It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

The idea that success is a straight line is how they trick you from taking steps to succeed.

Every single person I know is attached to much more failure than regular people.

The difference is, they use failure as a data point.

Instead of complaining, they try to understand:

  • What they think went wrong?
  • Who can they talk to try to understand a different perspective on why they failed?
  • How can they do better next time?

All the “success” porn that make people seem like overnight celebrities is a superficial track.

Consistent success is executing the boring stuff, having the self-awareness to ask for help, and setting a direction for the next project.


Don’t Lie To Yourself

One goal means avoiding sophistry to one’s self

What is sophistry?


the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.

When we make one goal, it is all too easy to come up with an excuse to ourselves.

Yes, ourselves.

What do I mean?

The internal chatter that screams:

  • “This goal is so simple, I can add a few more goals.”
  • “This is painful, tv and Twitter will unlock my brain.”
  • “I’ll get to it later.”

Often we are our own worst enemy. Multitasking slows you down, TV takes your attention, and “later” doesn’t exist.

Don’t fall for your bag of tricks.

” The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard Feynman

Forgive Yourself

Punishment feeds itself.

There is no growth in self-criticism.

We conflate it with self-improvement. We do that because most of our growth comes from executing, and no one is successful all the time.

So, inevitably, we fail. And when that happens, it’s easy to self-criticize.

Self-criticism doesn’t help us grow. We satisfy a superficial urge to “punish,” which only feeds itself.

What I am saying is that punishment simply reinforces punishment. It doesn’t help anything, or anyone else.

If you fail, quit, or stop, it’s ok. Just understand where you are, and move forward.

There is no penance in beating yourself up, just more pain.

Self-Discipline and Self-Awareness

My inner voice is screaming.

This morning, I wanted to avoid this blog.

A sense of rebellion, a chance to run away from myself to spite me.

In a way, it functions as a reminder of how your internal dialogue is irrational.

It isn’t necessarily wrong.  That alarm exists for a reason. This self-rebellion is the result of something being “off.”

Self-discipline is knowing how to avoid your inner voice to finish things that need doing after that initial alarm. 

Self-awareness is taking that inner-voice seriously enough to sit down and continue the “conversation” after the alarm.

Don’t run from the next step.



Failure Is Better Than Regret

Sometimes failure makes me laugh.

I once made a closet design product. I don’t know much about closets or design. Hell, I don’t even care about them. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so I went with it.

Failure helps you grow and learn how to let go,  both of which are for self-awareness.

Regret does the same thing, but I never laugh at it. Regret always hurts.

Doesn’t matter if it’s because of a bad attitude, not enough “time,”  or “righteous indignation.” If I knew I didn’t give a project my all, my memories would leave me with regret.

“What could have been” sucks way worse than “that was a bad idea.” 

Avoiding What I “Deserve”

I keep a list of words to not use

There are a few words and phrases I am not fond of. I don’t like them because I find that the act of using them changes my mindset, allowing me excuses instead of investigation. I’ve struggled with this internal fight, dealing with words that stir my ego into protecting itself.

I try to understand these words and make an effort not to use them by putting them on a mental list (one I should admittedly write down) while I use the blog to work out why I don’t use them.Lately, I have thought about the word “deserve,” and how it feeds my ego  and keeps me blind to possibility.

I deserve…

  • Ego – When I say the word “deserve,” I turn whatever conversation we are having into a conversation about me. I turn the discussion into a projection into what I want and instead of compromise, this now turns into a war*. Instead of a listening mindset, I am now working with a wanting mindset.  
  • Blind – The wanting mindset gets me focused on one thing, “what I deserve.” I turn off my awareness and now I “lock in,” thinking about things that are completely abstract, such as what I’ve “earned” and missing out on what is in front of me. 

Excuse words get you no where

I realize that “deserve” is an “excuse word,” or rhetorical device I’ve made to get out of dealing with the real underlying issues I have at the time. They keep me in the “yes” space, a place where I live on unintentional scarcity. Scarcity puts me in the mindset of taking what I see instead of learning what I need. 

*In my experience this is not the same as boundary setting. When I say deserve in a conversation I have already missed the boat with establishing what I need. I more than likely went into that conversation unprepared and scrambling for something

“It’s Easier Said Than Done”

I hate empty phrases

An empty phrase is a phrase that someone uses to dress up emotion. There is no substance behind it, just a place where something like an excuse can kick back, relax, and spare someone’s ego the hassle of doing something that it doesn’t want to do. It’s a way to make an excuse sound plausible.

They usually come out charged and passionate. When you take a look at them, their emptiness appears, and you realize that you just heard a hot pile of nothing.

One of the empty phrases I hear most often is “It’s easier said than done.” I heard it because I often said it. 

I turn it on myself first

I used to say it a lot. It rolls off the tongue. It felt accepted because it’s the first rationalization I can think of.  It changes the conversation in a subtle way. What started off as a creative conversation begins to move into the world of “why not” instead of “why.”

I recognized the phrase as an out. Subconsciously, it felt safe. What I later came to realize is that the reason it felt safe is because I used it to shield myself from the mental and emotional labor that comes from something that might not work. If I sensed failure, I would turn try to turn it away with word tricks from my subconscious trying to shield itself from the fear.

That mental and emotional labor is usually the hardest part because you put your ego on the line. Victory is hard to quantify.

Words matter so don’t let them change you

It’s on my hated phrase/word list because what we say and how we say things matter. There is no communication path faster from thought to speech (sometimes we can’t even stop ourselves). The phrase “easier said than done” is a way to deflect from the work that needs doing. If you find yourself thinking that, or even saying it, take a minute when you can, and get to the real reason. It will make you more effective.