Absorbing self-development materials and announcing your ambitious plans to the world can be a great substitute to real action. It gives us the illusion of actually doing something to improve our lives. What a great way to deceive our brains. Read a few wise sentences, agree with an article, comment on a blog post or watch another TEDx speech. Feel the short-term injections of good emotions, just enough not to notice that the only thing that has changed is the date on your calendar.
The real problem starts when you have to go out of your comfort zone, leave your home and go outside. Spend eight productive hours in front of your laptop. Screw fast-food and start to cook healthy. Stop skipping the gym. Stop telling people the crap about your ambitious and exceptional plans and finally start realizing them.
So many people are exceptionally great at deceiving themselves and have serious problems with the execution of things that are good for them. They prefer to be lazy, wake up late, watch endless TV series or torture themselves with motivational video clips. They tell their friends about their fancy fantasies just to create an illusion of doing something; and they all know that the road to success looks entirely different.
We all know that eating unhealthy food won’t make us look or feel better. We know that without sacrificing our time and energy we won’t be able to achieve any of our goals. We all know that it’s unlikely to meet your soulmate without leaving your home. We all know that nothing “just happens” by itself. And what does this knowledge give us?
Real change is difficult (yes, that’s not something you will read on many self-development blogs, where everything is easy and you can change your life in just three days if only you buy this great DVD program, for only $699.000…), because it needs serious expenditure of time and energy:
Taking a risk (e.g. starting a business, changing your environment)
Getting out of your comfort zone (e.g. approaching a strange woman, public speeches)
Change of habits (e.g. time management, sacrifices, cooking meals on your own)
It’s very inconvenient, especially given the fact that our brain will always try to maintain the status quo:
When we are sad, we play depressing songs – we don’t feel like listening to uplifting music and we don’t want to meet people.
When we go out every day (can you remember senior high school days?) and socialize with people, staying home for two nights sounds like a life sentence.
When we don’t give a crap about the day plan – i.e. we wake up late and stumble upon junk and empty beer bottles scattered around the room – then doing anything more constructive than watching a TV series and scrolling down Facebook becomes close to impossible.
On the other hand, when we work on our projects from 6 a.m., complete task after task, clean, run and do lots of serious business – we want to be conscious of our time management and it’s hard for us to accept such things as lateness, sloppiness or sleeping until 11 a.m.
To make a long story short – if your current environment and your mindset doesn’t support your diligence and goal-getting, NOTHING WILL CHANGE until you change it yourself.
This nicely explains why, aside from the fact that I have already met thousands and thousands of people in the self-development environment, there are only a few folks consequently going after their goals. Not a thousand. Not a hundred. A few! What is everyone else doing? Collective mental masturbation. That’s only one of the descriptions that come to my mind.
This could be silently swallowed without any commentary if these people were just darn dull and stupid. The problem is, this is usually a smart person’s illness, people who have all the predispositions to conquer the world in many different areas: Soft skills, business, health, etc. As a result of my observation, I have noticed that the smarter the person is, the more deceitfully they can cheat themselves, rationalize lack of any action and create a smokescreen; virtual dimension, in which unconscious life wins, pushing brutal facts to the peripheries of reality.
It’s easier to talk than to do. When we tell our friends about our plans, we receive instant gratification. “Wow dude, what a great idea!” In reality, the realization of these visions and ideas usually comes down to long hours of work in solitude, and is work that no one, aside from yourself, sees or appreciates. Compliance of a given project and return of investment is usually a result of consequent working your ass off. Now, the final effect won’t necessary mean success and the approval of your environment/community . . . and here we go with the reason why most people are losers in their own movie.
So now we have come to a very important conclusion: If you really want to be determined to achieve your goals, you have to work majorly for YOURSELF. You NEVER KNOW if a given investment will pay off, but the simple fact that you put energy into something that is of utmost importance to you should give you a feeling of great pride and a drive to work. The ability to make decisions for yourself is equally important here.
I never knew if it was worth it.
When I decided not to continue my university education. When I packed my backpack and went to Africa alone.
When, with a whopping 120 pounds of body mass I decided to start going to an underground gym full of steroid-injected tattooed soccer hooligans, just because there was no alternative around.
When I approached this beautiful blonde girl in a club and said “hello,” not even sure what to say next. I didn’t know she would be the best girl I’ve ever met.
When I started writing this blog.
When I decided on moving to Cote’d Azur in France to live with my girl, not even sure if my business and my income could handle it.
When I was writing my first book, and people would tell me, “Come on, don’t be ridiculous. English is not even your first language. You won’t sell a single copy!”
When I started growing my first business and I told my boss I was leaving, right after she wanted to give me a raise.
None of these things never stopped me from trying.