I'm sitting at my desk in my RV. It's nice out, but the RV is in direct sunlight, so it's hot inside. The fan is on maximum speed, which cools me down a little bit at the cost of it being really loud. Two seconds ago I checked my email. I also checked my email ten seconds ago. Thirty seconds ago I thought about how I should make lunch, even though I've already eaten lunch. In other words, my mind is doing everything it can to avoid writing.
I'm not really in the mood to work, but I'm even less inclined to write. When my mind is in programming mode, I find it very difficult to switch from talking-to-computers mode to talking-to-humans mode. Last week, as you may have noticed, I didn't post anything. I slapped together a post, read it over, decided it was really crappy, and just skipped the week.
Now I'm writing, though, and I'll tell you why.
The most important time to do something is when you don't want to do it. That's the mark of a champion-- someone who knows what he has to do, doesn't want to do it, but does it anyway. Anyone can write when they want to write. That's easy. The hard part is when you're not motivated, uninspired, and distracted.
The point of writing this post wasn't to get another post on the blog. The point was to reinforce the habit of taking that "I don't want to do this" stimulus and using it as a trigger for immediate action. I'm always trying to rewire that connection in my brian. Should do this, but don't want to -> DO IT WITHOUT THINKING. I'm still not completely consistent with this (or this would have been written last week), but I work hard on it.
I've been trying to floss every night before going to bed. The other night I had forgotten to floss and was reading and about to go to sleep. It occurred to me that I had forgotten, and I immediately thought, "Eh, I'll just skip a day". As soon as I thought that I jumped out of bed and grabbed the floss.
A couple weeks ago I spent fifteen hours on an RV project in the Home Depot parking lot. The next day I began another project, and ten hours in I realized that I had put something in backwards. It would still work that way, but wouldn't be ideal. As soon as I thought, "It's good enough... I'll just leave it", my body had sprung into action and I was undoing my work to start over.
This is a tough reaction to train, and doesn't come overnight. I've been working on it for a long time and I still fail to execute sometimes. But it's worth the effort. Stuff you don't want to do but should do yields a whole bundle of rewards that most people aren't getting. Retrain this one impulse, and they can be yours.
A few outlandish ideas I'm thinking about right now: funding SETT through Kickstarter to hire an engineer or two, having a contest with a big prize for whoever introduces me to a girl I'd actually like to date, cutting off internet access at home.
RV post coming soon... check out my recent post in the community section for a sneak preview of one upgrade and to help me figure out how to complete it.
SETT news: right now we're converting it to Bootstrap for a more consistent and responsive UI. After that our first test blogger goes online!
To paraphrase his words, he said that theings we resist doing most usually are the things we should be doing first. The resistance we feel towards the task is our mind telling us that that task is our biggest opportunity for growth. Doing that task will make us feel great after we've done it. I've found this to be true in my life recently.
However, knowing you should do something is still a step away from actually doing it. Making a habit out of doing the stuff you resist doing sounds like a good plan.
P.S.: For those interested, Steven Pressfield just released a new book which is on top of my to read list: Turning Pro.
"This is a tough reaction to train, and doesn'tAdvanced options come overnight."
Some Advanced options snuck into this sentence :)
what about boring work ? that gets into the way of your study but you still have to work to earn money and stay alive
Thanks for the post it reminds me that even know i failed at one thing, im
reinforce another I'm currently almost done writing my first fictional book. Then of course it goes to publishers etc, but I had this idea for a blog post about the madness of the business and how it effects people both good and bad. Yet I have not started researching it or doing any writing on it...............
I actually got the idea from the new farcry insane trailer, but now I'm going to spend a week and get it done thanks
Tynan btw since you inspired me to get it done you want the link when im done? It cool if you say no
Some interesting points you make here. I do find myself doing this sometimes, just deciding that it does not matter how I feel, I just start whatever it is that I want to do.
Also find myself more and more when in bed getting back up to do things I remember as you mentioned, it is so much easier then trying to remember to do them the next day.
I like the point you made that doing things properly from the beginning is a good habit to form. Good luck with Kickstarter.
A friend of mine founded a company with another guy. When they started out, their lives and ambitions were very similar, even if the principles bubbling below the surface weren't. One thing they both had in spades was hustle. They did what it took-- no matter what-- to keep their business going forward.
Over time, their motivations diverged. My friend stayed on his grind and pushed the company forward because he liked producing excellence. His cofounder, on the other hand, became enamored with the money the company made. Not enamored enough to keep it, though-- he spent liberally and foolishly. I once saw him use company money to pick up the tab for thirty people at an expensive restaurant.
Nothing is entirely black and white. Although it was obvious that the spending was excessive, he was also contributing to the company at the same time. I don't really know enough of the specifics to know whether he was taking more than he was putting in, or vice versa. What was clear, though, was that it wasn't a great situation for my friend. He was the heart and soul of the business and the fire in its engine.
I asked him once why he didn't quit. Early on, he could have very easily quit and started his own company. He was the brand. Later on it would have been more complicated, but still doable.
I had an post for my end of cross country season, so I thought I should probably have one for track as well.
I honestly could have not asked for a better season. I didn't even do well - I'm not close to being one of the elite private school runners in the city. I'm hoping I'll be next year. I say this season was so good because of my improvement. Simply from cross country season I shaved off over 25 seconds off my mile time. That's huge for half a year, especially when it's going from a sub 5:30 to a sub 5:00 mile. Again, that's not even close for being one of the top private school runners, but it's amazing when I compare to it where I was.
I must be realistic. I do wish I was a sub 4:40 miler, but that is almost impossible from where I was only a few months ago. The improvement I made in the little time I had was phenomenal and I'm proud of it. My 1600m pace for my 3200m personal best was faster than my fastest mile during cross country.
I can't wait till next year, though. Cross Country and Track. I only have one year left. I'll run in college, but I won't be running for the NCAA. I want to make a name for myself, though, next year. I want to continue the improvement I've made in the past year and a half and go all out next year. I want to be an elite private school runner in the city, maybe even in the state. It's going to be hard, and the biggest barrier is going to be time. I may just not have enough time to shave off that many seconds.