What up guys? This blog post is going to be a little bit different. You see every Sunday for the last ~ 1,5 years I’ve been posting a weekly Challenge on my YouTube Channel. The idea is simple; put up at least one objective that are supposed to be done before Friday evening. It can be a daily thing, or something bigger. It can be theoretical like reading, or it can be practical like performing some action or deed. It can include external people, or something that is to be done on your own. The purpose and goal is to make you grow in a specific niched area.
Weekly challenges are something I randomly started doing like ten years ago. Back then I remember always buying something tasty as a reward. I put it clearly visible in the fridge, so it would look back at me every time I opened it. But I was only allowed to eat it at the coming Friday, IF I successfully accomplished the challenge. Years went by and It became quite the regular thing in my life. I had fun with it, but the commitment and effort level varied quite a lot.
But so, some week’s after spontaneously starting a YouTube channel in March of 2016 (for no clear reason), I got the idea of making weekly personal development challenges the theme of the channel. Putting out my challenges and efforts to accomplish them to the world, and then share the learnings and reflections it resulted in. The later part happens through a live weekly live stream every (almost) Friday.
I’m always trying to have as much fun with it as I possibly can. Not choosing to do what’s the most strategical right thing to make the channel grow, but doing what will grow me the most as a person. Because the thing is, I’m really not that concerned with having a lot of views or subscribers. I use YouTube as a platform to structure my own personal growth, and putting it out there to the world adds some external pressure to follow through on my challenges. And when other people join in; when there’s discussion, questions and people getting inspired, it gives me so much energy to keep on. Also, the love I’ve found for filmmaking and editing can’t be described with words. Finally, an outlet for my creativity.
A friend of mine once asked me if I never get tired of ‘growing’? I was a bit stifled by thequestion, almost shocked. To me personal growth is one of the most amazing things ever and one of the true cornerstones to live a fulfilled and joyful life. And being able to make other people discover that as well, well..
Life is like biking, if you don’t constantly move forward, then you’re going to tip over.
Nuff said about that – just wanted to give you guys some context for what I do and Why I do it. Now let’s invite you into how this week’s challenge looks like:
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE: 3 Habits to Increase Your Social Skills
So, there’s been a whole lot of habit talk in the last blog posts. And it’s not by random. Habits and routines are probably the most sustainable way to automate personal development, cut out addictions and reach goals. Even since I read the book, the power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433-the-power-of-habit) almost 2 years ago, I personally can testify to this, along with a whole bunch of other people I’ve come across.
Since this year started I’ve implemented a whole load of new daily habits, or slightly tweaked some of my already existing. The purpose being to reach some new goals, but also to get rid of some life-limiting addictions of mine. So far, it’s working like a charm.
I’ve been discussing the details for how habits work in previous videos and texts, so I’m going to leave out the details here. But I am going to direct you to a great channel called ‘improvement pill’ that has an entire YouTube mini course on this topic. It consists of a bunch of short videos going through Habits and willpower; how it all works and what you need to know to start changing your life with habits. It’s all described in a very pedagogic way (https://youtu.be/b2njoDynrSY).
I’m instead going to share three habits that will benefit your social life and interaction with the external world. It will lead to you being able to strike up conversations with random people, and enjoy the heck out of doing so. But remember the basic principle with habits – the effect comes over time. But it will come, big time. It’s about putting in a daily effort – sometimes small, sometimes bigger. The most important thing is to do it. But even if you do miss a day or two, that isn’t the end of it. Just get back up on that horse again. And again. And again.
First let me just explain the basics for how a habit routine works so we know how to set this up. Or well, let’s borrow a snapshot from one of Improvement Pill’s videos:
The two videos from the course to give you be most important understanding are these two (the image is ‘borrowed’ from the first one, I don’t own any rights):
How Do Habits REALLY Work? (THE TRUTH) – https://youtu.be/b2njoDynrSY (This is the video that is partly included in my video)
· How To Properly Build Your Habit (MOST IMPORTANT tamed Lesson) – https://youtu.be/qDBV1GcCqvs
So, let’s get to the three small little habits I’ve implemented in my life lately, and really has improved my social life and helped me develop better social skills. The great thing with this is that you get better and better at it as you get going, and by that wanting to socialize more as you have an easier time connecting with people.
For all the habits, we put up a ‘minimum bar’ for what’s required to accomplish the habit. I set the bare minimum as ‘accomplished’ when I start implementing a habit, because in most cases I usually end up doing way more then I was on the mood for. It’s the power of getting started in practice, and the most important thing is to close the habit loop daily.
The habits are (and described in greater detail in the video):
#1 – Habit: Talking to cashier staff
Cue: Facing the cashier
Routine: Every time you stand in front of cashier personnel/staff, ask how they are doing, and genuinely be interested in what they say. Practice small talk.
Reward: Social connection / sense of proudness for doing something uncomfortable (BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM)
Minimum bar: asking how they are doing
Examples from my challenges: How a single ‘how are you’ question can transform so something much bigger.
Trying to get at Date: Flirting with The Cashier – Facing Social Fears
Approaching Cute Girl & Asking for an Instant Date – Rejection Therapy to build Self-Esteem Week 8 – https://youtu.be/2NHLCEwSw6E?t=8m11s
#2 – Habit: Saying hi/hello to random people you pass
Cue: Choose a specific daily stroll you have, for me it’s when I walk/run home from work. The Que is when I step of the train.
Routine: Before passing them, try get eye contact and then say hello/hi. You can choose to do this to all the people that are carrying some clothes with a specific colour, or any other random feature. I DO this to the girls I think are cute.
Reward: sense of proudness for doing something uncomfortable (BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM). Bonus: sometimes a smile or a conversation = social connection )
Minimum bar: one hello
Examples from my challenges:
Level 1: Saying hello to every person I passed on my run home (when you run the uncomfortable moment passes quicker): https://youtu.be/wPsc5pWpyiw
Level 2: Walking and saying hi to every person I met https://youtu.be/jocgKryJk6U
Level 4: I did a week of striking up a conversation every time I was waiting with my bike at a crossing for the light to turn green: https://youtu.be/uZ3MmNhzR5U
Level 6: Approaching persons you find attractive and say that: https://youtu.be/q4_pbHAjQrA
#3 – Habit: Express your sense of humour in a social context
Cue: Sitting down for a specified social moment, lunch/coffee time etc.
Routine: During one of your daily social meals/coffee moments, say something you think is funny. Not only is this a great way to practice social skills, but it’s great habit for learning how to not care what people think of you and express who you really are. If you think something is funny, say that. This is a bit tougher habit and requires some practice.
Reward: Social connection / Sense of proudness for expressing who you really are
Minimum bar: express one thing that you think is funny
For all the habits, we put up a minimum bar for what’s required to accomplish the habit. I set the bare minimum as ‘accomplished’ when I start implementing a habit, because in most cases I usually end up doing way more then I was on the mood for. It’s the power of getting started in practice, and the most important thing is to close the habit loop daily.
The challenge of the week:
Implement one social-skill-development habit, chose one out of the three. Or if you have one of your own in mind – choose that. Sit down and think about how you can implement it so it suits your life and context. What should be your que? If you listen to the videos, he says it’s preferable to have a ‘real’ reward, like getting to eat after training, getting to watch something funny, some free time, etc. For me the sense of proudness and growing self-esteem is so vivid and clear, that it works for me. But have this in mind, and remember to always have the same que, routine and reward to make the brain see the connection and start to automate the behaviour.
Personally, I’m going to look trough the video course and look over and refine not on ly these three habits, but all my habits I put up this year.
So that’s it, that’s all. I wish you the best of luck, and love to hear what social skill habit you choose!
Have a great week,