The greatest predictor of who you’ll marry? Proximity. Long distance relationships are difficult. We know this. We have a bias toward those who live close to us. This is not bad or good, it’s simply a fact. Doesn’t this make sense? We also have a proximity bias when it comes to dealing with people entering our club, charity, company, or community. We tend to not want strangers breaking into our club or community because we’ve grown close to those closest to us and fear the outsider will somehow mess it up. This is the root behind sibling rivalry and all kinda rivalries. Ohio State and Michigan are rivals; Ohio State and Kansas, not so much. Ohio State and California, not much at all. Proximity matters. Make sense?
We are comfortable with the status quo. Sometimes too comfortable. If you and I are to settle for the mediocre middle, we don’t need to do much different or difficult. We simply need to keep doing what we’re doing, establish a rut, and repeat the behaviors, processes, and disciplines that led us here. If your aim is excellence, you’re gonna need to fight against all kinda biases. “Proximity, either or, availability, actor/observer, focus and blindness,” and on and on they go. You see, friend, you and I are naturally biased toward what we know. This is why travel, reading challenging books, doing hard things, trying new things, and hanging out with people unlike you, is so good for your brain. Routine is good. You are what you habitually do. And, break out of your high performance habits every so often. Mix it up. Try new things. Recently, the 3PP team and I took a trip down to OSU Jennings Center (OSU grappling home) and walked around doing stupid things with heavy sand bags. We climbed ropes that scared us and wrecked me. We did sprints across soft wrestling mats that felt like running in sand. We mixed it up for 97 minutes to the point of depletion. We tried doing new things to strengthen our cores. It wasn’t pretty but it was good.
Remember, you can only do what you have learned to do. Stop allowing your brain to fixate on what’s top of mind – what’s proximate if you will. The greatest predictor of whether you’ll master something comes down to your ability to marry the mundane and try new things, take risks, and force yourself to change – deeply change. Excellence is not found in repeating what is comfortable. Excellence is tasted when you’re squarely in the challenge zone and just this side of panic, like I was half way up my last rope climb, hanging by a thread. Who knows, this same recipe of marrying the mundane and trying new things might be an accurate predictor of who stays married. What, friend, are you learning to master your craft? What are you doing to challenge your status quo? When was the last time you cheated toward your wife? How do you know if you’re winning at life? Funny, huh, how hard it is to marry the mundane and try new things. Slow down and reflect. Slow down.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…