DOING TOO MUCH
Let’s start with one simple question.
How many lives do we have?
As far as we know, only ONE.
So how many things COULD we do over our lifetime?
More than we can count.
But, there’s a problem.
You can do anything.
However, you can’t do everything.
This is exactly why in this blog post I want us to explore the importance of picking your battles in life carefully.
CHOOSING A BATTLE YOU CAN WIN
If you do ONE thing, you have to ignore another one.
This is called opportunity cost.
Imagine that Mark Zuckerberg would have watched Netflix instead of building Facebook.
Now try to imagine, where would he be now?
Probably not the 5th richest person in the world.
He founded Facebook being just 19 years old.
It would have been easy for him to just go partying.
Actually, in the movie The Social Network, even though not a realistic view of what really happened, you can see him still having some kind of fun.
This shows us that you can do a little bit of everything.
However, at the end of the day, you need to have at least ONE thing that you do consistently.
For companies, it’s their mission and vision.
EVERY serious business has a mission and a vision. This is not a coincidence.
They need it.
You can search on the internet for “Amazon mission statement” or “Google vision statement”.
You might not know them without checking, but after reading them, they would seem really obvious.
Shel Silverstein Quote
HOW YOU DO IT
Unless we want to complicate a simple subject, there are only 2 ways in which we can perform a task:
- In a LAZY way.
- In a GREAT way.
Most of the things we do in life are done the lazy way.
Why is that?
Because it’s usually something that we have to do.
You don’t clean the dishes and wash the clothes with a big smile on your face, do you?
How about studying or working?
Most of the time you’re probably not that excited.
This is not necessarily bad. We have a limited daily mental energy, so we’ll always focus most when we really have to.
The problem is that the GREAT way of doing things applies most of the time to the unimportant stuff.
Some of us are good at video games and get excited while playing them.
Other people can watch Netflix shows like they’re being paid to do it.
These are a few examples of HOW we do things that are unimportant, in a GREAT way.
We usually call them hobbies.
One of the problems with this approach is the following.
Success usually comes from doing many small things in a great way.
Let’s go back to our Zuckerberg example.
He didn’t just know how to code. He also made friends with people who were smart enough to challenge or support him. He ate just about right not to get fat and be mentally sharp.
Zuckerberg made a reputation for himself by the actions that he took. That is why he was approached by the right people with an idea, that eventually became Facebook.
Now, it’s true that some people seem to put energy in everything that they do.
Does that automatically make them achieve what they want?
This brings up to our next part, which is thinking of WHAT you actually do, not just HOW you do it.
Thomas Edison Quote
WHAT YOU DO
This is the part that is the hardest to get right because unlike the HOW, it is a long-term plan.
As a child, you probably said that you wanted to become an athlete, an astronaut or anything that right now can seem too big of a dream.
Does that childhood dream become a reality?
In most cases, no.
We love to dream big as kids.
After that, unfortunately, something happens along the way. We can’t see the future as bright anymore. We shift our mindset from what we want to do to what stops us from doing it.
We create a self-limiting belief.
We are telling ourselves we can’t do it, even if there is nothing that has practically changed. There is nothing stopping us beside the stories that we create in our head of why we wouldn’t be able to achieve that specific goal we have.
This is where we have to stop for a second and think.
The word talent makes for nice stories, but it’s usually just a result of passion.
If you like something, as mentioned in the HOW part, you will do it in a GREAT way.
Now, the big problem is that a few of us do a few things REAL good. Actually, we may do a lot of things REALLY good. BUT, if you cook like an expert, if you wash the dishes like an expert, if you make coffee like an expert, this doesn’t really translate into real life results for achieving your bigger goals.
If you’re always watching YouTube videos or reading recipes on how to cook, you get good at cooking, but this is just one aspect of life.
Can far can you go if WHAT you’re doing are just small things, and never actually take on a challenging task?
This is where the WHAT part is so important.
Sometimes, we have to just stop for a second and think WHAT we want to do and WHAT we may be able to achieve long-term by doing it.
At times, you might to a lousy job, but since you are doing something that still helps you progress in life, it’s better than taking time and putting a lot of effort in doing something that doesn’t bring any type of real progress.
Now we should explore the difference between the HOW and the WHAT, trying to find a balance between them.
Jane Goodall Quote
THE HOW VS. THE WHAT
As always, let’s keep it simple.
The easiest way to show the difference is through an example. I’ll give 2 examples so we can all relate.
For the 1st one, we all ask ourselves this question after finishing high school.
To which university should I go?
We won’t take into account the NO-GO answer because we aren’t that smart, just yet, to even think of it.
Going to a small (near) university vs. a bigger (more challenging) one.
Let’s assume that HOW you study is the same.
The big difference?
You will be in the top 10% at the small university.
You will be in the bottom 10% at the bigger university.
This is just a theoretical example that shows a possible difference between the DECISION that you make regarding the WHAT you want to do.
You will feel noticeable different by being a top student compared to seeing yourself as inferior.
It’s just human psychology.
You have to pick your battles and play to your strengths.
WHAT TO WORK ON
Ok, now let’s go down to the nitty-gritty.
We all play the same game, which involves money.
Now there are a few ways you can earn your income, seriously and legally.
Working in a good job vs. a shitty job.
Having your own good business vs. shitty business.
Let’s do some math to see if it’s worth paying attention to WHAT you actually do.
We have 3 scenarios:
- Working for an average income of $60k / year.
- Working for an average income of $80k / year.
- Working for an average income of $100k / year.
Let’s do the math and see what we get.
How much TIME do we need to invest to earn $1.8 million with these 3 scenarios?
- $60k x 30 years = $1.8 million
- $80k x 22.5 years = $1.8 million
- $100k x 18 years = $1.8 million
12 years difference.
That is the difference between the 1st and 3rd scenario.
That is how much time you can work on yourself or enjoy, for the same financial gains.
WHAT YOU CHOSE TO DO IN LIFE.
The job or the entrepreneurial route you want to take.
Is it worth to do your thing?
It’s definitely not ONLY about money but there is a correlation between these 3 variables:
- working hours
- life satisfaction
I know we all like visuals more than reading, so I decided to even make a table to show the difference in the graphic from down below.
You can definitely see the huge change in years spent working in case of lower vs. higher paid activities.
This makes us more aware of WHAT we want to do since there is only ONE life and a limit to the things that we are able to do, and even more important, do well.
It’s important to be able to adapt to changes that may occur, but also be aware that things change at a micro level and rarely at a macro level. That is why we still learn from people who have lived long before us. Many old ideas and principles have stood the test of time because things like human psychology evolve slowly and changes are minor. New technology always appears, but the words in our language doesn’t change. We still have desires, goals, actions we must take, people we want to meet, places we want to go.
Always stick to the fundamentals.
Comparison Table between yearly income and total earnings over time
As always, I want to end this post with a few closing thoughts on the subject and a short summary.
Unfortunately, we aren’t taught these things in school and it’s one of the most important things we can start our journey in life with. If we aren’t guided properly in the direction of WHAT we need to do, we are wasting the only non-renewable thing in our life, which is our TIME.
I write these type of blog posts as much for you, who are reading this, as I write it for me. It’s easy to get caught up in scrolling on Social media platforms or feeling comfortable at one point in our day and neglecting the long-term plans we have.
Sometimes we just take things for granted and stop progressing. This is not unusual because we just aren’t wired to challenge ourselves. It is against the survival mechanism we have been born with. It’s not easy to fight against the human brain, which has evolved for most of its time, in a different environment. Our brain will naturally, always try to do the most, with the least effort.
Growth starts when you feel like quitting.
That is why I will always suggest getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Now, for the short summary of the blog post:
#1 We have only ONE life.
#2 There is a LIMITED number of things we can do at the same time.
#3 HOW we do our tasks is important, but not the MOST important.
#4 Pick WHAT you want to do in life carefully because it is the single MOST important thing you can decide.
#5 Be flexible and adaptable, but not easily influenced.
#6 Technology changes fast, humans do not.
That’s all for this post.
I hope you found value in it and if there’s anything you want to say regarding it, the comment section down below is open to everyone.
To end the blog post properly, we will have none other than Tony Robbins, give a few words of advice.
Final Quote to Keep You Motivated Comes from Tony Robbins
If there’s anything on your mind, don’t be shy, you have the comment box down below ⇩⇩⇩ Promise I won’t bite ⇩⇩⇩
Life enthusiast with a great desire to constantly perfect myself, get in better physical and mental shape, while also helping other people by sharing everything I’ve been able to learn.