5 things you want to give up for better results
We’re used to thinking that we need more in order to achieve more. I need to work more, I need more time, I need more clients, I need more knowledge, I need more money, etc. Somehow, we’re wired to think we’re missing something.
Mass media is ‘helping’ a lot with this perception. Scarcity and the fear of missing out have been historically huge drivers for marketing and boosting sales. Get this car because it’s safer and you’re less likely to die in a car crash if you own it. Get this shampoo because you’ll have beautiful hair and not worry about dandruff. Get this insurance because if you don’t, you’re exposing your family to a lot of risks.
Seneca thought that ‘‘It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.’’ Was he right? I tend to believe so. It’s fascinating how some people who don’t seem to have much (possessions, objects, fame ) are somehow happier and more relaxed than the ones that have a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing to give up everything, find a cave and live like hunter-gatherers. However, during the last 8 years since I started coaching and being coached, I discovered that I found so much more peace of mind, time, energy, focus by giving up some things. Here they are.
1. Attachment to things
I found that I can live very well with owning a lot fewer things that I used to. I achieved this by making an inventory of what I really need in my life to have full functionality, getting rid of the rest and training to resist marketing campaigns with amazing emotional triggers.
2. The need to be right and convincing other people of it
This was a tough one. I’ve always thought that I have the correct point of view, the right perspective and very good logic behind my arguments. And felt the need to prove it and ‘’help’’ other people understand it. No need for that anymore. My opinion is just my opinion.
3. Generally having too many opinions and judgments
This initially came from my parents. I picked it up and made it an art form. I had so many opinions about so much stuff. I also automatically made a judgment on all the people I saw and met. Then, at some point, reflecting on my behaviour I just realized how stupid and useless it was. How do I help myself or the people I’m judging by doing this? How’s this making any difference in the world? Giving so many fucks was also exhausting. That’s it – very limited fucks given. I only reserve my right to opinions on things that will matter in 10 years and really impact my life.
4. Making decisions with fear
I never considered myself fearful or a coward. Well, who does, right? I mean, I did a lot of stuff that people generally view as dangerous, crazy, etc. I started my first company at 23 years old with no money, no strategy, no connections. Just an idea and the physical (yes) Yellow Pages. And I did well, sold it in 2 years and immigrated to Canada. Nevertheless, sometimes I was thinking like this: what if I do this and I would look stupid; what would “they” say about this. At some point, I realized that “they” don’t give an actual shit about what I’m doing. They are not a real factor in my life. They are not responsible for my actions and results. So why should I care about what they think? Not. This time, zero fucks.
5. Attachment to outcome
This is big. I was so attached to my goals, dreams of grandeur and me conquering the world. There were times when I’ve put so much time and energy into trying to see into the future, refining and tweaking my goals, that I was stuck to a standstill. My brain was frozen. I couldn’t move. Slowly, I learned to let go and began focusing on very simple yet productive activities like doing and tracking progress of what I did. Fascinating concept, just putting my attention on every step. Giving meaning and attentive presence to each coaching session. Being grateful for every minute I can be of service to my clients. Celebrating with each and every amazing person and team I have the opportunity to work with. Offering my love and presence to my family and friends without any expectation of reward.
The ultimate outcome for all of us is death. You don’t want to be attached to that, right? Contemplating it is actually useful (another article on that), but getting attached to the thought of it and being stuck there doesn’t really help at all.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you gave up and what you’ve found!