Starting from scratch: the Laurel and Hardy strategy

Who I am
Joe Dispenza

Author and references

Starting from scratch is not easy, but with the right approach you can finally change your life, without always finding yourself at the same starting point.

“In life you don't have to look for yourself: you have to create yourself."

G.B. Shaw.

Many of us wish we could start from scratch, making a clean sweep of the months that have just passed. Yet, the new starts often disappoint us: good intentions that we abandon after a few weeks, ambitious goals that we rewrite identical every year, healthy habits to which we abdicate the first "who cares".

In short, we are the artists of the new beginnings, but we remain perpetually trapped in a mediocre life, waiting for next Monday, the next first of the month or next January 1st. If you too live in this limbo where nothing seems to change (despite your best efforts), don't repeat the same mistake: adopt a different strategy, adopt the Laurel and Hardy strategy.

Laurel and Hardy: the perfect couple to start from scratch

André, by now I've made the callus with your daring metaphors, but tell me what the min *** does Laurel and Hardy have to do with my desire to start from scratch ?!

Laurel and Hardy were a famous American comedy duo of the 30s. Ollio, played by actor Oliver Hardy, was the big man who played the role of "Augustus". Laurel, played by actor Stan Laurel, was instead the frail little man who played the role of the "White Clown".

Many of their sketches have accompanied me throughout my childhood, and whenever I happen to see them again, I find myself in a good mood. By the way, do you remember this?

Cute, right? But let's not get distracted: if I'm not mistaken, we were talking about new starts and a strategy to live them effectively: Laurel and Hardy strategy.

The Laurel and Hardy strategy

I thought back to the American comedy duo just a few days ago, responding to a comment to this article. Marco he asked me how to “get up”, how to find the strength to start from scratch. In my experience, when we wish to have a fresh start, it is imperative to leverage one "Pair" of elements; it was at this point that I thought of the metaphor of Laurel and Hardy. In fact, to start from scratch we need:

  • A "big" goal (Ollio). Without a purpose, an ambitious goal that gives us direction, we will never make a real change in our life. To start over, we therefore need “Ollio”: a “big” medium-long term goal that is a source of inspiration and motivation for us.
  • A "little" habit (Laurel). Having a very ambitious goal is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a new beginning: if we really want to change our life, we must intervene on our daily habits. That's why we need "Laurel": a little habit that helps us, every day, to get closer to our goal.

Laurel and Hardy had enormous success in the 30s precisely because their duo was inseparable and super-proven: alone they would never have worked, but as a couple they achieved global success. If you really want to change your life, you need to understand that the same goes for target ed habits.

If until now you have not been able to realize your desire to make a radical change in your life, it is most likely because you have intervened on only one element of the goal-habits "couple": maybe you have tried to establish a new habit, but without fully understanding what goal / need this new habit was supposed to satisfy. Or, conversely, you've given yourself a obiettivo very ambitious, but without making it concrete through a habit to be repeated daily.

Don't repeat the same mistake in the new year: define your goal "Ollio" and your habit "Laurel" today. Have no idea where to start? Here are some practical tips.

How to define your "Ollio" goal

To start from scratch, you must first have one direction towards which to strive. Your goal "Ollio" must provide you with this direction and the motivation needed to reach the goal. Yes, well Andre, nice words, but I don't have the faintest idea what my "big" goal is! To define your "Ollio" goal, follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Find your "constants". In our life there are constants that characterize and characterize us. These constants can be our particular talent, our passion or a childhood dream. Never underestimate these constants: if and when you manage to find the connection between them, you will finally understand what your role is in this world (if this is a question that has haunted you for a while: you must read this post).

2. Imagine yourself in 5 years. Looking back on my life in perspective, I realized that I have lived through cycles of 5-6 years. For me, this time frame represents the ideal duration to define an “Ollio” goal. Just in this month of December I finished one of my cycles and I am defining who I want to be and where I want to be in 5 years. Who will you be? Where you will live? What will you have achieved? If you want to create a new life, you must first imagine it in detail: the Law of Attraction it's bullshit, but the basic principle is correct and ... it works ;-)

3. Apply the "CPC" rule. Do you remember when I explained to you how to define a goal? If you really want to achieve your "Ollio" goal, define now: Cwhat do you want to get, Pwhy do you want to get it e Chow do you intend to do it.

If you have really found an “Ollio” goal, you will feel exploding with the desire to make it happen. This discharge of motivation it is very powerful, but alone it is not enough to reach your goal. You need a "Laurel" habit ...

How to define your "Laurel" habit

An “Ollio” goal gives you a goal to aim for, a direction to follow, but if you really want to get there, you have to have a “Stanlio” habit. Here's how to find it and put it into practice:

1. Find the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. There are three types of habits: good habits, or habits that are good for us and give us pleasure (eg. meditate). Bad habits, or habits that are good for us but, at least at the beginning, cost us effort (eg. wake up early in the morning). Bad habits, or habits that hurt us, but give us pleasure (e.g. smoking). To achieve your “Ollio” goal, you will necessarily have to practice a good habit more, establish a bad habit, or eliminate a bad habit. Find this habit and you will be on horseback.

2. Committed for 30 days. Personal growth is not a perfect science: you always have to try, make mistakes and adjust the game. Once you have identified your “Laurel” habit, commit to practicing it for 30 days. In these 30 days you will have to suspend all judgments; go as it goes, you will have to follow your habit every day, without ever straying. It's only 30 days - you can do it. At the end of the trial month you will be able to evaluate the results obtained and decide whether to continue or try a new habit. Remember: you need to focus only on progress and evaluate the results at the end of the test.

3. Get started. What excites us about an "Ollio" goal is that it is so far in time that we will certainly be able to achieve it: after all, our future "I" is a kind of superhero capable of performing any feat. The problem is that you live with your "I" present, yes, that's right: the slacker who spends his days fooling around on social media. If you want to accomplish your “Laurel” goal, you must start practicing your “Laurel” habit today: not next Monday, not the first of the month, not January 1st. Now, just finished reading this post. Fuck the Procrastination.


Every day, every moment, we are given the opportunity to start from scratch, but as Seneca reminds us in his letter to Lucilius, every day we die a little: today do not waste this opportunity. Identify your goal, define your habit, but above all give meaning to your life. Have a good week. GetPersonalGrowth.

"Start doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you'll find yourself doing the impossible."

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