March 1

Hooked on the Good Stuff


JB_Blog_Image_(Hooked)_(800x800)Most of us like to feel in flow – you know that wonderful feeling of everything going to plan, like the jigsaw pieces of a puzzle dropping in to place with no effort or stress about finding the corners, the straight edges or that piece with the ultra skinny pointy outy shape that no matter how long you spend looking for you cannot ever find. At the end of the day, I think it’s human nature to crave the positive results of known action, the ‘well done, you’ acknowledgement of a great support crew, the calmness of walking in to a room full of people you know or that warm feeling of just knowing you can complete a project or a problem whilst standing on your head “yoga stylie”.

As we sail through the swathe of positive reinforcement to that which we already knew would work, our egos are topped up to the max and we feel safe and comfortable. But I wonder if sometimes we become hooked on the good stuff and that the more we become addicted to the positive results the less we want to step out of the comfort zone and in to the unknown ‘lets give it a go’ zone.

David Linden, PhD, is a neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine. In his book, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good, he makes the point that the pleasure derived from success is borne of the very same brain pathways that make substance use so irresistible to some. As he says “it’s all about pleasure-seeking and reward.”

Whilst the entrepreneur Jim Rohn famously told us that we are the sum of the people we spend most of our time with, I wonder whether sometimes, just sometimes, instead of stepping out and diversifying our networks we stay in the safety of a known tribe to feed our good stuff addiction.

Step out of the comfort zone and we all know it’s a very different vibe. It’s unsettling, confronting, uncomfortable and yes, at times scary. The ‘what if’ creates the fears before they actually become the present; the self-doubt of ‘can I really?’ is triggered and the foot slams on to the slow down brake. As Steven Pressfield shares in The War Of Art, resistance is the enemy, it feeds on fear, it stops action and there you have it – wham bam – we end up right back where we started, doing what we know and sitting in that comfy place called the comfort zone.

Yet, I reckon unhooking ourselves from the addiction to the good stuff drives curiosity, opens up possibilities, starts an audit of what is working and what is not, creates an opening to try something knew, to give something a go, to test and to fail, to test and to succeed.

I have spent the last few days at Thought Leaders Business School on a 3 day immersion witnessing the letting go of the last 90 days and projects that didn’t quite make it and watching the creation of new projects, new dreams and new commercial goals. I have witnessed the letting go of past egos and successes to enter the zone of exploration, to develop something new that will leverage learnings. I have seen the collective energy of momentum this creates as the air of opportunity and possibility permeates and creates belief and ‘yeah, lets do it’ action.

What if you went somewhere you’ve never been before?

What if you reached out and connected with someone new, someone you know you can add value to, learn from and maybe collaborate with?

What if you gave something different a go?

Unhooking ourselves from the good stuff, from feeding the ego opens our eyes, ears and minds to new possibilities. This is where the real growth and transformation lies.

So take a moment. Take a look at where you are at right now.

Are you well and truly hooked, being reeled in to what you already know feels good or are you exploring what and who could be out there, exploring who you can help and equally curious about what you may become?

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comfort zone, Connecting the right way, Effective Networks, From Me To We, Influence, Janine Garner, Jim Rohn, Leadership, networking, Steven Pressfield, Thought Leaders

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