If you want to create the life you want - and I mean really do it this time - you need to know your hooks. A hook is a predictable behaviour or thought pattern that distracts you from moving towards your goals. It works like this: each time you take a step towards creating the life you want, something “hooks you” and veers you off your path. There is usually a pattern – we tend to get hooked by the same stuff repeatedly. By understanding your hooks, you can catch them before they drag you down, and you can make a choice that steers you in a more fulfilling direction. Here are the most common hooks:
- People Pleasers. This hook takes you down a path that is great for other people, but not for you. Because you are trying to please other people, you make choices based on what you think other people want or expect from you, or based on what you think you SHOULD do. End result? Highly respectable and miserable person.
- Money, Status, Power – This is an elusive one because many people don’t realize it is a hook. Here, you are hooked by people, jobs and situations which have the intrigue or possibility of money, status, and power at the expense of something that is truly fulfilling to you. When you go for the money, status, or power repeatedly it takes you down the wrong path. That is, you don’t create a life that fits with your best self, or values.
- It's such a great opportunity! - In simple terms this is the "can't say no" syndrome, or "let me see if can do more in the next ten minutes then most people try to accomplish in a life time." Here, just the idea of missing out on an opportunity hooks you. The downside? If you say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, you are probably going to be fat, stressed, and joyless.
- Perfectionism – In society, we pretend that being a perfectionist is a great thing. A good safe answer about your weaknesses in a job interview is, “Oh, I am such a perfectionist.” But this hook sucks. When you try to do everything perfect, you immobilize yourself. You take on too much, don’t delegate enough, and you get less done. End result? Big distraction from doing what truly fulfills you.