It’s 5 days into the new year and we’re already tempted to cave in on our newly formed, I’m really gonna do this resolutions. Before you get sucked back into the vortex of bad habits, I’ve got a few ideas that might help.
This year, I only have two resolutions — to adopt two very simple principles that will open up the world of possibility in everything else I want to achieve this year. Let’s call these meta-resolutions.
After much failure and frustration in my own life, I realised the problem is busy-ness. In other words, I was doing stuff but ultimately progressing very slowly. This was true in my career, playing the guitar and finances.
The meta-resolutions in a nutshell:
- Cut your options down — focus on a few things
- Quit looking for the magic bullet
Too many options
Realise that too many things — be they books, websites, audio and video material or whatever — is ultimately a distraction. To make progress, cut your options down to a few resources, and focus on reinforcing the fundamentals of what you’re trying to learn/achieve.
This is the root meaning of the word “decision” — literally to cut off. The more “stuff” the more time you’ll spend sifting through it rather than actually learning.
Psychological research has shown clearly that it is not always a good idea for a company to expand its product line. There comes a point too many options makes it hard for the consumer to make that snap decision in the store, therefore the decision can be delayed or even completely withdrawn.
Then stop searching for more. If something good comes up, great, but once you’ve decided what is most important, make sure you focus most of your time on that. Stay on the path!
There is no magic bullet
It is human nature to look for the one thing that will change the game but this kind of thinking is illusory. The Next Big Thing (NBT) can at best give you a new idea or approach but the problem remains: you still need to take action.
Ultimately, the search for the NBT is fruitless because (a) it doesn’t exist, and (b) all you’re really doing is delaying action (and most probably using the search as an excuse for why you’re not succeeding).
The perfect consumer
Marketers love people in the neediness cycle, in fact they actively try to amplify that neediness. It seems to work.
Central to the chase for the NBT is a scarcity mentality. People that exhibit this form of neediness are essentially saying “what I have isn’t good enough, I need something else”. As mentioned earlier, this insecurity is the symptom of something that “more stuff” cannot fix.
If you’ve seen the TV show Hoarders knows the last point too well, but we all do hoard to a certain extent.