It’s not you, it’s me.
Sometimes advice on productivity, financial success, business growth, health, and just about everything else can get get too structured, too formulaic, too much about ‘following the steps’ as opposed to understanding what the root causes of your problems are and what the long-lasting, effective solutions are to your case.
It makes sense – catering to the lowest denominator (i.e. dumbing it down) means that you can reach more people, which means more money / more attention. But the side-effect – apart from the cookie-cutter approach not working for everyone – is that you are contributing to the global culture of ‘getting help’ instead of helping people ‘help themselves’. Self-help books are usually anything but – they are full of useful advice, yes, but it’s still someone else giving you a standard answer to a personal question.
So what to do? While the following idea isn’t new in business consulting, it’s not repeated as often in personal productivity / fitness / self help circles. Simply put:
You have great dreams. Most of the time the only obstacle between yourself and your dreams is you. Get the hell out of the way.
- You want to lose weight, but you refuse to change your habits. Change is the greatest driver of growth / progress – if you keep doing everything that you did in the past that got you to the current, unfit state, keeping those habits will not help you lose weight.
- You want to make more money, but you refuse to change your schedule. Waking up late, preferring to play video games, recreational drugs, TV – everything that wrecks your schedule, you keep doing it. We can’t squeeze 30 hours out of 24, something has to give.
- You want to have a better social life, but you refuse to change your priorities. Instead of focusing on what’s important at work you also busy yourself with the trivial, leaving you no time for a normal life (Balance is over-rated – work more by all means if you want to. Normalcy here is tied in with your personal view of what an ideal lifestyle would be).
- You want to have more sex, but you refuse to change your approach / social circle / appearance. Instead of making yourself more desirable and surrounding yourself with attractive people, you focus on doing more of the same that left you sexless in the first place.
The pattern is evident – your resistance to doing what needs to be done is the core issue. By ‘getting out of the way’ – by making yourself amenable to change and giving in to the forces in and around you that compel you towards your goals – you will notice not only a marked difference in your quality of life but also find yourself moving ever faster towards your dreams.
It’s not a conspiracy theory, and it’s not because it’s ‘too difficult to do’. You can do whatever you set your mind to – you might end up doing it differently, but you can do it.
If you get out of the way, that is.
PS. An excellent article on the business applications of this idea: 10 signs you are the bottleneck to your growth