This morning I was thinking about my constant effort to improve my productivity and energy management. The world is fighting against people that want to be productive, smart, efficient and ambitious. You have to always be on your toes and proactively plan your life so life doesn't take control of you. This post (like so many others) was written partially as a reminder to myself about the bad habits of the past that have killed my goals in life. I hope it opens your eyes and helps guide you towards the light of happiness.
TV is putting stupid things into your head.
Two of the worst types of content that are available on TV are the news and reality shows. Both are entertainment masked as reality. We often forget that, so we start using the content generated by those two categories as reality. TV news allows anybody that is entertaining to get on the air and say whatever they want and have it been presented as facts. And being wrong about your local and world events is worse than being ignorant. If you are ignorant you can say "I don't know". If you are wrong, you'll spread the wrong information to several more people before a mistake is discovered. Reality TV shows makes stupid people famous. And then they make our kids want to be like these stupid people.
Solution for both …
Ingest less random TV. Plan your shows. And know what you are watching. Seek out quality and educational shows. Just because something on news station does not mean it is news. It is often more entertainment than news.
Facebook is putting stupid things into your head.Combine the ability for anybody to put up a website that can say anything (i.e. Fake news sites) and the awesome feature for information to spread like wildfire (social media), and you have the perfect storm to spread FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt). I've noticed a disturbing trend from my friends on social media. They are sharing information that they received via social media from websites that look like news. I am not referring to great sites like "The Onion" which is the king of all websites and does not pretend to be real. I am referring to the countless other sites which present a non-stop stream of conspiracy theories. It seems that we would rather believe something that sounds outrageous and far-fetched than the truth. I believe these sites are hurting our ability to stay objectively informed about topics that matter. Solution: Before you share news that sounds outrageous, please start performing due diligence and ensure that the story has some basis in fact. If not, please don't share it.
You are comparing your life to mine, to your neighbors, and the to the multi-millionaire whose book you read.
It is important to remember that all of us are on separate journeys. You wake up in the morning with a completely different set of goals and values than I wake up with. You don't know my dark struggles and I don't know yours. So, when you have an amazing amount of success, I should not be judging my life against yours. You likely worked hard and deserve every bit of it. Rather than being jealous I need to focus on my hustle, so I get closer to my goals and dream. I've written about this before in "Vanity and Jealousy are not part of the Success Equation".
You are eating crap pretending it is food.
Just like the television is putting crap into your head, we are putting crap into our mouths. Start being more aware of what you are eating and what it contains. Example: You've heard that chicken is good for you, but this is highly dependent on the way it is prepared. You've been hearing it since you were a kid and I'll emphasize it again here: It is hard to go wrong eating too many fruits and vegetables. I've spent a lot of time in elementary schools and the kids there are getting crap fed to them also. What goes into our mouths directly affects our moods and our energy levels. You should not let anything questionable past your teeth.
If you want to get a good idea of how the food you are eating is affecting your body, start using the MyFitnessPal website and mobile app. I've started using this recently to track my food intake and it has given me some great insight about the number of and types of calories that I am ingesting.
You refuse to exercise.
Thanks to technology we have a world filled with more information workers than ever before in history. Entire corporations are filled with people that are glued to a computer screen 12 hours a day. The lack of movement is killing our short-term and long-term health. If you don't want to be hobbling around just waiting to die when you are 50, then make regular exercise a part of your weekly routine. Don't over complicate it. Most of the basic exercise that we have learned since we were kids will work. But anything counts. If you do nothing right now, then get up and go walk 1/2 mile away from your house and 1/2 mile back.
If you are working in a building that allows breaks, go outside and walk around the building a couple of times. Please take your physical health seriously. It is not something that you can get to "someday".
You are spending time judging other people's bedrooms.
Stop being so concerned with what other people are doing behind closed doors. What I do with whom and when does not affect your life. You have a good time in your bedroom, and I'll have a good time in mine.
You love playing politics.
I am sure that politics used to be a noble profession. But it has lost its value. Most of the time if I am a Democrat and you are a Republican, you instantly must hate me. You instantly assume everything about me because you've been told on TV or on the internet what a horrible person I am because of my party. Politicians also spend a lot of time fighting to be "in control". Let's start working more as individuals with a common goal to better our country and our community. No two people in the same party believe the same way about everything. We really should be allowed to register as Independent without being penalized. We are independent people with independent thoughts on the topics that affect us. Stop fighting just to fight.
You are all talk and zero action.
This is the entire reason I started StopDoingNothing so I won't go into this one too deeply. Every blog post on the site deals with this topic. Remember that a poorly executed plan that has started is better than the perfect plan on paper waiting to start.
Even Elvis knew this
You spend too much time on Buzzfeed and related sites.
This is somewhat related to the post above about wasting time on the internet. Pay close attention to where you spend your time online. All websites are doing their best to keep you on their site for as long as possible. The longer you stay on a website the more of a chance you will buy something. So please think twice before clicking over to the next article you see about "20 Things That 80s Kids Will Totally Get" or before taking that next quiz to see what kind of dog that you would be. That article will likely contribute nothing to your education or goals, but it will eat into the time you spend working on your aspirations.
You believe that the weekend was created for you to do nothing.
Most of us have grown up in a "Monday to Friday 40-hour work week" kind of world. We've been conditioned to believe that Saturday and Sunday are days that we should relax so we can be ready to repeat the pattern of insanity on Monday morning. A better way of looking at your week is that you have 168 hours to accomplish whatever your soul desires. If you have to be strapped to a desk during the week while you work on your dream, then take advantage of weekends to get ahead. Start waking up early on the weekend. Treat them like any other productive day. People that are successful don't care about when something gets done. They treat everything as urgent and take advantage of all available time to make their dreams happen.
Start hustling more on the weekends.
You talk bad about other people.
Spend less time complaining about other people and more time looking in the mirror. Nobody is perfect. We don't have the right to judge our neighbors just because we sin differently than they do. If all of us focused on improving our own lives more we would not have time for caring what our friends are doing, how they are doing it or who they are doing it with.
You don't read enough.
See my note above about watching TV. You rarely gain a lot of knowledge from the TV because it is primarily designed to sell advertising. However, books allow you to focus on a single topic uninterrupted. When you are learning from a book it is not going to pause for a 30 second commercial. There is not going to be a book that pops up over the book telling you about the next book that is coming up. All the smart people that I know are always reading. Go find your closest library and start spending more time there looking for the books that have knowledge you wish to acquire.
You are not in the moments of your life.
We are addicted to our technology, and it is killing our face-to-face relationships. When you pick up a phone while you are sitting face-to-face with somebody, you are saying that what is on that screen is more important than the person in front of you. There are no emergencies in our phone. Unless you get a call from a relative or your kid's school about something, every email, phone call and text can wait until the meeting is over. Before we had phones in our pocket, we would get calls on our home phones. If we weren't there, the person on the other end would leave a message or call back later. That is how you should treat your cell phone. Take advantage of your voicemail and let most call go there. Cell phone calls and text kill productivity. And doubly so if you are having a meeting with someone. Start being 100% in the moment that you are in and put your technology aside.
Share this list with your friends on social media and challenge them to fight this list.
(@patrickallmond on Twitter)