The Haymitch Moment
This clip is from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2.
The Hunger Games is about a revolutionary war. Katniss is a key figure in the rebel fight against the evil Snow’s autocracy.
Here we see Katniss being bandaged up after her bullet proof vest has saved her when she was shot. Her mentor Haymitch tells her that he wants her to talk to Peeta.
If you are unfamiliar with the story, all you need to know for the purposes of this discussion is that things are very complicated and painful for Katniss when it comes to Peeta - but that it is essential that she speak to him.
This clip is a powerful example of a certain type of internal resistance that just about everybody faces when they make an important change that matters to them.
I call this The Haymitch Moment because we all need to hear his tough love sometimes.
Katniss is super brave, but where she is so relatable is that she has a very fixed idea of what bravery is.
You can see she is willing to risk her life for the rebel cause, and indeed Peeta. But she does not want to talk to him right now for reasons that are too complicated and plot spoilery to explain.
“I really don’t want to” protests Katniss.
“It doesn’t matter what you want. This is for Peeta” counters Haymitch without batting an eyelid.
Katniss does what he says because she knows he is right. In going to talk to him, she explands her definition of bravery to include Important Things I Really, Really Don’t Want To Do.
ITIRRDWTD doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but it is one of the most invaluable life skills you can learn.
Over To You
Like Katniss, we all have certain fixed ideas of the challenges we must accept in order to achieve an important change.
Along the way, we encounter challenges that fall outside these fixed ideas. For whatever reason, we protest against them.
Sometimes it is your Inner Food Rebel demanding proper nutrition and the right to treat yourself as an adult.
Sometimes the challenge is too much. I remember signing up to car maintenance classes when I started driving. The teacher may as well have talking Vulcan because my mind is not an engineering one! I was clueless.
But many times, you need to recognise that this is a Haymitch moment.
A moment where it doesn’t matter what you want. This is for your future.
The only work is feel the resistance and do it anyway.
Ideas For Implementing ITIRRDWTD
A good exercise to help you access that Haymitch tough love within yourself is to get clear on why you are tolerating the discomfort.
What is the bigger win?
Why are you making this change anyway?
Get more specific than just ‘your future’.
The Good News
Accepting Haymitch’s challenge and doing the thing anyway is a skill. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
This is why kids hate brushing their teeth and we adults don’t even think about how boring it is. We have just had lots more practise!
Make It Easier
Another good in to start implementing the spirit of Haymitch is to reduce the challenge. Greater minds than mine, such as BJ Fogg (Tiny Habits) and James Clear (Atomic Habits) recommend just committing to making yourself do a small thing like lay out your yoga mat the night before, do 2 press ups.
I am a big fan of experimenting with every new change. It is not something to be good at initally. This, like the 2 press ups, calms down your Inner Rebel and gives them less to fight.
IMPORTANT! There will come a time when you have to immerse yourself in the Haymitch tough love and embrace the discomfort. In sessions we can discuss at what point you graduate from making things easier to just do the damn thing already.