KB#26 - The Friday Four - Monk Mode

mindset mindset advice the friday 4 Aug 04, 2023

Read Time: 5 Minutes

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#1 - The Zeigarnik effect

photo credit @100behaviours

Do you ever get that nagging feeling that something is incomplete?

Like a movie scene paused in the middle or that book you're halfway through?

It's like your mind won’t shut up until you’ve seen the ending, right?

Let me introduce you to an old friend who’s been pulling the strings from behind the curtain.

Ladies and gents, meet the Zeigarnik Effect.

In a nutshell, the Zeigarnik Effect is a psychological phenomenon in which your brain remembers incomplete tasks better than complete ones.

This is why your favourite TV shows always leave you on a cliffhanger

(they know you'll remember it and come back for more. Smart, eh?)

But what if I told you that this same Zeigarnik Effect could be the secret sauce to spur your creativity and boost your success?

Intrigued? Let's dive deeper….

When you're stuck in a creative rut or tackling a problem that seems to have no solution, start a task related to it and then... purposefully leave it incomplete.

I know it sounds counterintuitive but stick with me here.

The Zeigarnik Effect will kick in, and your brain, being the problem-solving powerhouse it is, will continually churn on this unfinished business even when you're not consciously thinking about it.

You're essentially tricking your brain into working overtime (sneaky, right?), allowing it to come up with new and creative solutions.

Give it a try. Start a task, leave it halfway, and let your brain simmer on it.

And remember, the key to using the Zeigarnik Effect to your advantage is ACTION.

You need to start something to be able to leave it incomplete.

It's a simple trick, but I guarantee it will help you think more creatively and find success in areas you never thought possible.


#2 - Comfort Creep

We all dream of making it big, right?

More money, a better car, a bigger house.

All those creature comforts that make life just a bit easier.

And as we hustle our way up the success ladder, we often find these things fall into our laps.

It feels amazing, doesn't it?

But here's the catch - a sneaky little phenomenon called Comfort Creep.

In case you're wondering, Comfort Creep is how humans have taken newfound luxuries for granted over time.

Like those heated leather seats in your brand-new car, they felt like heaven at first, right?

But give it a few months, and they're just... seats.

Then, one cold winter morning, the heater doesn't work, and it's like a disaster of epic proportions!

Sound familiar? That, my friends, is Comfort Creep.

And the bummer is it leaves us whimpering over "first-world problems" while losing sight of the bigger picture.

Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labour.

You've worked hard for that comfortable life.

The problem starts when Comfort Creep leads us to forget our journey, take our achievements for granted, and lose perspective.

So, what's the antidote to this creeping comfort?

First up, Gratitude!

Start by making a daily list of things you're thankful for.

Not just the big stuff, but the small things, too.

  • The smell of coffee in the morning
  • The sound of your kids laughing
  • The feel of sunshine on your face
  • The luxury of those heated car seats ;-)

Second, keep doing difficult things.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but bear with me.

The more comfort we have, the less we face challenges.

The less we face challenges, the more vulnerable we are to Comfort Creep.

So, do the hard stuff!

Take on challenging projects and push your boundaries.

Not only does this keep you sharp, but it also gives you a massive appreciation for the things you have.

Remember, folks, comfort is great, but growth, gratitude, and grit?

They're priceless.


#3 - Amor Fati

Feeling overwhelmed?

Like you're walking around with a backpack full of bricks?

Been there. Done that!

And I’ve got several T-shirt’s to prove it!

Let me introduce you to one of my Favorite Quotes

"Amor Fati".

It's Latin, and it means 'love of fate' or 'love your fate'.

It's a concept borrowed from Stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy, and it's all about accepting and loving everything that happens in life.

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

"Amor Fati" isn't about being a pushover and letting life steamroll over you…

It's about embracing everything as part of your unique journey.

Remember, you're the lead actor in the movie of your life.

Even the bad scenes contribute to the whole plot.

"Amor Fati" can help you remove that backpack of bricks and balance out your life.


One of the main things it can help reduce is overwhelm.

The truth is, the "bricks" in your backpack aren't objectively heavy - it's your perception of them that weighs you down.

If you see every challenge as an integral part of your fate - something to learn from - you'll feel less like Atlas holding up the world and more like a martial arts master, turning each blow into a dance move.

"Amor Fati" challenges you to take a step back and view your life from a broader lens. It's about choosing not just to accept your fate, but to love it, to dance with it, to squeeze it like a sponge, and to get every single drop of juice out of it.

So the next time life hands you a lemon, don't just make lemonade. Say, "Thanks, Life! I've been wanting to practice my juggling. These lemons are perfect!"

That's "Amor Fati" in action and a game-changer.

It can take that overwhelm, flip it on its head, and transform it into a life you're excited to wake up to every day.

And who doesn't want that?


#4 - Monk Mode


Back in 2014, I spoke a lot about something called “Monk Mode”

Monk Mode was this hyper-focused, no-nonsense mode I switched on for 12-14 weeks straight.

A wild ride with zero booze, no social events, tracking every single thing I ate and religiously hitting the gym and cardio

Basically, putting my wants and needs above everyone and anything.

Back then, it paid off big time!

I walked away with British and European titles and even faced off with some of the best physiques on the world stage in Las Vegas. Pretty awesome, right?

But I hear you asking, "Should I consider plunging into the Monk Mode?"

Well, here's the scoop:

It's 2023, and Monk Mode ain't just about bodybuilding anymore.

It's more of a way to disconnect from the world's noise and zero in on one task without any interruptions.

Now, the upsides? They're juicy:

  • Supercharged productivity
  • Better time management
  • Skyrocketing creativity and a renewed sense of purpose.

But it ain't all sunshine and rainbows.

Monk Mode might get you bored out of your wits.

You might lose touch with pals and family.

And the biggie: burnout. Staring at one task too long might make you miss out on other important things

(like your partner and kids).

So, to Monk or not to Monk?

If you're footloose with no serious ties like family or big-boy responsibilities for business or clients, then Monk Mode might just be your ticket to the big leagues.

But if you've got people counting on you, Monk Mode might leave you more burnt out than a forgotten toast in a toaster.

Use with caution!


👉  The Zeigarnik Effect: Start a task, leave it halfway, and let your brain simmer on it. it will help you think more creatively and find success in areas you never thought possible

👉  Comfort Creep: We get used to "Creature Comforts", which makes us appreciate less and look for more problems. Be grateful, and always push yourself to do the Hard Stuff!

👉 Amor Fati. Nothing in your life is inherently "Good" or "Bad". Embrace it all with a smile on your face.

👉 Monk Mode. Shutting out all distractions and hyper-focusing on one task can be a game changer to get things done, but be wary of the causation and cost of doing so.


I hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Four; see you next week for another instalment.

Jay Alderton

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