Advertising
Advertising

How to Lead a Better Life and Do What You Want

How to Lead a Better Life and Do What You Want

It can be a long lesson if you want to know how to lead a better life and do what you want, but I’ve found a nice short post on Quora by Oliver Emberton who shows us the idea to lead a good life with some interesting graphics:

You can do anything if you stop trying to do everything

    ALL THAT PORN ISN’T HELPING YOU. 

    Productivity porn, that is. How to get more hours from your day. What to-do app to use. What cute quotes to share on Facebook. Waste. Of. Time.

    It’s actually quite simple. The most accomplished people are simply experts at what they choose to do, not how they do it. Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself.

    Let’s break it into three:

    1. Focus on your flairs

    What does it mean to have a flair for something? It means time you invest yields higher returns: 

      Say you’re Tiger Woods, aged 10. Playing golf is a pretty good use of your time, right? Bill Gates probably wasn’t wasting his evenings on the computer.

      Yet equally we all have areas where we struggle – our anti-flair, if you will. It took me 18 months and four attempts to pass my driving test. I hated every squirming, soul-sucking minute, but still – if you throw enough time at something you’ll get results eventually.

      The problem is, too many of us lead lives like those driving lessons: ceaselessly doing something we hate, solely to get through it. You can’t avoid every chore of course, but know that how you spend your time compounds itself, so you’d best be putting most of it where it matters:

        DO NOT FOR A SECOND believe it is enough to ‘work hard’. Hard work is not inherently a good thing. Hard work is a disgusting waste of your life when it’s thrown at the wrong things.

        2. Defy permission

        “But wait! No-one will pay me to follow my dreams!”

        Well of course. The problem here is you’re looking for a convenient, readymade route to prosperity that exists for your particular passion. Most of the time, we call that a “job”.

        Take a hard look at almost anyone who is really successful, and consider: did they apply for an existing position by winning an interview? Or did they bypass the system and start something entirely by themselves?

          If you’re a wannabe musician, you don’t necessarily need to be discovered by a label anymore. You need to be discovered by the public. Yearn to be a writer? Blog or self-publish. An entrepreneur? Build a company in your garage. If you’re good enough at something, there’s a way to make it work by yourself. But don’t expect anyone to tell you what to do or give you permission.

          One caveat: you have to be good enough, and you have to persist. The best way to do that, of course, is to focus relentlessly on your flairs (see #1).

          Good jobs are disappearing in today’s world, but there’s never been so many great ones.

          3. Embrace your sociopathic shield

          Getting something done can be like surviving a meteor storm of distractions. We surrender much of our life to the most vapid crap imaginable, simply because someone else asks us to.

            To survive, you need a shield. A slightly sociopathic one, in fact:

              The default response of your shield to anything that requires time is “no”. Automatic no. The trick is not to think of the new thing being proposed (“ooh – a squirrel”), but to think of the existing priority you’re defending (“oh – my dreams”). And if your brain thinks you can do both, treat that thought with the skepticism of Richard Dawkins being shown some holy toast.

              This isn’t easy, so it’s best to avoid relying on your shield in the first place. Flat out ignore as many potential distractions as possible – at least for long enough for you to focus on meaningful work. Seal yourself in a bubble when you can. If your emails go unanswered – well – tough. The payoff is you get done what matters.

              It demands a certain courage or naivety to accomplish all this, which is probably why so few do. Being young helps. Being hungry helps. Being a bit of an arse helps. One of the great advantages of the young is they’re blissfully ignorant or dismissive of the stupid rules they’re not supposed to break.

              Spend most of your time on the right things. Don’t wait for permission. And get comfortable with declining everything by default.

              It’s harder than posting a cute quote on Facebook, but it works.

              More by this author

              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

              How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

              Trending in Productivity

              1 The Secret to Success Is Failure 2 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 3 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 4 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 5 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Published on July 22, 2019

              The Secret to Success Is Failure

              The Secret to Success Is Failure

              You see a job that you’d love to do; and, you decide to go for it.

              You submit your application, and then are pleased to find a few days later that you’re invited for an interview. This goes well, and you begin to have quiet optimism that a job offer will be coming your way soon…

              It doesn’t.

              Instead, you receive a letter saying thank you — but, they’ve decided to go with another candidate.

              At this point, you could allow yourself to feel defeated, sad, and perhaps even a little angry. These are normal responses to bad news. Yet, it’s not wise to let them fester and disrupt your goals. Successful people don’t let failures kill their dreams.

              Sure, they might temporarily feel deflated. But, very quickly, they pick themselves back up again and begin planning their next steps towards success.

              How about you? Do you currently feel embarrassed or guilty about failing?

              Advertising

              Don’t worry if you do, as most of us have been programmed since childhood to see failure as a bad thing. Yet, as I’m going to show you in the next few minutes, this programming is dead wrong — failure is actually an essential part of success.

              Don’t Be Tempted by Perfection

              The first thing I want you to think about is this:

              Resisting failure is, at its core, seeking perfection. And, perfection doesn’t exist.

              That’s why perfectionists are also likely to be chronic procrastinators.

              As Psychology Today noted in their article Pitfalls of Perfectionism, people who constantly seek for perfection stop themselves from engaging in challenging experiences.[1] That’s because these perfectionists are less creative and innovative than the average person — plus they’re less likely to take risks. Add these factors together, and you have someone who is overly focused on their own performance and is always quick to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these traits prevent them from having the necessary focus when it comes to learning new tasks.

              Let me be clear: Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for excellence.

              The former is a fool’s quest for the unattainable; while the latter is really just about doing our very best (which we can all obtain).

              Advertising

              And, there’s another problem that perfectionists have to deal with. Namely, when they fail to reach their ideal, they feel dejected and defeated. And — as you can imagine — repeat this often enough, and these people can end up feeling bitter and depressed about their lives.

              So, forget about seeking perfection, and instead, focus on always doing your very best.

              Why Failure Is Good

              I recently came across a Forbes article Failing Your Way To Success: Why Failure Is A Crucial Ingredient For Success[2] that helped explain why most people are opposed to failure.

              The article referenced the work of two world-renowned psychologists (Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. They discovered something very interesting: the effect of a loss is twice as great as the gain from a win.

              Have you ever thought about that before?

              What it means is that failure has a far greater negative impact on us than the positive impact of an equivalent win. It’s no wonder then that most people are afraid to fail.

              And, here’s where it gets interesting…

              Advertising

              Amazon (which along with Apple, Facebook and Google, is considered one of the Big Four technology companies) has a culture that is tolerant of failure. And Jeff Bezos — Amazon’s founder and CEO — believes that this culture is one of the main reasons for the company’s big achievements over the last 25 years. In a letter to shareholders, he said:

              “Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.” 

              The truth is, failure can open up a world of exciting opportunities for you.

              How does it do this?

              By constantly showing you new avenues to travel on. And, by helping you learn from your mistakes — so you can be better next time around. It also helps you identify what’s not working for your life, and what is.

              So instead of seeing something as detrimental to success, you should see it as a tool FOR success. A tool that will help you to continually refine your journey in life.

              If you still need some convincing that the secret to success is failure, then take a look at the following excerpts from our article 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On:

              Advertising

              • J.K. Rowling encountered a catalog of failures shortly after graduating from college, including: being jobless, the breakdown of her marriage, and living as a lone parent. However, instead of giving up on life, she used these failures to propel her to write the Harry Potter fantasy series — the best-selling book series in history.

              • Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start either. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the army. Later, one of his early business ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt. He was also fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) Was he defeated by these failures? Just ask Mickey Mouse.

              • Michael Jordan had this to say about the power of failure: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

              Embrace Failure, and Prepare for Success

              I hope this has been an eye-opener for you.

              Failure has long been branded a leper; but in reality, it’s a healthy, essential component of success.

              The trick of course is to develop the mindset of a winner. Someone who sees failures as stepping stones to success — and defeats as important learning experiences.

              So, are you ready to embrace your failures and take the proud road to success?

              I sincerely hope so.

              Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next