There’s a lot of talk around productivity hacks & advice on starting a business. Most tend to reference reliable psychological studies or renowned thinkers & the advice given tends to be objectively good advice.
Yet 99% of us will read whatever advice is given & immediately ignore it or forget about it.
Why is that?
Your situation isn’t bad enough
Most people lack the motivation to follow through by taking action because they just don’t care /enough/ about changing themselves. You may really want to start a business, but you also have an active social life & value your down time watching Netflix or similar.
I relish each day in my current job with a slightly masochistic anticipation as I know it’s going to be one of the most depressing days of my life. However, without this period of hating life, would I have the relentless motivation to build a side business?
I work really hard on my business plan & freelancing plan so that I can get out as soon as possible.
So, either find a job that you really fucking hate (hard to do deliberately) or confront the root of the problem.
Be honest with yourself
The root of the problem is that we’ve got too good at lying to ourselves.
I didn’t really, truly realise I was unhappy in my current job until I just wrote it down:
‘I am miserable.’
Our thoughts are so disparate & fleeting that when we feel a sense of dissatisfaction or start asking ourselves tough questions in our head (‘Is this job making me happy?’), we tend to jump to the next thing that’s distracted us.
We never stop, confront the reoccurring thought & find a solution.
You brush the dissatisfaction off as temporary – as just a one-off. Is it really just temporary if the thought comes back on a daily basis? If most of your working day it’s sitting there somewhere at the back of your mind, rearing it’s head in moments of quiet reflection?
Is it just me or…
The hardest thing about this is that most people around you are also in a permanent state of self-denial. Say you work in a big corporation where you know the work is bullshit, but everyone walks around as if a member of a cult – singing the virtues of the company & of it’s ‘mission’ with a fixed grin on their face & talk of promotion to the hallowed halls of the top floor.
Yet you find yourself thinking, ‘Do they really believe all this bullshit? Is it just me?’
You then start questioning yourself, thinking that you’re the odd one out. That you probably aren’t that unhappy & that it’s just a passing phase. ‘If everyone else seems to love the job, then surely I will too at some point’, you say to yourself.
But they are probably all lying to themselves as well. Too scared to admit the truth & take the hard path of working out what they do want to do in life. Easier to await your pay check & climb up the corporate ladder.
Don’t follow the crowd
So don’t follow what those around you do – do what you want to do. If other people find it easier – or are even happy – lying to themselves their entire lives, then that’s fine. If it works for them, it works for them. But does it work for you?
If not, just admit it to yourself. Take a pen & write down a clear statement. It could be ‘I hate my boss’, ‘I hate my job’, ’This relationship is making me deeply unhappy’.
Write down whatever is making you unhappy & confront it.
When you see it on the page, it’s unavoidable. You will no longer be able to hide from the truth. And when you’re honest with yourself this one time, you will find yourself unable to lie to yourself. You know the truth & there’s no escaping the truth.
You’ll find this one small act gives you far more direction & motivation than all the productivity hacks in the world.