The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Smallest Secret

The "Diamond Hour" concept asks us to make regular, calculated, balanced progress toward our goals, starting with only five minutes a day. We max out on this basic work in an hour a day. For those who are committed, clear, and without emotional blocks, an hour isn't enough, and you have to hold them back from overtraining and burning out on work or family.

For those who hold resentments, fear and conflicted values around issues of body, mind, relationships or finances, five minutes it too much. They quite literally are unable to find 300 seconds out of twenty-four hours to prevent their stress from becoming strain. The creation of the "five minute miracle" idea was originally a way of providing a hyper-efficient means of stress-busting. What it became was a diagnostic: if my students or clients couldn't remember to take five sixty-second "breathing breaks" during the day, it became safe to assume that there was a powerful conscious or unconscious drive to remain rutted.

We don't like to change. Living systems crave homeostasis. Inertia is a very real thing. Your weight wants to stay what it is. Your relationship status wants to stay what it is. Your finances want to stay what they are...

Or deteriorate. If you want to improve, it is going to take energy. And the most efficient use of that energy is to find the smallest useful unit, the tiniest aspect of your life that will make a serious difference, and put your effort there. So...

1) identify a tiny change which, carried out over a year, would make a serious difference. Possibilities: rewrite your goals daily. Breathe deeply and slowly for sixty seconds five times a day, visualizing your goals as you do. Call your Mastermind partner for a quick conversation 2X a week. Use your cell phone camera to photograph EVERYTHING you eat.

2) Raise your energy level. Get more rest. Drink a gallon of water a day. Take a short walk after every meal. Clarify your short-term goals and how they relate to your long-term plans.

3) Practice the new change. Put your all into it.

4) Fail successfully. You will have breakdowns. Record the whys, whens, wheres, hows. HOW DOES THE RESISTENCE MANEFEST? WHAT TRIGGERS IT?

What tactics does it use to derail you?

5) Start over again. And then again. Swear to never give up. Find new resources to help. Try a new approach to solving the same problem. Keep at it.


Remember that every single skill you have was obtained by a cycle of trial, failure, frustration, and re-commitment. Never, ever ever give up!



Some guy said...

I only just now read this post, but I just wanted to say that I think this is valuable advice - (particularly for me personally at this time) - and that I'm going to print it out and review it at different times later. Thank you.

Steven Barnes said...

Very welcome.