Never fully baking the cocoon

In a hurry?

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A few years ago when my wife and I were dating, we ordered Chipotle and were eating it at her condo.

Her cat was curious, and timidly crept up to smell the bag.

Somehow, she got her head inside the loop of the handle and she got stuck wearing the Chipotle bag like a cape. To say she freaked out would be an understatement.

She ran as fast as she could, trying to escape from the bag. But no matter how fast she ran, it nipped at her heels, chasing her down.

She bounced off of the walls like a maniac, flying around the condo, but nothing helped her escape. Eventually, the bag ripped and she was free.

And while we did feel some remorse for the poor cat, we also thought it was hilarious...

But this happens to humans all the time. And it’s not so funny when it happens to us.

We all have a habit we want to break.

A business we want to build.

A dream we want to achieve.

A person we want to become.

But like a cape, our old ways follow us around, nipping at our heels, reminding us how little progress we’ve made.

Perhaps it’s a constant comparison to the success of others on social media that reminds you that all the work you’ve put in is still nothing compared to those who are truly successful.

Or perhaps it’s the person in the mirror, staring back at you, revealing the harsh reality that you haven’t changed.

In an alternate world, we might call this the butterfly effect:

Everybody wants to change, but very few are willing to spin up a cocoon and wait it out while their wings grow.

The caterpillar never questions whether it’s going to transform. It never wonders if it’s work will be in vain. It does the work. It achieves the transformation.

And this is where most of us get stuck.

Understandably, there is big money in this industry, teaching every tactic and trick imaginable to affect change without having to build yourself a cocoon.

There are too many options.

Inject some self-doubt, and most people oscillate from one approach to another, never fully baking the cocoon. Never fully achieving the transformation.

The only solution that has ever worked for me was to build the cocoon and wait it out.

It’s the way I changed from a chemical process engineer who only understood numbers and data to an author and storyteller who could give speeches, inspire people, and teach creative writing and storytelling.

Its the way I teach my Content Foundations course—a month-long writing experience. It takes at least this long to fully bake the cocoon and achieve real transformation.

And it’s the way that I want to teach you in the upcoming issue of Discipline and Desire.

This issue is all about discipline: the skill that makes habits easier or unnecessary.

This skill will serve you in all the goals you set and challenges you face going into the new year.

Your motivation will wane. But true discipline never will.

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