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December 11, 2012 / Dale Melchin

Accelerators and Decelerators

                Much of the time our success or failure in the game of life, depends upon the level of effort we are investing in the various areas of life. If you aren’t active in a given area of life, you can’t expect much from it.  For some of us, we need to get off the couch and get going.  For the rest of us, it is something a little more pernicious.

We are expending a lot of focused effort.  We are working, we are exercising, we are reading and applying, we are networking, we are making spreadsheets, we save, invest, and work.  But sometimes we might end up having little to show for it.  “Best laid plans…”

The problem isn’t with the level of effort, necessarily.  The problem may well be what I call decelerators.  I will give you several examples.  Have you ever reved the accelerator on your car while holding down the brake?  Doesn’t get you very far does it?  Here are a few examples of those braking while accelerating situations.

You exercise, but you still smoke.  (And no I don’t mean this simultaneously, that’s absurd.) You’re exercising and that’s good.  You get all of the benefits of exercise so you are doing great along those lines, you are building strength your stress is low b/c you have high endorphins, you feel fantastic.  But you still like to smoke cigarettes.  By the way, this isn’t a judgment b/c the author likes a good stogie every month or so.  But what you are doing if you exercise and smoke is slowing down the transformation process of your body.  Your lungs aren’t as strong as they could be and you still get the smoker’s hack. In this situation it would be best to put down tobacco, as good as it maybe and let the transformation continue through exercise.

Another example would be budgeting but still spending needlessly.  Dave Ramsey busts people out for this all the time on his show.  Ultimately, what’s needed is to remove the decelerating behavior at its root, and you simply doing this by doing something in place of it.  For instance, if the unneeded spending is restaurant spending, get creative with your food dishes at home and prepare your food so it tastes like the stuff you want to spend the extra money on.  Of course, you need to use your best judgment with this because you don’t want to sabotage the progress you are making in the physical arena.

Another example of this is self-defeating thought patterns.  This is where self-sabotage originates   You may embark upon a task but then you hear the voice of self-doubt, or whatever patterns.  You have to shut this problem down right away in order to succeed long term because it will sap your energy and your ability to be creative.  The best way to do this is to cultivate better thought habits.  Train yourself to immediately think of three positive things when you think of one negative thing.  This is how habits are powerful levers.  You drown out the effectiveness of negative habits by creating more good habits than bad ones.

Those are just a few examples of this and I am confident many of you have come up with other strategies so I leave you with the following question.

What are some decelerating forces in your life?   How could you get rid of them?


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