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Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It

Scientific Theory To Explain Why We Should Always Fake It Till We Make It
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The most successful people in the world weren’t always successful. They were once nobodies who lived a mundane life. Everyone was once a child, everyone had to start somewhere. The common traits that successful people share is simply hard work and a determination to keep their focus on their goals and take steps towards achieving them every day. Every decision, every action is calculated and directed to take them one step closer to being the person that they want to be. In some ways, at some point in their life, they had to fake it.

To ‘fake it’ isn’t necessarily a lapse in authenticity

It isn’t that you have to make false claims or lie, it’s not about being superficial. It’s actually a matter of attitude. A way of living your reality in a way that manifests your deepest desires.

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The notion of positive thinking and the power of the mind to influence our lives is not a new idea. There is a long history of how happiness is a right and should be endorsed as a state of mind that can alter our physical reality. In Bhutan, they actually measure Gross National Happiness or GNH as a means of determining the prosperity of the nation. Rather than relying on data surrounding Gross Domestic Product or GDP to measure material affluence, a more western concept, they instead are more concerned with their spiritual and attitudinal health and wealth, which stems from their Buddhist heritage.

The idea that we should ‘fake it till we make it’ alludes to the notion that if we live as though our goals are already within reach, that we are already the person we want to be and have the success we envisage, then the reality will naturally manifest itself because every thought and every action will contribute to and shape the reality of its very existence.

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The Power of Placebo

The power of the mind to heal the body has been documented extensively. Placebo is a means of suggestion. It tells the brain what the outcome should be and tricks it into making it a reality. In medicine, doctors have given patients what they think are remedies, a sugar pill for instance, and because the patient believes that they are being treated, the brain and the body behaves in a manner that makes it a reality. Many alternative and complementary medicines rely on this very method.

The same principles of placebo or being willing to ‘fake it’ when it comes to achieving personal goals, works in much the same way. If you harness your state of mind and convince yourself that your goal is within reach; if you behave as though you are living the desires and ambitions that you dream about, there is no reason why it isn’t possible for those fantasies to actually occur. Within reason. It can be argued that factors such as luck of birth, inherited wealth, physical ability and genetic make up will almost certainly influence the reality of what you desire.

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Be Careful of What You Wish for

What you desire needs to be realistic and healthy, but that doesn’t mean that a positive attitude needs to be abandoned if your reality doesn’t match your goals. A positive attitude will in fact give you the tools to conquer anything that comes your way in life. It will also give you the clarity and strength to discover your true path and find your most authentic self. The end objective should always be personal happiness and satisfaction.

Whether you want to be a better partner or parent, live a healthier and fitter life, travel the world, climb a mountain, start a business, write a book, lead a country, change the world; whatever your ambitions, your mindset and the manner in which you conduct yourself and face adversity is half the work.

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Having a positive attitude allows you to ‘fake it till you make it’ while at the same time being the most genuine and truthful that you can possibly be. A positive outlook lets you see obstacles for what they are and makes you solution oriented so that you tackle each event of adversity with creativity and optimism.

Believing in yourself and having faith in your capabilities means not comparing yourself to others. It means looking inwardly to the self determination that exists within you and running a one person race. It means living each day being the best person you can possibly be and knowing that with every step you are one step closer to success.

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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