Double your Happiness with this One Trick
This blog post is inspired a bit by my journey of writing this book. I am a man who can handle a lot of projects at once without becoming too overwhelmed or stressed. In a way, it is my gift. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned a thing or two about the difference between getting work done and getting “GOOD” work done.
Today’s blog is the exact trick I began employing after an amazing conversation with friends who support me through thick and thin. It changed my life and it will absolutely change yours.
It seems like every other day there is another “life-hack” being published into the world. Hell, there is even a website about it, lifehacker.com . The site is actually pretty cool, but its entire aim is to provide readers with a sense of empowerment due to their access to a previously undiscovered tactic. Some are extremely useful while others sort of fall into the “why did I freaking click this” category.
There are books published by the dozens each year that claim to have unlocked the secret formula for optimizing yourself into a productivity robot capable of churning and burning with only buttered coffee as fuel. Oh, and don’t get me started on all these social media goons claiming to “teach you the secrets of a seven figure business” while they gratuitously wash their Lamborghini (that they are most certainly leasing). That’s a rant that will ruin this post…
The entire market is designed around the idea that people are craving a competitive advantage, that everyone is looking for the tiniest crack to fit through, or the slightest edge to carve. And it works. The self-help industry is a booming business with profits in the billions of dollars per year.
And a lot of it is really good information too. I, for one, have benefited greatly from the impact that various books and mentors have provided me over the years. It’s not all quackery. I’m not trying to shoot a cannon blast across the bow of the ship.
I’m critical though of anyone who claims to have unlocked the system, or hacked the code, or discovered the magic formula for success. They’ll expound upon a 7-Step system that is proprietary in nature, unless you subscribe to their mentorship, buy their book, or attend their lecture series. Whatever you sign up for you are guaranteed to be presented with a lot of incredible information that can surely help you build your business and become more successful.
Create systems to run your business
Research an untouched market
Build a reliable network
Take a lot of notes
Surround yourself with other driven individuals
Meditate and exercise daily
Eat healthy foods and return to nature
Hustle when no one else is watching
Create a vision board and check it daily
Don’t drink cups of coffee…drink the whole pot
OK, the last one is a joke. Seriously, don’t go college on your coffee…
Each of these tips, when given person-specific-context, are absolutely incredible. You’ll absolutely be more successful in whatever endeavor you choose if you begin applying them into your life.
My issue with them is that they charge you to tell you what I just told you for free. Sure, they’ll add a lot of glitz and glam, downloadable PDFs, videos shot on the beaches of Coronado with Navy Seals, and they’ll give you gift bags at their conferences…
But did they give you a single piece of information that is going to so radically change your life that you never turn back? Maybe…but probably not.
Because there is only one “hack”, only one tip, that will increase your chance at success and happiness. And that is:
BECOME MORE PRESENT IN ALL THAT YOU DO
Our society today has widespread ADD. We scan our phones during every dull moment of our day, we have meaningless text message conversations going just so we feel social contact, we take pictures of our foods, and keep fifty tabs open on our computers as we “multi-task” our way through the day.
I mean seriously, ask yourself…when is the last time you went to the bathroom and didn’t break out your phone and scroll your Instagram throwing hearts out like books at an Oprah taping?
(I will admit that the bathroom is a boring waste of time. I distinctly remember reading the back of the shampoo and soap bottles as a kid…I know you do too.)
When was the last time you just did what you were doing?
And fear not, I’m not talking about going into nature to be with the trees and birds and bear shit. I’m not asking you to run away from your family and friends and immerse yourself into a camp of Monks who don’t speak, but listen to Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits able every morning to energize their chi.
I’m simply telling you to stop multi-tasking so damn much. Close all of those tabs. Get off social media when should be writing your next blog, and for God sakes just use the bathroom and move on. No need to let your legs go numb as you watch your friends snap chats from last night. You can stay seated and enjoy your break though if you are currently reading this blog.
(I often contemplate if I write the perfect length blog for pooping…)
Back to the topic, I need you to become more of active participant in whatever you are doing.
Writing a blog, a book, or a thoughtful social media post?
Then write the damn thing and only stray if your eyes need a break, you need to grab a quick bit of research, or your body yearns for coffee goodness.
Getting your workout in?
Stop worrying about posting to Instagram, taking the perfect shot of your ass in a mirror or doing that awkward shirt-face-sweat-wipe move that I so mastered in my early twenties.
Sitting at the dinner table?
Put your fucking phone away and have a conversation with the people you are with. Actually ask your grandmother how she is doing and how her crazy neighbor is getting on. Have a conversation with your significant other about your day, your dreams, or the chemicals in your shampoo (that you read the other day because you kept your phone out of the bathroom).
Walking in nature, sightseeing a city, or traveling the world?
Sure, get your photos in for memories sake but stop looking through your devices lens so frequently and instead use the two that sit in the back of your head. Smell the air and hear the sounds of the busy streets or the sounds of silence. Live your life with your body instead of your phone.
Do your job. I know it gets tedious at times and you can’t keep at it for eight hours straight. But, instead of procrastinating your way through another Wednesday, why don’t you dive head first and knock some shit out? Be a part of the workplace.
This blog is something that comes from a lot of life lessons learned by yours truly. It had become completely normal for me to be on my computer managing multiple things at once. I’d be writing a blog, answering emails, connecting with people on social media, editing my website, and reading about the latest news in some randomized order…
I got things done, sure, but I didn’t always do my best work.
I really knew it became a problem when it began following me to the gym. Instead of focusing on the clients in front of me, my mind would wander to the book, or to the DailyTrainer project and the app that launches in January. I’d make a mental to-do list in my head and completely forget to count my clients repetitions or coach their form.
When I’d come home I’d turn on the TV, crack open this laptop, and dive right back into whatever work filled my mind. I’d only half listen as my girlfriend told me about her day. I’d only half taste my food as I shoveled into it my mouth.
But then came Jonathan Goodman and all of his writings, emails, and our phone calls. I distinctly remember one night he called me to give me some advice and thoughts on publishing companies and printers. He started the call by telling me he’d hang up as soon as he got to his front door in five minutes, and sure enough, five minutes later he said “bye” and that was that.
It spun a web in my head. As I dug into his work I found that he made sure that he was present for whatever was going on. When it was time to write long-content he used a computer with no internet. When it was time to be with his wife and son, then all devices were tucked away. His habits made me look at my own and begin making changes.
My phone still comes with me to the bathroom, but I will say that I have actually tasted my foods these last few months, and in fact, I’ve had wonderful date nights with Whitney. I have about 5 tabs open on my computer right this second, but I will not switch to any of them, or access my email/social media, until I’m done writing these last few sentences.
So learn from my mistakes…much as I implied in my last blog, “Sometimes you are Going to Suck”. Be better than me.
Be more present in your life. No matter how big or little the task is. Give whatever you are doing your absolute and undivided attention and you’ll soon find you are doing better work, living a better life, and feel more successful and happy.