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Essential Step 7

Hi, it’s AJ and it’s time for the last step, Step Number 7. Of course, I told you at the beginning there are 7 Essential Steps for Change and Leadership and this is the last step. This is one that kind of cements the change. It makes the change permanent, long-lasting, so that it becomes a part of your life and not just something that you do and it goes away again. A lot of people experience this where you make some big change in your life and maybe you even keep that change for a week or two weeks, or something like that. And then it just sort of goes away and you go back to the old behavior again. It’s really common. It’s common, for example, with health.
I used to do this all the time with eating sugar. I was kind of a sugar addict. And I would break it for a while, which is one of our steps, right? I would do a pretty good job of breaking it but then I would find myself slowly but surely going back to eating sugar. And then, y’know, a couple months later I’m right back to eating lots of sugar again, or sugary stuff. It was terrible.
So this last step is what really makes…you make that positive change and then you’ve got to make is strong so it’s just part of you. And so Step Number 7 is condition it. Condition it. Now conditioning, or to condition, it has lots of different meanings but in this case we’re using the meaning from psychology. And when we condition a belief or condition a behavior, it means we reinforce it. We make it stronger and stronger and stronger, until it becomes automatic.
So, for example, a very simple example let’s say, from dog training, is you want your dog to sit, right? So the most effective way to make your dog sit, to teach your dog to sit, is you say the word “sit” and the dog looks at you and doesn’t know what the hell you’re saying, because the dog doesn’t speak your language.
So after you say the word sit you kind of put your hand on their butt and you kind of push it down. And you kind of raise up their other part. And you kind of push them into the sitting position. And then as soon as they are in that sitting position, you go crazy with love and attention. You’re like “good dog, good dog, oh,” and you pet them. And you say “good dog, good dog, good dog,” and you have a big smile and your voice is really high like this. And the dog kind of, oh, gets all excited.
And in the beginning the dog’s not quite sure what’s happening, but the dog knows that it’s good, right? And so your dog kind of stands up again. And after they stand up again you look at them and you say it the same way. And you say sit. And then you again take your hand, you gently put them into the sitting position. And as soon as they reach the sitting position, you again, you go crazy and you have a big celebration, “oh, good dog, good dog, oh, great, great, great, great, great.” I taught my dog to do this. I used to have a German shepherd/chow mix and this is how I taught her to sit and to stay and all this other great stuff. And she was really smart, but this is how I did it. It was just through conditioning, positive conditioning, right? Some people have the idea of like you spank the dog if it doesn’t sit and that’s crazy.
It doesn’t work.
But the way to make a behavior really stick and become permanent, to make a change become permanent, is you’ve got to reinforce it. You’ve got to condition it and positive conditioning is the best. So everyone knows this. If you’ve taken any kind of psychology course you’ve heard about this. Now the problem is people forget the other six steps, right? So if you just try this step, then what happens is that you have this new thing, you’re trying to condition. You’re trying to reward yourself for doing something new. But then, it’s also battling the old one. And the problem is the old one usually wins because old one has years and years and years of conditioning.
You’ve already had many, many, many years of pleasure and other good things attached to that behavior, for example, my sugar eating. Well, I’ve had years and years and years of enjoying sugary desserts and foods. So just trying to make myself eat broccoli and then being happy about it, it only worked for a short time. But if you do the first six steps first, then you’ve got the new behavior and you’ve got to just condition it and you’re set. It’s going to work and you’re going to do it the rest of your life.
So what’s the simplest way? Again, with conditioning, with reinforcing, there are so many techniques that I could teach you about this. I’m just going to teach you the most basic simple one. And in some of our other programs I teach more advanced things. And that goes for all of the steps. In this series I’ve taught you kind of really basic things for each one. And then in our membership program, of course, we teach many, many, many more techniques that are more advanced, more powerful, and a little more complicated. So anyway, let’s stick to the basic and simple.
So the basic idea is positive reinforcement. All that means is you’re basically rewarding yourself for the new behavior that you created. And what’s the best way to reward yourself. Well the most simple way possible is just to make yourself happy. And the way to do that is just to celebrate. You just celebrate, yay-hey! And you act stupid again. I already told you to slap yourself in one of the steps. And now I’m going to tell you to do more crazy stuff. Now I’m going to tell you to do something really crazy and happy which is just to jump around like a crazy person, throwing your hands in the air and celebrating. Again, you can do this by yourself.
But what you’re going to do is every single time you do the new behavior, you do the thing that you want to do, if it’s English then every time you listen to English…so you’ve just, you’ve put in your iPod and you listen…immediately after you finish you’re going to celebrate. You’re going to go yeah, yeah, yeah! And then you’re going to say really nice things to yourself. You’re going to say, “I’m great! I rock! I’m fantastic!” And you’re going to kind of go on this tirade. A tirade means, it’s like you just talk and talk and talk without thinking, but it’s a positive tirade. People can do this in a negative way, like an angry tirade. They just say “Goddamn, shit, fuck…” and they say all these terrible things really fast. Well, you’re going to do the opposite.
You’re going to do a really positive tirade about yourself. I’m great, I’m fantastic, I’m amazing, man I’m so smart, I am awesome. And then you’re going to jump around and yeah, yeah, yeah! Okay, it’s crazy so you can do it by yourself if you want. But this is actually super powerful and super important. Because you’re teaching your brain, you’re programming your brain to like this behavior. And another important part of this is you have to do it every time and you do it even if you only do the behavior a little bit, okay?
So you don’t make yourself study two hours and then celebrate. Yay, I studied two hours. No, I mean if you just study for five minute and then you stop…some people will say oh, it was only five minutes. And they kind of punish themselves. They say, oh god, I only studied five minutes, I only studied 20 minutes. And what they’re doing is creating a lot of negative feelings and emotions.
Those negative feelings and emotions are being attached to the behavior. So then you start to feel bad about studying. It’s the exact opposite of what you want to do. So even if you only study one minute, you listen to one minute of English and then you quit, immediately celebrate. Yes, yes, I’m great, fantastic, look at this, I’m a great student. I just listened to English for a minute. I rock. I’m great. Of course, I rock means that I’m fantastic, it’s slang.
So you’ve got to celebrate every time, even if you only do this new behavior a little bit. Even if you only do the change a tiny little bit. It doesn’t matter. Let me give you a short example from my own life. When I go running, right? I wanted to start running again. I used to…I ran a couple marathons many years ago and I wanted to get back into running and start running marathons again. Well, in the past when I would try to get back into running, I had all these ideas about marathon running. I’m training for a marathon. So if I only ran three miles, I would kind of get upset with myself. Oh man, I only ran three miles. That sucks. I used to run 20 miles, right?
So again, what am I doing, I’m attaching all these negative feelings to the behavior that I want, which is running. And soon I just would eventually stop running. Well what I’ve done more recently is the exact opposite. Now I celebrate after every run. Even if I’m tired and I do a short run, I only run for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, just three miles, doesn’t matter. If I run for, y’know, ten miles, it doesn’t matter. Either way at the end I do this little celebration thing. And usually I try to make sure nobody’s around looking at me. But I just do the little first pump, y’know, the little Tiger Woods thing. I’ll go yeah, yeah, and I’ll kind of jump around a little bit, yeah, yeah. And I’ll just celebrate like I just kicked ass, I just did a great job, y’know, I went for a run, good job.
And so this funny little thing, this little psychological trick, it just sort of, it changes something in my mind. It conditions my mind to think, right, what’s happening unconsciously is my mind thinks running equals pleasure. Running equals happy. Running equals celebration. Running equals good. That’s what the programming is that’s happening kind of, y’know, unconsciously, sort of deep inside your brain. It’s simple but it’s powerful. Especially when you use it with all the other six steps first. And then the final thing is you do your little behavior, just a little, even if you do it for one minute, five minutes. And then immediately you celebrate.
The final thing is, just a few little tips to make this more powerful, the more emotion you use, the more effective this is. So if you celebrate a little bit, yay, yay, that was good, good job. Well, then you’ll get a small reinforcement and the effect will be just a little bit. It won’t be very powerful. It’ll be positive but just a little positive. If you use a lot of emotion like yeah, yeah, yeah, wow, I rock. And you’re just totally crazy about it. You pump your fist and you jump up and down and you scream. And you really let yourself feel like strong feelings of happiness and celebration, that will create much stronger conditioning, must stronger reinforcement. Which means the change will go deeper and be more permanent. And your improvement will be much faster.
Okay, so more emotional equals better results. And that’s it. That is Step 7. I’ll send you one more video just to kind of sum up, a conclusion video to review all the 7 steps and to encourage you as you start to use them in your own life. You can start, of course, by using them to improve your English. But I hope you’ll use them to make improvements in all areas of your life.
Okay, so I’ll see you for the next and final video. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

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