What’s holding you back?
Are your health, fitness and beauty goals a constant chase?
Are the things you dream of doing living in some distant future?
I wish you answered all these qns on the desirable side of things but if not, it’s understandable. Life isn’t easy from the get-go, it has to be brought to that state and good news is that it can be.
IMO, anyone not living or moving towards the life of their dreams is a missed opportunity for entire mankind because we are collectively missing out on what this person could bring to the table of the world.
Taking a stock of time that we get is can be a serious game-changer in accomplishing that.
If your day goes as you wish it did, you can skip the rest of this read. If not, go on :)
A typical day will be different for each one of us but everyone's day has a first half and second half so let's take that angle.
The first half post waking up is the key. That is because, this is when your willpower tank is filled to its maximum capacity. So, if you spend the first half of the day amidst filler activities, then the important things left to be done in the second half, can feel mammoth because willpower has been depleted in low stake activities and not much of it is left when needed. As a consequence, guilt or frustration may set in, which then gets handled with more poor decisions or poor performance. Thus goes the loop and when done for enough days, it settles into a substandard attitude. Do you see what is being practiced here? Well, whatever it is, like it or not, the one doing it has got really good at it. The theory is as simple as this - you get good at what you practice.
Ask yourself, 'What have you got good at?', 'What have you been practicing?', 'What do you wish you were good at?', 'What do you need to be practicing?'
Apart from what we have to do out of need or responsibility, let's look at some of the other voluntary activities we do to understand how they maybe consuming big chunks of our willpower and time -
- Browsing social media. Every scroll demands a bit of your mental capacity to process it through the myriad of possible feelings it triggers in you. Not to mention the unhealthy reward system of instant gratification, it gets you addicted to. Watch the documentary The Social Network if you haven’t yet for more insight on social media by the very same people who have build these systems.
- Shopping. Your mind is scanning every item it lays its eyes on and making a decision to stay or move on. That is a lot of information processing non-stop and perhaps shopping really does burn calories, albeit not the ones we’d hope.
- Googling down the rabbithole. What did you start searching for again? And what page are you currently on? How the hell did you get here? And how long have you been on it? What do you remember of all that you browsed so far? Well, you get the drift.. don’t you?
- Streaming media - Viewing platforms ranging from TV to Netflix are channels of one-sided communication which is very pleasurable and comforting to the human mind. We feel relaxed and stimulated at the same time. And that’s precisely why it can be so addictive. The pressure of performance is off of us as there is no possibility of a feedback coming in. This can slowly dull down the brain and body starved of any stimulus of a healthy challenge. Here’s where I’d say, embrace some discomfort, it ain’t so bad ;)
- 24x7 news - Is there really enough happening in the world for us to need 24 hrs news channels? And are they even giving us the news as it is meant to be? Also do we want to hear the same news over and over again? I ‘d say, “No, thank you”. What we feed our mind, is what it regurgitates. Even boredom is better than bad media IMO.
- What to wear - There is no need to explain this I guess. Founders such as Steve Jobs drove the point home by making the extreme choice of having a personal uniform style dress-code. This doesn’t make it the best practice but unless its your job to post #ootd, spend time on your outfit worries proportionately or maybe do it strategically when it is not competing for time and willpower with other significantly more imp things-to-do.
- What to eat (or not) - This may look like an anomaly on this list as it is worth the time absolutely to think about this. But but but, not when hunger is knocking at your door already, specially for picky eaters, such as myself (hides face). You are going to heavily tax your willpower in deciding what to eat and even then are not likely to make good choices in that glucose hungry mind-state. A smart tip to eat better consistently is to plan what you are going to eat today, the day before.
- Driving. Keeping aside leisure drives on countryside highways, your mind has to be quite alert throughout while driving, specially in heavy traffic. Hundreds of decisions are made over a short span of time and it’s understandable when people reach their work-places drained and rush for that cup of tea or coffee as the first thing. Admire those who are able to work around this by reaching early and thus exhibit a wise use of their willpower.
The list could be longer but now you have some reference to cross-check the activities you spend your time on. The graph of how much impact any of these have on you can vary. Also none of these activities are right or wrong per say, the important thing is to do whatever you do with informed awareness.
So if you feel the need - Think, acknowledge, edit, execute - and there you have it, a simple formula to keep your power under your authority.