This is the last post I’m posting here, or in general. This is because I’m officially out of the blogging game.
I’ve sat down and really thought about what a strategic direction means in my life. Yes, blogging is nice. It helps some people (even if the number of visitors I have to the website is low). It helps me clarify my thoughts.
However, from a leverage perspective, it is close to zero.
I’ve started this blog as a way to brand myself. By posting here, I would show the world who I am and what I do and therefore, invite rewarding connections. Those connections came but they were rarely as a consequence of the blog itself. Instead, they came as conversations on Skype … on the phone or in person.
It is hard to conceptualize this at first but no matter how appealing you are on a blog, you’re not going to automatically build rapport with a person. You need to take steps, manually, to create connections (or be a hot girl with few clothes on, that works too).
So while I have +200 articles here, in all honesty, if I would have invested this time into something else, something that was paying me, I would be better off. This is because even if I’ve got tens of comments of praise, writing on this blog is unprofitable. It brings me maybe $5/hour, at best. And having +200 articles is not really that helpful as nobody will read them. If I want a business card in form of a blog, I can simply create ten articles, make them really eye-catching and stay with that (which I’ll probably do).
In any case, in the last days, weeks, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of strategy, with the idea of macro and leverage. I’ve been obsessed with making the difference between feels important and is important.
Posting here feels important but it is not important. Important is to create connections and network in real life. Important is to write less and get my materials to the right people. Important is to be someone who is known by a few key right people, not by anyone who wants to visit this blog.
I’m sounding like a jerk. I’m sorry for that. It is not what I want to transmit. What I want to transmit is that even if I take great delight in writing here, I must train my mind to take great delight in accomplishing goals. Even if I love writing and I’ve put a lot of passion, energy and focus in this blog, I must learn to put a lot of passion, energy and focus in accomplishing goals that matter, in a quantifiable way, to show good, not just feel good.
Systematically, I’m closing all avenues of wasting time.
I’ve stopped posting on Quora a long time ago (but I’m considering using it again as a marketing machine). I’ve stopped using Facebook and my account is scheduled for deletion. I don’t even have Whatsup on my phone (I need to add it though). Now, I’m giving up on this blog and on its “sister” blog – studyinghappiness.org.
All life is a process of prioritization and elimination.
At first, we pick the good from the bad. Then we pick the very good from the good. Then we pick the exceptional from the very good.
It all comes down to narrowing down what you’re doing so one hour of your time values more and more.
This is not easy. A lot of the things that you need to give up are things you enjoy doing. I loved watching movies all day and night. Not so many years ago, I used to binge watch series up to five in the morning. I used to play video games a lot and I was a huge fan of killing time.
But … you only have 24 hours in a day. And you can pick only a few things that you can really do. For me, the magic number is six. Six rituals that I aim to do daily and even six is a very ambitious number. This means that you have to pick between what’s good and what’s great – which is never an easy choice.
I’ve made this choice many times in my life and I know that I’ll have to keep making it, day by day. And maybe, this is what you should do too. Maybe it is time to give up the bad for the good. The good for the great. The great for the excellent. When you watch a poor movie, you are missing on the chance of watching a great one (and no, you can’t say I’ll watch it tomorrow, as time is a zero sum game and this discussion would become almost philosophical in nature). When you do a low paid task, you’re giving up on doing the high paid task. When I was putting cigarettes in my mouth, I was giving up on the prospect of being healthy.
There’s always a pay price for action. Even writing this blog post has one – which is that I could be either working towards my rituals / reading something and learning / working on an important goal and this is why I don’t want to write anymore. Time to give up on the average for the good.
If there’s a single thing you’ve learned from this is to do the same – refine and prioritize so you always do what matters. The only time when it doesn’t apply is people, especially those who love you. You upgrade your activities and your rituals but you don’t upgrade the people in your life to a “better” model. You don’t exchange your 8 / 10 girlfriend for a 9.1 / 10 girlfriend. When you love people, you don’t judge them as objectively as I’ve wrote above. You just love them.
But for everything related to spending your time on, you have no excuse. Cut. Remove. Tear away. Leave the good for the best. Eliminate the coal and find the diamonds. No matter what you need to do tomorrow, you can prioritize. Something’s more important than something else. Put them in order. Start at the top. Let the natural attrition of not having enough time cut everything left. And even if this means killing a lot you enjoy doing now, well, you’ll learn to enjoy the new things too – when you see what benefits they bring to your life.
How do you do that? (after all, if I’m going to write this, I may as well write something educative).
It is not a science, it is more of an art. I guess one way is to take each two and ask “If I could do only one, which would be more important? Or you can simply sort them organically giving them a score. Or you can move them up and down a list.
Let me tell you a secret though. You don’t need to do this with the precision of a machine. That’s not the point. You need to learn how to prioritize and in practice, having the 2nd task as a 1st task is hardly a big mistake – or one that you should take into account. The idea is to have this mindset – of putting things in order, of ranking from high impact to low impact, even if you don’t have a mathematical formula to do this.
You know, in the last four days, I’ve woken up, showered, had breakfast and spent my days in the park. I’ve had my laptop, my iPad, my Kindle and my phone with me. It is amazing when you’re not cluttered by thoughts and things to do how easily you can focus on what you need to do. I’ve meditated. Like a lot. I’ve read about 300 pages in the last 3 days from a book on advance economics and game theory. It is not the kind of book you fly through but the kind of book that takes a toll on your mind. I’ve came to some important realizations. One day, I’ve even walked 20.000 steps (and biked at least 5000).
I haven’t become super focused or super productive just because now it is 2017. I’ve became this way and managed to focus and get a lot of VERY IMPORTANT stuff done (important for me anyway) because I’ve eliminated the distractions. I had no YouTube and comfortable bed and people to talk about. I was sitting there, on a bench, in the sun, or at a table in a 7 / 11 with nothing to do than focus on my daily goals.
So when it comes to improving your life and actually accomplishing what you want to accomplish, what you don’t do is just as important as what you do. Facebook takes more time than you think. YouTube takes more time than you think. Games take more time than you do. Arguing takes huge tolls on your time. If you added a dollar value to the time spent arguing with other people, you’d discover that you’re throwing hundreds of dollars in tantrums.
Costs are not only in time.
If you spend your energy on something else, you won’t have energy for your task at hand. If you feel emotionally tired, you won’t be in a good state for your task and so on. Time is just one of the costs you pay.
There is time in a day but there isn’t time for everything. So you must decide for what you have time and for what not. That’s the real secret to success and it is very hard to “get it”, on a level where you want to change something.
Best regards and good bye,