Do More of What Works; Newsletter #23
4 Little Wonder Bites 💭
📖 Current Read; Atomic Habits — James Clear
2 Key Takeaways from James Clear’s bestseller; Atomic Habits.
I. Goals are Overrated
We place too much emphasis on goals.
Take New Years Resolutions as an example; each year, thousands, if not millions of people, set themselves goals for the next year. How many of those people actually hit their goals, however? How many of those people stay consistent and live up to their word?
Not many. The statistics show that people are most likely to quit on themselves by January 19th.
It is evident that setting goals is simply not enough to ensure success.
Setting goals is beneficial, yes, for they provide a strong direction and something to work for. But goals, on their own, are not sufficient. In this respect, they are overrated.
If anything, goals can be the very thing that get in the way of your progress!
Goals Are Binary
What are the main issue with goals?
They Are Binary.
In most cases, it’s either that you reach a goal or you don’t.
With this mindset, you’re boxing yourself into a very narrow view of success.
Success, and life itself, is not linear. You cannot expect to continue on an upward trajectory.
There will be ups and downs. Goals, unfortunately, do not account for that.
With this fixed, binary view, you have no room to make mistakes, you have no room to face those downs.
However, in order to actually become successful, you need the space to make mistakes, and you need to recognise that things are not linear.
Goals, in some cases, can prevent you from making the necessary mistakes you need to excel. Their binary nature can hold you back.
II. The Benefits of Habit Stacking
Habit Stacking is an incredibly efficient, and fairly easy, way to cultivate new habits, and to ensure that they stick around.
Habit Stacking itself is the process of stacking habits on top of each other; in other words, doing one habit, then another, then another, in a routine.
It’s the process of pairing the new habit you want to cultivate with an old habit you already have.
For example, you may want to start meditating in a morning.
To stack this habit, you can take a look at your current morning routine and find a great place to slot it in.
You must ensure that whichever habit you choose to be before the meditation stays before the meditation, for it acts as a cue. You know that after you perform X habit, it’s time to meditate.
Habit stacking helps you create a lifestyle full of consistency.
There is no point performing good habits every once in a while; you reap the true benefits when they’re performed with consistency.
The process of habit stacking ensures that, when it comes to performing the new habit, the ball is already rolling, you have the momentum, and all you have to do is ride the wave.
In this case, not performing the habit requires much more effort than performing it, for it’s stacked alongside other strong habits.
📹 Current Video; The Most Valuable Skill in the 21st Century — Nathaniel Drew
Boredom is a Superpower. 🦸🏻♂️
What is it?
What exactly is boredom, to begin with?
Boredom is a feeling of displease and discontent when faced with a full situation or event that you are perhaps uninterested in, or you do not want to do.
None of us like being bored. The dislike we feel can likely be traced back to the sense of displease and discomfort it provokes within you.
When you’re bored, it’s often that feelings of frustration, of helplessness, of anger or maybe sadness can arise. All of these feelings are uncomfortable, and so are avoided as ardently as possible. And this leads to our avoidance of boredom.
For many creators, writers and filmmakers alike, they make it their mission to avoid boredom! They see it to be some great plague that robs them of their creativity.
Yes, the discomfort can be immense, but it is always better to choose discomfort over an easy life, especially in the case of boredom.
Boredom is not such a monster that it is made out to be; boredom can be a superpower.
Too many of us wait till we are ready.
We have ideas, we have the questions, we have the motivation, but we do not act. We have absolutely everything that we need and still, there’s no progress.
This is due to our incessant waiting; we believe, wrongly, that some day, we’ll be ready. That at some point, we’ll be ready to create what we want to create, or that we’ll be ready to take that big step.
However, a state of readiness is simply an illusion.
There will never be a moment in which you are fully ready for whatever it is awaiting you. There will never be that moment in which you feel totally and wholly capable, so in that sense, you are waiting for nothing!
And so, the answer here seems obvious; stop waiting.
It is never as easy as that, but it is that simple.
Waiting holds you back. Action is what will get you where you want to be.
Only when you act can you tap into your full creative potential.
Waiting as Procrastination
Waiting can be seen as a form of procrastination.
In the process of waiting for that moment when you’ll be ready, (a moment that will never come), you end up putting off the thing for for so long that it never gets done!
You counterintuitively hinder your own creativity by waiting for that first step.
You have everything you need. You have the resources and the questions and the motivations; procrastination, in the form of waiting, only serves to hold you back.
The Benefits of Boredom
It is evident that many creative geniuses, Einstein, for example, have had many of their best ideas when bored.
You’d imagine that people have their best ideas, their biggest breakthroughs, when working, when focusing intensely on the problem at hand. But this is not the case!
Focusing intensely helps immensely, but it can only be done for a short period of time. Focusing too hard for too long is actually counterintuitive.
Those with immense creative abilities realise this early on, and so implement boredom as a part of their daily life.
Rather than fearing boredom and avoiding it as if it was the plague, they embrace and welcome it! They want as much boredom as they want focused and effortful work.
Boredom can serve as a time where your creative mind can explore all avenues and all possibilities, with nothing holding it back!
During times of immense focus, your brain is too busy, well, focusing, to allow room for any major creative genius.
However, when you take time away from the work and invite boredom, that gives the mind an opportunity to flourish! It enables the mind to explore new ideas, make big connections, and have those creative breakthroughs.
You can use boredom as a superpower if you make a point to implement it, not to hide from it!
Idea of the Week. 💭
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ― Marcus Aurelius
Tweet of the Week. ✍🏻
Draft Fast, Edit Slow
The greatest writers and storytellers agree on one thing: starting is the hardest part.
There is nothing more daunting than a blank page.
Draft fast — don’t worry about how bad it is.
Edit slow — write and rewrite as necessary.
For a writer, there is nothing more frightening than a blank page. It is highly agreed upon that starting is the hardest part.
There’s multiple reasons behind this, ranging from perfectionism to a fear of failure.
No matter the reason, it can easily lead to procrastination, and then you’ll never end up writing or publishing anything!
In order to combat this, and actually get started, there are steps to take;
How To Take The First Step 👣
Make the pain of procrastination more intense than the pain of doing the hard task.
We are wired to avoid pain at all costs, it’s a primal instinct.
You can take advantage of that and prime yourself to choose the hard task in pretty much all instances.
The hard task, of course, is bound to be challenging; that’s why you’re procrastinating.
What you need to do is make the pain of procrastination worse than the pain of the actual task.
In this case, starting from a blank page is immensely frightening. To use this tip to your advantage, make procrastination worse. Make procrastination something that provokes discomfort, something that actually requires more effort than to just get started.
When procrastination is worse, you’ll be more inclined to avoid it. Your brain will want to avoid that pain, and you’ll have no other choice but to take the first step.
Draft Fast ✍🏻
When it comes to a blank page, the best thing you can do is to simply draft fast.
Get as many words out on the page as possible. Don’t worry about consistency, coherency, anything.
A writers first instinct, very shortly after writing anything, is to go back, edit and improve it. However, this is counterintuitive; you’ll spend more time editing and criticising yourself, and then barely get anything done.
In this first stage, with the blank page in front, you should work solely on getting the words down.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be coherent. It doesn’t have to make sense.
If anything, it is even better if the first draft is ‘bad’, for it gives you more things to improve upon, and more avenues to explore.
What matters is that you get the ideas down and you have something to go from.
Then, after its all written, you can begin the editing process.
To end, here’s a question from me! ⚡️
If you have a strategy that works, how can you hone in solely on that, and do more of it?
Thanks for reading!