Life is a beautiful adventure and it would be a shame to waste it on things of little importance. If you’re finding yourself surrounded by drama, negative people or useless information, you need to cut that out of your life. It’s harsh advice and will not be comfortable but it must be done for your own long term benefit. You can only take in so much information in a given day. So if you WhatsApp 20 people the minute you wake up, get worked up about political issues in another country before scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, guess how productive you’re going to be over the course of a month?
Be The Hero
To get my attention and productivity back from the claws of procrastination I developed a little role playing game. I imagine my life as a movie in which I’m the main protagonist. It’s easy to trick yourself into thinking this. Everything you see and do everyday is already from your point of view and all your friends and family are secondary actors (who are living lives just as rich and vivid as your own).
Now we all love a film in which the hero overcomes adversity. It would be a very short movie if our hero is presented with a challenge and deals with it right away. There has to be a learning process, something to get our hero out of their comfort zone. The first steps are the most difficult but slowly and surely our hero adapts to the situation and overcomes the obstacle. The fun is in seeing how the problem resolves itself but taking that first step must be down to you and you alone.
This doesn’t just translate into creative work but exercise, relationships and everything else life throws at you can be seen as a challenge that must be overcome. Taking the first step without worrying about step 20 is key. And when finally you’re at step 20 and can jog for miles without running out of breath or are in a happy relationship you’ll wonder why you didn’t take that first step sooner. Challenge your comfort zone and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.
As I mentioned above it’s very important to cultivate information you take in on a daily basis. You may think its important to read newspapers every day, have alerts set up on your phone so you know about that crisis in Venezuela the second it happens but trust me, these are all distractions from the main objective – improving yourself. I have not watched the news in years and have managed to travel the world, run a small business and learn numerous skills that are helping me in new ways every day. Getting angry about something Donald Trump did which will have zero impact on your life is a monumental waste of energy.
“If you’re not progressing, you’re regressing – Elon Musk 2017”
I have been dabbling in Buddhism recently and it has ways of teaching you lessons using little stories and analogies that are easy to understand and apply to your own life. Instead of fighting everything try going with the flow. Imagine yourself as a piece of wood that’s been thrown into a stream. Do you try and fight and go against the current or relax and trust that the stream will take you somewhere better? The journey is long and worrying about something / someone you’re probably not going to remember in a few years is also a waste of personal time and energy.
I wrote this post because I’m finally seeing the fruits of my labour even though the seeds were planted a long time ago. When I took the first step I had no idea this is where it was going to take me but I’m grateful that I did. I paid a heavy price for changing my ways but now with the power of context I can look back over my decisions and realise that I should continue to trust my judgement and continue to challenge myself and others.
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