We are designed for pattern recognition.
From the earliest days of humanity, our ancestors relied on their ability to recognise patterns in the natural world to find food, avoid danger, and navigate their surroundings.
Pattern recognition is an instinctive and intuitive process that allows us to make sense of the world around us.
By identifying and categorising recurring patterns, we are able to anticipate and respond to events in our environment.
For example, the ability to recognise the pattern of footprints left by a predator or prey can mean the difference between life and death.
Our brains are wired to seek out patterns, and this is reflected in the way we process information.
We naturally look for order and structure in the chaos of our surroundings, and we derive a sense of satisfaction and pleasure from discovering and understanding patterns.
Yet, there is one pattern missed time and time again that you must recognise and understand.
Imagine if you will...
You walk past a beautiful house every day
The front door and windows are pristine
It has a small but well-kept front garden
Now, could you imagine what the inside looks like?
Is it light? airy? nice furniture? wooden floors?
What if I told you the door was hard to open?
The walls are stained yellow
The kitchen is filthy
There is dust everywhere
Would you wonder how on first appearance this house you have been admiring looked so perfect?
We often work on building up a beautiful exterior knowing the reality is we never let anyone in.
This is high-level quick hacks and shortcuts vs doing the basics first.
I would rather someone come into an average looking house, with the inside being beautiful, well-crafted and calm.
I can teach you how to access a flow state regularly, but not if we haven't nailed the basics first.
The basics are your substance
This is the pattern you are failing to recognise
"The basics are the building blocks to excellence in all areas of life." - Tony Robbins
Stop striving for the latest high-level hack.
- You don't need a course on how to stop procrastination if you're not sleeping well - Work on sleep!
- You don't need a new fitness plan designed to get you ripped in 6 weeks - Work on nutrition!
- You don't Initially need a pill for your anxiety - Try mindfulness and hypnotherapy first.
- You don't need 'more time' to achieve your goals - Work on yourself, turn the TV and phone off!
Recognise this pattern.......doing the basics well will always dramatically outweigh anything else you do.
"Sh*ts not sexy" - Steven Kotler
Stop looking for the shortcut, stop looking for the way out of doing the work.
You need to stop thinking you can miss out on the basics to get to high performance or any level of performance.
"If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right." - William H. McRaven
Progress isn't about adding in sporadic hacks that will give you a day's worth of novelty and motivation.
Progress is improving by 1 % every day with small compound interest.
Improving 1 % each day means you need to plan, review and improve constantly.
Make sure you start with the basics.
The dopamine is missing
I'm about to tell you what the basics are.
I'm about to tell you the things you need to do well.
Yet you know them all......
The key here is not to trust the missing dopamine, understand you need to nail the basics first and then refine and add in higher-level strategies.
So what are the basics?
These are the areas of your life you need to have in order to move forward.
Once these are all in balance only then should you work on the 'glamorous' hacks and the small wins.
- Social Connectedness
- Nutrition and Hydration
- Exercise and Embodiment
- Subconscious work
- Sleep: Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep routine.
- Mindfulness: Practice deep breathing exercises, meditation, or body scans to help stay present and reduce stress.
- Gratitude: Write down three things you are grateful for each day to help shift your focus towards positivity.
- Social Connectedness: Spend time with friends and family, join a club or organisation that aligns with your interests, or attend social events to build and maintain positive relationships.
- Nutrition and Hydration: Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Nature: Spend time in nature by taking walks or hikes, gardening, or simply sitting outside and enjoying the natural environment.
- Exercise and Embodiment: Establish an exercise routine that aligns with your interests and abilities. Try incorporating embodiment practices such as yoga or tai chi to improve mind-body awareness and overall well-being.
- Subconscious work: Our subconscious makes up a vast part of us and has a tremendous impact on our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Subconscious work can involve techniques such as journaling, visualization, and hypnotherapy to access and reprogram our subconscious beliefs and patterns.
Incorporating these best practices into your daily life can help promote optimal performance and well-being. It's important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and it's okay to experiment and find what works best for you.
Deep down we always have our own answers
You know what you need to do.
Stop looking for social cues to confirm your thoughts and feelings.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Hone in on the basic.
Review and record to get 1 % better each day.
Reap the rewards.