You must not neglect the daily disciplines. That which is easy to do, is easy not to do.
The big mistake you have made in the past is that you think a huge amount of effort is needed now, in this very moment, to change or achieve something. In some instances this can be true. However, with most areas of your life it is the small daily tasks that will add up to success in the long run.
Imagine your life in five years if you didn’t wash your teeth every day. It sounds crazy, however, the three minutes spent every morning and evening washing your teeth is time well invested.
In the same way, imagine your life in five years if you:
- Ate an apple every day
- Walked a half hour during lunch every day
- Swam 20 laps every morning before work
- Took your vitamin tablets every day
- Drank the correct amount of water every day
- Got the correct amount of sleep every day
- Kissed your wife and your children every day and told them you loved them
- Did a couple of weights every day
- Spoke to your mam and dad every day
- Avoided bread during the work week
- Sent a couple of texts to your friends every week
All of the above are easy to do. However, they are also easy not to do. Doing these things once or twice and stopping won’t make any difference to you, but doing them every day for five years will change your life. Missing these things once or twice won’t make any difference to you, but not doing them for five years will leave you with very dirty teeth.
I could, I can, I can’t, I should… are weak words. They give you wiggle room to get out of doing something. In conversation they give power to others.
I will, I am, I won’t are strong words. There is no wiggle room. They are decisive.
- ‘I can go to the gym this evening’ vs ‘I will go to the gym this evening.’
- ‘No, I can’t go out tonight’ leads to a question, why can’t you go out tonight? vs ‘No, I won’t be out tonight’
- ‘I should post daily from now on’ vs ‘I am going to post daily from now on’
Charles Bukowski wrote on his grave the words “Don’t try’. At first I read this as a negative statement – don’t bother, its not worth trying. I was disappointed. Most of Bukowski’s poems that I had read, and loved, all uplifted me. They pushed me to ‘try’. To give it another go.
Why then did Bukowski sign off on such a negative note? Having thought about this I don’t think that he did. When Bukowski whispers ‘don’t try’ to you from the grave, he is in fact spurring you on. He is telling you – ‘Do not try to do it, DO IT!’ As Master Yoda would say, ‘do it or do not, there is no try’.
Words have power. Do not say that ‘you will try’. Say that you will and do it. Or, say that you wont do it, and don’t.
Consider the words you choose when speaking to yourself and others. By analysing and mediating on your use of words, over time you will choose better ones and get better results.
The hardest part of any new project is the beginning. You stare at the blank page. Where do you start? What is your first step?
Too often you think and debate what you should do, how you should do it, when you should do it, where you should do it… should, should, should…
Just begin, now.
- Take a page and start writing anything
- Open a word document and start typing anything
- Press record and start singing anything
- Put on your runners and start running anywhere
Do something in the moment. Anything is better than nothing. Even if you take the wrong path and you go down the wrong road at least you’ll find out sooner. You’ll tick that route off as the wrong one and you will be closer to finding the correct way.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu