2 February 2013

Stop F*cking Around by Craig Harper

Some excerpts from Craig Harper's book called 'Stop F*cking Around'.

Firstly from the chapter called 'Quit Quitting' which lots of wanna-be or has-been ashtangis - like me - who have been trying for years to establish a daily practice, will instantly relate to...

There are squillions of talented people who have spent decades wasting their potential by not following through on their wishy-washy, half-arsed decisions. Or, by not making decisions at all. Talent, opportunities, support crews, plans and intentions all amount to a big fat zero when we don't find a way to keep doing once the initial burst of motivation and excitement fades.

And it will. Being human and all.

While we all intend to transform our lives, or part thereof, sadly, intentions aren't actions. And they certainly aren't results. Intentions don't require any effort, sacrifice or courage and intentions don't produce lasting positive change. Some people have intended themselves into depression, frustration, cerebral chaos and even old age.

That's gotta suck.

For a range of reasons, many of us have wasted more time, talent and opportunities than we'd ever like to consider and, in the process, created our own personal Groundhog Day. Some of us have been setting the same goals, losing and regaining the same weight, making and breaking the same promises, having the same pointless conversations about he same mindless crap, avoiding the same issues, making the same excuses and, let's be honest, fucking around for years. 

Perhaps it's time to quit quitting?

While motivation will come and go, it is our total commitment to a project, process or goal that will get us over the line. It's also the thing that will keep us going even when the emotional state of motivation is absent. When the journey is not comfortable, easy or fun (welcome to life), it is our commitment that keeps us proactive and productive.

So, my questions to you are:

1. What are you totally committed to?

2. When will you quit quitting?

And from a later chapter called 'Don't Rely on Motivation':

If there's one thing we know about motivation, it's that it comes and goes.

It's temporary. 

When we rely solely on the emotional state of motivation to get us to our destination - wherever that might be - we're inviting frustration, disappointment and failure, because, on its own, motivation is not enough to get the job done.

It needs some transformational allies.

Successful people - no matter what the endeavour - find a way to stay focused and productive - even when those feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation elude them. People who need or expect the transformation journey to be an ongoing rollercoaster of excitement should consider operating from a different paradigm.

A more practical and realistic one.

Sometimes the change process is a bitch. And that's okay. Sometimes, it's messy, uncomfortable and painful. Sometimes, it's a total fun-fest and sometimes it's mildly terrifying. That's okay too. Life is not a workshop, a book, a theory, a rehab session or a shoulder rub. It's a crazy, messy, unpredictable, dynamic, multi-sensory experience. And, in the middle of all that mayhem, misery and joy, it's your job to find a way to do what most won't - persevere.

To keep taking ground. To get the job done.

People are often surprised to hear a Motivational Speaker say that motivation is not the key to transformation. Sure I could call myself a Commitment Speaker but I probably wouldn't get much work. When our commitment to transformation is total and non-negotiable, then our day-to-day level of motivation becomes irrelevant.

Of course it's nice to 'feel' motivated, excited, pumped and focused but in its absence, make sure you find a way to keep those wheels turning.

And from the start of the book...

Be honest. Do you ever get sick of you? Me too.

Me, that is. Not you.

Are you ever a dickhead? Like, a great big self-saboaging dickhead? Thought so. I can tell. I know about these things. Besides, you have that goofy I-can-be-a-dickhead-sometimes look on your face. For someone who's pretty smart, are you amazed at how stupid you can be? Me too.

You, that is. Not me. :)

Have you made the same mistakes like five million times? Even though you know what not to do? Do you keep doing the same stupid things with the same people, while hoping that things will somehow work out this time?

And how's that going for you?

Thought so.

Yes, smart people do stupid stuff every day. It's called being human. We're complex and wonderful creatures with an amazing ability to fuck things up and then stand back and wonder what happened. Did I mention this book might get a little technical from time to time?

We all want to produce better results in our world but, interestingly, sometimes the only thing standing betwen us and awesome-ness (a word) is us. Our stinkin' thinking. Our I'll-show-you reactions. Our not-very-clever decisions and our look-at-me-I've got issues behaviour.

Shut up, he started it.

That's right, more often than not our biggest challenge is staring at us every morning in the mirror. With that goofy face. You. Me. Dumb and Dumber. For a range of curious reasons we highy evolved creatures have an uncanny ability to shoot ourselves in the foot. To do what doesn't work. Over and over. And then to rationalise our lack of results. And do it all over again.

Of course, self-sabotage comes in many forms.

We can find it in our procrastinating, our time-wasting, our avoidance of certain issues, our excuse-making and our finger-pointing (did not, you did). We might see it in our over-thinking mind (shit, that's exhausting), our poor self-esteem (please love me), our self-limiting beliefs, our unhealthy eating (more cake anyone?), our addictions and destructive habits (just one more, I promise) and the amazing ability we have to hand over our personal power to situations, circumstances and other people.

Any bells ringing yet?

And while we all have a capacity to shoot ourselves in the foot, the good news is that we also have the potential to do some pretty spectacular stuff and create real shift when we (1) use - not waste - what we've been given (2) think less and do more (3) be solution-focused, not problem-obsessed (4) stop waiting for the mythical 'right time' (5) stop trying to keep everyone in the world happy and (6) don't allow our ego to call the shots.

Not only is self-sabotage exhausting and destructive, it's also completely unnecessary. So, if you're finally done with the crap results, now's probably a good time to identify your self-sabotaging behaviours, attitudes and habits and to consciously go about the business of changing them.

At the end of the book Craig's final words are:

So, there you have it: thirty simple yet powerful principles to help you change your life.
Now stop fucking around and get some shit done.

You're welcome.

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