I Just Broke Up With My Own Rules — Here’s What Happened

‘Practice what you preach’ won’t work for me anymore

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Photo by PH romao on Unsplash

It Ain’t Fun.

Like many writers on this platform, I write on evergreen topics as self-development, productivity, mental health, and motivation. I preach the shit out of my keyboard and hope to inspire many people with my words. So far, nothing new. Yet, I can’t seem to find my own groove.

When I wake up, I take out my phone to check out Medium, my inbox, and Twitter to see what I’ve missed while I was space-traveling in my sleep. I know, big shame on me. This behavior is similar to letting in 1,000 strangers into my bedroom the moment I wake up, but still — every time I think it’s a great idea.

This morning, not really eager to get up and follow through on my plan for an early workout, I found myself mindlessly scrolling on Instagram and Twitter. Trying to postpone the moment to get up as long as possible, I went through every app on my phone. Not really an ideal way to start the way I would say. Ironically, that’s the behavior I often discourage others to do, but there I was guilty of it myself.

I once learned from Jay Shetty that a location contains energyif you do something in the same place every day, that place holds the energy.

Hence the reason why I don’t tend to work sitting on the bed. Yet, here I am, on a Saturday morning, writing this article from the comfort of my bed. Although weekend days don’t really make a difference for my schedule as an entrepreneur, I feel more chilled to work — without any obligations. This is probably still programmed from my time as a 9–5 employee.

It’s about time to break those chains, but let me first finish this article.

What’s Next?

I want to be at least a mindful content-creating machine, green-tea-drinking, collaborative-networking, zen yogi. A person that doesn’t need his phone around all the time, or spends too much time scrolling through an Instagram-feed that doesn’t really inspire him, but still keeps him hooked. What’s wrong with me?

I want to be that guy that practices what he preaches, going the extra mile, and achieving all of his goals while remaining sane. I read the books, listen to the podcasts, and research the greats, yet I often end up with my hand in the cookie jar.

Why is it that I know all these self-love, productivity, and mindfulness practices, but I find myself unable to apply them often?

The worst part?

I tend to teach them to others many times, both written as verbally. How does that make me look? A fraud, not practicing what I preach?

Let me share a secret:

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Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash

I Can’t Speak for Everybody, but Here Comes the Silver lining..

We all go through our phases and I’m no exception. Yet, these low moments are exactly the ones that keep me grounded.

Days like this remind me of the daily adventure that life is. Some days you’re onto something, others you simply aren’t. And, that’s perfectly fine. Only going up on a roller coaster isn’t fun either. You need the transitions and moments of excitement to keep you awake.

Nobody wants to be stuck in an elevator that’s only going up.

To power through these days like this, I can do two things:

Action kills fear. A mantra we all know.

On days of mental and physical inertia, I first need to get out — either to the gym, going for a walk, or a run. Staying inside will drive me nuts — not an ideal state to be in. Whenever I finish some exercise, I start working on something that doesn’t require much analytical brain capacity— for example, web design.

More often than not, this gets me right into the productive modus, and before I know it I’ve produced great content. I can’t tell you which go-to actions you should pick, but I’m sure you can think of some great low-effort tasks you can start working on to get you in a great state of mind.

Not too long ago, I told myself that every waking moment of the day that ‘I had to be productive’. Not anymore — life’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Imagine this: changing to sweatpants, moving my ass to the couch, perhaps even bringing a bag of chips, and spending my time browsing Netflix. Those days are absolutely fine as well and I even enjoy them now.

On some days, that’s the absolute jackpot and we should celebrate those moments. 2020 has been tough on all of us, so we better take care of ourselves. I aspire to stay much longer on this planet. Healthy and sane.

“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken”
Curtis Tyrone Jones

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Photo by Đằng Nguyễn on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

Yes, I love being productive but without having these days off to recharge, there’s no fun in working either.

The funny part?

There are no guidelines of which approach works best for which day, and that’s the beauty of it. Spending most of 2020 within the safe boundaries of my house, made me see mental health on a different level. Yes, success is important to me and I aspire to build a great business and personal brand, but definitely not at the cost of my mental sanity.

If you enjoyed reading this, you might enjoy the following stories as well:

Thanks for reading.

- Jessie

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I write about mindfulness, mental models, entrepreneurship and personal branding 📝 | Follow me on my writer’s journey: https://jessie-work.ck.page/

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