So you want a more exciting live and you can’t stop moaning about it, but somehow your life doesn’t seem to be going in that positive direction…in fact, any direction. Your marasmic daily routine feels like an invisibly low dose intake of toxins, which kills your drive and ambition to reach higher.
The world is full of so many talkers, and so few doers. And you also just keep being that talker, a passive participant of this marionette dance.
What’s exactly the cause of this?
Few days ago I read Oliver Emberton’s post on Quora, which explains the core of my frustrations (and not only mine I guess). Ready to discover America? Here we go:
People never want to do one thing at the time. We want to do all the things. We simultaneously want to exercise and to learn Spanish and to go out for pizza. Our desires are countless, independent agents, working to nudge our beach ball in their own selfish direction.
And so usually, that ball is going nowhere. It’s controlled more by the terrain than by the will of what’s inside it.
This is how most people live their lives. We feel endlessly conflicted. We never have enough time. And what happens to us is stronger than our ability to combat it.
Our brains behave like a beach ball filled with bees. Hundreds of conflicting impulses, pushing us in different directions.
I come back home from work and I want to finish Zero to One book I’ve bought almost three months ago (together with many others waiting to be read: Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, The Trouble With Billionaires, The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa (Sorry Magda!!), that Game of Thrones (haven’t seen the movie/series yet but want to know what’s this fuss all about), Dead Aid: Why Aid Makes Things Worse, Crossing the Chasm and many many more.) At the same time I want to seriously immerse myself into acrylic and oil painting which I haven’t done for years (I am not an artist, but seeing blank canvas coming alive gives me a satisfaction ersatz.) I want to write more articles and share with others my silly thoughts, but then I think exactly this – they are too silly and I’m fighting with not writing at all. I have created at least 20 drafts of the various articles but there is always something preventing me from gathering all the arguments on one go and posting the article the same day.
And then there is this new movie in the cinema I wanted to see. And this amazing restaurant I wanted to try. Again another friend turning 30th bday? Should I stay or should I go? Och, fly4free.com has another amazing offer for the destination unknown. If only I wasn’t holiday time and money limited (day-job a.ka creativity prison scarcity), I would have travelled 10x more than I’m doing now. I also want to socialise with people. I love being in the centre of attention to create a direction for other people’s good moments. I want to collect all these Hangover-alike stories to share them later during subtly boozy business meetings for an introduction to something serious and meaningful (Share your intimate story and I will share mine).
I’m not even mentioning all these painful moments of working on my personal business projects Evoque and Amuse (that’s my highest priority).
When I close my eyes and fall asleep at the end of the day, it often feels like a Sisyphean restart into the Tabula Rasa mode. What I’ve built today (even if only in my mind) will feel like nothing tomorrow. But the day is not too short (like some people complain) – the problem lays in how and where we distribute our time.
I feel like the main character in Memento movie – everyday I need to start again from scratch to build something substantial. I need to to go through the motions with my day job, I promise myself to be as much productive as I can after work, then I go home and fuck up everything. I can barely focus on the right thing. What the hell is the right thing anyway? There are SO MANY RIGHT THINGS I should have been doing right NOW. It’s the intentional AD/HD mixed with sounds of AC/DC coming from the background to give me a kick. I want to do EVERYTHING at the same time and end up with quasi-null results (I’m still far better off than most of other people who focus on trivial, valueless tasks = killing their time in awaiting for the known and boring = watching TV while awaiting for the dinner at X time, getting up to work at XY time and awaiting for its finish etc.).
Sometimes it just gets too much and I get completely lost. I don’t know what I should do next so I shuffle my tasks like my old Winamp song list.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” ― Pablo Picasso
Damn, I need to focus. Eliminate bitter nothings and other distractions to the minimum. I’ve started with saying more often no to meeting people who are not worth my time. To the ones whom I gave my precious time in the past and the ones who disappointed me in return. I keep avoiding to meet you up? There you go.
I will always find time for a quality conversation and endless laugh. I always give credit of trust upfront. Would you spend it on candies somewhere else?
I know where I’m going, I just don’t know how I’m going to get there. If you are dragging me away from my goal, you are out. If I ever crossed paths with you and invited you to share my crazily bold and intensely amusing world to grow together, and you simply ignored that chance – well.. your loss. Many people I meet tell me that this biting tongue of mine will make me lots of enemies but those who will stay, will stay for good.
Step 1: People filtering – check.
Step 2: Inspiring atmosphere to create – initiated.
If your workplace is sucking your energy, drowning your motivation, then you should run Lola, run. Obviously change won’t happen instantly, but you should start planning to move into something better (for you).
My bosses know I don’t belong to their company and will never do, as I aspire for something different. Since we are all clear, I can’t waste their and my time. Amuse & Evoque – it’d better kick off and it’d better happen soon.
Unproductive productivity tips
I know that reading another article after article about how to improve my productivity won’t help. (The only exception I would recommend is Getting Things Done by David Allen). I can’t wait for the perfect moment/inspiration because it will never arrive. I need to create my own breakthrough moment. The time was and is NOW.
Your case is the same. Instead of having constant mind haemorrhoids, you need to cool down and ask yourself what is the most important for you at THIS point of your life, and based on that prioritise the work that needs to be done.
Learning a language or becoming fit takes months if not years, building a startup it’s even more frustrating as the chances it will turn successful are minimal. It may feel for long that there is no progress and it is a damn killing feeling. To prevent burning out before the real show begins, you need to intersperse activities which bring you almost instant satisfaction (hence I restarted painting) with these which take long to see the first results.
There is no golden mean for balancing these things, but decomposing big goals into small, achievable and conceivable milestones always does the trick.
And this is how we should all roll.