On Long-Term Results, Making Yourself a Priority, and Feeling Deeply
Think in decades, act in days.
5 Minutes | 3 Ideas, Quotes, and Questions | 1 Challenge
Think in decades, act in days.
Most people’s short-term actions don’t align with their long-term goals.
They desire a high-paying job but don’t put in the hours. They want cut abs and toned glutes but skip their workouts. They aim for financial freedom but waste $5 on Starbucks every other day.
Achieving your dreams is pretty simple — get clear about what you want and how to get there. Then, work on it day after day.
Success is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t achieve big goals overnight, but take a small step every day and you’ll get there. Little strokes fell big oaks.
Wayne Kusy is the living proof for this statement. The artsy 60-year old with the mysterious smirk has spent decades building models of famous ocean liners — using millions of toothpicks. Before he touches the glue, he collects old photos, plans, and drawings. Then, he gets to work, one toothpick at a time.
What do you want your life to look like ten years from now? What does that imply for your actions this year? This month? This week? Today?
The French writer Jean de la Bruyère once said, “Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.” It’s tempting to push off things until tomorrow — after all, you’ve got 80 years to live, right? Sure, but that’s no reason to waste them.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.
“The worst day working on your purpose will still be better than the best day working on something that isn’t your purpose.”
— Julien Blanc
I’ll share something with you most coaches and self-development gurus wouldn’t.
I have bad days, just like the rest of you. Sometimes, I feel tired, am not in the mood to work, and want to quit and punch an old lady in the face to feel better about myself (jk). This is completely normal.
You might ask yourself: “If I’ll still feel shit sometimes even when I follow my calling, live a meaningful life, and do what matters to me, what’s the freaking point?!”
The point is I’d gladly choose a shitty day where I work on something dear to my heart over everyone serving me cake, kissing my butt, and showering me with praise but everything feels meaningless.
I’ve quit a prestigious master’s program to start my own business and even though I’ve cried blood, sweat, and tears many times, I didn’t regret it even once.
You’ll face a bunch of challenges in your life, too. An annoying boss. A rocky relationship. Financial struggles. Weight loss. Paying extra for Guacamole at Chipotle. But as the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” When the clouds turn gray, you’ll see if there’s sunshine inside of you.
Living on purpose is a choice.
Will you drag yourself through life and spend your time on meaningless distractions? Will you go through the motions and live the same day every day, watching the clock tick by until it’s time to retire? Or will you decide to do something that fulfills you and that makes a fucking difference in the world?
Following your purpose doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. But even on the worst days, you’ll feel better than before because this time, you’ve got a reason to go through it. This time, your efforts and struggles give your life meaning.
And that’s what it’s all about.
How would the lives of others improve if you made yourself a priority?
Most people view prioritizing yourself and caring for others as opposites — when in fact, they’re two sides of the same coin.
A man can only support others to the extent he supports himself. How can you spread good vibes if your head is filled with bad ones? How can you comfort your partner if you don’t have emotional maturity? How can you help your grandma carry heavy things if you’re morbidly obese and can barely carry yourself? There’s a reason why in airplanes, you get briefed to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others.
Of course, it’s a fine line between prioritizing yourself and becoming an egomaniac who only cares about his own good. How do you walk it?
As so often, it’s not about the “what” you’re doing, but the place it’s coming from. Do you make yourself your biggest priority because you want to be the best, fueled by a desire for money, power, and superiority? Or do you focus on yourself because you want to become the best man you can be and share your gifts with the world? If the latter is the case, focus on yourself first.
This isn’t egotistical, inconsiderate, or heartless. It’s just the rational thing to do. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Feel deeply and let go once a day.
When was the last time you felt bad?
Maybe you got angry in a meeting because your boss or coworker talked over you. Maybe your partner said something hurtful. Maybe you lost a long-loved friend or relative. Maybe you woke up and felt stressed out, anxious, or miserable for no reason at all. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to let go of these feelings instead of having them drag you down?
A few weeks ago, I started reading The Sedona Method. It’s a straightforward technique that helps you let go of “negative” emotions as they come up and experience inner peace. It works wonders, but there’s a small catch.
You have to accept end embrace your emotions first.
As men, we’re not used to exploring our feelings. We’re big, strong, rational, and battle-hardened warriors who have no time to be sad. But if you suppress your emotions, you can’t let them go.
To make accepting and letting go easier, the Sedona Method proposes five simple questions:
- What am I feeling right now?
- Can I welcome or at least accept this feeling?
- Can I let it go?
- Am I willing to let it go?
Look at these questions as a catalyst for the process of experiencing and letting go of your emotions, not as logical inquiries to be debated and answered. Respond intuitively, even if the answer is “no” or “not now.” With every question, dive deeper into what you experience — that’s what fuels the process.
For the next two weeks, sit down, close your eyes, and practice letting go at least once a day. The more often, the better — if you find yourself with unwanted feelings throughout the day, it’s the perfect time to practice. Go through as many rounds as you need.
Remember — it’s not about forcing yourself to do something. Rather, it’s about letting yourself experience what is already there. That’s how you let go.
I wish you all the best!
Until next time,
Thought-provoking personal growth & slightly inappropriate humor | 600K views | Join 1000+ men on the path of authentic self-improvement: https://bit.ly/3ciahGF