Nobody wants to do nothing with their life. We all tend to think and dream about bigger things for ourselves.
I’m pretty sure that years ago they would say things like, “as technology gets better we will be able to free up our time and have 3 day work weeks.”
Yet, instead we now work more hours per week and the average household income has gone down.
“From 1973 to 2016, net productivity rose 73.7 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 12.5 percent over 43 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.” (source)
When you work full time and you have a spouse or family with little ones bouncing around than doing any extracurricular work can be near impossible.
Have you ever had goals to do something but when you finally get time you’re burnt out?
I mean, you have to turn things off at some point to let your brain catch up, right? Beer, wine, maybe a joint, then Netflix and Chill. I know I’ve passed up the gym a few times because I needed to recharge.
Time is an important consideration and should be taken very seriously. The reason being is that it’s the one thing you can’t get more of even if you wanted to.
There are 168 hours in a week and you are awake for 112 of those hours if you sleep 8 hours per night. How we spend that time will determine the life we create.
Sometimes, when you want to make a transition in your life you have to make time. This could mean stretching your waking hours or it could mean looking at how you spend your current time and making some changes so you can work towards your goals.
A fun exercise is to get a small notebook or use your phone and track how you spend your time for one standard week. This is not an attempt to make a lame point about watching too much Tv. Everything is good in moderation. It just helps to take a quick inventory and see if what you think in your mind is the same as the reality. Might sound odd but as humans, our perception of something could be very different than the reality.
Now you can see where you might change things up. Spend a little less time here or there and do something else.
Source of Motivation
Philadelphia was home to my wife and me for 6 years and during that time I worked in New York City. It was a big trip that cost me about 4 hours of time traveling each day.
Despite really liking WebMD, I knew it wasn’t the kind of work I wanted to be tied to for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something more fulfilling and on my own time. I hated being on someone else’s schedule.
People change their life paths all the time. Why couldn’t I? I always thought about it but never really did anything because I was comfortable with my job. It was solid. But this time was different. I was getting older and realized that if I didn’t start changing how I spend my time, I’ll never be able to change my life trajectory or course to become who I really wanted to be.
The pain of not doing something was now far greater than the pain of doing something.
The author Steven Pressfield has a great line in his book, The War of Art, which I think gets at the core of motivation. Pressfield states:
“At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”
I left the house around 645am. I got home usually around 7 pm.
Once I got home at night I usually went to the gym with my wife. The evening is not usually my best time for work. I start to lose focus. The morning was my best time. So, I decided to stretch my waking hours and woke up at 4 am each morning to give myself 2 hours each morning to pursue something I wanted.
Aside from feeling crazy, it was f*cking hard. I was not used to being up that early and by 2 pm my eyes would feel like 30-pound dumbbells.
At the same time, the pain of not doing something was still worse.
I had to schedule my motivation. You cannot wake up and say, “man I hope I get time to do XXXX today.”
Whether you’re starting a business or learning piano or doing anything else there are some fundamental realities to face.
Your current daily pattern in life is what gives you the current results you have. You’ll need to change the pattern to get different results, somewhat like an algorithm. It will not be easy because your behaviors are habits and in some cases even addictions. New ideas always sound nice in discussion or on paper but when it comes time to physically act on them your old habits or addiction could easily overpower you.
You have to be willing to put time into pursuing what you desire. Remember why you want to do it in the first place for a little motivation.
You have to have the discipline to pursue the new pattern.
You have to be consistent to break old habits.
That recipe will allow you to make progress every week towards a new goal. It’s inevitable.
Making The Transition
Sometimes, when you’re unhappy with your job or work you obviously want to change your life. But what happens when you’ve worked in a category for several years and that’s where all your experience is already? It’s hard to escape that because you won’t make as much money and basically have to start over.
Everything starts somewhere.
You have to spend your valuable time a bit differently and in the beginning, for a few months, it will be really hard. It’s like have two overlapping focuses. You can call it a side hobby but if your goal is a life change, such as how you earn a living, then it’s more serious than that. You’re out to learn, create and earn.
It always helps to do a deep self-inventory to understand yourself and find out how you can use the skills you have in a way that leans into your new direction. This will help expedite the process.
It would be nice if we could just focus our full day of waking hours on the thing we really want to spend time on. Anyone can do it but if we are not already on that track we have to slowly and consciously make an effort to transition how we spend our time. There will be a period of overlap between old and new.
There are many new habits you can adopt to start making a transition. I personally got a lot of value out of volunteer work and those early mornings spent building online businesses.
Today, there are new models for business and life while technology is creating opportunities that never existed before.
There is no better time to become a purpose-driven entrepreneur.
We are the designers of our lives.
You might also want to check out our article, Why You’re Not Hitting Your Goals, And How to Fix That (5 Steps)