People make a lot of money off your lack of self-esteem or self-awareness. You’re not good looking enough, your car is too wimpy or guzzles too much fuel. Your teeth could be whiter, your family happier, your waist thinner, and if you want to trust cartoon bears, your butt could be cleaner. You are stupid for whom you voted for; your job lacks pizzazz, in fact, your whole career could be better if you went to the right college. Not the one that costs too much, or the one that lacks prestige, the other one. The team you root for is great, but not the greatest, and your kids would be smarter if they wore high-performance shoes. You could find the perfect partner if you were more assertive, but didn’t talk as much. The food you are feeding your family is probably killing them, and if you cared you would protest, but not with those people, they are all idiots. Just do seven things for 10,000 hours, or is it 10,000 things for seven hours? Doesn’t matter, to be exceptionally successful you only need four hours, essential oils, a protein shake and the right selfie, which you should pay an expert to take for you.
Exhausted yet? Low energy, no stamina. Sad.
It seems impossible to do it all; to be all things to all people. You cannot. You should not. Don’t listen to them; you’re fine.
Knowing there are more than 300 million people affected by depression worldwide won’t keep you from feeling alone, and the fact that 18% of the U.S. population experiences some type of anxiety disorder brings no comfort. Clearly, we need a better system to filter what informs our outlook and influences our decisions. Lousy leaders prey on those with learned helplessness and hopelessness. Stop feeding lousy leaders, starve them off.
Clear the thorns and weeds that are cluttering your personal path and define success for yourself on your terms. Spend a few moments to quiet the sounds competing for your attention. Then prune the excesses in your life, material or otherwise, and capture your answers to the following questions.
- What problem do you want a hand in solving? (Vision)
- Why? (Passion)
- What step can you take in the next five seconds, minutes or hours to inch closer to solving that problem? (Action)
- Repeat. (Consistency and Discipline)
These four steps are just as easy to complete as they are to ignore. You get to select which path to take. If you choose to equip yourself with self-directed vision, passion, action, consistency and discipline, you will fare better.
Also published on Medium.