What You Can Learn From The Amazing Beasts of YouTube
How to develop a growth mindset and become large with whatever you want to do, but haven’t. Learn to apply progression and consistency to achieving goals along a path that you’ve shaped.
DO YOU ever find yourself on YouTube watching one video after another of some massive beastly human lifting some massively beastly weight off the ground?
It’s not because I aspire to being a truck-lifting hulk.
Yesteryear, perhaps, but now my physically oriented focus is on different things, like aging well, getting leaner, more flexible, and maintaining sufficient strength to handle my own body weight, not an elephant’s.
Chances are your focus is more akin to mine than developing the capacity to move huge poundage, and yet I point you to the amazing beasts of YouTube, and say: “Hey, lookie here!”
The reason is that there’s some pearls of wisdom that can be drawn from these beasts that are applicable to anyone’s life, whether you give a hoot about lifting 1,000 pounds off the floor or not.
Take a look, and then wade into how I apply this to our lives:
So, what did you see in the video?
No, actually, that’s not the relevant question, but rather it is:
“What did you think/feel about the BeastPeople in the video”?
Some of you may be disgusted that, in this case, men would devote countless hours to grunting and groaning over some massively heavy weights. (Women do it to.)
For what purpose?
To those of you who think that to get that big and strong is a waste of time, I completely get it.
What are the chances that one of those guys who can lift 1,000 pounds from the ground is going to be passing by in one chance moment to lift the back end of a car that slipped off its tire-changing jack, and is pressing the life out of some damsel in distress?
If that were the purpose for committing one’s life to getting massively strong, you could cogently argue that it’s commitment misplaced. But that, of course, is not the purpose for these beasts.
More likely it has something to do with self-concept, self-esteem or the expression of a genetic capacity that, like Mozart’s, simply makes doing anything else unseemly.
Simply put, the beasts have become beasts because it serves them.
The insight to be gained here is not WHY they do this but How, for it’s the consistently and progression that the beasts apply to their craft that all of us can use to become the beast in our own chosen milieu.
What Beast In You Needs to Be Fed?
We all have one, this beast. For most of us it’s just a meowing kitten seeking a small dish of milk.
My metric for using this metaphoric image is a Forbes article that posits that 70% of workers hate their jobs. To me, this means that this large majority of people are not cultivating the beast within, but rather doing whatever expediently led them to their current work.
The result is that something is nagging such people, meowing if you will, but the occasional small dish of milk will never grow the kitten into some beastly tiger.
Occasionally lapping at the milk in your life is not Mozart-making.
Mozart was a beast because he quickly understood the specific highest and best use of his innate potential, and then worked on it like a beast to become one.
Like the guys in the video, Mozart – like everyone who accomplishes something akin to lifting 1,000 pounds off the ground – applied himself to progressively getting better through consistent practice.
The beauty of weight lifting in this context is that it beautifully demonstrates progression and consistency.
Progression is adding a pound to the bar every workout.
Consistency is doing the workout x times per week, every week.
What’s keeping you from working out your kitten so that someday it becomes a Tiger? Could be that your mindset is holding you back.
What’s Your Mindset?
Let’s start with a definition. Mindset is:
“A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.” (Source)
The definition states that mindset is “fixed”, which makes sense given the “set” in mindset.
This is the key to understanding how mindset can either keep your beast potential meowing all your life, or – metaphorically speaking – grow to lift that 1,000 pounds.
The reason is that…
Mindset shapes how you will respond to change.
In effect, you need to reset the “set” in mindset. If you let it represent a mind that’s “fixed” then you will never muster the change required to build something new in your life.
A “Fixed Mindset” holds that what kind of person you are is fixed, and although you can at times do things differently, the important parts of who you are can not be changed.
A person with a Fixed Mindset…
– Has a problem with failure, because failure means you have failed as a person, as opposed to failing to accomplish a particular task.
– Has a tendency to avoid challenges that could result in failure as a person.
– Believes that his/her abilities are static, rather than elastic.
A “Growth Mindset” allows that you can change substantially, including the basic parts about what kind of person you are.
A person with a Growth Mindset…
– Believes that abilities are like muscles that can be built up.
– Accepts challenges despite the risk of failure, seeing failure as a natural part of the growth process.
– Takes a long term view and applies herself to progressive accomplishment.
– Sees the brain as a muscle that is not fixed in capacity but can be made stronger and move from a fixed to growth mindset to take on new challenges.
Is your mindset fixed or in growth mode?
How To Develop a Growth Mindset and Become a Beast
Here are seven steps:
1. Select something you want
2. Believe that it’s possible
3. Cut it into small achievable pieces
4. Schedule your actions
5. Do what you’ve scheduled
6. Bask in your glory
Yes, indeed, there’s a very critical step that I’ve left out:
What do you want to develop a growth mindset to achieve?
Remember that kitten? Well, what is it meowing about?
If to prepare an answer to this question, you start digging at what may be your “life’s purpose”, please stop right now, as you’ll just dig yourself into a hole before you’ve developed enough muscle to haul yourself out.
If you don’t already know what it is, just put your life purpose aside for now. What we seek is something simpler; after all, we need a light weight to begin with, not 1,000 pounds.
#1 Select Something You Want
Since this is a health site, let’s focus on a health topic, like body weight. Body weight is good because, if you’re an American, there’s about a 60% chance that you could improve your health by losing a few.
Therefore, our example is going to be losing weight, and we’re going to say that you’ve got 30 extra pounds that are not contributing to your well being.
But, you may declare, this 30 pounds is nontrivial, that it’s been plaguing you for years, defeating all your attempts to dump it, that “It’s my 1,000 pound gorilla!”
(Take note that we now have beasts, a kitten, tiger, elephant and gorilla playing important roles in this post, but only two weights under consideration, 30 and 1,000, given that the gorilla seems to have gained weight and is no longer the “800-pound gorilla”.)
OK, that attitude has to change straight away. You’re talking like a Fixed Mindset person.
Whatever has been your past difficulties and experiences with losing this 30 pounds needs now to be put aside and out of your way.
The past is not prologue here.
#2 Believe That It’s Possible
Let’s again go back to the beasts in the video.
There was a time when none of them could dead lift more than 100 pounds. For some that might have been when they were three years old, but you get my drift.
If you went back in time and said to them, “Hey, do you believe you could lift 1,000 pounds someday?”, you might have had a couple of them say “Damn straight!”, because after all, they have that Mozart feeling of being genetically predisposed to being beasts, but that response would be more swagger than conviction, I’ll wager.
Back in 100 pounds days, the goal was not 1,000 pounds, but perhaps 150. Add five pounds per workout to the bar and 25 workouts from now you’re 50% stronger.
Progression + Consistency = Achievement
To get to that place of believability, absorb how others have done what you want to do. Watch them, read about them, learn their techniques, and get to a place where you say to yourself:
“I’m not so special that I can’t do this.”
Get that twist?
It’s not that you need to be so special to be able to do it, but NOT so special to be able to. In other words, if so-and-so could do it, so can you.
#3 Cut It Into Small Achievable Pieces
In their fantastically insightful book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (affiliate link), brothers Chip and Dan Heath write about what it takes to make lasting behavioral changes. I got a part of that mindset stuff above from them.
Two tips they extol are to “shrink the change” and “shape the path”.
Applying these concepts to our desire to lose 30 pounds, you’ll want to:
· Shrink the poundage planned into smaller milestones, and
· Shape the process by beginning where there’s advantage.
I wrote about shrinking the change in my post, Why Your Goals Should Be Small. The idea is not that your goals shouldn’t be lofty, but that once you’ve aimed at the big goalpost, you focus on the first 10 yards, then the next 10, etc.
These 10-yard marks are milestones and consist of clearly formed can-do steps done each day.
In Switch, the Heath brothers cite legendary UCLA former basketball coach John Wooden views on the matter.
John Wooden said:
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur… don’t look for the quick big improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens, and when it happens, it lasts”. (Source)
What Coach Wooden is speaking about are small wins, and to use another famous coach’s perspective on it, enter Bill Parcells, former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Parcells says that when referring to “small wins” you want them to be meaningful and “within immediate reach”, the latter being more important than the former.
So, what to do about those 30 pounds?
Ø Shrink the change by making each milestone a five-pound lose. (Progression)
Ø Shape the path by focusing on what diet or exercise habits you already have, and seek to expand those first. (Consistency)
Ø Write it down.
#4 Schedule Your Actions
There’s that old adage that goes something like, If you don’t write them down they’re not goals but dreams.
You need to write down the actions required to get to each milestone, each five pounds in our example.
These actions need to be scheduled.
And, naturally, they need to be actionable.
I remember an example pertinent to this in productivity expert David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (affiliate link). He wrote that often times when people make a list of things they want to do, they do not yet have the ability to take direct action on whatever is on the list.
An example he gives is getting a tune-up for the car. Is that an action you’re ready to take, he posits? Well, do you have the mechanic’s phone number? If not, this “to do” item is not actionable. What first needs to be on the list is to “Get the mechanics phone number.”
Now this might seem silly because you think that getting the phone number is implicit. But the point that David Allen makes is if you’re looking at the list and what you’re reading is not immediately actionable in the moment you want to take action, it has a greater chance of not being done.
That small achievable step was not taken.
Turning to our goal of losing 30 pounds, do not write on your list, “Eat better”, or “Go on a diet”. How is that directly actionable? Either of these items requires other steps, and without them clearly spelled out, they’re unlikely to be crossed off the list.
Instead of “Eat better”, you could write “buy a head of broccoli by Tuesday, steam it and eat at least four ounces a day till it’s finished.”
That’s one of the weeks goals, but you’re not done with the planning part. Next, write down in your goal planning notebook or schedule, “Eat 4 oz broccoli” for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc.
So, what you’ve done is listed both your week’s goal for this part of the weight loss agenda and what you’re going to do daily to accomplish it.
(For some diet ideas, read my Diet 101, select two things suggests there, and do them by x date.)
So, what to do about those 30 pounds?
Ø Write down when and what you’ll be eating for each meal during the week.
Ø Choose the healthy foods that you already like and eat. (Shape the path.)
Ø Eat them for only three quarters of your meals. (Shrinking the change.)
#5 Do What You’ve Scheduled
OK, you’ve identified your milestones and have written down actionable steps to achieve them. It’s all right there in that notebook on your desk.
You’re not done.
You have to do what you’ve scheduled.
Are you facing resistance?
Well, again, shrink the change and shape the path to lose those 30, perhaps by doing this:
Ø Grab a timer, set it for five minutes and until it rings, exercise. You can try Megan Hoffman’s 5-Minute Exercise Routine. (Shrinking the change.)
Ø Schedule this when your soon-to-be exercise buddy visits. (Shaping the path.)
When you no longer resist doing this, get progressive by adding a minute to the exercise routine, and get more consistent by doing it even when alone.
#6 Bask In Your Glory
At some point, as scheduled, your milestone has been reached.
Time to preen and be glorified. Grab a piece of 70% cacao dark chocolate, find a spot in the sun, lay back and mumble your gratitude mantra.
Get energized for the next milestone.
By the way, congratulations.
Yeah, you now have a proven method for behavioral change that works for you and gets you growing into the beast you want to be.
Grab the next thing you want to change, to become, to experience and do #1 – #6.
Changing one’s behavior is hard because what we’ve been repeatedly doing is baked in.
The way to break apart the cement is by slugging it with a hammer, a bigger one each week (progression).
To even get to the hammer pounding point, you must examine and probably change your mindset.
A fixed mindset will hold you in the past.
A growth mindset will free you to explore change.
Find and apply a process that will work for you, but make sure you’ve “shaped the path”, “shrunk the change”, that it incorporates progressiveness and consistency, is written down and is actionable.
Over and out.