You may be failing at life right now, and it isn’t for the reasons you think.
It isn’t because you’re not trying hard enough.
It isn’t because you don’t have what it takes.
You’re failing right now because you let yourself do it. You’re doing the same things you always do. You’re running on a treadmill, trying to move forward.
Essentially, you’re stagnant. Some of you think I’m not talking about you. The truth is I’m talking about almost everyone including myself.
Examine your life. Are you really racing towards your dreams? If not, you need shock treatment!
Picture a nasty, green swimming pool. It has been sitting there for months in stagnancy – building up disgusting slime that lines its walls. Nobody wants to swim in it. It isn’t lifeless, as the bacteria have invited algae and her friends over for a pool party. They are all having such a great time. Unfortunately, this pool party isn’t any fun for humans.
So what’s the treatment for a stagnant pool of green slime? Shock treatment. You dump chlorine or other appropriate cleansers in the water and it “shocks” and destroys the undesirable elements (for the record, I’m a fan of salt water pools). To make an analogy of the analogy – I see it as the cops showing up at a teenage drinking party – the situation is disturbed to a significant degree.
The other thing about pool shock treatment is that you need to do it about once a week to maintain the desired cleanliness. When I talk about shocking yourself in the next section, keep in mind that it is not a one time thing.
Shock Yourself Sensible
The problem I have seen in my own life is that I will rely on nothing but my instincts and previous decisions. This puts me on the same level as a mosquito, and I hate mosquitoes. Like a man performing a ritual he does not know the meaning of, I have been guilty of making decisions based on ancient principles that I have not considered for years.
Can you know exactly how to do something perfectly the first time? No, nobody gets everything right the first time. Then why do we rely on our first decisions so much? You will rely on them less and less if you are willing to fail.
Here is a recap of the past several months: When I left this house several months ago, I was a stagnant, passive human being. In February, I made a decision to start a blog. That decision changed me permanently. Here I am mere months later as an active, aggressive pursuant of my dreams. I’m not going to be stopped. Like many graduates these days, I just moved back in with my parents. In an eerie realization, I found myself suddenly being much less productive than when I was out on my own.
The point of that example is this – a familiar environment caused me to revert to my old ways. This was the environment that I became stale in. Chances are, if you’re also in a familiar, comfortable environment, at home or work, you will have developed several stagnant tendencies.
Take a look at some of the stagnant dirt I’ve already found growing in my life pool since moving here just a few days ago:
- Bacteria – A small amount of work being “good enough for today”
- Algae – The tendency to wait on things instead of constantly creating new opportunities
- Human waste – Being “safer” and less aggressive about what I truly want in life
There is a huge difference between healthy routines and stagnant living, and yet they can easily be confused with one another. The similarity is in their repetitive behavior and the big difference is what that behavior produces. Look at my stagnant behavior in the list above and compare it to the following habit.
Waking up at 7:30 AM to run and read in a great book – a fantastic routine that breeds success. I am going to do this tomorrow morning. It is a conscious decision to rise early and complete two worthwhile daily activities that will lead to a healthy mind and body.
This Article Is Its Own Fruit
Do this in your life. It works. I’m going to run at 7:30 AM (which is in 6 hours) – it is my response to the shock treatment. You’re reading more evidence of the treatment – this post.
An hour ago, I told myself that I had done enough work for the day when I really hadn’t done much (#1 from the list). I noticed the problem and decided to give myself shock treatment by challenging myself. I had plenty of writing juice left in me, got fired up, and let my fingers fly (at only 60 WPM. I’d like to type faster).
In doing this, I am breaking an unspoken rule I had set about posting frequency. I was going on the “every few days” schedule, but I’m going to keep you on your toes by firing out this article the day after my previous post. Didn’t see that coming, did you!?
Ok, I have some thanking to do….
This thanking is related to my last article on criticism. Take a look at the benefits I’ve gained from inviting criticism.
I appreciate that Martin criticized my blog design. From this I began to redesign and tweak things and I believe it looks much better now. If you’re coming from my Problogger post, you can see I’m still experimenting!
Thanks to Hugo for pointing out a possible greater impact if I had not released criticism part I & II back-to-back. Next time I will write one or two posts in between them for greater variety and build up.
Thank you Martyn from Two Hour Blogger for pointing out that I need to find a blog design and stick with it.
Chris from Soundspott, I believe it was your comment on posting frequency that ultimately led me to challenge my posting habits and create this post.
I appreciate all of you.