The Decision Disconnect
This episode covers the difficulty to put decisions into action, and what to do create the habit of execution.
This is an automated transcript that has not been revised.
Good morning, everybody, and hello to my fellow Earthlings. Welcome to this first episode of The DART cast the podcast to help you claim back your life and thrive at peak performance levels. It’s a beautiful sunny Friday morning here in Switzerland. This is Marc, I’m your host on your journey to peak performance. And now without further ado, nor any advertising. Let’s jump into it. I hope you enjoy it.
Let me start by asking a question.
Have you ever not executed on a decision? Last Saturday, I was climbing up a Swiss mountain on a hiking trail. It was a pretty steep climb. It’s like three kilometres and 1000 meters of altitude. That’s about 3300 feet. And it was freaking hot. The sun was burning. The sweat was running in my eyes. My right leg was weakened numb, because I just had a spine surgery like four weeks ago. And I was standing there on the mountainside, looking around beautiful view, sweat running in my eyes, I’m exhausted catching my breath. And I go, like, Why the fuck am I doing this? Couldn’t I just stay home and do nothing and relax and have a beer?
And when I was putting together this podcast episode, I thought, hey, let’s talk about this because you have almost certainly been in similar situations yourself. Haven’t we all? I mean, over and over, we decide to act and then when things get tough, we question our decision. So sometimes we even question our decision before we start to act right. Just think about that moment. For example, when you look into the mirror in the morning, and you see your And you’re out of shape. And that moment when you decide that you go to the gym in the afternoon, and then comes the afternoon, and somehow, miraculously, your priorities shifted. And then we decide that things are too difficult, too hard to straining, and then we just give up, right? And all of a sudden, whenever we decided is not worth the effort anymore. It’s not worth to continue running. It’s too annoying to continue our work out. And you don’t know when to start this big presentation slide deck, and you don’t know how to write this blog post. I didn’t know how to record the first blog post or the first podcast on the internet. And you can’t do this last pull up, you name it, you put your favorite excuse thing there, right. So how does it happen to us over and over again to take a decision and then fail on execution. And I think coaching people on various subjects also on this one for the past 20, more than 20 years. And I thought that it would be good to just give an idea on why this happens because it’s hardwired into our brains. And then give a couple of like solution options, right. So in this mini series of podcasts, I’m going to shed light on four mechanisms that are built into our human brain that are hardwired, and that are significantly impacting our ability to follow through. And I’m also going to give you practical actions on how to become better in execution.
So, to start over, we all know what we would have to do, right? To get in better shape. We need to become more physically active, we need to go to the gym, we go running, we lift weights, we maybe do yoga, to become leaner, we need to change our field. intake, make conscious decisions about what we eat and drink. We need to get away from alcohol, drink more green tea have less coffee to drive the stress level down answer. But you can take any topic area, whether it’s health, whether it’s work, whether it’s you know, like management and leadership, anything. We always suffer from the same things. And maybe you stand there in the morning and you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re out of shape and you have too much belly fat. You need to catch your breath. When you climb the stairs. You don’t know how to start working on that big project. And you put your favorite, I want to change topic here. It’s all over the place, right? So you decide that something has to change. You decide that this evening you will hit the gym and work out or you decide that this afternoon you’re going to start on the presentation or you’re going to write this like Teddy’s email you have pushed out so long And then at this point in time you prepare. Like, for example, you pack your gear and you for going to the gym in the afternoon. And then you go to work, determined to do something for yourself in the evening. And when the evening comes, or when the time for execution in general comes, you will rethink and you really feel you are mentally exhausted from yet another day of work. Maybe another day you are spending hours of video calls at this point in time or another day you spend with people you don’t understand what’s important. Maybe they’re the kids waiting for you at home, maybe you have spent all day home working while your kids that you certainly love hit your nerves yelling and shouting while playing all that stuff. So in summary, it’s just another day in a challenging world right now. When it comes to execution. You are tired or you feel that you don’t have the resource to attack what you have to decided to do you are too tired to write this email was no like good wording. Or you are standing in front of the microphone like I am right now and you’re lacking the words and you’re just stumbling around, right? You look at the gear in the backpack. And suddenly, an alternative action becomes more attractive than sticking to the decision that you originally took. So at this point in time, you look at your gear in your backpack. And rather than going to the gym, going home, go on the sofa, have a beer, watch TV becomes much more emotionally attractive than actually going to the gym. Or fiddling around on your iPhone on Facebook becomes much more attractive than writing that email or putting together This presentation deck. So why is that? One thing we need to understand is our brains always live in the present. Whatever you think and feel in any moment, from a brand perspective, its present. So when you remember your last holiday, and maybe you want to remember your last holiday right now, maybe you were sitting on a beach or you were climbing a mountain, or put your favorite holiday thing in here, and just very intensely remember what happened, how you felt what you were seeing, hearing. You know, it becomes from brain perspective when it comes to the present and you will note that because your entire mood changes.
Like for a moment you become, you get into a holiday mood, right? So, if you take that, and you project this on what happens between the morning when you do Something in the afternoon when you actually have to execute. It’s like in the morning, your present brain state is that you’re unhappy with yourself, I’m unhappy with myself. I need to do certain things, and I need to move that stuff forward. So there is a need for execution as a need for change. By the time that the time for action comes, the time for execution comes, then your brain is in different state emotionally, rationally, right? First of all, you maybe are tired in the afternoon, you have like halfway through, you’re more tired than in the morning, right? So at that point in time, you want to relax and not sweat. Right. So you’re in two entirely different brain states between the point in time when you are deciding on something and the point in time that you are executing. And that is the disconnect between the decision and the action. So if you look to the DART, the acronym I’m using for the podcast, the D, and the A, that is decision and action. And what happens here between the brain state change between the decision and the action is what I call the decision disconnect. Because of the different brain states, we also have different emotional states. So what can we do about it? Right? So the first thing that occurs all over the place is remember your why so why are you doing that? Right? And that why is important, but it works only if you if it’s emotionally strong enough. And this y has to be emotionally stronger than your tiredness. It has to be emotionally stronger that the feelings the emotions that you currently have, when you have to convince yourself to take action right So for that the like actionable thing is to recall to put your brain in the brain state where you were when you made the decision. Let me just take the gym example, right? In the morning, when you take the decision, go to the gym, take a photo of yourself. And then in the afternoon, just pick up the photo and look at yourself and say, Okay, this morning, I haven’t been very happy with myself and this is how I looked. And this is why I took the decision to go to the gym. It’s a very short term thing. The other thing you could do is like write a short notice to yourself in the morning or when you take the decision, saying For example, when you read this, you feel like a lazy vegetable, but remember, it’s about your health and long life.
Same thing, try to recall the brain state and the emotional state when you took the decision and project that make it really present. When you are actually up to add executing and deviating from your decision. You could also record a short audio notice to yourself, hey, lazy loser, get your butt moving. Remember, that is what you wanted. And remember your decision don’t really decide. And that is something that we are doing over and over and over again. Because when you’re deviating from your decision, like you’re not going to the gym, you’re not writing the email, you’re not going to start the presentation, but you’re fiddling around with Facebook, you’re going to do something else. And allowing yourself to deviate from what you have decided. That’s a decision. You’re also taking a decision and the decision is I don’t implement my original decision. Now, trust your own decision, and don’t let yourself down. And that’s habit to develop. It’s the habit of acting on decisions. Right, and acting on decisions that you took when you were in for possession of your brain power and and for possession of your willpower. And that’s in the morning. That’s not in the afternoon because in the afternoon, our decisions tend to be worse than in the morning and I’m going to discuss that why it is the case in another episode. So, it’s about if it’s about something that you’re afraid of starting because it seems so big like a project or presentation, tough conversation, whatever. When you take the decision also take a note of the first step you want to take. When you write a presentation, you start with the first slide. You start with a storyline. Take when you take the decision. Take a note. This is the very first thing that I’m going to do. If you want to climb Mount Everest, you have to go with the first step you have Take the first step to the base camp, right? So just take a note on what is the first step going to look like. And then when it comes to implement, you don’t have to think about the big mountain in front of you, but you just have to think about, this is the very first step I need to take now. And that’s what I’m going to do. Execute, reread what you’ve noted, and then just do it. And once you took the first step, continue, let it flow and the rest will follow. Now that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed listening. Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast, share with your friends. And for more information, head over to my peak performance website. Marc kilian.com. That’s marckilin.com See you next time and stay safe.