This is a brilliant phrase I leveraged in one of my earlier posts highlighting the debilitating effects of procrastination and how the reward system of planning life this way always ends up the same – it never happens, it never arrives.
I’ll break this down – though the meaning is relatively obvious – because I want to make sure this idea is as transparent and layer driven as possible.
I was in a bar in Fort Worth, Texas one evening after having dinner with my wife and I looked up on the wall near the door and hanging there was a wooden sign with the prophetic words etched into its center:
FREE BEER TOMORROW.
I smiled. That was the emptiest promise I’ve ever read in my life. Cruel even....
The main problem with a FREE BEER TOMORROW mindset is that it never delivers. It's the proverbial carrot dangling right in front of us that we are striving to get to, but each step toward the goal, pushes it out by just one more day. It will forever remain just barely out of reach.
However, if one were to adjust the phrasing just a little, the entire dynamic would change.
FREE BEER TOMORROW, November 7th @ 9:02 pm.
Now you’re cooking with fire! That phrase is irrefutable. That phrase now has a purpose, an inception date. There is no grey area of interpretation or easy escape for a procrastinator to hide behind. FREE BEER will in fact happen, TOMORROW.
Amazing how a small adjustment to phrasing changes the entire dynamic of the promise.
In the very same vein, when you identify a goal to pursue, the most important first step is deciding when to start and to be firm with specificity. Selecting a date is the base requirement. An even better step is selecting a date and time. The very best, and most unusual step, is to set an odd hour such as 4:37 pm or 5:21 am. The odd nature of this un-rounded hour might add that very last bit of attention to detail in order to make your promise unique.
Be disciplined and be patient. Any goal you pursue is a goal, by its very nature, because it is remarkable to you in some way. And doing something remarkable takes time.
Find your life-hacks.
Peel back the layers of your reward system and tweak it to serve you best. Your daily habits in life are a slave to you and not the other way around. Make your changes incrementally. Be adaptive, meaning if a certain plan is not working feel free to adjust it and change it.
Respect the process more than you idolize the outcome.
It's easy to fixate on the final best version of yourself. The guy who has shredded abs. The guy who makes $1 Million a year. The guy who doesn't drink anymore. However, if you fixate and obsess over the final product more than you obsess about the tactics and discipline needed to get there - you'll never actually be that guy, because FREE BEER TOMORROW will happen to you.
Make shit happen. Start today. I know you have the fortitude to do so.