The zeitgeist of Silicon Valley can be sampled at any time by dipping into the phrases-du-jour and examining one like a novel specimen.
One such phrase is “forcing function.” A forcing function is simply an event that virtually guarantees another event to occur.
An example would be me declaring that I will write at least one blog post per week (which I am absolutely disavowing) to all of my coachees and friends. Another example would be me rendering my pantry devoid of all potato chips so as to “force” myself into eating healthy.
Forcing functions work.
For that reason, I highly recommend them! If you’re finding yourself low on willpower, set up a forcing function so that the absence of will is irrelevant to you achieving your goals.
Some of the most successful people in life are masters at setting up their environment, such that everything forces them into only the most optimal behaviors. Think Olympic athletes and world-class performers. Their lives are highly regimented, such that free will is sparely exercised in their day-to-day lives.
Hacking your environment this way removes weakness from the equation. At a moment of high motivation, set up a forcing function. Then when the moment comes, and you are drained of discipline, you will have no choice but to follow the righteous path you wisely pre-configured.
Making public declarations, sourcing accountability partners, and ridding our environment of temptation are all examples of forcing functions.
Use your better self to force yourself into the right moves, and you might unlock a whole new level of functioning.
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These are my musings on executive coaching and life!