Death by a thousand cuts.
We fail in life not by major mistakes, but by a thousand small decisions.
Diets are lost by the small decisions, the small concessions. To have a sweet here and there; that airplane cookie we say yes to because “why not.”
Morning routines are abandoned by hitting snooze once, then twice, then sleeping in because “It’s Friday.”
Before you know it, you’re sleeping in every day and have completely back slid.
In your business you decide to skip prospecting one day because “I can reach out tomorrow.” Then another day goes by, then another.
Any habit, system, or routine is not ruined by one moment.
It’s 1000 cuts.
We must have the discipline to say no to the “little” concessions.
Say no to the airplane cookie if you are cutting sugar.
Don’t hit snooze if you’re establishing a morning routine.
Life is a slippery slope, which is why most people fail and are stuck.
And they don’t know why.
They look back and can’t figure it out.
It’s because it wasn’t one moment, but a thousand little ones.
And without this awareness they are destined to repeat themselves.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Fast forward 5 years, same story. 10 years, same story.
Before you know it a whole life goes by, full of missed goals, failed initiatives, and empty hopes.
But you can break the cycle.
You can choose that enough is enough.
You can be aware of just how slippery the slope is.
I woke up to this reality a few years ago. When I was at one of my lowest points.
My biggest and longest battle with the “1000 cuts” was my battle with liquor. When I was younger I was a huge partier. Through high school, college, and a bit after college I partied about 3 nights a week. And when I drank liquor, I became someone I wasn’t proud of.
I tried to remove liquor from my life at least a dozen times, and it was the same story each time.
I’d cut it out for weeks, feel really good about myself. Then one night a friend would offer a shot or a mixed drink and I’d say to myself, “Well I’ve been awesome for weeks, one drink isn’t going to hurt.”
One drink became two, then three.
Whoops, back to the bottom of the hill. Time to climb again.
Even when I could contain myself and have only one. I’d get cocky and think I could maintain that. Inevitably I’d slip back and get out of control one night.
This routine happened for, I’m not kidding, 8 years.
One day, after a really bad and embarrassing night, I decided to cut liquor out again (for maybe the 20th time?).
A close friend of mine came over to go out the next night; what she said to me would change my life forever.
While pouring drinks for the five us, she asked me, “So Christian, what phase are you in this week?”
I asked, “What do you mean what phase?”
She replied, “ Are you drinking liquor this week? Are you not drinking at all? I can’t keep up with all of your phases.”
That statement punched me in the face.
This friend knew me very well. More than anyone else. She saw me so clearly.
She was right. And I was ashamed. I was ashamed to be the person she was accurately describing.
That was one of my defining moments. I decided right the and there to never be that person again.
I decided to commit, for the first time ever, to truly commit to cutting out liquor. No concessions.
January of 2016 was the last time I had a sip of liquor, and I couldn’t be happier.
Since that night, I’ve seen the true power in not dying from 1000 cuts.
I’ve used this insight to implement all of my habits and routines that now attribute to me being the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been.
This is how we break the cycle.
That is how you elevate to the next level of your growth, and your life.
It is not the major mistakes, but the tiny decisions every day that define us.
Don’t die by 1000 cuts. Don’t feed the beast.
What initiative have you lost to 1000 cuts and how can you get it back?
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