Welcome to the Freedom Fridays podcast with my first podcast of 2022. And I've gone back to a solo version, it's been a while since I've done this. So I'm a little bit out of habit, which is one of the points I want to share with you. And I'm going to share three main things that I've been thinking about things that I've been pondering things that have been on my mind, sometimes in a helpful way, sometimes in a less helpful way.
When I finished last year, if you listen to the final podcast I did for the year - pretty tired, pretty exhausted, like many I'm sure. Not really feeling heard, held and seen. And so I've taken a relatively long break, that's three months, I've not been doing this. And I've decided to kick off season two, and begin this season's podcast with a solo recording. And the three things I'd like to share and just explore, even as I talk is, there's so much chaos in the world, there's so many things that are confusing and uncertain. There are so many things that are shaking us off track that are, you know, shaking us around and disrupting us physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually directionally. And over the Christmas break, I came across a question that it has been burning in my head, sometimes far too late at night. And the question that I've been pondering is, what am I going to do with this one wild and precious life? Given there's been so many examples of lives cut short. And given, we only get two life's as the say and the second life begins, when we realise we've only got one. And so I'm not saying I've got the answer. In fact, I've probably got more questions than I have answers. But that question, what am I going do with this one wild, and it can be wild at times, in the many things we have to cope with and get through precious life and it is precious, because I do value it and I value others lives. And if I can support and provoke and nudge them into, you know, getting 1% better or getting 10% better, then I've, I believe I've achieved something, I believe I've done something worthy. And there will always be that requirement from any of us in this field. And what I've been pondering is, Do I really make a difference? And I don't mean the work I do, do I? Can I help people get clarity? Can I help people bond and connect? Can I help drive a more accountable culture? In a team? Can I help leaders develop and be better humans, I don't necessarily mean that. I mean, the contribution I'm making as, as I am affected, like in everyone else, by all of the things that are going on globally and locally. I found myself narrowing my focus probably, selfishly, to my family. And I don't have a perspective of doing necessarily a lot. And I do feel some guilt around this doing anything. Globally, I probably could do significantly more for charities and activism around things that are important to me. But I've found that I've been quite insular, around keeping my eye on and unconditionally helping, supporting, being there for my family. Now, you may, you may say, Well, that's great. What else can you do? And part of me does think that what else should I be doing? As in that's probably good enough to surround myself with unconditional love and my family. But I do have this nagging thought, am I really making the most of my time? Am I really making the most of my energy? Am I really making the most of what I'm here for if and if there's anything bigger, larger, that is the case then I haven't found it yet. And so with that question, I've been pondering a lot and there's times when I get glimpses of the impact. I can have or at least a secondary impact I might share story, I might share an exercise or example or, you know, pithy little quote, or some sort of statement I make that I've made up based on the work I've done over 20-25 years, and it causes someone to go home and tell them that they care about, it might cause someone to act in a way that's different and inspiring for them, which is fine. But I think this is going to be a theme for me over the course of the next few months, am I really going to maximise my opportunities, make more opportunities, and in some ways, let go of some opportunities. Because there's been certainly some very close examples within my family, extended family, friends and colleagues. And you'll have to turn on any news channel, on the TV or the internet. And there's many examples of people who have very little in the way of opportunity, and yet they can still be happy, and obviously the opposite to so I'm pondering that question. And that's possibly while I'm going to invite some experts on to my podcast this season. And I'm going to be asking them, things like that.
The second thing I'll share with you is, I'm often asked, and there's lots of erroneous and fake news out there about how long it takes to form a habit. You know, we're told that it takes 21 days, which is complete rubbish. The latest research I read was that it can take anywhere up to between 66 and 210 days to form a version of a habit, which has played out with me. As you know, if you've been listening before, one of the habits that I've created over the last two years, as I send, my mum, who is based in Scotland, if you haven't picked up the accent, and I send her a picture, every day. I started in March 2020. And I probably did, from memory about 20 days consecutively, then I forgot, I got busy and it was the weekend or something and damn, I've lost the winning streak. So I started again, I then got to about 30 days. And I forgot I got busy at work, I was maybe flying whatever it was, and I forgot and the next winning streak I got on it took me to about 60 days in a row. So 60 days in a row. At some point during the day, I would send my mom a text on WhatsApp or messenger or text message, SMS, and she would wake up to it. Once I got to about 60 days, it became habitual as an it didn't have to remember it was wired into my day. And the reason I'm sharing that story with you is I committed last year to doing a podcast and a newsletter every single week. And I, you may remember, I said on the podcast at the end of last year, I was pretty proud, the way that I turned up and did it I committed to it. And I did that I there was a podcast every week, there was a newsletter every week. Now the connection to how long does it take to form a habit? Is this because I've been three months out of the habit. I've actually found it quite hard to get going again. Classically putting all sorts of excuses in the way- Oh, it's not good enough. I've tripped over some words, no one's going to listen, no one's going to care. And it reminds me of what I've read since that how long does it take to create a habit? Well, the answer is forever. Meaning if you then stop the act or the behaviour, if I was to stop eating healthily or stop exercising, or stop recording podcasts and writing newsletters, then I would no longer have the habit. Which, you know, is strange, but it makes sense, I think, certainly to me that the habit is ongoing. It's an ongoing commitment to and there'll be the occasional day off or the occasional, you're allowed to give yourself a bit of a mulligan. But really for the things that are contributing the most to my life at work and personally, habits continue. You don't necessarily once you've got it, you've got it, you've got to keep doing it. Which if it's important and you've made the easy to start and continue. It then becomes much more about who we are how we see ourself or our identity, how we identify with being someone that eats healthily, someone that exercises someone that moves functionally someone that has quality and restorative sleep, things like that. And so, how long does it take to create a habit? Sadly, it takes forever and assuming they are good habits, because you can stop some bad habits by you know, having ways to disrupt them but the good ones are continuous, there's a cumulative effect that will appear with the good habits.
The third thing I'll share with you as many times over the last few years, and certainly, as we come into 22, we're already in April, a quarter of the way through. Most people, in businesses that I'm working with small, medium, and large, are staggered about how quick time has gone, and trying to compete with things that are distracting them and sucking the time out of the day. And often, when I'm asked, you know, what's the biggest insight? What's the biggest thing we can do? What's our biggest challenge? It's always the same answer. And it always seems to show up in so many different forms, but it's the same principle. And it's that old, you know, statement, I found the enemy and the enemy is us. Time and time again. I've found personally and professionally that the biggest barrier to us being happier, healthier, more successful, selling more advocating that whatever the outcome is that you're looking for, the biggest opportunity is actually our own barriers, the ones that we put in the way for ourselves. And partly we do that to protect ourselves, I understand that. I do that too. And yet, if that was what we were to focus on a little bit more understand how we're getting in our own way, and find ways to get out of our own way. Stop allowing our internal dialogue to dictate when or when we don't do something, we often believe that our thoughts are real, and our thoughts are verbatim and we should comply with everything that we think. And we know that's not necessarily the case. And so that's something I've been working with teams working with groups working with individuals and predominantly working with by myself to see if I can dilute the impact that I have of getting in my own way. I found the enemy and the enemy is us.
So that's it for this week. That's the first podcast for 2022. I hope you enjoyed it if you do enjoy the conversations that you get to listen into please give us a like on all your social media platforms. Cheers