How to turbocharge your life

This is a modified version of an article that I had been hoping to publish on Return of Kings. Unfortunately, the very day that I submitted it was the one which Roosh chose to put the site on indefinite hiatus. So I am publishing it here.

I have no doubt that all of you have, at one point or another, had tremendous ideas that you want to put into action, to translate word into deed. You may have come up with wonderful plans and formed marvellous visions in your head about what will happen when those plans come to fruition. And you may even have started on the road to turning your plans into reality.

Perhaps you have a plan for a new book. Or you want to establish your own web presence – a blog, a subscription-based podcast, a dropshipping business, or some other form of commercial enterprise that will give you an additional income stream. Or maybe you have a hankering to see the world and want to learn a language that will make your trip easier.

This is all to the good. As men, we should always look to the future while keeping our minds firmly rooted in the present. Tribes, businesses, and entire civilisations do not happen by accident. They come about because men put our energies into making them happen over time.

But, as happens so often, life seems to get in the way. Because your plans do not affect your immediate survival, your current hierarchy of needs, you delay putting your thoughts and ideas into deeds. You think to yourself, “Ah, never mind, I’ll get to that tomorrow”. You keep letting your plans slide.

And before you know it, a week, a month, or even a full year has gone by – and your goals are no closer to realisation.

Your problem is simple to diagnose, but difficult to treat. You suffer from the same problem that all people have: you procrastinate.

This is not really your fault. The fact is that the human body has evolved to be extremely energy-efficient. It is designed to be “selectively lazy” - in that your body and especially your brain will apply energy to the most urgent tasks needed to ensure current survival. Any tasks that are not an immediate priority will, by definition, be given low priority in our minds and it will be quite difficult to muster the energy necessary to turn them into reality.

Eventually, you will inevitably come to the point where you have let things slide to the point where your project’s complexity, difficulty, and cost (either in terms of time or money – which, if you think about it, comes to the same thing), all seem impossible to overcome. And you will find yourself paralysed by indecision, unable to do anything much to turn your dream into reality.

There is only one way to overcome this. You must answer one simple question:

How do you eat an elephant?

The answer, of course, is: one small piece at a time.

This is some of the best advice that I ever received in my corporate career, and it remains as germane today as it was when I heard it nearly 15 years ago. Break your project or problem down into small, easily achievable pieces, and tackle each little piece one at a time. Eventually, you will prevail.

However, while the advice itself remains excellent, the question is, how does one figure out where to start? One big problem, when broken down into a thousand pieces, now presents a thousand little problems. This still presents a serious issue – how does one generate the momentum necessary to get started, when there are so many problems to deal with?

That brings us to the one piece of advice that, if you implement it, will give you exactly the momentum you need:

“Do one thing every day that you do not have to immediately and that you do not want to do.”

I must admit that this is not an original insight on my part. I got it from, of all places, a John Ringo military fiction book published in 2008 called The Last Centurion.

This is, by the way, a spectacular book - if a bit difficult to read, at first. It gets much, much better upon subsequent readings. Looking back at its predictions and ideas, written down on paper nearly 10 years ago, it is truly amazing how many of our current afflictions and predicaments were predicted with very nearly perfect accuracy by John Ringo back then.

Regardless of its origins, though, this has been perhaps the most effective and insightful piece of advice about how to get things done that I have ever seen at any point in the past ten years. Whenever I have put it into practice, I have profited immensely from it – and whenever I have ignored it, I have suffered.

Rather ironically, in fact, this very article that you are reading now was delayed by almost a week because I kept procrastinating and telling myself that I could always do it later. But after I simply knuckled down and got it done, I now have the energy and the momentum necessary to go ahead and do whatever else it is that I put my mind to this day.

The beauty of this advice is that whatever you apply yourself to does not have to be in any way related to your actual project or idea. Perhaps you did not make your bed this morning – well, start with that. Or perhaps you have a bill due to pay, which isn’t actually due for a few days, for a large amount of money, which you have a mental block against paying – bite the bullet and pay it off, then get on with your life. Or maybe you need to resolve an argument with your girlfriend/wife from the previous night which never got fully sorted out, and you dread doing so because you know it will be unpleasant – grab your balls out of whatever purse your lady hid them in, sack up, and get it over with, so that both of you can get on with the day as adults.

I am not in the business of guarantees. If you want those, I can offer you the contact details of plenty of investment banking types who would be more than happy to steal your money. But I can tell you from long personal experience that if you apply this one simple piece of advice to your life on a daily basis, you will almost surely find yourself moving forward at speeds and in ways that may surprise even you.


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