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Vigilante

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Drown Out the Noise, and Focus (First Things First)

Maybe it took me a pandemic. This window of slowing down has crystalized a lot of things, and re-prioritized things. I have often preached to others the value of Steven Covey’s concept of putting First Things First. Prioritizing the things that should be first and drowning out the noise that distracts from primary focus. It’s what @Kak does every day. It’s what @LightHouse teaches to his coaching clients. It’s what @Kung Fu Steve does entire seminars on, and it’s something that @MJ DeMarco and @AllenCrawley excel at. It took me a pandemic to slow down, re-prioritize, and practice what I preach.

For me, it means gaining an acute sense of awareness of where I am going. Beyond goal setting (which is a tool), it’s an intentional and single minded focus towards an end game, and the casualties along the way are anything that distracts, inflicts harm to, or otherwise forces itself into your mindset and takes you off mission.

EXAMPLE: Losing weight is a goal. Keto is a tool. Working out is a tool. End game is long term health. Drowning the noise in this regard is turning down options as non-considerable (like @Chitown ’s donuts for those of you who heard his speech a few years ago).

EXAMPLE: A certain revenue is a goal. A business platform is a tool. The Millionaire FastLane is a tool. Financial freedom is an end game. Drowning out the noise in this scenario might be people, video games, action fakes… an unsupportive spouse. Anything that creeps in that takes you off of plan.


Some specifics for me lately that been realigned :

Changing how I interact with social media. Social media is a tool, not a pass time. I reorganized how I use social media to eliminate the distractions. Distractions there can range from games to political debates to simply the time suck of being up on the latest media buzz. It’s not essential. Some surveys find the average amount of time people spend on social media is two hours and twenty four minutes… PER DAY. What if that time was repurposed towards your family, your business or your health? I am not going to take it to zero, but the time spent on business on social media doesn’t count in the calculation.

Changing how I interact with extended family. One thing I talk about from time to time is how adversity reveals character. Watch the people in your inner circle. Are they cheering for you? Are they interested in you, or simply in what you offer them? Investments in people have to be a two way street in order for you to be satiated. I am now totally OK with eliminating things that are a negative energy drain. You can spend a lifetime trying to fix people and hoping they become what you want them to be, or you can do what I should have done much earlier in life and allow the cord to be cut. We spend time with our young daughter talking about filling or depleting someone else’s tank… the value add or detraction from other people’s lives. Why is it so easy to tell an eight year old what you spent a lifetime trying to cover for? It’s OK to eliminate negative energy and negative people from your life.

Changing expectations of people. Rather than striving to invest in people to the degree you want them to change, accepting them where they are at and enjoying them for what they are vs. what you hoped them to be. I may write more on this at a later date, but it’s a complicated learning through adversity of who people really are to you. If you shift your desire from what you want FROM them to what you can enjoy about them and what you can do to simply love and live in the moment, you can free yourself from the weight of your own expectations. This would take me way more than a paragraph to articulate in a way that would make sense. I may try it down the road in detail.

Changing things as simple as how I interact here at the forum. For a long time, I had a moderator-Napoleon complex. I had a self imposed, self important policy of not ignoring individuals or threads here out of a warped sense of self importance (as if this shit was ever important.) As a result, while others including the forum founder judiciously added people and threads to their own ignore lists, I subjected myself to the abuse and lunacy of the forum’s biggest assholes - and there have been a lot of them over the years. The result was to my own detriment here, minimizing my enjoyment of the best of what you all have to offer while dealing with douche bags and craziness others were free to ignore. I held myself to a higher calling than the volunteer job required, and than the founder of the forum even asked for. I had my own self righteous policy of not ignoring people.

No more. This was best illuminated for me when I realized I was the only one (even out of the mods!) that didn’t have certain posters, or certain threads, or both… on ignore. The only real informal rule regarding this for MJ is that we can’t ALL be out of a thread or it would become the wild west. But the freedom to eliminate the noise was mine all along and my own ego kept me from using it, until now.

Yesterday I eliminated a bunch of assholes from the forum using the beautiful IGNORE button. And you should do the same. I am not talking about people you disagree with… I am talking about the filthy energy drainers that detract from your enjoyment of the forum. Hopefully you use the ignore function regularly. Surprisingly, I even ignored assholes I have helped dozens of times personally who at the slightest prompting took up pitchforks against me. Guess what? f*ck you. You’re noise. You’re out. Take control of the things you allow in to your circle. Being at the Fastlane Forum is something we do for enjoyment and education. Assholes serve no role in either. Use the ignore function liberally to make your value to and from the forum even greater.

A lot of these things may seem like common sense you you, and I hope you are well ahead of me in terms of keeping FIRST THINGS FIRST. Use this time to re-prioritize the things that are most important to you, and then structure your life around those things. Eliminate the noise, the people, and the distractions that would keep you from a life built around striving towards the things that are the most important. And if you've managed to make it past my now liberal IGNORE LIST, thank you. So many of you have added richness and education to my life and I hope that I have been able to in modest measure do the same.

And special thanks to my haters for setting me free. In an ironic way, it’s even sweeter being the opposite of what you would have ever wished for me. Go ahead and post a response here when you see this thread... and I will blissfully continue to not give a shit as I will never see it. :) That's awesome, and to you haters I owe a debt of gratitude for the revelation.

"Putting first things first means organizing and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you."- DR. STEPHEN R. COVEY
 

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Ocean Man

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Bookmarked. Honestly, this should be GOLD or Notable. I don't really have much to offer to this thread, but I just wanted to say thanks for writing it, @Vigilante.

Changing expectations of people. Rather than striving to invest in people to the degree you want them to change, accepting them where they are at and enjoying them for what they are vs. what you hoped them to be. I may write more on this at a later date, but it’s a complicated learning through adversity of who people really are to you. If you shift your desire from what you want FROM them to what you can enjoy about them and what you can do to simply love and live in the moment, you can free yourself from the weight of your own expectations. This would take me way more than a paragraph to articulate in a way that would make sense. I may try it down the road in detail.

This part of the thread reminded me of @Red's speech at the summit this year. I believe the talk was about convincing your partner to get on-board with the entrepreneurship/Fastlane mindset. Quick summary... You don't. Like you mentioned @Vigilante, it's about learning how to accept who they are, where they're at, and enjoying them for what they are. Your thread has a lot of gold, but I feel like this stuck out to me.

If I'm seeing your thread, I think I'm not on your ignore list. If that's how it works? Glad I'm not on that side.
 

Andy Black

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If I'm seeing your thread, I think I'm not on your ignore list. If that's how it works? Glad I'm not on that side.
If you're on someone's ignore list then they won't see your posts, not the other way round.
 

Ocean Man

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If you're on someone's ignore list then they won't see your posts, not the other way round.
Thank you for the clarification, Andy! :smile:
 

Andy Black

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I've got no-one on ignore but found myself reluctant to come back to the forum recently because of a few threads. Then remembered the new "ignore thread" function. Problem solved - for now.

More importantly, we have "The Elon Musk Test". If Elon Musk (or another business owner you admire) was to find themselves on the forum then would the thread they're reading make them stay or make them leave? If they read the last 10 posts from a member would they stay or leave?

If they read YOUR last 10 posts would you be happy with the impression they get of you?



Some sales principles that I use in daily life:
  • "Sales is a screening process." (Blaise Brosnan)
  • "Help the people in motion." (Amy Hoy)
  • "You can't steer a parked car." (James Schramko)
Don't try to get people to do things they're not interested in or be someone they're not. As @Vigilante said: "Enjoy people for the way they are."

I don't really get frustrated by the forum or social media. I find people who are in motion (or trying to get into motion) and try to help them. If they're heading in a different direction that's fine. If they want to flame-war each other then that's fine - up to a point.

Speaking of Blaise Brosnan. I've just linked to a video he did in this thread here. Out of courtesy I've also told Blaise about the thread in this forum, after which I had the sudden thought about whether I want Blaise to find out I spend so much time in here given a lot of what's going on currently. I won't stop helping people, but it has made me pause for thought.

I found this thread that linked to something I wrote over 10 years ago. I still stand by what I wrote then.

When you look back on what you've written and is preserved in time then will you be proud of it?



BTW: Here's my business take on putting the first things first:
  1. Help people / Add value.
  2. Get paid.
  3. Scale.

Here's my mindset take on putting the first things first:
  • "Overthinking is the art of solving problems you don't have."
 
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Vigilante

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Bookmarked. Honestly, this should be GOLD or Notable. I don't really have much to offer to this thread, but I just wanted to say thanks for writing it, @Vigilante.



This part of the thread reminded me of @Red's speech at the summit this year. I believe the talk was about convincing your partner to get on-board with the entrepreneurship/Fastlane mindset. Quick summary... You don't. Like you mentioned @Vigilante, it's about learning how to accept who they are, where they're at, and enjoying them for what they are. Your thread has a lot of gold, but I feel like this stuck out to me.

If I'm seeing your thread, I think I'm not on your ignore list. If that's how it works? Glad I'm not on that side.

It's people like you that keep us coming back.
 

Andy Black

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BTW... the reason I don't have people on ignore is because I can easily ignore them by not reading what they've written.

If I say my piece and someone argues with it then I can choose to not engage. I'm in and out of this forum on my terms. I'm in and out of social media on my own terms.

This morning my wife said that the neighbours yellow-bag-skip had been removed and asked why ours was due to be removed in two weeks. I said their yellow-bag was from a different skip removal company. She said it wasn't. I didn't reply - I'd said my piece already. Sure, I'll admit I can be passive aggressive, but I chose not to have an argument or waste any more time on a conversation I've already had.

"Triggered" seems to be a buzz-word of late outside the forum. Sorry to disappoint you. You're not "triggered". You choose to react.
 
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Vigilante

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BTW... the reason I don't have people on ignore is because I can easily ignore them by not reading what they've written.

If I say my piece and someone argues with it then I can choose to not engage. I'm in and out of this forum on my terms. I'm in and out of social media on my own terms.

This morning my wife said that the neighbours yellow-bag-skip had been taken away and asked why ours due to be taken away in two weeks. I said their yellow-bag was from a different skip removal company. She said it wasn't. I didn't reply - I'd said my piece already. Sure, I'll admit I can be passive aggressive, but I chose not to have an argument or waste any more time on a conversation I've already had.

"Triggered" seems to be a buzz-word of late outside the forum. Sorry to disappoint you. You're not "triggered". You choose to react.

Andy, You have to try it. It's glorious. I revisited a thread that we were discussing privately but when you remove the noise, all that is left is the great posters and posts. You don't have to separate the wheat from the chaff. The software does it for you.
 
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Andy Black

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Andy, You have to try it. It's glorious. I revisited a thread that we were discussing privately but when you remove the noise, all that is left is the great posters and posts. You don't have to separate the wheat from the chaff. The software does it for you.
Sold. I'll try the ignore function in the forum.

I'll be careful using the ignore function on my wife.
 

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Changing expectations of people. Rather than striving to invest in people to the degree you want them to change, accepting them where they are at and enjoying them for what they are vs. what you hoped them to be. I may write more on this at a later date, but it’s a complicated learning through adversity of who people really are to you. If you shift your desire from what you want FROM them to what you can enjoy about them and what you can do to simply love and live in the moment, you can free yourself from the weight of your own expectations. This would take me way more than a paragraph to articulate in a way that would make sense. I may try it down the road in detail.


Oh man, it's rare these days that something I read sparks my "f*ck, I gotta respond" button. Thanks for tagging me here.

So THIS, is incredibly critical and incredibly overlooked. I've written before that if you have expectations for people, you are more often then not setting your self up for failure.

Yes, plenty of people and situations may meet or exceed your expectations but the EV on having them more often than not is a bad bet.

Thus "Change your expectations for appreciation, and your life changes instantly" because a great key for me.

BUT let's expand on that here...

As entrepreneurs, we pride ourselves on being the worlds problems solvers. Then we frustrate ourselves when we can't "FIX" people to fit our expectations from our own limited world perspectives.

Think about that.... sounds like a constant losing proposition doesn't it?

Sorry entrepreneur, you can't flick your magic wand and turn that square peg into a round one.

Let's instead problem solve and find WHERE THE FREAKIN SQUARE HOLE IS!!!

Everyone has a purpose and a skill set, however vast or limited. Everyone has value in some way or another. It may be to you or your company, it also may be to someone else's.

Can you find that square hole today to fit that square headed employee into? (not literally please) Is there even a correctly sized square hole to fit them in?

If not, implement the right solution (not always the easiest) to solve the problem and continue on your mission.
 

Black_Dragon43

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I've got no-one on ignore
Yeah, I don't have anyone on ignore either. The way I view things is that no one forces you to interact with another member. Just let them say stuff to you, and ignore it if you don't want to read it or respond. I don't think I'd ever put anyone on ignore, practicing restraint is a virtue after all.
 

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PizzaOnTheRoof

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"You can't steer a parked car." (James Schramko)
My power steering is broken. I can't even steer a moving car.

"Triggered" seems to be a buzz-word of late outside the forum. Sorry to disappoint you. You're not "triggered". You choose to react.
"Please go be triggered over there ->"

Can you find that square hole today to fit that square headed employee into? (not literally please) Is there even a correctly sized square hole to fit them in?
I don't have employees but I love this. Stop trying to make people fit your expectations, help them cultivate their own.
 
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Vigilante

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Yeah, I don't have anyone on ignore either. The way I view things is that no one forces you to interact with another member. Just let them say stuff to you, and ignore it if you don't want to read it or respond. I don't think I'd ever put anyone on ignore, practicing restraint is a virtue after all.

A guy wanted to go down to sit by a lake but in-between him and the lake there was a field full of cowshit. So he put on his boots, strengthened his resolve and started wading through the knee deep cow shit. He was half way through the field of shit to get where he wanted, when his buddy came up alongside the shit field, on the perimeter, where there wasn't any shit.

"Why don't you just walk over here and avoid all the shit?" he called to his buddy. We often think we need to wade through the shit to get to the destination, when there was a better path right next to it all along.

You wonder why he just didn't pick the shit free path from the beginning. Did he just like to wade through the shit thinking it was building his own character or virtue somehow?

I'd rather skip past the shit and get to the same lake.
 
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Vigilante

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This thought was not intended to be about blocking people at the forum. That's a subset of a more macro point I was trying to articulate. Thanks @LightHouse for grabbing on to one of the other subpoints, because I probably learned that from you over the years. The irony is our affiliation has bettered me over the years.
 

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Drown Out the Noise, and Focus (First Things First)

Maybe it took me a pandemic. This window of slowing down has crystalized a lot of things, and re-prioritized things. I have often preached to others the value of Steven Covey’s concept of putting First Things First. Prioritizing the things that should be first and drowning out the noise that distracts from primary focus. It’s what @Kak does every day. It’s what @LightHouse teaches to his coaching clients. It’s what @Kung Fu Steve does entire seminars on, and it’s something that @MJ DeMarco and @AllenCrawley excel at. It took me a pandemic to slow down, re-prioritize, and practice what I preach.

For me, it means gaining an acute sense of awareness of where I am going. Beyond goal setting (which is a tool), it’s an intentional and single minded focus towards an end game, and the casualties along the way are anything that distracts, inflicts harm to, or otherwise forces itself into your mindset and takes you off mission.

EXAMPLE: Losing weight is a goal. Keto is a tool. Working out is a tool. End game is long term health. Drowning the noise in this regard is turning down options as non-considerable (like @Chitown ’s donuts for those of you who heard his speech a few years ago).

EXAMPLE: A certain revenue is a goal. A business platform is a tool. The Millionaire FastLane is a tool. Financial freedom is an end game. Drowning out the noise in this scenario might be people, video games, action fakes… an unsupportive spouse. Anything that creeps in that takes you off of plan.


Some specifics for me lately that been realigned :

Changing how I interact with social media. Social media is a tool, not a pass time. I reorganized how I use social media to eliminate the distractions. Distractions there can range from games to political debates to simply the time suck of being up on the latest media buzz. It’s not essential. Some surveys find the average amount of time people spend on social media is two hours and twenty four minutes… PER DAY. What if that time was repurposed towards your family, your business or your health? I am not going to take it to zero, but the time spent on business on social media doesn’t count in the calculation.

Changing how I interact with extended family. One thing I talk about from time to time is how adversity reveals character. Watch the people in your inner circle. Are they cheering for you? Are they interested in you, or simply in what you offer them? Investments in people have to be a two way street in order for you to be satiated. I am now totally OK with eliminating things that are a negative energy drain. You can spend a lifetime trying to fix people and hoping they become what you want them to be, or you can do what I should have done much earlier in life and allow the cord to be cut. We spend time with our young daughter talking about filling or depleting someone else’s tank… the value add or detraction from other people’s lives. Why is it so easy to tell an eight year old what you spent a lifetime trying to cover for? It’s OK to eliminate negative energy and negative people from your life.

Changing expectations of people. Rather than striving to invest in people to the degree you want them to change, accepting them where they are at and enjoying them for what they are vs. what you hoped them to be. I may write more on this at a later date, but it’s a complicated learning through adversity of who people really are to you. If you shift your desire from what you want FROM them to what you can enjoy about them and what you can do to simply love and live in the moment, you can free yourself from the weight of your own expectations. This would take me way more than a paragraph to articulate in a way that would make sense. I may try it down the road in detail.

Changing things as simple as how I interact here at the forum. For a long time, I had a moderator-Napoleon complex. I had a self imposed, self important policy of not ignoring individuals or threads here out of a warped sense of self importance (as if this shit was ever important.) As a result, while others including the forum founder judiciously added people and threads to their own ignore lists, I subjected myself to the abuse and lunacy of the forum’s biggest assholes - and there have been a lot of them over the years. The result was to my own detriment here, minimizing my enjoyment of the best of what you all have to offer while dealing with douche bags and craziness others were free to ignore. I held myself to a higher calling than the volunteer job required, and than the founder of the forum even asked for. I had my own self righteous policy of not ignoring people.

No more. This was best illuminated for me when I realized I was the only one (even out of the mods!) that didn’t have certain posters, or certain threads, or both… on ignore. The only real informal rule regarding this for MJ is that we can’t ALL be out of a thread or it would become the wild west. But the freedom to eliminate the noise was mine all along and my own ego kept me from using it, until now.

Yesterday I eliminated a bunch of assholes from the forum using the beautiful IGNORE button. And you should do the same. I am not talking about people you disagree with… I am talking about the filthy energy drainers that detract from your enjoyment of the forum. Hopefully you use the ignore function regularly. Surprisingly, I even ignored assholes I have helped dozens of times personally who at the slightest prompting took up pitchforks against me. Guess what? F*ck you. You’re noise. You’re out. Take control of the things you allow in to your circle. Being at the Fastlane Forum is something we do for enjoyment and education. Assholes serve no role in either. Use the ignore function liberally to make your value to and from the forum even greater.

A lot of these things may seem like common sense you you, and I hope you are well ahead of me in terms of keeping FIRST THINGS FIRST. Use this time to re-prioritize the things that are most important to you, and then structure your life around those things. Eliminate the noise, the people, and the distractions that would keep you from a life built around striving towards the things that are the most important. And if you've managed to make it past my now liberal IGNORE LIST, thank you. So many of you have added richness and education to my life and I hope that I have been able to in modest measure do the same.

And special thanks to my haters for setting me free. In an ironic way, it’s even sweeter being the opposite of what you would have ever wished for me. Go ahead and post a response here when you see this thread... and I will blissfully continue to not give a shit as I will never see it. :) That's awesome, and to you haters I owe a debt of gratitude for the revelation.

"Putting first things first means organizing and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you."- DR. STEPHEN R. COVEY
Great that you share some knowledge from stephen r Covey.

He is a great mind and you can read his books several times over time and always find something new and valuable inside.

I'm currently reading first things first as well and it's a great read as all the books from Covey
 

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  • "Overthinking is the art of solving problems you don't have."
Thanks for the quote. It's really good and hits the mark on a big issue I have.
 

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I use an app that blocks out specific websites, but it also has a pomodoro timer built in.

You work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, work for 5 minutes, take a 5 minute break

By doing that you're actually more productive than if you worked the entire 60 minutes.

32506

 

Andy Black

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Oh man, it's rare these days that something I read sparks my "F*ck, I gotta respond" button. Thanks for tagging me here.

So THIS, is incredibly critical and incredibly overlooked. I've written before that if you have expectations for people, you are more often then not setting your self up for failure.

Yes, plenty of people and situations may meet or exceed your expectations but the EV on having them more often than not is a bad bet.

Thus "Change your expectations for appreciation, and your life changes instantly" because a great key for me.

BUT let's expand on that here...

As entrepreneurs, we pride ourselves on being the worlds problems solvers. Then we frustrate ourselves when we can't "FIX" people to fit our expectations from our own limited world perspectives.

Think about that.... sounds like a constant losing proposition doesn't it?

Sorry entrepreneur, you can't flick your magic wand and turn that square peg into a round one.

Let's instead problem solve and find WHERE THE FREAKIN SQUARE HOLE IS!!!

Everyone has a purpose and a skill set, however vast or limited. Everyone has value in some way or another. It may be to you or your company, it also may be to someone else's.

Can you find that square hole today to fit that square headed employee into? (not literally please) Is there even a correctly sized square hole to fit them in?

If not, implement the right solution (not always the easiest) to solve the problem and continue on your mission.
Agreed.

I believe everyone has some switch or subject that lights them up. If our goal is to find out what that is and/or the preferred way someone works then the world just gets more fascinating and humbling.
 

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A guy wanted to go down to sit by a lake but in-between him and the lake there was a field full of cowshit. So he put on his boots, strengthened his resolve and started wading through the knee deep cow shit. He was half way through the field of shit to get where he wanted, when his buddy came up alongside the shit field, on the perimeter, where there wasn't any shit.

"Why don't you just walk over here and avoid all the shit?" he called to his buddy. We often think we need to wade through the shit to get to the destination, when there was a better path right next to it all along.

You wonder why he just didn't pick the shit free path from the beginning. Did he just like to wade through the shit thinking it was building his own character or virtue somehow?

I'd rather skip past the shit and get to the same lake.
Well, I'm not dogmatic about this, and I don't claim that it is the best way for everyone, but I do see some reasons to voluntarily go through shit from time to time. Here's an interesting article presenting this point of view: Voluntary Discomfort: The Stoic Practice that Gets You Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I found out that doing this tends to give you a thicker skin, greater willpower, and more commitment to stick the course in other areas of life when things get hard and out of control. It helps me get comfortable being uncomfortable, which is valuable imo. So there are actually some benefits that I see from practicing this "virtue", I'm not doing it to feel morally superior.

But I agree that there is another POV too, which you have presented quite well. Namely that going through shit is sometimes unnecessary, and can make your life feel miserable for no reason - it can take away your focus from what matters. I can see why, especially after a certain age, people prefer comfort and saving one's energy for what is truly important over this type of voluntary discomfort and its associated benefits.

So as long as you've heard both arguments, and this feels like the best choice for you, then more power to you :)
 

Kung Fu Steve

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Love ya, brother!

This whole journey of "personal growth"-- this idea of becoming the person we really want to be and be seen as... the passionate leader, the intelligent businessman, the loving father -- it can be challenging at best...

The quotes are easy to read, hard to execute. Everybody says they "get it" but few live it:

  • Trade your expectations for appreciation and your entire world changes.

  • Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have.

  • You don't just have to achieve to be happy... you can happily achieve.

These 3 hit me harder and harder the older and more experienced I get.

Don't forget... while it's sometimes lonely on the path, you're not alone :smile:
 

ChrisV

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Also this app is amazing.

It combines the pomodoro technique I mentioned in my last reply, with a content blocker.

So you work for 25 minutes (while the app blocks distracting websites) then on your breaks they open back up again.
 

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XxThelionxX

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Any advice on how to deal with neighbors. I've mostly just focused on my own stuff. But lately they've been trying to get my attention more. I already know they are going to try to bring me down. Like crabs in the bucket.

And I'm greatly humbled by your dedication. In the truest sense. The work you must have put into what you do. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

Colibri

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Journaling has helped me tremendously with cutting out the noise. At the end of the day, it's hard to consciously differentiate what was good to focus on and what was not if I don't reflect on it.

Every morning, I write maximum 3 things that should have my priority for the day, considering that until those are not accomplished, everything else is noise (to some extent of course). At night, I reflect upon what happened during the day, how I handled my priorities, how I felt focusing on them, etc.

Connecting my emotions and state of mind to what I prioritise on helps me keep my purpose on track!
 

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