The difference between those who consistently bring their goals to life is much less about talent and skill —than it is about making success as automatic as possible.
Here’s the reality:
You’re either putting success on autopilot or you’re putting struggle on autopilot.
Let me explain in the form of a quick story:
Years ago —I took a solo trip to Nosara, Costa Rica —my first vacation since I’d launched my first business.
And during that trip —as a solo traveler does —I talked with everyone so as to connect, make one-time friends and have happy hours with strangers.
(Those are the best, aren’t they?)
One night —I met a private pilot who shuttles executives, CEO’s and athletes around in a G5.
I couldn’t have been more excited to hear all the riveting stories of take-offs and landings —and prepared myself to unglue my jaw in awe from the bar’s table.
But then she told me:
“You know, actually, these days —I only fly the plane manually about 4-5% of the time…the rest is autopilot.”
And therein lies the lesson for today:
Your current level of results and fulfillment are a direct reflection of the 95% of automatic behaviors you’re doing.
Much like the pilot —most of what you and I do is wired into our subconscious through habit change on a daily basis.
And what happens to most people who lack consistency is obvious:
They’re relying on motivation and willpower, which are unpredictable.
Motivation ebbs and flows on a daily and weekly basis, while willpower gets extinguished as the day goes on.
So, what’s a better way?
Make as many of your behaviors as possible that take you towards ‘success’ automatic.
1. Take a habit inventory.
Make a “plus” and “minus” list —identify the habits that are currently serving you and those that aren’t.
2. Start laughably small.
Don’t commit to a thirty minute meditation routine —do one minute instead and wire in the habit.
3. Set yourself up for success.
Put your workout gear out the night before. Keep your phone on Airplane mode before focused work. Put the pen and journal out and ready to use.
4. Use anchors for new behaviors.
You already have “anchored” behaviors —setting up the coffee pot, brushing your teeth, taking a shower. These are the places to stack new behaviors.
5. Make ‘bad’ habits hard to do.
BJ Fogg, who came on the Academy —calls this the ‘ability’ part of his behavior model. For habits you don’t want, make them hard.
For example, to stop scrolling —delete the app off your phone so you have to use your laptop.
You’ve likely heard all of this before, but here’s the reality:
Habit change is a skill —which means your current level of results in life are directly proportional to this skill.
And as you work on this skill —you transfer behaviors from the willpower bucket to the autopilot bucket.
Until you wake up three years down the line and recognize that your morning ritual, focused work, exercise and marketing efforts are all automatic.
Meaning, you can have a chaotic, stressful, crazy day —and they’re still likely to get done.
(Because you still shower during tough days, right?)
When people tell me how disciplined and committed I am —my ego appreciates the compliment.
But I’m not.
I’ve simply made what I deem ‘successful’ behaviors as automatic as possible.
- Not writing this blog is harder than writing it.
- Not studying content daily is harder than doing it.
- Not trail running every day is harder than doing it.
Have you put success on autopilot?