School is easy and pleasurable when you’re set in your right ways.
You probably have some doubts about this. I had my own until I started to experience it myself.
Most students are taught school is about “putting out fires.”
Teachers spark up fires like homework, tests, and reading assignments. It’s your responsibility to figure out how to put out the fires before your whole academic career goes up in flames.
This is a natural reaction to the problems school introduces. Based on how it’s all presented to you, this strategy looks like it makes sense.
This comes with a major problem:
Why Aren’t You Jumping For Joy!?
How good do you feel after you complete a homework assignment?
It’s not amazing but it certainly feels better than knowing you still have to do the assignment later. You get to celebrate the tiniest bit because you got it done.
Now think about other things that are important to you.
If you’re into sports, how do you feel when your team wins a game?
Amazing, right? You might pump your fist, chest bump your neighbor, and you might yell like a crazy person.
How do you feel when your crush actually sends you a text or even smiles at you?
Also, you feel freaking awesome, right?
Notice the contrast here between finishing an assignment and success in something that’s super important to you?
What if I told you that you could get those same kinds of extreme pleasures making you want to pump your fist from just completing a homework assignment?
That’s actually easier than you might think.
Neuro Linguistic Fist Pumping
The human brain is an awesome thing.
It can produce extraordinary phenomenons like photographic memory, ridiculous math skills, and even smooth talkers that could swoon an angry bear. These are just the extraordinary cases though. The ordinary cases can still do amazing things.
Behaviorism is a branch of psychology that’s discovered some of these amazing things.
In one experiment, test subjects were told to look into a mirror and smile for 15 minutes. That’s it. They weren’t given a good reason. They were just told to force a smile (until they can see the creases in the corner of their eyes.)
The test subjects had their hormones tested before and after the 15 minute smiling session.
The results: the sessions led to the production of insane amounts of serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones.)
These people didn’t have a solid reason to be happier.
They just stood in a mirror and smiled at themselves.
You don’t need a good reason to change your internal environment. Things in the world around you don’t have to improve.
You can take control of the way you feel as easy as you can move your body.
Sure… it will certainly be easier when the world is handing you what you want but there are people in worse positions that feel amazing right now. It will eventually come down to you.
Here is a simple trick to get started:
Every time you complete something for class. Pump your first.
Pump your fist like you actually mean it. Put a little excited grin on your face if you can. (Just think about how silly you’re looking. It helps.)
In your head you should be screaming, “YEAH!!”
Nod your head along for a few seconds after the fist pump. Feel the enthusiasm. Move however it takes to feel that enthusiasm.
(How do you celebrate something normally? Go through those motions if you’re not “feeling” it.)
This is ridiculously simple but it’s more powerful than you could ever imagine.
Why Looking Ridiculous Produces Unbelievable Results
There are three parts to any good habit:
- The Cue
- The Routine
- The Reward
The cue is whatever gets you to start doing the habit.
So, you might look at the clock and realize it’s time to start doing your homework. That’s a cue.
(This isn’t the best way to start your homework by the way. There are much easier ways.)
The routine is doing what you need to do. In this example, it’s doing your homework. It could just as easily be biting your nails, or brushing your teeth, or picking your nose… Ewww…
Then comes the reward.
What is the reward most students have for doing their schoolwork?
Not all that much…
In fact, when students do their homework before bed they have the reward of… getting to go to bed…
It’s no wonder why they don’t enjoy doing their work!
If there is no obvious reward then there is nothing to reinforce the habit. The reward makes the cue more powerful. It’s what makes you follow the cue the second time you start doing it. This reward can create a habit out of just about anything.
The fist pumping strategy is a reward.
For an instant, you get to feel excitement about getting your work done. It’s not some obscure thought in the back of your mind.
It’s not “Oh… I suppose I’m happy I won’t have to do it later….”
It’s “BOOOOOOOOM! I CRUSHED IT!”
You get to feel the pleasure of success by just habitually living it out.
It’s turning how you should be thinking into how you are thinking.
This Is How You Get To Feel Amazing Everyday.
The key to making any big change in your life is changing the way you feel.
You will never enjoy school if you let your habitual discomfort turn into a permanent school scowl.
Don’t ask “do I have to?”
NO! You get to. This is an opportunity for you.
(I don’t even care if you have to. If you have to then it’s all the more reason to accept fate and learn to enjoy the life you have.)
How you act doesn’t just reinforce how you feel.
How you act guides the way you feel.
If you want to feel good then don’t go around acting miserable. Don’t keep your head down. Don’t daydream about the better things you could be doing. Don’t be a complete downer.
For school, don’t do things in ways that will inevitably suck when you could do them in a better way.
If you want to feel good then act like you feel good.
Stand up straight and smile.
You have this choice everyday. (And it is a choice, it’s okay to let yourself be sad every once in a while too.)
Just make sure you’re making that choice instead of letting circumstance dictate.
Let me tell you (an inappropriate) true story…
It was high school Spanish class…
I was a Senior in a class of Sophomores. There was one other Senior in the class. Best of all –
She was smokin’ (as the old folk say.) She was gorgeous. 10 out of 10. Tight jeans. And she always sat right in front of me in class (gulp.)
We were the only Seniors in the class. By default… that made me the coolest guy there… And trust me… I’m never the coolest guy there.
But we’d talk. Sometimes in class she’d lean over. I’d continue to pretend me importa la espanol stuff pero… Seriousamente… 😛
Sure… I’d show up to class. But my brain rarely stuck around for the lecture. And that’s why you might not be surprised I was getting a C- in class.
It’s funny how that stuff that distracted me in highschool wasn’t so problematic in college where I took a double course load and still scored near the top of my class…
You don’t need to be perfect to score near perfect.
You just need to know how…