Nonstop Partying, and Embracing the Power of Habits as a Path to Personal Improvement
The title of this blog sounds a little bit like something you’d see on the endcap of the “self-help” section of your area Barnes and Noble... gone wrong. But when you’re starting a business and exposing yourself to endless hours of solitude the concepts of entrepreneurship and self-improvement carry blurred boundaries, as you’ll quickly learn when speaking with anyone on a similar journey.
This idea of changing your habits in an effort to create significant breakthroughs in your life first hit me when I read a book on the topic towards the beginning of my remote life traveling the world, in my favorite city of London to be exact. But I didn’t quite figure out how I would apply it to my own life until I heard a guy speak on the topic and its real-life application at a conference I attended in Lisbon just a few months later.
I realized that most of our everyday lives are just an accumulation of our habits, either bad or good, that we’ve developed through a need for comfort, a response to a fear or danger, or a desire for something more.
I’d say the majority of our long-term habits, good or bad, result from a need to develop a routine and avoid the unknown, which often comes from a place of fear or perceived discomfort. It could be fear of the unknown or a fear of failure, but our habits are our safe space.
Some of these habits aren’t a bad thing but to truly expand your mind and alter your life you must, well… change. We aren’t static beings – just as our bodies change with age and experience, so do our minds and desires. And when you embrace those consistent inconsistencies, change actually becomes your safe space… and that’s when (enter self-help cliché)… “the magic happens.”
Dedicating yourself to change – and 60 days of nonstop partying
The speaker that really changed the way I look at habits stood on that stage and talked about his 10 years dedicating himself to challenging his norms, 100 new goals to be exact. Each year would be dedicated to a fear, unknown, goal, or something he’s always wanted to explore about himself and the world. As these types of epiphanies often do, it came out of a brutal divorce that made him question everything about his life.
As someone that dubbed himself a “shy guy,” one of these years was dedicated to socializing which included 60 nights of non-stop partying. Sounds easy, right? But what kind of personal growth can you get from boozing and socializing with strangers? Well, I can think of a few but for him it was about stepping outside of what was familiar to him – solitude.
To no one’s surprise, his commitment to partying hard every night for 60 days was two of the best months of his life. While it took a toll on his body and bank account, he learned to be comfortable in his own skin, build lasting relationships and even how to become the “life of the party” in the crowd… something he never thought possible.
How can I apply this awesome concept to my own life?
It could easily be argued that I’m not a woman of too many routines or habits. After all, I am hopping from country-to-country running a brand-new business, seeing unfamiliar faces everywhere I go and not able to even call one bed my own for at least a year… probably longer.
So, aside from two months of nonstop partying (pretty sure I knocked that one off the list after almost four years living as a single girl in the lower east side of Manhattan), how could I challenge my own routines and push the envelope in my own personal development with the introduction of a few habits?
A commitment to doing shit I hate…
I decided that I’d do something similar to what this speaker I was so inspired by did, but on a smaller scale as to benefit from immediate and actionable results. They say it takes 21 days of constant practice to take something and turn it into a habit, so what if each month I committed to doing something every day that I kind of hate, but I know will improve my life for one reason or another?
Can I build good habits, tough habits that required willpower and perseverance? Would these habits change my life? And after the 21 days, would I want to stick with them?
So, for the first month of my experiment, this steak-eating, ice cream loving gal went vegan.
Yep, you heard me right. I committed myself to a month of “food as medicine” by eating vegan to see how it could improve my own health challenges and the way I looked at diet as a way of enhancing my quality of life.
And in my next blog I’ll be sharing why I did it, how I felt, and if it’s a habit I can or want to actually keep.