Greeting y’all. Today we are going to look at some lessons I’ve learned. And have to keep learning over and over and over. The hard way.
I have a thesis.
Humans have to learn things the hard way.
It’s build into our DNA. This is why it’s mostly pointless for Robyn and I to write this blog. None of you are going to ever apply our advice to your actions.
I tell people “don’t do that.” They do it. It goes wrong. I tell ’em “I told ya so” and laugh.
People have told me “don’t do that” but I listen? Fuck no. I think I know what the hell I’m doing. I do it. It goes wrong. They laugh at me.
It’s just how we are. Part of it is genetic and brain chemistry I think. Part of it is also attributable to stupidity. You see it manifest in the fear and avoidance of history which is so prevalent in our culture. The average people go to great lengths to avoid learning about history and the mistakes of the past. This is why those people are average and not exceptional. They have no desire to learn from the past.
Today you get to learn from my past. ‘Cause evidently I can’t learn from it. Here are three lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) the hard way.
1. There is no later. There is only now.
Ya know that whole idea you have that you will do this important thing later? It’s not going to happen. There is no later. If you wait until later to do things they will never happen. My experience and my assorted readings on human behaviour and wetware lead me to think people put things off until later for two reasons.
A. We think we will have more time later.
I don’t have time today ’cause I’ve got to wash dishes, run errands, finish this other project and so forth. But tomorrow I’ll have more time. I can do this later.
Wrong. Tomorrow you & I are still going to have all sorts of stuff to do besides this project we are putting off until tomorrow. If it’s important we need to start on it right now. Whatever we want to do we must start on it now. Not later. Not tomorrow. Not next week. The longer we wait the more likely we are to fail.
B. We think that sometime later the chances off success will be better.
Has it ever gone through your mind? Something to the tune of “I could do this right now but later on will be better because . . .” Then you fill in some bullshit excuse which allows you to procrastinate.
You’re odds of success will not go up over time. You fool yourself into thinking you are waiting for the mythical right moment. Wrong. You are hesitating. Procrastinating. I’ll be first to confess sometimes this works. But not consistently. Not often enough. Think of all the missed opportunities because you hesitated. I know my list is huge.
Do not wait. Strike now. Take action now. Begin now.
I have to learn this lesson the hard way almost every day.
2. Remove distractions from your environment.
Whatever your distractions are you’ve got to get them out of your immediate environment if you are going to accomplish anything. This fucks me over all the time. Especially since so much of my work involves computers.
The internet? Distraction. This is one reason I spend so little time on social media.
For me chocolate is a distraction. And makes me fat as well. Two reasons to not have chocolate in the house.
Another evil distraction in my life is computer games. I have to stay away from them as I can stay awake all night playing games. I recently had to put a new graphics card in my computer when the existing card died. The new card is much faster. What this means is I can play computer games which I couldn’t play before.
Thus over the last few days I’ve spent more time gaming than I have in the previous 6 months. I go out of my way to not play computer games ’cause I know what will happen. I’ll be up until 3am gaming. Have I learned my lesson to avoid computer games? Nope. ‘Cause if I had I’d have gone to bed much earlier last night.
I’m still learning this lesson on a regular basis.
3. Blogging is work. So is photography. So is anything else you expect to accomplish.
If I had a dollar for each time someone told me “I just got a new camera and I want to be a professional photographer” I’d have about $7.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “I want to quit my job and be a professional blogger” I’d have about $4.
It’s not much money but it will buy me a six pack of 1554.
This is a lesson many of you still need to learn. The hard way. If you expect to accomplish something and be compensated for that accomplishment you have to do work. That means not waiting until later to start. That means not being distracted and wasting time on irrelevant unimportant things. Starting now and not being distracted is pretty much the definition of work.
And despite what you saw on TV you have to work in order to accomplish.