As a part of my operation “Revisit the previous 15 years of Nerd Health,” and after writing about our By no means 2 in a Row Rule, I up to date probably the most standard posts and concepts I’ve ever put collectively:

20 Seconds of Braveness.

What began as an obscure line from an obscure Matt Damon film, We Purchased a Zoo, has since turn out to be a rallying cry for the Nerd Health Revolt, our group of nerds.

Be happy to learn the total article, however right here’s the quote from the film, the place Matt Damon is recounting to his son how he used 20 seconds of braveness to fulfill his spouse:

You already know, generally all you want is 20 seconds of insane braveness, simply actually 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you one thing nice will come of it.

Our lives are made up of a ton of fast actions that usually take far lower than 20 seconds. Beginning a dialog. Strolling by way of a door to the gymnasium. Deciding the place to take a seat in a restaurant.

And since we’ve made so many of those choices, there’s a ton of inertia and historical past that may make us suppose we’re incapable of change.

Nevertheless, as Alan Watts factors out, “you might be below no obligation to be who you had been 5 minutes in the past.”

And as my pal Tim City from Wait However Why shares, the paths behind us could be closed, however we all the time have decisions shifting ahead:

Use 20 Seconds of Braveness to Do Laborious Issues

Brandon Sanderson gave an important digital speak in the course of the pandemic about doing exhausting issues. He encourages us to undertake the next mentality fairly than simply “hope issues will work out!”:

“I can do exhausting issues. Doing exhausting issues has intrinsic worth, and they’re going to make me a greater particular person, even when I find yourself failing.”

And generally we’d have to do a tough factor that’s scary. Whether or not it’s becoming a member of a gymnasium or standing up for your self at work, or lastly setting boundaries with your loved ones…

It’s okay if you happen to’re scared, by the way in which.

Doing scary issues is hard, and we’re wired to belief our fears and keep away from scary situations, which has stored us alive for lots of of hundreds of years as a species.

However doing exhausting issues is normally a prerequisite for change, and our concern usually doesn’t match the truth of the occasion itself.

As Seneca shares in his letter to Lucilius:

“There are extra issues, Lucilius, prone to frighten us than there are to crush us; we endure extra usually in creativeness than in actuality.”

Which is the place 20 seconds of braveness is available in!

The 20 Seconds of Braveness Problem

I feel this quote from Jerzy Gregorek paints an fascinating image:

“Simple decisions, exhausting life. Laborious decisions, simple life.”

Change can occur right away, and your life’s path can change on account of any single determination you make.

Right here’s methods to take part:

  • Choose one thing you need to do however have been too scared to try.
  • Freak the F out earlier than you do the factor.
  • Muster up 20 seconds of braveness and take that one motion.
  • Pee your pants after (non-obligatory).

And listed below are some prompts to get you began:

  • Saying sure to one thing you’d usually say no to.
  • Going to part of the gymnasium that you just’re afraid of.
  • Establishing boundaries with your loved ones.
  • Having an uncomfortable dialog.
  • Speaking to an entire stranger.
  • Taking extra initiative at work.
  • Signing up for a brand new class.
  • Standing up for your self.
  • Main a military of Transformers towards the Decepticons.

Attempt it this week, and let me know the way it seems!


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