Work It Every Day: Train Your Brain with Pivotal Points

Human brain lifting weights

Today, I come bearing a short factoid that might just blow your mind…

Did you know that the average adult makes around 30,000 decisions a day?

Yep, it’s that many! This means that, during the course of a single 24 hours, you’re literally bombarded with decisions – options to choose from and actions to take.

Spread amongst these is what we’re going to get into today…

Something called pivotal points.

A pivotal point is a point in time where you make a decision which will significantly change the course of your life – and these pivotal points are offered to us all the time, whether we recognise them or not.

Every day, we have the opportunity to make decisions that will either benefit us or hinder us. If we make the right decision, we win for ourselves the greatest leverage over how our lives progress that day.

Here’s a quick example…

I was at a conference recently and saw a friend of mine. He said hi and told me that there was someone he’d like me to meet. He asked if I was interested in getting together that afternoon so he could make the introduction.

It was a tiny thing… a snap decision that I could take either way. I could agree and come back later to welcome this new person into my life, or I could say that I was too busy, or had other plans and wouldn’t be able to make it.

Maybe I could suggest that we postpone until a later time, but I wouldn’t be able to do it today.

Yet despite its simplicity, this decision was a pivotal point.

A point in my life where, if I made the right decision, my entire future path had the potential to change…

Because as it turned out, the guy I was introduced to was an editor of an important magazine, and he’s now going to write and publish an article about my personal and professional story, which will go out to the magazine’s massive audience.

For an international speaker such as myself, most of my livelihood depends on being seen and being known. The more I’m seen, the more I’m invited… and the more I’m invited, the more people I can help.

I’ll let you know when the article is published so you can take a look… but how’s that for pivotal?!

The Secret to Pivoting in the Right Direction

Here’s what I want you to understand about pivotal points:

Throughout the day, you’ll be faced with decisions. First of all, you need to be aware that there are REALLY important pivotal points spread throughout every day. If you make the right choice with those, it will lead to significant gains for you.

The brain likes to get itself into comfortable, easily repeated patterns. Habits, easy-to-process learned behaviours – and if you’re the person who always chooses the easy decision, your brain is more than happy to go straight for that.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to get stuck in and take the difficult choice, your brain will equally train itself to get used to accepting the more difficult option.

And it’s down the more difficult path that the greatest rewards await you – because the first option is like junk food for the mind. It’s quick, it’s easy, but rely on it constantly and the results can be catastrophic.

Let’s say you have a point where you’re lying in bed in the morning. Your alarm’s gone off… you’ve hit the snooze button and you’re lying there, warm and comfy, staring at the ceiling…

And you have to decide whether to stay in bed a bit longer or get up and go to the gym.

If you’re used to staying in bed every day, your brain will opt for that almost straight away. As a firmly learned, comfortable and easy behaviour, it’s the path of least resistance.

But if you take the difficult choice – getting up and going to the gym – the more you repeat that behaviour and make it routine, the easier it becomes to keep it up. It may be an annoyance and something that you don’t want to do in the beginning, but over time your thinking becomes less opposed to choosing that option because you’re training your brain to accept the new norm.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Just like lifting weights to train muscle, or practicing a musical instrument to build your muscle memory, repetition makes action easier to perform over time.

Likewise, think about other daily behaviours you might engage in…

Do you eat that extra biscuit? Or do you put it down?

Do you opt for water? Or do you drink sugary pop?

Do you send that application you’ve been putting off, or do you sit and watch Netflix?

Do you have that important discussion with your other half, or do you shelve it for yet another day?

Understand that you constantly have these decisions to make. Often, the hardest choice is actually the one that would benefit you the most.

It’s not unreasonable to see why we may choose to take the easy route. You don’t want to say something wrong. You don’t want to screw up the opportunity that you can see is right in front of your face – you’d rather simply not have it than run the risk of “losing” it.

You don’t want to get hurt.

But you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.

If you keep taking the easy way out, you’ll never get anywhere.

If you go for the difficult option… it may just change your life forever.

It’s worth the effort.

So keep this in mind and always be aware of the decisions you’re making. If you see yourself leaning toward the easy path, rather than the path that will take you to growth and opportunity…

Stop yourself right there and divert to the path of most resistance. Do it regularly, and watch yourself flourish as your third eye starts to open.

That’s a guarantee.

If you’ve discovered how taking the harder road at life’s pivotal points has changed your future for the better, share your story and successes in the comments!

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