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2017, the start of a new and exciting year. However, as Fred Destin always tells me, 'do not believe the hype, this is only the start'. Fred as always is right. I have achieved roughly 0.01% of what I am looking to achieve. So over the next week, I will be revealing the 7 hacks/habits I will be putting into practice to ensure 2017 produces the results I am looking to achieve.
Day 1: Meditation
As frequent readers may know I am currently reading Tim Ferriss' new Book Tools of Titans and one very dominant commonality in all the best financial thinkers and innovators is the daily practice of meditation. A habit I have briefly picked up before but have not stuck to. 2017 is the year I will embrace meditation as a daily ritual in my life. I intend to use Headspace, an app recommended to me by many on the show and with the brilliance of Andi Puddicombe's soothing tones and the work of Sean Brecker behind the scenes I have full faith in the Headspace experience. So how am I going to install it as part of my daily life?
1.) Disincentivisiation: Today the world seems centred around the idea of incentivisation and perks. As recent guest David Politis, Founder @ Accel backed, Bettercloud stated, 'perks leave you with nothing but low bank balances and unfulfilled teams'. So what if we flip the idea of incentivisation on it's head. What if instead of rewarding myself for meditating, I penalise myself for not doing so. Harvard and MIT psychologists have discovered that the process of losing something you already own is a far greater catalyst to get one to do something than by giving them something they do not have. Example, I will give you $10 to go for a run tomorrow morning. Or, I will take away $10? What would you prefer (leave comments!)? Therefore, I intend to penalise myself $10 for everyday I do not meditate. The money will be placed in a jar and donated to the MS Society (my mother has Multiple Sclerosis, so near and dear to my heart!) at the end of the year. (FOUNDERS CREATING PRODUCTS AROUND DISINCENTIVISATION, EMAIL ME ON firstname.lastname@example.org)
2.) Bake In: Habits forming is done with much greater success when the habit is not added to an already busy life but baked into your current way of working. So for me with meditation, this can be done through using Headspace on my tube ride to work everyday. Andi Puddicombe states that noise is not a problem in meditation and should be embraced and not shunned so the external noise is fine. In addition, the fact that I do not have to change anything about the way I live instantly increases the chances of sustaining the act, in this case, meditation.
3.) Invest in it: This is actually very applicable to VC. When raising a fund, LPs will always want to see that the GPs have 'skin in the game'. As a result, LPs will frequently ask for GP commitments, traditionally 0.5-1% of the fund, depending on the size of the fund. Applying this 'skin in the game' theory to meditation, I have invested in it through purchasing a year long package to Headspace Pro, at a cost of $75 for the year, it is enough of a financial incentive that I will feel personal failure and financial sacrifice if I do not fulfil my stated obligation.
I have just completed Day 1 of Headspace's Take 10, if you have not tried it. Give it a go. Andi Puddicombe's voice is about as soothing as Halle Berry giving you a massage on a Caribbean beach with a mojito in hand! Plus, if you have any tips for habits and habit forming, do comment, it would be fantastic to hear your thoughts. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will reveal why breakfast meetings are the enemy and I am not doing them anymore!