Look, a nondescript image of a woman’s back, arms raised in cumulative triumph!
But I digress. Already.
Any and all Google searches (we could say “Internet searches,” but nobody uses Bing or Yahoo! for their searching needs) are about success:
- what’s this lump here mean? is you trying to succeed at surviving whatever malignant thing has invaded your body.
- bon jovi livin on a prayer lyrics is you trying to succeed at not looking like a dumbass at karaoke night.
- how to develop a ____ habit is you trying to succeed at your purpose and live a quality life and not reach the end of the road and wonder whether you saw anything cool on the way through. (This is writing for me.)
We all want to be successful in every facet of life, everything we attempt. It doesn’t matter if this is the first time you’re touching a volleyball or giving a presentation in front of thousands…you want to do well, crush it, or whatever buzzword you want to use.
And yet success is such a subjective term. It’s most likely the most popular SEO keyword out there (always gotta bring the title into the fold). Why? Because what else do we have to do with our time?
There’s even a person I know (*cough* *cough* My wife *cough*) who wants to succeed at relaxing. Honestly, you can want to succeed at anything. But actually succeeding? Well, that isn’t really a high school elective, now is it?
The main issue I see — and it’s prevalent as hell — is that there are all of these answers to the one question when the only person who can truly answer it for you is yourself. Success means different things to different people. Therefore, no one else can say “drink kombucha at five a.m.” or “I read a book a day” to you and have that work for you.
It is, sadly, a sucky situation. You have to be intuitive and think long and hard about what you want in life and what the simplest — not easiest, simplest — way to accomplish that is and then do that, over and over, forever maybe, until you reach the pinnacle that is your success. And then you do it again, for something else.
It’s daunting as shit. No wonder not many people go through with it.
Then you have to think about habits, grit, willpower — no, not willpower, willpower is finite — discipline, determination, life hacks, waking up at 5 a.m., no, 4:30 a.m., f*ck it, make it four in the morning, more habits…
So many keywords. So little time.
Here’s the last thing you need to read about success. Afterward, you don’t ever need to read any other piece on being successful. Tell your chipmunk mind that every time a piece of clickbait is dangled in front of your short attention span.
This is it:
Remember what you love to do. Do that. As much as possible. Make it a system. Do it before anything else each day. This will keep you from being swept away into the time-suck stream that is errand minutiae and other people talking your damn ear off.
There’s an entire industry surrounding what’s written here. Success this, success that. People get hard-ons for finding the latest and greatest life hack — “CBD is sooooo in right now” — that they get bogged down in the dumb details. Think big picture. Live life how you want. Not how Tony Robbins, Gary V, your mom or dad or insert family member or friend wants you to live.
Now, this is only for the BIG things in life: What you do with your time, who you have a relationship with, etc. The small stuff — eating, relaxing, reading, hanging out with others — these are the essence of life. They’re meant to be enjoyed. To not enjoy this stuff is to try and “succeed” at everything. Which is f*cking impossible.
I don’t want to biohack my reading, speed-read, listen to audiobooks, or cram as much knowledge into my brain as fast as humanly possible. I just want to read, dammit. Fiction books. At night. Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom.
The same goes for my fitness. I train twice a week and play as many sports as I can. Is this the minimum effective dose or will this give me the maximum results? I don’t give a damn. It’s fun — end, done, period, that’s all she wrote.
Now, my writing? Yeah, I’ll continue to educate myself on the topic, practice my ass off, and find my voice in fiction. And you should, too…not for writing, but your thing. (And you know what your thing is. You’re not “finding your passion” because you’ve had it since birth; you’ve just been ignoring it into adulthood.) Learn your thing, practice your thing, bring your thing out for the whole world to see.
No more searching Google for keywords.
It’s time to stop living life on an algorithm.
There’s more where this came from:
My first article since coming back to Medium. I think it’s good. So does my wife.
Want to live a balanced life? Well, this won’t help that…