for the ladies; my fanny pack has been the greatest tool for me in my quest to become a more awesome version of Awesome.
Cultivating my speaking business and building my brand is far more important to me than looking “cool”. I wouldn’t be averse to sporting a “Murse,” but I know if I set it down at lunch, I’ll likely forget it. My “Cammy-Pack,” is hands free.
Here is the link to my ideal fanny-pack. I love it because of its separated compartments.
I’m not suggesting that everyone run out and purchase a fanny- pack, but if your habit is forgetting things, why wouldn’t you?
The contents of my Cammy-Pack are all the essential pieces of being Awesome. Allow me to take you on a tour.
POCKET 1 of 3
This serves as a platform for sharing my thoughts, beliefs, and life experiences; not to brag…but ladies, I drive a Prius. Her name is appropriately, “White Fiber”; the car is white, and fiber is a good source for fuel…just like a Prius.
I don’t wear a Murse because I will forget it. I used to forget my keys. White Fiber has a push start, so I never have to take my keys out of the Cammy- pack. Therefore, if I want to go somewhere, I need my Cammy-Pack because it contains my keys among other items that are essential to me.
In this first pocket, I also have quarters for the meter should I need them, business cards that I am given, and floss sticks.
POCKET 2 of 3
This is the pocket I use most. It is the center pocket and the easiest to access. It contains my license, credit cards, cash, stamps, my Chipotle Celebrity Card, the case for my contacts, gum, and my business cards.
POCKET 3 of 3
This pocket is the cure for one of my worst habits; forgetting to eat and going from a casual, cordial human to “Hangry” in the snap of a finger. I keep a protein bar in my third pocket to keep that in check.
Right now I have vegan bars from planetprotein.com.
Forgetting my headphones in my workout shorts where they would ultimately end up in the washing machine used to be one of my costly bad habits. Now, my wireless headphones and a portable charger have found a permanent home in the 3rd pocket.
Our cellphones are our lifeline. We no longer read maps, memorize phone numbers, or communicate without it. I, too often, see people tethered to walls while charging their phones. I charge mine while I work, that’s efficiency.
In my third pocket, I keep a pen and a Sharpie.
Those are the contents of my…
BUT WAIT, there is more!
I have a secret compartment where I stash a $50 bill. In the (not so) rare event that my bank cuts my card off for “potential fraudulent activity” due to my travels, I have spare cash so that I may eat.
I have identified many of my bad habits and make the conscious efforts to change them. I strive to be the best version of myself and want to continue evolving.
I catch a lot of flack for being self-absorbed or cocky; in reality I am very critical of myself. It’s okay, to be critical of yourself. In fact, its necessary. It’s the only way to break out of your mediocrity and become a better version of yourself.
So ask yourself:
What are your bad habits? What mindless tendencies are holding you back from winning that championship or obtaining that promotion?
And if the embarrassment of being seen in a fanny-pack is too much for you to endure for your success, you can stop here. The actual work to become a success will be far to difficult for you.
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CAM F AWESOME
Editor: Missy Fitzwater – www.boxingismyreligion.com