As the scrawny kid in school, I all but gave up on the idea of putting on mass. One day, my friend and I were looking at t-shirts and I made a quip about buying a baggy one to hide my arms.

My friend said, “No, dude! You have funky forearms. You should show them off. And you should keep working them out as well. Next time you get up in the morning, just do a few push-ups.”

That conversation took place over 12 years ago. Since then, I've put on over 20kg’s of muscle and continue to follow a strict workout regimen. 

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, my friend did two very powerful things in that little speech. The first was that he gave me hope, by shrinking the change ("You're already on the right path and making progress"), and the second was that he pre-loaded a habit ("When this happens, just do that..."). This removes the burden of decision-making and provides an easy path forward.  

When perpetuating bright spots and teaching good behaviors, you will inevitably engender fear and resistance. All change does that. It seems difficult and scary to people. But you can get higher levels of performance out of the fearfully resistant by shrinking the change and pre-loading a behavioural habit. 

Brilliance needn't be a mountain. Shrink the change, and preload a specific behavioural habit. 

Aim energy in the right direction, and the results could make you the greatest in your game. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional speaker and business author. Sign up for this newsletter, From Amateur to Expert, at