The other day I tried my hand at online dating. While filling out my profile, I came across an interesting question: I want to be better at…
The first thing that came to my mind was discipline. I genuinely wanted to be better at being disciplined, which meant eating clean, reading more, going to the gym regularly and most importantly – sticking to a routine. I’ve tried multiple things sporadically – but never really managed to stick to something.
This got me thinking.
We like to be seen as people who want to be better at getting disciplined, sticking to a routine and seeing things through.
It’s important for others to see us as people trying to continually improve.
Perhaps that should be enough to impress a potential date. They might buy our well-marketed image of self-awareness.
But are we really trying to improve? That’s the question.
Do we merely want to be seen as someone who is trying to get better at being disciplined? Or are we actually putting in the work?
Are we actually making an effort to stick it, show up, and create the necessary mental models required to follow through on our routines? Or are we simply, rather foolishly, avoiding our neglect – by hiding behind the clever self-image that we’ve managed to promote to the world?
Sooner or later, if we’re dating the same person long enough – that perception will break.
Dating a jogger won’t make you get up in the morning and go for a run. It might work in the initial days or months (because, you know, hormones). God forbid, if things don’t work out – you’re going to go back to your old habits.
That’s because that temporary habit wasn’t yours to begin with. It was a dependent habit. Remove the source, and chances are slim that you’ll follow through.
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to build that habit for yourself – by yourself. Someone else cannot build that habit for you.
You’re going to have to talk to yourself, do the research and establish your mental models – in order to create a truly lasting habit.
To sum up, you can take a horse to the river, and, well, the rest you know.
Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash