Ok, I think we have one final list of things you could do to stop that annoying progress everyone is trying to chase (pun intended). So far, we have discussed eight main ways that you can hinder your prosperity in Part 1 and Part 2. Frankly, if “easier said than done” was not a phrase reflecting real life, simply doing the opposite of all these 12 nasty habits should have you see progress within weeks (if not days). After all, the greatest battle you will ever fight is in the war with yourself. If you beat yourself, nothing should scare you in this life anymore.
It is true. You are your biggest threat to progress. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to stop lying to yourself. Maybe our internal world is split into an angelic and a demonic presence, a mini version of each voice coming from each of our shoulders (the angel and the demon). I am saying this from my experience. I used to optimistically defend: “Hey, I don’t think my friends are toxic. They support me!” Then, my demonic me would say: “A little McDonald’s won’t hurt me!” Other times, it would throw me into complete denial, like: “You don’t have addiction issues, don’t even worry!” I bet this sounds relevant to some of you.
Ready for our grand finale? Let’s roll!
1. Sleep in more
Ahh, glorious sleep. Who does not love it? Plus, if you remove all those other destructive pleasantries from life, it feels like sleep remains the only irreplaceable, untouchable pleasure of life. But is it also destructive? In excess quantities, like abusive substances, it most certainly is. After all, do you really feel so miserable that you are ready to sleep your life away? For me, the very thought that sleep takes up to 33% of the time from your day’s 24 hours is already terrifying. All these hours that could have been spent actively are snoozed away! But that is how a hustler’s mind functions sometimes.
Waking up consistently at the same time every morning improves your circadian rhythm and helps you to stay organized through a routine. Ensuring that time is
painfully early completes the package, putting you into the day’s game ahead of most people and helping you get more things done throughout. You may notice I am a person that likes to live in sync with nature. If we discuss sleep in connection to our nature, it would seem fitting that we should go to sleep at sunset and wake up with the sunrise. The only problem with that is that night can last around 12 hours (even more sometimes). So perhaps, it would not make sense to lay down to sleep around sunset, but it definitely makes sense to wake up when the sun rises (or right before). And that is a little difficult to productively accomplish when you party hard every night.
2. Stop reading books
Why bother reading books nowadays? With all the audiobooks now available? Chat GPT can even summarise that book for you and save you time, right? Wrong! Reading a book is an artful process. Absorbing knowledge through reading a book line after line cannot possibly be replaced by skimming through a quick summary, or even listening. You can make your book reading even more effective by doing like me. When I read a book packed with information I would love to apply in the future, I take notes of the most valuable points. “Why would you do that? Why rewrite what is already written?” Reading is but one level of knowledge absorption. Summarising this knowledge by writing it out in your own words is a much higher level. Just try and see.
Some people argue that they can get the same, if not better, knowledge by watching videos on Youtube. Here is the problem with that. Youtube is filled with videos from various creators and variable qualities of knowledge. Your attention gets diffused. You get overwhelmed. And you may not be absorbing the information you truly need. A book requires you to sit down and focus on a single author and his vision of the topic of interest. You discovered or were recommended this author for a reason. One of my observations is that every time I finish reading a book, I make a significant accomplishment in my life related to the topic of that book.
3. Give up fast
Most people do. The desperation of seeing results usually beats prolonged effort. The reality is that you should understand ahead of time that you may be putting in a lot of work before you see anything fruitful. Make doing your mission – aim for achieving the acting. It is working out consistency that is a crucial task. That is where most people fail. Once the universe sees your stubborn persistence, it will help you attract what you want. And remember, rigid success does not come overnight (well, normally).
The best example of devotion and persistence has to be Thomas Edison’s journey of inventing the light bulb. He only succeeded after trying over 1,000 times – a thousand resultless attempts! What is even more amazing is how stout he was psychologically. Responding to a reporter once regarding how did it feel to fail so many times, Thomas said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” He also joked: “I just discovered 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.” If he gave up on his 3rd attempt, we would not talk about him now, and perhaps, we would not have light bulbs!
4. Hunt for perfection
Closely connected to giving up fast is chasing perfectionism. Oh, how many people were stopped by the nasty goal of perfectionism in their journey of progress? The problem with perfectionism is that our modern world only pours gasoline into that fire by pushing everything perfect to the peak of our attention. Instagram shows us the most perfect photos. YouTube shows us the most perfect videos. TikTok shows us the most successful entrepreneurs. And of course, we never pay attention to the effort that goes into making something so perfect. All we normally care about is what we see – the result. Then we compare ourselves to those perfect people and perfect results, and we become depressed! With zero effort! Madness!
The fact that our input does not quickly lead to a perfect output is why we give up so fast. You do not directly connect a successful and wealthy entrepreneur to his plethora of failed businesses, sleepless nights, ruined relationships, stressful breakdowns, and other dear sacrifices. If only you could obliterate your need for perfection, you would have a higher quality of life. You would start making progress only because you would actually feel freer to start! Reaching perfection would no longer be your obstacle. I daresay that it is a psychological disease of our era and should be treated precisely as such, rather than seen as a caprice as many do.
That wraps it up – 12 ways to stop progressing, or what to avoid if you want to improve your life. Remember about Part 1 and Part 2. Also, I hope that you do not have the impression that I have never struggled with any of these, or that I am currently the master of all 12! They are all based on my experience, and they are fully in sync with my own journey too. Join me! It can be fun.
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