I have always loved the idea of achieving goals and becoming successful in life. Success can mean lots of different things to different people but to me it's about setting a goal, working at it and more importantly finishing it. You might think, “duh...obvious isn't that everyone's goal?” Well no, I think most people have dreams of becoming successful, but it's a general idea to them. It's like being wealthy or maybe famous, but with no clear direction on how to get to that point in their lives. That is why, at least to me, success is about goal setting and goal achieving. Doing what others don't want to do.
Of course this is easier said then done. However, for me it was a VERY hard thing to do. Sure, I had a clear idea of what I wanted and needed to do ,but when it came to putting in the hard work I lied to myself with excuses. I put work off till later (meaning never), and I went to watch TV or played video games, even though I was VERY upset about my life and really wanted it to change. I was just too lazy to do anything about it.
I realized that I was trying to be a person like Sebastian, a goal crusher...a goal terminator...a goal (okay you get the point). But that just wasn't me, and in fact when I did try to work like Sebastian it actually caused me to get more depressed and play video games even MORE! You see, how can you be expected to run a 5K when you have never put on a pair of running shoes and gone for a run? So, what I did was build systems to deal with this lazy problem.
My first real break was thinking that I have to spend a minimum of one hour a day devoted to work. Monday through Friday, working towards my goals. Now, many of you might throw your arms up and say, “One Hour!!! a day?? that's nothing!!!,” and to a productive person that is true. But, how many people really go home each night and CONSISTENTLY put in one hour's hard work into their goals? Seriously, when at work if you compressed everything challenging you did that work day would it even exceed an hour? Or what about about school work?
I soon realized that I could out perform most people by just spending an hour a day doing what I needed to get my main goals completed. How liberating is that feeling and for just for one hour a night? I'm not saying it's a great feeling to out perform other people but it is great feeling to think you are doing something with your life that matters to you!
Also, from my experience the more you do, “the one hour a night” the more you can extend it. I think hard work is like a muscle the more you work it the easier it becomes but it's important to build it up slowly. I only attempted to increase my time at night after I got some of my goals completed.
So, here is a list of what I consider are some of my achievements, which without this system I would still be in the same situation:
In one year built a political website that got mentioned on the local TV and Radio (even got some politicians signed up) – In the end it went offline but I still class it as a success and I learned a lot!
I built an e-commerce website that has taken some orders and got the website to the top of bing and yahoo (I'm a software developer by the way). It doesn't make very much money but the experience I got from running my own business is great.
Pass my GED (Completed)
Reduce my weight to 200 pounds and keep at that weight for 2 months. (Passed I'm at 187 Pounds)
Enter University and get 36 credits (Completed/Failed, I entered University and got 29 credits “while working a fulltime job”)
Get my US Citizenship (Completed)
Start lifting weights (Completed, I've been doing it for four months now.)
Launch a PHP shareware application (Completed)
Learn Spanish (Failed)
Successfully pass my Zend PHP certification (I'm taking the test next week)
As you can see it's not perfect but compared to how my life used to be it's a VERY big improvement. All of this I managed to achieve by working one hour a night and the was some weeks when I fell off the waggon, but the important thing is to get back on.
I wrote this post because Sebastian asked me to write a post about a book I recommended to him on Maths, however, I haven't had chance to read it completely yet. In fact, it's one of my goals to read it and learn from it. As you can see on the fact that I needed to get my GED to enter University that I’m not very good with Maths or English.
So, instead I thought I would write about my experiences and hoped it helps someone else. I would love to hear what other people do to get passed lazy times in their lives.
Wishing you the best.