This is easily one of the most important things I ever implemented in the codex.
But first, a bit of background:
Some time ago, things were not going really smooth for me, and as it usually happens when things don’t go quite smooth, motivation was the first thing to go out the window.
I stopped exercising, ate junk food as if I was trying to rid the earth from it and kept leaving things “for later”; the projects I invested it in were fewer and fewer, so that only meant more time and money for booze and junk food.
As it happens, I started to see a decrease in performance in everything I did, from running to fighting to working to teaching…my new “motivation-less” lifestyle was taking a toll in every aspect of my life, I lacked motivation and I knew it.
Now, most “motivational” places tell you, “Get motivated!” as if one had forgotten to press a switch, but that wasn’t cutting it for me, I just couldn’t find that switch.
I think anyone who has ever lost motivation can tell you, sometimes, the fire just isn’t there.
Then, while talking to a friend, she remarked how when she first met me, I was able to stay motivated through hell and asked me why that had changed, that’s when it hit me, years before I didn’t have a good job, my income wasn’t stable and the job needed me to be at full capacity because dying was listed as a probable consequence of having a bad day, basically I was in a really bad spot, so being motivated to get things done wasn’t an “I’m feeling it” thing, it was more of a “Do or die” situation.
I realized that there was an abysmal difference between old me and current me, and that was:
Years before I had to do everything I could in what little time I could because every inch I advanced was a step closer to stability, getting paid for a job, getting paid for a fight, getting a teaching spot for a class, etc.
And now, years later with a bit more of stability, it had all become a choice, when things were not going my way, I wasn’t sinking and in desperate need to stay afloat as before, no, I now had the luxury of sulking.
So that’s when it came to me, I needed to device a way in which “feeling it or not” was out of the equation, and that’s how I came with this brand new “technique” for the codex.
I would hire myself.
To anyone with an income, you may agree that it basically is divided in “needs” and “leisure”.
“Needs”, being all those things that must be paid: Electricity, food, school, etc.
“Leisure”, being that extra bits of money we use for: junk food, parties, movies, games, going out, etc.
So from this point onward, I would set apart the “need” money to cover the bills and then I’d lock the leisure money away and I would only access it by earning it from me.
To further illustrate this, what I do is write a list with activities I want done, from working out to developing projects and I assign to each one of them an amount of money, it must be little enough so that I’ll need to accomplish several objectives, but at the same time it has to be proportional with the task so that no task ends up being constantly pushed back to the next week.
Here’s a basic example of what the list looks like:
100 pushups: $1.00
200 crunches: $1.50
1 hour of language studying: $2.00
The main point of this list is to stick to it, and the user’s force of will is definitely going to play a big part here, but having the list written will make it easier for the user to hold himself accountable.
As you get more comfortable with the list, I recommend raising the bar, as an example, I only buy food for 5 out of 7 days, so those 2 extra days I must either work for them or pay for not working by being hungry. And you can also charge yourself for bad habits you want to diminish or eliminate.
1 hour of TV: -$3.00
1 smoke: -$3.00
In the negative values zone, you want to make sure that they are overall more expensive than the paying activities so that you will become more aware of the “cost” they have, soon you will realize that there’s a lot of things you don’t really need as bad as you thought and you will even enjoy more when you buy/earn from the list..
With time you will realize that this practice holds several benefits:
So, well, while not strictly a “rule” I decided to include “hire yourself” in the codex because it is a beneficial practice to stick to.
That’s it for this post; let me know what you think and what life rules you’ve found in your path! You can leave a comment below or send me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts or what you’d like to see posted in the future! Thanks for reading and see you next post!!