Willpower isn't enough.
I used to do it.
And I see so many people really driven people do it:
That is, they wind up getting aggravated because they're not already there.
Force of will is incredible. It can do immense, immense, immense amounts of stuff.
Maybe it's the most powerful thing around. Hell, maybe moreso than love -- because what's love, without the will behind to it to fully embrace it?
Will gets you moving, but time gets you there. And inevitably, there's setbacks on the way.
Of course, this won't many help people who are impatient and seeing things as unideal right now.
Maybe it'll click for someone though. Will? Great start. Then mix in some time. It takes some time. Consistent will applied over time.
Sucks, but it's true.
(PS: Beating yourself up over not being there already is counterproductive, so at least knock that off.)
Thanks for pointing this out. Time does suck unless you have the wherewithal to enjoy the process. Worst case scenario might be that one is consistently, zealously & willfully chipping away at ones' goals, when a new reality dismantles everything. It feels detrimental but as long as core values are solid, I think ideals can be adapted. A more specific & realistic vision must evolve in response to the change. Past efforts & experience become prerequisite. This is probably common sense but it recently happened to me. I adore your blog - it is one of the most positive parts of my day :-) Thank you.
Sticking to a project, gym regimen whatever is always nearly impossible when you don't find a way to enjoy it. You need to find ways to enjoy your tasks every day, achieve flow, whatever. Otherwise what you're doing becomes a chore and eventually your willpower depletes and you just don't want to do it anymore.
A few questions from a reader today -
I've been in a slump recently where I have gotten very little done, and i was trying to figure out how to stop it. I could clearly see I was slacking off, falling into a pattern (probably an old one) of using my time more or less pointlessly and getting only the essentials done (which i was greatful for). I was able to turn a good portion of the wasted time toward something productive, but the time itself I still consider a waste, things I was doing without an intension to use the experience.
So I have two question here. Whats the best way to pull yourself out of a slump, to re-engage yourself and bring yourself back up to the projected level of prductivity (or at least a realistic level) ?
Fundamentals. Fundamentals are the only way out of slumps. A little exercise, a little eating well, enough sleep, some time in nature or breathing, some time with people you like, setting goals at the beginning of the day for the day, starting work on those right away, and sleeping on a decent schedule.
That's the only way I've found. There's no magic. When in a rut, work on fundamentals to get out. While that's not always easy, that seems to be the only way. Also, celebrate the small victories. If you're off-track and doing things even a little right, have a little celebration.
I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.
Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.
To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.
Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.