Ways to Shed Today's BS
(The following is taken from a limited release ebook by author Trebor Doyle, and modified, with permission.)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to not waste your life.
At a very young age I was enthralled by Biblical wisdom and self-help books. After a few years, I had an experience with my then father-in-law (for this story, I'll call him Dan) that made me think differently about self-help books. Dan encouraged reading these books too. However, one day he made sure to share something with me he had read in one of his brilliant books.
Dan (speaking with overkill on the fake wisdom): I read that there is a difference between acting and reacting. When something happens, we should pause, then act, not react.
Me (young and stupid and trying to tolerate Dan): Oh.
What Dan was trying to get across, was that it is important for us to not initiate movement that we might regret. We should pause, then act appropriately. Dan put an emphasis on act, don't react because it was, at best, a clever way of saying something. For me it was ridiculous because it focused on shallow semantics. Why waste time getting all caught up in what you call something? I mean, if you pause after an event, then choose to call your action acting instead of reacting, aren't you still reacting? Of course you are, because you wouldn't be acting if it weren't for the catalyst in the first place.
This was perhaps the first time I discovered that humans like to sound smarter than they are by merely figuring out different ways to say things. From that day on I was frequently reminded that most of what is in self-help books is fluff and just cute or trendy ways to say something that has already been established, is common sense, or is simply logical.
Other fluff, aka: BS, many times comes from the world of psychology. I truly love psychology, especially when it helps others see within themselves and dissect “Why”. Psychology can do remarkable things; reaching deep into the heart of matters to find solutions. On the other hand, it helps no one to come up with a cute or trendy method or quote in order to look smart.
For example, how many times have you heard something like the following:
“Nobody can make you feel that way.”
“People can't make you feel anything unless you give them permission.”
“Only you control your feelings.”
First, if you are a loving or caring person, circumstances and people can and WILL have influence on your feelings. Second, that same counselor that tells you, “Oh, no...only you have authority over your feelings” will turn right around at your next appointment and ask: “How did that make you feel?”
Right? You know that's right.
I contend this bologna is perpetuated to appease our hearts and anxious minds. It's dealing only with the symptoms. Fluffy talk may help someone feel better, but I wonder how many times the underlying issue goes untouched.
As an over-protected child, I was lonely. My parents were older and tired, and there was mental and physical abuse in the house. Add to these the fact that I was a chubby, backward boy, I was one withdrawn lad for sure. The seclusion meant that I got really good at entertaining myself, but my introverted character led me to feel like something was wrong with me because everyone else seemed different. If I wasn't inside the house, in my most comfortable space, I literally walked around scared and shy all the time. It took me way too long to learn how to interact with others. Heck, I was twenty-something before I ever kissed a girl.
All this I say to reach others, so they may shamelessly relate. We introverts get pretty good at introspection and figuring things out, don't we?
This book isn't just for us quieter types, however. In certain circumstances, I can actually be fairly outgoing. Motorcycle touring, for instance, provides me not only with an escape, but with a sense that I am going somewhere. We all pretty much like the feeling we are getting somewhere in life (provided we have figured out where to go). Giving attention to too many forks in the and too many dead-end distractions wastes time. Therefore, this book is for anyone wanting to cut some fat, get somewhere in life, and be successful. Anything this book leaves unsaid, will be up to you.
I dedicate this book to the one life you have to live. Rid your life of distractions and fluff that can lead to regret. May you choose carefully, so that nothing gets in your way of your success.
"Being still, being silent, and meditating have their place, but are overrated. More times than not, it is action that precipitates enlightenment. Movement, especially doing a craft in which one is accustomed, provides insight to one's life and situation."
We all have it, and our value DOES NOT depend on others and it surely does not rely on a collective. Period. Many equate success with belonging to a group or club. In fact, I've seen some people who would totally be lost if they didn't have a “group” to attach their identity to. I'm not demonizing clubs or groups, but it can be unhealthy when a person depends on that club or group too much for self-esteem or value. People that do, rob themselves, because they ignore what they are capable of as an individual as they defer their actions to that of the large number. Some put too much stock in how they measure up to some artificial, man-made scale or measurement. Furthermore, today's prevailing attitudes seem to make it more difficult for a person to stray from the crowd. Mob-think isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you want to rid yourself of distractions, you must be willing to stray from the sheep and what is many times popular. Be prepared for rejection and bear in mind, if you stay true to yourself, it is YOU who will win in the end.
"The road less traveled still has fruit on the trees."
For the Perfectionist.
Feel as if you are continuously fighting battles to complete lists or projects, but have a hard time because it has to be just right? Attention to detail is a plus, but the perfectionist in you can also cause procrastination. First, stop being overly critical. Keep a sense of humor about things. If you are too serious or picky about your work, it could cause you to quit early or live in frustration.
A man named Foree (real name) once gave me great advice:
1. Read yourself full.
2. Pray yourself strong.
3. Let yourself go.
In this context it means to prepare and learn all you can, be strong, then let yourself go. Remember that you have your own unique character. Let it go. People want to see original. In most cases they respect it, even if they don't agree with something you do. Remember, you usually have time to “polish” the end result or product before calling it done. That has helped me immensely.
If you have no perfectionist in you, ask yourself if you really want to be doing whatever it is. Are you taking enough pride in your work, and do you really care to put out quality?
“It isn’t the thing you do dear, it’s the thing you leave undone,
which gives you a bit of a heartache at the setting of the sun.”
The Dead Horse of Altruism.
It is a huge mistake to think we all exist on this earth to simply help others. While this is not the definition of altruism, this is the prevailing attitude in many circles who think this is it's definition. Therefore, they claim altruism and self-sacrifice as the moral high ground. There is nothing wrong with helping others, if it is our personal choice to do so; but to say it is our purpose? To say we must sacrifice our life for others in order to live morally? No.
By saying our purpose is to help others, we are saying two things.
1. That other people should focus their life on helping me.
2. That we have no reason for our life except for serving others.
If along our path we find someone that we can truly assist, encourage, push or enable to move along under the power of their own will, great. Many times however, “helping” turns into, “doing for”. Is this really good for the recipient? In a situation where we end up doing something for someone, are they better off than before? Not usually. We are each here to live our own life, and figure out our own place and reason for living. This is not selfish. This is being responsible and respecting the importance of an individual. If you don't believe we have a reason for existing, then you can at least get behind the idea that we each have purpose within us. If you can't manage to do that, then again; why are you wasting your life helping others since they have no purpose?
Finally, we are not talking about acts of heroism. There is a time when caution gets thrown to the wind in order to save another. To say it is your purpose to sacrifice life for others, also means you believe it is moral for you to expect another to live for you. This is not and will never be the moral high ground. This is slavery.
Shed the Myth of Controlled Chaos
This popular ridiculousness is repeated over and over by people of every walk. I wonder if they are saying it to provide an excuse if things fail amid the “craziness”, or to convince themselves or others they are attempting to keep a handle on things.
Really, it really doesn't matter why someone says this. There is no such thing as controlled
chaos. Webster's dictionary defines chaos as: n. complete disorder. So what about disorder is controlled? What about chaos is controlled? Nothing. Disorder is the lack or order. You may be saying, “But surely you know what the person is trying to convey when they say controlled chaos!”
No, I don't.
“They are trying to say things are busy but they are managing it.”
When one is trying to move ahead with goals and be successful, it can be a dangerous
thing to use “controlled chaos” to describe a situation. We tell ourselves a lot with the words we
I also realize that yes, life happens. The unfortunate catastrophe or unscheduled bump in the road is not what I'm referring to. I am speaking of defaulting to or preferring chaos as a natural occurrence. Logically, it would be best to prefer a structured or disciplined method, right? Having your life in order used to be an admired trait.
One cannot manage chaos, one can only try to gain control of it with much effort. The effort it takes to get a handle on chaos is much more than it takes to have a method or system in place to begin with. Since chaos is disorder, imagine how much time you can give yourself by having a system in place. I am trying to avoid using the word organization because it seems many actually resent the word, but being organized is not a bad thing. If, on a consistent basis, your life seems to be a chaotic mess, ask yourself how many situations could be avoided by even a little method.
Always misplacing keys?
Have a sacred spot to always put your essentials. Wallet, cell, keys, anything can go there.
Trouble locating important papers you remember seeing just yesterday?
Create a bin or box, then label maybe five or six folders with the most important topics you consistently deal with. When you have, say, a note from school, read it...make a note....mark a date on your calendar....whatever; then put this note in the corresponding folder right then.
Some of you may be thinking this whole topic is trivial. There is no big tip here. How many of you lose things on a daily basis? How many have a perpetual stack of miscellaneous papers from who-knows-where? You may not have a lot of time to be organized “right now”.... but do you really have time to be in chaos?
Yes, emergencies will arise, but seldom. Too many people seem to thrive on how chaotic they can make their days. Their attitude is one in which they don't feel productive unless there is confusion and disorder in the day's activities.
“I was going to do this but this happened.”
“I planned on it, but this came up.”
“I was on my way but had to do this other thing.”
I shake my head and laugh. They truly don't feel they have accomplished anything unless they have an urgent fire of chaos to extinguish.
Wait, someone in the crowd is waving: “But if you have such a regimented schedule or structure, how can you be open to other choices or ideas that might be great?”
I'm not talking about closing your mind, but is something wrong with focus? I am not talking about planning every second of your day and not being open to other new and exciting developments. I am talking about the harm in choosing to live in disorder. The absence of control and planning can be detrimental to your efforts. A boat allowing its sails to be pushed by the whims of the wind and waves does not get it from point A to point B. If “go with the flow,” is your mantra, then you are definitely not serious about focusing your life and being successful.
Where did the idea come from that by having a structured day, having a plan or having discipline, strips life of the enjoyment? The exact opposite is actually true. By being determined to manage your life, you bring focus to what you do. Doors actually open. You are on a mission and intent on getting there. By controlling your schedule and organizing things and events, you actually open yourself up to fulfillment, happiness and opportunity.
“It is direction, not intention, that determines destination.”
"Remember that items on your To-Do list are items toward your goals, and not just something to cross off soon as possible."
“Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.”
- Oscar Wilde
"The wise man does now what he will be happy with later."
How apt are you to fill time with meaningless things to acquire a fake feeling of accomplishment? Ever find yourself at day's end, feeling as if you really didn't get anywhere? Don't be your own excuse. Nothing will provide a feeling of fulfillment like the things you are supposed to be doing, yet we so often seek fulfillment in temporary things that don't matter in the end.
I'm a huge believer in lists. I suppose some of you, no matter how hard you try, will never feel the need to write things down. Making lists really liberates me. Writing it down releases my mind to be able to think and be creative. Plus, I don't have to waste time in frustration trying to recall what I forgot, or trying to remember what I don't want to forget. List-making is not news; but to some, making lists is a giant leap they haven't convinced themselves of yet.
"The essence of discipline is to live who you are."
No need to break mundane tasks down into smaller steps that will likely make it look larger than it is. Do it well, yet do it as quickly as you can and be done so it isn't on your mind anymore. Larger goals are what we need to break down into manageable pieces.
Speaking from experience, depressed people tend to sometimes see small tasks as more of an insurmountable chore than they are. In the case of mundane tasks that must be done:
A. Learn to cherish and enjoy those tasks, especially the monotonous ones that seem to always interfere with what is important.
"As positive as your outlook may be, sooner or later others will want to see you fail. There will be someone along your journey that will reject you and your success. They may even criticize you. Don't take it personally. Remember their attitude is a reflection of their own weaknesses."
A Word I Ask You to Reconsider: Impatience
I've found that, although impatience can be a negative, it can also be a positive. Those first hints of impatience that knock from inside may be a clue from your instincts, trying to let you know, “Hey, this is starting to be a huge time drain.” OR “Don't complain about having no time later, you're wasting a lot of time now.” OR “You're really involved where you don't belong or fit in.” At the same time, you'll want to be careful to not back out on promises you've made. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with reevaluating, reassessing, to be sure you're a good fit; or that it is a good fit for you.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
― Thomas Jefferson
There is Always Time
Make time to take care of yourself. Eat, stay hydrated, get exercise. If you are one of those people who says,
“Whew, I'm so busy, I don't have time to _________.”
Stop trying to be your own hero, and sharpen yourself. You are a dull ax if you are so busy that you don't make time to take care of yourself. And cutting down those goal trees will be between difficult and impossible.
On Social Media
Social media should not be a tool of distraction, nor should it make you feel compelled to always be critical of others. Yes, there are stupid people. But but social media, short of actual threats and hostility, should be a positive arena of sharing ideas, not name-calling and bastardizing other people. If you've done this, you lack class. Why devalue yourself this way? You are only hindering your own growth and character. Like mom said, “If you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut.”
"Make being YOU your career of choice."
"Don't be a people pleaser. You not only neglect yourself but the purpose within you suffers as well."
“I run with purpose in every step. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.
I train diligently because my spiritual progress depends upon it.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
This one sounds great on the surface. Get more done in a shorter amount of time, right? Look, I have an unused hand, it can be doing something while I do something else! Worry not about prioritizing. You can get it all done at the same time!
Yet another word made cool and popular, but not based on understanding. I wonder how many times the word is used by those who wish to be seen as busy in order to make up for slacking or lack of focus.
Let us first clarify multitasking.
When we say multitasking, we refer to the performance of more than one task (or trying to) at the same time. What mulititasking really is, however, is the rapid switching from one task to another. When you switch between tasks you lose focus, time and efficiency. But let's look at more than my opinion on this one.
I quote Dr. Nass, from a 2009 NPR article (A) titled, “Multitasking May Not Mean Higher Productivity”:
“One possibility is that people who multitask frequently just like doing it. They like what is called exploring rather than exploiting. And because they're doing it all the time, they feel that they're good at it because it's hard to justify doing it all the time if they're not. That's one possibility.”
I agree completely. Recently I have forced myself to focus intently on one job at a time. While not easy for someone who's mind wanders, it has helped me tremendously. The feeling of accomplishment I personally feel from “multitasking” is because my character likes to explore. I feel creative when my mind is free to push pause on my imaginary button and contemplate something else or work on something else for a bit. The result is lots of things on my “to do” list; and quite possibly that contributes to the appearance of productivity.
There is a suggestion in the article that computers, since we can have several applications open or active at the same time, contributes to our multitasking. Then Dr. Nass states:
“Well, there's definitely evidence that if they stop multitasking, they'll do better because of all the studies showing that multitasking impairs performance. We're not sure whether these abilities are built in the brain or whether in fact, practice makes them, in this case, not perfect, makes them worse at it. We just don't know that - that's one of the key areas. But there's no question whatsoever that multitasking, especially among those who do it the most, is at the very least ineffective and at the worst, harmful.”
Another article from The American Psychological Association (B) in 2006, mentions “switching costs”.
“Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error. Meyer has said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time.”
I recommend reading the entire article. Of course you're not reading a book on productivity. However, if getting to the so-called nitty gritty of what you want to be or accomplish is your goal, then it is quickly evident multitasking is overrated and can be a stumbling block in your path. I recommend keeping serious jobs to themselves, and be okay with multitasking only when it is light tasks such as talking to mom on the phone while stirring your stew.
Go with the Flow
This mantra I quickly mentioned earlier, is one I despise.
A girlfriend I once had continuously rejected my attempts to make plans.
“Go with the flow,” she'd say.
My follow-up response was always, “Is it really wrong to make plans?”
It took me too long to realize the only thing she was committed to was however she felt, or chose to feel, at any given time. She had a float on the breeze attitude, and her life reflected that fact. In my mind I wanted to be partners, literally build our relationship and go places. It was not meant to be. Again, she expected the proverbial sailboat to get to its destination by letting the unpredictable wind push it there.
Now, I am not discrediting spontaneous acts. Spontaneity can provide unexpected paths, can be romantic and all that. A decadent milkshake from Sonic spur of the moment late at night? Why not? A chance meeting with an ambitious person about a possible project? Sure.
This is not usually what is implied by go with the flow.
There is a tremendous amount of passivity involved in the statement. Allow me to use a well-known name to make a point. Imagine a young Michael Jordan saying, “Well I just do whatever. I'll go with the flow and see what happens with my life.”
Go with the flow will not get you there. Further, if you don't take charge of your life, someone or something else will. After all, nature abhors a vacuum. What a shame it is for anyone to allow their life to be dispensed of so recklessly.
Imagine your last days, stricken by an illness that has shortened your days to a mere few. The doctor just told you to get your things in order. Your present family looking upon you, not aware of the regret contained within you. It is the regret of being tossed about aimlessly your whole life.
Some in Power Try to Devalue You
There are some of a collectivist mindset that devalue humans with statements like the following:
“Did you not travel on the road to get to work?”
“Didn't the police protect you from getting shot?”
“Don't you have friends who supported you and the store where you could buy food?”
This argument makes a mockery out of merit, claiming it is not possible to be successful because you did not do anything without outside assistance. This argument claims nobody is special and that it is not possible for any one person to accomplish anything; it is only a group who can build, only a collective can achieve. Your success isn't really yours because you had to depend on so many other factors and rely on so many other people to get to the top.
This is a colossal absence of logic. Going by the same premises as the person speaking, we'd all be successful because we all used the roads, police and firemen. But not everyone experiences success. We don't all reach our capacity. It takes hard work, calculated risk at times and consistent determination of an individual. No matter how artificially equal some in power may try to make us, there will always be some who follow and some who go on to produce and create. Regardless of the “support” available to any one person, it still takes a certain determination on the part of an individual to accomplish what he or she sets out to do. If all we needed to be successful was nice roads, police, friends e.t.c. to be successful, everyone would be. The accomplished person, however, knows it takes outstanding individual work, learning, doing, figuring, planning and so on.
Many are not willing to go through this amount of effort. This will always be a fact of human nature. Yes, there may have been a team utilized to pull together in pursuit of a goal, but even in this case there is a prevailing leader; or someone who took the initiative to move forward.
Moreover, your success does not mean you had to have stepped on or taken advantage of someone else. Success does not even mean you had to lean on anyone else. Success, morally accomplished, means you figured out the road, you overcame the obstacles and learned how to get something done.
Ultimately, it is up to you and you alone to decide to make it happen. Individual accomplishment can change the world for the better. Letting anyone rob you of that which results from the work of your own mind and hands, makes the world a darker place one life at a time.
“It's fun when it's easy. But easy doesn't last. The higher you climb the tougher the terrain. Thousands of thoughts and doubts, mistakes, miscalculations, disappointments...people stop there, turn around, give up, pretend it wasn't meant to be. Oh hell yeah it's meant to be, you just got to prove it...you either give it away or you conquer that very spot.”
-Pauline Nordin, creator of Fighterdiet.com
"Do you reach roadblocks because of a fear birthed years ago during a chance happening? You owe it to yourself to deal with this fear."
“I run with purpose in every step. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. I train diligently because my spiritual progress depends upon it.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Discipline is a familiar word. However, in today's atmosphere of constant information feeds and opportunities for distraction, it deserves to be brought again to the forefront of our lives.
I ask you: Why is it we sometimes don't do what we say we want to do? Why is it we sometimes make plans and don't follow through?
Say you've decided you want to write a poem and read it out loud on Youtube. (I know, you really set your sights high there.) Yet, day in and day out it gets shoved further down the To-Do list. Before you know it, it has been months. You now have two options in front of you:
1. You resolve yourself to getting it done, and make plans to set time aside and do it to the best of your ability. (Maybe even learning something more in order to perfect the final product).
2. You shove it away, doubting you are truly able to do it. It could be that for some reason fear has reared it's head, or life events seem to get in the way.
First, stop being overly critical. Keep a sense of humor. If you are too serious or picky about your work it is possible you'll be too rough on yourself to stick with it. Remember, since there is only one you, there will always be value in what you do, regardless of what anyone else thinks. If you delve in and produce a final product, you can always polish it in the end.
Second, stop seeing what you want to do as a chore. Someone once said if you want to be happy in your career, learn to make money by doing something you love. This is the idea. If you really, really have the desire to do something, make it a part of you instead of making it a job. If you want to perceive what you are doing as work, fine, but be sure to maintain a positive perception of your work. It is positive to be working on your purpose, after all. Also, there are times when we may not have a job we like or prefer, but if we can choose to see it as a positive step toward the thing we'd rather be doing. Furthermore, if you learn to see everything in life as another chore item on your To-Do list, that is likely what your aspirations will become: only something to get done so you can cross it off.
Some folks seem to need a cheerleader or need to be noticed in order to do anything. Try embracing your inner value for your own personal well-being instead of recognition or goosebumps. If your work is within the realm of your passion(s), you'll find happiness beyond the shallow hand-claps of others.
Don't resent the successful person. Learn from them and apply what can help you be successful. Wanting to bring them down to your state of being helps no one.
One of may favorite authors, Janet Evanovich, speaks to her craft in the audiobook, How I Write. It goes without saying that demands on her writing have something to do with her attitude towards it. In one section she talks of making time by treating her writing as a job. I say this with caution because of my above words. “If you really, really have the desire to do something make it a part of you instead of making it a job.”
I think Janet is conveying a sense of dedication, not saying that you must treat your passion, your purpose, as a burdensome “job”. In her example she has a routine. She gets up at a certain time and gets to writing. She eliminates distractions so she can concentrate fully on what she enjoys doing. The point is applying discipline (aka. structure, regimen, e.t.c.) shows she has a healthy dose of self worth, therefore she sets time aside to work on what she wants to.
She admits to times when the writing is slow, but of course there are times when it comes faster. No doubt there have been moments Janet could choose to do something else, but there is also an artistic benefit to doing what one does not always feel like. That is also the nature of discipline. Feelings are irrational at times. You know yourself better than anyone. Consider that you might benefit from being more selective about which feelings you listen to and which ones you can discard.
In some cases going to the gym just may not sound like something you feel like doing.
“Sitting at a desk when the weather is perfect out for __________ feels wrong.”
“Maybe, maybe this once I'll skip my goal and have fun.”
If that last one is a big one for you, perhaps you need to search harder for your purpose/value.
(Or grow up.) Here is the odd but cool thing to me: when I choose to dig deep despite occasionally not really feeling like doing the thing, I jump my biggest hurdles and make the most progress. Try doing it anyway, that will also keep the “off” times from being mired in wishing you had.
In large part however, we are not only speaking of discipline to achieve your goals. Sadly, so many people lack ambition, so discipline on some level can benefit each facet of life.
Following, with name changed, is an example.
Jason woke each morning with his mind full of the day's duties. Before even getting out of bed the torrent stormed about in his mind. Things he had to do seemed to control him instead of the other way around.
By the time he rose for work he had little time. He wandered about wondering what to take for lunch, what to wear. He saw the old horror movies he had collected and decided to look away, pick one out with his hand and let it be a surprise.
Soon after his favorite scene was over he regained awareness and saw the clock. No time now to pack lunch, he'd have to buy it. He was also angry because the dwindling time made it questionable if he even had time to shower. Eventually, with the movie still blaring, he made his way out the door already late and forgetting to brush his teeth.
Extreme story? I have seen it first hand, it's not made up. I hope it's not too common; but I fear in today's culture it is.
So not only does Jason not have the discipline to work towards his aspirations, he lacks daily discipline. If luck is when opportunity meets preparedness, and it is, I'd hate to miss my chance by having to scream in desperation, “Wait a second, I have to shower first!”
Here's the opposite example of Jason from an alternate universe:
Jason pressed the snooze twice because the bed felt warm, but he used this time to tell himself positive things as he dozed. After the third buzz of the alarm he rose, excited to be about his goals and the possible open doors around him.
He turned on the news to stay current on events and immediately went to brush his teeth and shower. He combed his hair, slicked on deodorant, and slapped a watch to his wrist. After putting on the clothes he set out last night, he opened the refrigerator and grabbed the lunch he had also prepared beforehand. At first he thought of buying his lunch, but took what he prepared, glad now that he had a choice.
Then he stood for a minute in front of the television. He watched and listened. He was master of his universe and it felt good.
He saw the weather expected for the day before shutting off the news.
“I have time to grab a coffee.”
Alternate Jason grabbed his jacket off the peg, files from the side table, and listened to his favorite songs through earbuds on his way to work.
Now I ask, which version of Jason is most likely to succeed? Both have value, however, one is trying to realize that value by being prepared, aware of direction, organized, focused, efficient etc. You get the point.
Many terms we relate to business applications when they can just as easily apply to our personal life. Streamlining is one of those words. Alternate Jason didn't let the small things, or anything for that matter, get in his way. He managed the things. This Jason knows there is no valid reason things should be a hindrance. More to come on this.
Now I urge you to take action! Streamline daily tasks and stay consistently disciplined in dealing with them. Replace bad habits with good ones. Doing so will help you set the stage for the bigger, better things you are working towards.
“It isn’t the thing you do dear, it’s the thing you leave undone,
which gives you a bit of a heartache at the setting of the sun.”
Emotions often lie.
Before we begin, simply put, emotion means strong feelings.
With respect to anyone working in mental health, I think way too much focus has been on the question, “How does that make you feel?”.
At the same time we hear other psychobabble that contradicts with the former. “Nobody can make you feel anything.”
So what do emotions have to do with you getting to the top of your mountain?
Don't get me wrong. Some feelings are legitimate. Some feelings are a rational reaction to things that we do or things that happen around us. However, not all feelings are justified. It is in the situation where feelings have no logical place that they can be trouble.
And I'm not saying feelings are wrong. Therefore, this is not a matter in which to be offended. But if feelings cannot be wrong, then logically feelings cannot be right, either.
What I am saying is maybe you could treat yourself better by opening your heart only to rational emotions. Notice I did not say, “only to the positive emotions”. If you only recognize the sugary positive things, you are fooling yourself, but not for long. Keeping your focus on positive is fine, but facing the negative provides an opportunity for growth and keeps you sane.
For example, you will likely feel betrayed if a boyfriend/girlfriend called you a terrible name. As a result, you will experience emotions, and these emotions will likely be justified. I mean, he or she did call you that! Your emotions in this case are rational; so it is fine to recognize your strong feelings and deal accordingly.
Feelings can deceive us though. Feelings can talk nonsense. Again with the boyfriend/girlfriend example. If he/she offers to help you with something and truly wants to be helpful, yet you get angry and yell out, “I know what I'm doing, I'm capable!” then you need to look more at your heart than his or her motives. Keeping yourself in “objective check” isn't always easy. Maybe you need to talk to someone. Often a knee-jerk emotion that doesn't apply can cloud what could have been a happy moment. Look inside; what is really eating you? In this example, the emotions are not what I'd call, rational.
Be aware: Situations and occurrences may bring up emotions that DO NOT apply!
I don't have to tell you how past experiences breed in us a response. Many times it can be something happening right now that brings about a gut reaction. It boils up from inside and we feel a certain way before it even registers why.
Just yesterday, my 78 year old mother explained to me that while watching television the previous night she was overcome with feelings of sadness. Something she saw reminded her of decades ago, when she was mistreated as little girl.
Was her emotional response rational? Absolutely; and I told her so. What would not be a rational idea is for her to dwell on it and affect her mood and direction for the entire day.
Learn from the past, then shut the door behind you. Rather than trying to forget the past, focus on what lies ahead. By building the new, you destroy the old.
By now you've likely noticed the dominance of a particular word: rational. Another adequate word to use in its place is sensible. Hopefully at this stage in your life you consider being sensible a valued trait in which to have. In truth, one key to success is being rational. It must be a foundation.
If you are a more emotional person, fine. For a male, I am very much a wear-my-heart-on my-sleeve guy. But if you one to let emotions rule you, you can be enslaved to an unhealthy level.
The idea is not to ignore or suppress your feelings, but be selective about which ones you lend credence to. It could be that abusive relationship, the road rage incident, the time years ago that you were afraid that makes you tense up now. Deal with it, recognize it knocking at your mental door then, sooner as opposed to later- let it go. Force it away and be constructive toward your goal.
Because in many instances our emotions attempt to deceive us, we must be on guard. The emotion may not apply to the current situation, yet it begs our brain and heart for attention. When we give the irrational emotion that attention it robs us of better ways and can leave us tired and less than we want to be.
In society today we have a “culture” that enables a life lead by emotion. As if literally trained to do so, many walk around waiting for the next “feeling moment” so that they know how to act. Ever see someone who appears to be drawn to drama at every turn? I have a theory that those types are sadly addicted to the rush of chaotic feelings.
Feelings are like being confronted by a salesman, you don't always have to buy what is being sold.
Have you become obsessed with something in an effort to fill the vaccuum of not being truly productive? Maybe doing this “thing” or “activity” gives you temporary satisfaction of having accomplished something...
"Not everyone is meant to be a leader of others, but everyone has the ability to lead themselves where they are meant to go."
As for me, I didn't know how much a slave to fear I was. There are still moments, but for the most part I am no longer afraid of failing or afraid of how I look to others. Fear can make one afraid of trying. Fear can make you desperate and fear can make you immobile. Fear can make you anxious and put unneeded pressure on your performance, leading to terrible results. Fear can keep you from absorbing great things in life. Does fear hinder you?
"Forethought and actively thinking through a process can keep you from second-guessing too much after a thing is done, preventing much unneeded emotional baggage."
"Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart."
"The saddest thing are the people who never go for it, or try anything. When you live without risk, you live without reward."
"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh
"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it." - Thomas Paine
The Relevance Principle
The Relevance Principle has to do with how much we are engaged and involved in our lives. In essence, the message is straightforward: the closer we are to our purpose and the people in our lives, the more effective and fulfilled we will be.
Many different approaches to tasks and goals can see success on some level. It goes without saying that micromanaging can be a negative, and the simple truth that there are only so many hours in the day dictates that one cannot possibly be involved with everything so directly.
But I ask: Who among the successful is almost always the happiest, the most in touch, and the most respected by the team? It is the person who doesn't forget those on the bottom rungs. It is the person who visits and speaks with everyone as much as possible, without policing...the one who remains down to Earth and engaged. For authentic fulfillment and real, long-term success (personally and professionally), one must maintain some form of engagement.
Let say this another way: the more you are engaged with something, the more you will sense, feel, and realize the reward. Speaking on a large scale, there will be times you will be forced to disignate and assign tasks and projects to others. This is not wrong. The danger is in becoming out of touch. When a person is out of touch, the less things will matter, therefore the more ineffectual they will be. The idea of this principle goes even further, to a more philisophical fact: the more hands-on and engaged you are, the more fulfilled you are likely to be.
Why is this concept important? Because in a technological age full of a myriad of distractions it is more vital than ever that we keep our focus on things that really matter. Times indeed change; good values don't.
Following is a diagram plainly showing The Relevance Principle. On the left of the cornucopia is a type of person and what they are likely to look like. There are exceptions to these, especially when a type of person tends to move toward or merge into another type, and where natural anomalies and individual differences exist. On the right is the result of being that type of person.
Think of it like Karma. In the way people propose that bad things can come back to you, so can your outlook, attitude and level of involvement. If one is detached from the reality of their purpose, they will likely not be truly happy nor fulfilled, and will likely give up.
Engagement is vital, so ask yourself: Am I involved, engaged in real things and people?
Are you more reliant on fantasy and technology to get through? Fantasy and technology are not bad, but they must be kept in perspective. Nothing should get in the way of being as closely connected to and interested in the things, people, activities and direction of your life as possible. This way you will not only reap success, but be more happy and fulfilled in the process.
We all have value, therefore we need to stop equating success with where someone stands on a man-made scale or perception. Someone dressed differently or have an opposing idea? Don't condemn that person. Today's prevailing attitudes seem to be making it more difficult for a person to stand out and be different. If you want to be successful and not stand in line with all the other sheep, be prepared for rejection. Bear in mind, however, if you stray from the group, it is you who will win in the end.
While it was tempting to elaborate on various tools that you might find useful. I feel doing this can come across as condescending more than I have already. You are an adult, and are capable of figuring out methods that work for you. After all, that is much the point of this short book. With some ideas, I have pointed out potential stumbling blocks in your life, now it is up to you to see your way around them.
In your pursuit of success, don't make other people's lives miserable; and enjoy the adventure of the process because you cannot succeed without learning and patience.
Often in a public setting people ask, “What do you do?” because to some extent what we do in large part makes us who we are. My hope is that you've discovered a tool here or elsewhere (perhaps inside you) that will help you accomplish you. Enable yourself and shed all the burdens, processes and habits that will end up making you a grouchy, meaningless grump. Make a career of being you. Be professional you.
Above all, don't turn your head to every false flag that pops up, you'll be wondering why men have nipples instead of going somewhere important.
Now is the time to alter your path. You ARE in control of your one life. GET BUSY.
How to Be Unmistakeable by Srinivas Rao
The Power of Respect by Deborah Norville
Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcom Gladwell
"Multitasking May Not Mean Higher Productivity." NPR. NPR, 28 Aug. 2009. Web. 28 June 2017. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112334449>.
"Multitasking: Switching Costs." American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association, 20 Mar. 2006. Web. 28 June 2017. <http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx>.