The lady who cut my hair 4 weeks ago was this very curvy latino, M. Rodreguez(yeah I can’t let you start searching for her full name). Why won’t I forget? Well, she was very curvy. I had never gotten a haircut from a woman not to talk about a toothsome latino. So I was hoping and hoping she would be the one to cut my hair.  And she did! Oh, and she gave me her card. It was the Walmart, Southside Orlando(if you ever go there and you meet her, say Seye sent you, maybe get a discount too). I felt good. That whole day, I was on fire crushing my deliverables.

Two days later, the woman-effect worn out, I told myself I would no longer cut my hair for $15 but get a $15 clipper to cut my hair myself.

Two weeks ago, I saw two Mexicans by the side of the road holding a card that read, ’cut your hair for $10’.  Since I hadn’t gotten the clipper yet, it was a good idea to cut my hair here.  This time, I wasn’t seated in a room with heavy-hipped latino women. I was in a shop with about 10 despacito-looking fine boys waiting for their turn on the barber’s chair. I left this shop confident in my looks and also confident in my ability to conquer the world– the same feeling I get when I drink a good coffee brew.

I finished cutting my hair and felt like a million bucks – like two weeks ago, like a month ago, like all the times I have cut my hair. Anything around me that wasn’t well arranged or dirty had to face my wrath directly. I become so organized, my calendar appointments etc

I’d tell you a story I recently read– Henry Stanley, the guy who mapped the Congo river around the 1870s, set out with 228 men for this expedition. It took them 999 days to complete and 114 men survived after the others died from malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, and battles with natives.

Henry Stanley’s story would have been a very inspirational story if the story was just about how he kept pushing his laborers to work in the middle of all the adversity. You know, the natives were so impressed with his willpower that they called him the Bulamatari, translated, the breaker of rocks.

But his story was more inspirational to me when I heard about his daily routine- one that had a huge impact on his will: He shaved every day!

You may have read that last statement and thought, ‘okay? Big deal!?’ has an excellent article about him, Henry Morten Stanley’s Unbreakable Will.

But let me explain. His shaving every day may have been huge motivational cues. While they faced sicknesses and despair, fights in the middle of the jungle,  his facial appearance was the cue that kept his chin up. This is because we tend to associate certain cues with certain mindsets.  Shaving put Henry Stanley away from the pool of negativity that surrounded him and put him in one of discipline. Remember when I talked about how falling in love helped me be a better person?

Smithsionian, went on to describe this situation-  Imagine, for a moment, that you are Stanley early one morning. You emerge from your tent in the Ituri rain forest. It’s dark. It has been dark for months. Your stomach, long since ruined by parasites, recurrent diseases and massive doses of quinine and other medicines, is in even worse shape than usual. You and your men have been reduced to eating berries, roots, fungi, grubs, caterpillars, ants and slugs—when you’re lucky enough to find them. Dozens of people were so crippled—from hunger, disease, injuries and festering sores—that they had to be left behind at a spot in the forest grimly referred to as Starvation Camp. You’ve taken the healthier ones ahead to look for food, but they’ve been dropping dead along the way, and there’s still no food to be found. But as of this morning, you’re still not dead. Now that you’ve arisen, what do you do?

For Stanley, this was an easy decision: shave. As his wife, Dorothy Tennant, whom he married in 1890, would later recall: “He had often told me that, on his various expeditions, he had made it a rule, always to shave carefully. In the Great Forest, in ‘Starvation Camp,’ on the mornings of battle, he had never neglected this custom, however great the difficulty.”

Why would somebody starving to death insist on shaving? Jeal said, “Stanley always tried to keep a neat appearance—with clothes, too—and set great store by the clarity of his handwriting, by the condition of his journals and books, and by the organization of his boxes.” He added, “The creation of order can only have been an antidote to the destructive capacities of nature all around him.” Stanley himself once said, according to his wife, “I always presented as decent an appearance as possible, both for self-discipline and for self-respect.”

You might think the energy spent shaving in the jungle would be better devoted to looking for food. But Stanley’s belief in the link between external order and inner self-discipline has been confirmed recently in studies. In one experiment, a group of participants answered questions sitting in a nice neat laboratory, while others sat in the kind of place that inspires parents to shout, “Clean up your room!” The people in the messy room scored lower self-control, such as being unwilling to wait a week for a larger sum of money as opposed to taking a smaller sum right away. When offered snacks and drinks, people in the neat lab room more often chose apples and milk instead of the candy and sugary colas preferred by their peers in the pigsty.

Does my hair cut story resonate with you?

This trick will get you motivated immediately

To get yourself up when your motivation battery is dead, try to identify any of the cues that get you pumped. Is it taking a shower, cutting your hair, wearing fresh/new clothes, is it making your bed, whatever this keystone habit is, use it to your advantage. Try to stick to this habit every day, you will also build up willpower.

In an upcoming post, I write about how I have personally been able to train my willpower, how I keep myself in check throughout the day and a tool that has dramatically increased my productivity!