Yesterday in "Prioritizing" I wrote -
I think most people are at, maybe, 10% of their max capability. Probably more like 2%. That’s where most of my life I’ve been. Lately I’m near 40-50%? It’s intense. Better technology, better coordination, better planning are all necessary.
It didn't occur to me as anything important at the time - just a line thrown into a post on prioritizing. A few people have mentioned it -
Your 2% vs. 50% comment struck me as interesting.
Do you have experience being 2% productive? It would be interesting to hear from you exactly how you are different.
Sure, I have experience being at 2% of my max capability - note that I didn't call it "productive," I said "max capability" - there's a subtle difference.
But if you want to think about it, don't start at the bottom of the ladder.
Start at the top.
Think about one of the most expansive well-rounded days you've ever had.
Maybe you've had a day like that. You woke up, felt amazing, maybe read or worked a little creatively before breakfast, and had an inspired breakfast by yourself or with someone you really like and respect.
You connected with some people you like working with, and the ideas were just flowing - BAM BAM BAM, you cover three weeks' worth of ground in a few hours. You find an elegant solution to what was a tough roadblock. Before lunchtime, you've already accomplished more in that day than you did in the whole last month.
In the afternoon, a couple things you've had percolating come together - you finally get a chance to connect with someone you're going to do a huge business deal with, or you help put an inspirational event together - maybe a charity or educational event.
It's not even dinnertime. You have dinner with someone you really care about - maybe your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse. It's magnificent, everything is good. You're in such a wonderful mood that everyone around you smiles. You get great service, treat everyone well, get treated well.
Maybe you go to some event in the evening, or maybe you relax quietly at home. Either way, you don't want to sleep because you'd prefer the day to never end. But when you sleep, you sleep very well.
Most people have a day like that... how often? Once a year? Once every three years?
What if you could get a place where it was happening a couple times a month?
What if you could string a week of days like together in a row?
What if you were having quality similar to "the best day of your life" pretty regularly?
Maybe not every day. But pretty damn regularly?
It seems possible to me. Every day - create art and pioneer creative projects, act in an enterprising way to distribute all the valuable things you're doing, connect with great people, train your mind, treat people well, serve people, have everyone do right by you, have things go just absolutely fantastically.
What's "2% of max capacity"? It's everyday life. What's 50%? It's the best day you've ever had. What's 100%? I don't know, I haven't been up that far. By when you run at 50% for a a while in a row... man, it's just fantastic.
Great people are required to make it happen - you just can't do it alone. Lately I've been surrounded by such fantastic people in business, socially, everything. I'm waiting in a cafe for a really talented artist to show up that I'm distributing art for. The credit card machine wouldn't take my visa, and the Westernized Chinese girl in line just bought me a coffee. Turns out she's in the art world, invited me to a party tomorrow. Earlier I was working with a colleague on a big expansive business deal that should be both short and long-term lucrative. I'm listening to Tim Wu's "The Master Switch" on audiobook, which is just amazingly fantastic history of radio, television, telephone, and other information empires.
I spent the morning on the Longecity Forum researching new supplements to take. I'm going to start drinking more Rooibos tea. I just had the most painless visa-getting experience of my life since the firm I just joined paid a company to take care of it. One of the senior partners introduced me to his tailor, and I had a bunch of really beautiful stuff made for very low cost.
It's cyclical, y'know? You train your mind, you build good habits and a solid daily practice, you be very useful to people and connect with them. You work with the best tools, you work quickly and efficiently, you treat people well. You connect with people, help them, they help you, it's cyclical. People are the most important thing after starting to get your basic habits in order.
I'm hiring a lot of people lately. We're getting a new office up. Some of the people coming onboard are just fantastic, brilliant.
How long would it take, from scratch, to get to a point where you're having "best day of your life" twice a month? Maybe, like, 20 months. Maybe shorter if you're smarter or more disciplined or faster than me (all of which you quite possibly are, I'm not all that bright nor do I have particularly high natural willpower; I also used to be extremely slow at decisionmaking and implementation and had to train that up - you could go faster than me if you were already good at it).
I think most people don't realize how much is possible. Actually, today is a relatively slow day compared to the recent days before this. Maybe I'm at 10% of my max capability today. Much, much more is possible. Have you ever stopped and reflected on that? Why can't you have a really fantastic life consistently?
Maybe every day being amazing would be a stretch. But at least half of them? Yeah, that wouldn't take very long. Build your habits, do things that matter, learn a lot, connect with great people, treat everyone well, be very useful. The rest - using technology to make your life easier, scheduling well, things like that - those are just details.
Build habits, do things that matter, learn a lot, connect with great people, treat everyone well, be useful. That should get you from 2% of your max capability up to around 50% or so.