5 Hacks for Changing Your Programming

working on laptop

5 Hacks for Changing Your Programming

Have you ever wished you could hack into a human and override the current operating system? Some of you who are parents can identify. There are times when it would be great to bypass the part that causes the 2-year-old to throw a tantrum or the teen to rebel. We might not admit it, but there are times when we even want to change the programming of our spouse. “If he would just take out the garbage, do the dishes, or take me on a date.”

The whole thought of hacking a human is scary and intriguing at the same time. There have been countless sci-fi and horror movies where someone has been taken over by an alien using them as a host or is under some mind-altering influence.

It is probably a good thing that we can’t hack the core programming of someone else. That whole personal choice thing is a bit sacred. But what if we could hack our own programming? Of course, the answer is that we can. We all have the power to change.

Here Are 5 Hacks for Changing Your Own Programming:

  1. Make sure that YOU genuinely want to change. Too often, we attempt to change because someone else wants us to. Sometimes we agree or know we should change but have yet to internalize the desire. If you know it is the right thing but feel a lack of commitment, take the time and effort to convince yourself. What are the top ten reasons why I WANT to make this change? Internalizing the benefits helps us get on the right track and stay there. Keep those reasons in front of you until you own them.
  2. OWN your shortcomings. Stop blaming others. We formulate so many excuses. “I would stop yelling at my kids if they just listened.” “I would be on time for work if I didn’t have to travel through that high-traffic area with train tracks.” “If only my kids would stop pushing my buttons, I would not get so angry.” “I would advance in my career if only my boss would give me the training, opportunities, or recognition I deserve.” Are these things really the roadblock? Often, they are just excuses for our shortcomings. We must make a conscious decision to own our path. Where we are right now, our personal traits, our growth, our being stuck, our bad attitude, and our low self-esteem may have been influenced by others, but the way to change is ours and ours alone.
  3. FLOOD your mind with the right things. One of our most basic freedoms is to control our thoughts. Nobody can infringe upon this. Interestingly, controlling our thoughts is not as difficult as it might seem. Vladimir Savchuk says it very simply, “What you feed your mind with becomes your mindset.” I have found that the single best thing to do when I am having trouble with negativity, frustration, or just feeling stuck is to fill my mind with good things. In fact, filling the mind to overflowing with the right stuff is the most powerful thing available to create a mind shift. Listen to, read, and watch things that are first positive and second will take you toward your goal for change. If I want to become a better father reading a book on Fatherhood will help me change my mindset. To be a better leader, I should fill my mind with everything leadership. How much time am I spending training my brain to be the person that I want to be?
  4. PUSH out the negativity. Often, we just don’t realize how much of our thoughts are occupied by negativity. Take an inventory of what you feed your mind and how much time you spend on it. Is the drive-time radio helping you be more positive? Is that Netflix series helping you walk toward your goal? Is social media an uplifting experience that makes you better? Are those video games a positive influence? We are an entertainment culture, and we often excuse our choices as just a way to decompress or relax. However, so much of our entertainment is negative and anger-inducing. If you really want to hack your own programming, change your entertainment. This is tough stuff because entertainment has often become a habit. After things settle down every night, watching that crime drama is a habit. Is it a positive influence? Is it moving me toward my goal? What better way could I grow and learn? Resist the negative and assist the positive!
  5. Change the way you TALK. Flooding our minds with positivity often impacts how we talk, but sometimes the old habits die hard. It may take a conscious effort to move the way we speak away from criticism and self-deprecation. As David says in Proverbs,  “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Catch yourself when tempted to speak negatively about someone else. Stop yourself from stating the negative side of the issue. Leave that to someone else. Instead, be the “how-can-we” person. Be the change embracer instead of the change crusher! Begin to see the positive in others and be the encourager who notices what people are doing.

We often get caught up in the busyness of our day and our problems and just want to crash when we get home. Before we know it, we are in that stressed-out cycle that escalates negativity. Fortunately, we have the power to hack our own minds and make a change!

Make these growth hacks a habit, and just see where they take you!