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The Root Cause of Action Faking

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404profound

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I tried an interesting exercise recently to get to the root of why I was action faking before undertaking my current project. Granted I had a few sales here and there, it was freelance work as a writer, which is still being employed by someone else.

Borrowed from the lean six sigma ideology, the "five whys" is a simple approach leaders take to understand the root drivers for poor performance. It can easily be applied to the self. Here is what mine looked like (granted it was four whys):

Problem: I was not taking action towards a fastlane project.

Why? : I didn't believe I could build a product that solves a problem at scale.

Why? : I didn't think I had the knowledge / skills to find a real problem and solve it well with a product.

Why? : My attitude was too focused on my current capability, instead of the possibilities for the future through learning.

Why? : My current job is stressing me out so much that it's making me impatient and as a result I look for easy ways out.

....

Now I recognize that stress is creating a victim attitude, instead of a learner attitude. What can I do about this?

Solution 1 : Ignore negative thoughts and act anyway. It's hard to believe in something that doesn't exist yet. I need to believe that I have enough intelligence and grit to change the world in some way, and do not waste time in doing so.

Solution 2 : Look at product development as an incremental process. "Rome wasn't built in a day." is overused because it's true. I need to just start, and trust that I can adapt as I go.

Solution 3 : Remind myself that my JOB is a means to the fastlane, not the end. I know my identity is not "employee", it's just a purpose I am temporarily serving along my journey to freedom.

Solution 4 : Find people who have common aspirations for support (this forum, among others). Be willing to be open with other people, and work on trusting other people to be there for me.
 

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ZF Lee

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Good write-up. Steps we can take now and tomorrow.

I can relate with Solution 3, by switching 'JOB' with 'COLLEGE STUDIES'. It's an OK temporary medium, as I'm not racking up huge debt for it, and can get to meet up with some interesting people in university. I had a professor for accounting, who spent years consulting for Chinese factories to give advice on cost management, and his walk-in talk was a hit.
 

Nannan

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Thanks for sharing, I'm currently experiencing
Why? : I didn't think I had the knowledge / skills to find a real problem and solve it well with a product.

Why? : My attitude was too focused on my current capability, instead of the possibilities for the future through learning.

Why? : My current job is stressing me out so much that it's making me impatient and as a result I look for easy ways out.
I think I may be overthinking the problem, gonna keep digging.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I struggle with similar things. I always try to break down big tasks into their simpliest components.

So if something takes 100 steps, Ill take joy in finishing steps 4 and 5. Then 6 and 7. Soon you get to step 100 and finish.
 

Ayanle Farah

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It would be more inspiring if at the end you wrote that you finally begun taking consistent action thanks to your new understanding.
 
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404profound

404profound

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It would be more inspiring if at the end you wrote that you finally begun taking consistent action thanks to your new understanding.
Well the good new is, I have! I'm working on a trademarked product as we speak. I will make a long post about it later this year when it launches.
 

DavidK

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I action faked for 3 years... had a "comfortable" job and my why's were just not strong enough to overcome the complacency. Recently, job was put in jeopardy due to circumstances beyond my control... not complacent anymore! The pressure exerted from having the "safe and secure" job threatened has resulted in more action the last month than the last 3 years... and its full steam ahead, not slowing down or turning back.

As such, if your situation is too comfortable you have to really focus on your why's and make them as strong as possible. You may want to pursue entrepreneurship but is it a burning desire, will you do anything for it?

Lastly, if you can't make your why's strong enough than just make yourself uncomfortable. One thing I did was live beyond my means... why? It forces me to move up to the next level. Figure out a productive way to exert financial pressure on yourself. If using this approach proceed with caution :) The problem I had was I would figure out a way to make the extra money then fall back into complacency and stop expanding.

Good Luck
 

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