How to Defy Gravity

If you bounce a ball, the trajectory is a series of smaller bounces. The ball hits the earth with a smack and then bounces half as high as the time before. Over and over again, depending on what the ball is made of, until it comes to rest. Gravity has a stifling effect.

Many of you who go out and try to impact the world in your own unique way are made of some pretty bouncy material. The first few smacks against the ground don’t take much out of you. Eventually, though, you too can find yourself down for the count, having lost the momentum of that first extraordinarily high leap.

Success is facing up to a no-win situation and winning anyway.”
– Unknown

“Social gravity” applies more to some of us than others. It is made up of social constructs about how one attains success and what success means:

  1. If you try to do something different, you’re probably going to fail.
  2. If you make a mistake, it is about you and your abilities.
  3. If you’re young, you shouldn’t suggest you have knowledge or abilities to share.
  4. If you’re old, you’re out of touch.
  5. If you don’t succeed, you’re a failure.
  6. If you don’t make $XXX,XXX, you must be miserable.

Groupthink is about fear and preventing pain. It is the culmination of every possible projected anxiety in order to mitigate risk. But true success flies in the face of social gravity:

The biggest hurdle between you and future wealth is mindset: You must believe that your most valuable assets are your own experience, smarts, and potential. And you must be prepared to risk it. The biggest risk of all? That you play it too safe.”
– Stan Davis

So how do you defy gravity and bounce higher after each “check-in” with solid ground? What causes some to build momentum from each crash until they defy all of our expectations and define their own reality?

The environment is the same. The difference is what you have on the inside:


Take the challenge. Take 21 days and change your internal chemistry:

  • Identify 3 new things you’re grateful for each day
  • Journal about an experience you were grateful for at the end of each day
  • Exercise every day
  • Meditate every day
  • Send out positivity to others through random acts of kindness

Define your own limits and expectations. Most importantly, be happy now so that each day is a success that feeds your growth, productivity, and future achievements.

If you want to learn more, check out Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, which might find itself on a Free Book Friday giveaway in the near future.

What fuels you after a hard fall? Share your tips on defying social gravity.


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