👋 Hey Friends,
Welcome back to the 30-Day Productivity Challenge by the famous YouTuber, former doctor and now writer Ali Abdaal. Starting today’s episode with a quote may be the best to show what’s ahead:
“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.”
— W. Clement Stone
🧐 Reflect on last week
Within the first week of January, we committed ourselves to the 30-Day Productivity Challenge and started to construct a plan for what our life should look like. We started by imagining who we wanted to be in the future and what we wanted to be doing. The single biggest thing I have taken away is the following.
When I had figured out who I wanted to be in my life, I realised the importance of the task. Life, as given to me, is the only thing I truly have. You can take everything away from me, but I will still be living. The act of living is the only thing that’s there for me at all times. My mind, body and soul, but nothing else. When I started to realise this, I saw the importance of structuring your life and planning.
I would rather not waste the single most important thing that I have by sitting around all day. I want to do something meaningful, something essential, but the only way I can do all these things is by having structure.
🏃Ego is the enemy in life
Often in life, we tend to wait for the perfect moment. We act like absurd creatures over preparing for something we are afraid to do. When you are in a situation where you feel a romantic interest in another person, you wait for this magicalperfect moment to say hi and introduce yourself.
Today’s controversy is that this perfect moment doesn’t exist and that you don’t wait because the situation or the moment isn’t right, but you wait because of your self-doubt. You are afraid that the other person might respond badly or that you look silly saying hi. This is a form of egocentric thinking, and it is one of the single biggest killers in life.
We frequently tend to think that we do things regarding others. We don’t raise our hands in class because we don’t want others to think we are stupid. But the actual thing that’s causing you to procrastinate on raising your hand is not that you don’t want others to think you are stupid, but you would rather not look stupid in front of others.
What is meant by that is that we think we do or don’t do something because of others, but we do it for our own good. That, by definition, is egocentric thinking. The thinking that everything in this world is about us not only destroys our productivity but increasingly separates us from society.
To implement this into our lives, here are three action steps I try to use every day:
- ✅ Embrace Imperfection: Rather than waiting for the "perfect moment," challenge yourself to embrace imperfection. Take small steps daily to confront situations that make you uncomfortable, such as introducing yourself to someone or speaking up in class. Understand that imperfection is part of growth and learning.
- 🌎 Shift Focus Outward: Redirect your focus from yourself to the situation or person involved. Instead of worrying about how you'll be perceived, concentrate on the value you can offer or the positive interaction you can create. When reaching out to someone, consider their perspective and interests rather than solely focusing on your fears.
- 🎯 Set Incremental Goals: Break down intimidating tasks into smaller, manageable steps. For instance, if speaking up in class feels daunting, start by jotting down your thoughts or asking questions after class. Gradually increase the challenge as you gain confidence. Celebrate each small success to build momentum.
By embracing imperfection, shifting focus outward, and setting incremental goals, challenge yourself to take daily steps outside your comfort zone, recognise growth in imperfection, value positive interactions, and break tasks into manageable steps for continuous progress.
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Thanks again and I'll see you soon.
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