Issue #7 of The Get Some Victory Newsletter went out on Sunday, on the topic of making smarter New Year's Resolutions.
Stefanie Zobus weighted in with a smart reply, and kindly agreed to let me share it here -
I’d like to add one more thing to what you said. Often times, the resolutions made for the next year are not thought through properly, are quickly and thoughtlessly made, for vague reasons one sometimes doesn’t care about that much, or isn’t aware one cares much. That’s a problem. If one doesn’t think very, very carefully about what really matters, what one wants (!!) to change, and –why- it’s easy to say.. oh well, it doesn’t matter that much anyway. So things aren’t followed through. One needs to know the reasons very concretely, and the consequences of not following through. Instant gratification (gotten by quitting the resolution) is much more powerful than a vague goal stored at some far-end corner of the mind, uttered out loud once or twice during New Years.
You can get more good insights from Stefanie on her site - http://stefaniezobus.wordpress.com/
I'd like to bring attention to this ingenious comment by Stefanie Zobus. I'm adding bold on my favorite part -
It’s terribly easy to waste a day. It’s the evening, and I haven’t really done anything useful. I thought of planning the day when I got up, but in the end didn’t. I think books such as that one are really good in that they remind people their treacherous tendencies that take over when one doesn’t pay attention carefully enough. Old habits and all that. It would probably be a good idea to have something that forcefully reminds one of the whole business every day when one gets up, at least when one is still establishing new habits.
Something I thought about in that respect was that it would be useful to write some sort of ‘life manifest.’ Discussing how one wants ones’ life to be, what one wants to do in life, and very importantly: why – because when one doubts and falters, one could read that and be reminded of why one tries, and why one should keep going. You wrote something similar in that you had some post some time ago as to how many books you want to publish until then-and-then, and how much money you want to own at this or that point… which is a really good thing since it encourages and sets goals. There are so many methods and ways helping one to keep going… one just has to find and employ them. I’m afraid, the employing part is difficult. Reading a book like that brings one ‘back to earth’ I suppose, if one really cares. And if one doesn’t care, well, then things are pretty hopeless anyway.
Very smart stuff. I have some things that I live for, but I never thought to look at those when I was feeling demotivated. Great stuff. Stefanie just launched a site at http://stefaniezobus.wordpress.com/ - here's looking forward to good insights from her.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a really inspiring video where he was speaking to a group of USC students about entrepreneurship. One of the key points he made was to focus on your strengths and don’t give a crap about your weaknesses. That’s a hopeful mindset to have but one of the reasons why I’ve never completely focused on my strengths is because at my current level, my inadequacies take away most of the gains that I get from my strengths.
For example, I’m really good at opening loops and starting connections. A while back I had a weakness of being being disorganized and showing up late to meetings. This generated very little value since people only give you one chance to show up prepared and on time to a meeting.
A good way to think about this is through thresholds and Sebastian Marshall talks about this thoroughly in his book Roguelike. The basic premise is that if you were in the middle of a desert with no food and you don’t have the competency to get food, then you’re gonna die. As you get better at getting food, you can find food with great nutrients, and the ability to acquire food goes from very important to not very important very quickly.
Sebastian’s book Roguelike is about the parallels of building a successful character in a video game and building success in life, and he explains this concept with a related example: