Day 4

Video transcription

In yesterday’s video I talked about the idea that whilst we experience ourselves a single cohorent “self” we are in fact made up of a number of “selves”. Collectively these selves make up a kind of community of selves and like many communities, these selves are non infrequently in conflict with one another. The critical feature of a community or of an effective team is a complementary set of skills and the coordination and cooperation of the team members.

Now, obviously different configurations of teams produce different outcomes. When it comes to building new habits there are 4 core team members that are required. I call them your 4 heroes, and they each bring an essential and complementary set of capabilities to the task of building a habit. Let me introduce you to them.

They are your Master, your Witness, your Hacker, and your Grunt. Each of the heroes is as important as any other. We perhaps have some unconscious social values that might make you jump to the conclusion that for instance the Master is more important than the Grunt. But try and ignore those associations, and believe me when I tell you that they are all equal and essential, and also largely useless without one another.

Today I’m only going to very briefly speak about each hero. If this initial introduction feels a little abstract, please bear with me. We will speak in more detail about each hero in the coming days, and as we do how they usefully relate to your habit building project will become clearer.

The first hero is the Master. The Master’s primary job is to ask and answer the question “What is important?”. There is no fundamental or universal answer to this question. There is only you, and this moment, and the answer to that question. Of course everyone has an opinion on that, but the final authority always rests with your Master.

The second hero is the Witness. The Witness’s primary job is to ask the question “What’s going on?”. The witness as his or her name suggests is your eyes, your ears, and your emotions. The Witness tells us where we are and how we feel about that. Without the Witness we are deaf, dumb, blind, emotionally numb, and lost.

The third hero is the Hacker. Your hacker is your problem solver. Every moment of every single habit building project is unique. The key variable is you and your specific desires, strengths, beliefs, and learning edges. So there is no manual or book about how you specifically can build the habit you want to build from where you are now. You need someone on your team to help you to continually problem solve and design different ways of reaching your goal. That’s the role of the Hacker.

And the fourth hero is the Grunt. The grunt is where the rubber meets the road. The Grunt takes his or her lead from the Hacker, and puts the plan into action. Nothing happens in the world without the grunt. His or her role is about sweat and effort and service and sacrifice. The Grunt is your “working in” hero. He or she needs a lot of love because its not an easy hero to be.

In the next few days we will cover each of the heroes in more detail. For now I hope it might start to stimulate your awareness about the internal conflicts that are playing out in your habit building drama and to reflect on what you may be finding helpful about working with that. This is the role of the Self author that I briefly spoke about yesterday.

But until tomorrow, go well.