Have you ever asked yourself before you do something: ‘How did *insert random name here* do this?’

First off; bad question.

You immediately search for satisfaction that someone else was able to do the same thing that you’re trying to do now? And what happens with that? You end up copying their method action for action, word for word, pose for pose. So are you copying this person, trying to do it the right way?

Well, technically yes. I guess you could say that you are copying them. But that’s for another discussion.

You’re doing what someone else did, almost down to the bone. It could be anything, writing a book, playing a song on the guitar, painting a long with someone on a YouTube video. Regardless of what the action is, if you’re doing it the same way that someone else has already done it…then you’re playing it safe.

That’s what we’re going to call it.

Playing it safe.

Playing it safe has its obvious advantages for sure. There’s a minimal risk for failure which in turn means an even smaller risk of humiliation at your expense.

But playing it safe doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t teach you anything.

You’re doing it wrong.

Have you ever sat down in your plush living room, looking at all the comfortable surroundings about you, wishing you could go outside and do ‘that cool thing’ you always wanted to do? In hindsight, it’s super easy. You go outside and you do it. No one cares how good it is. Except YOU do. YOU care. And you don’t want to video tape it on your phone, you want a good camera, with good stabilization and excellent depth of field. You don’t want to do your skateboard tricks on any old board either, you want a nice one, with cool wheels, a bad-ass deck and the hottest shoes you can find.

So you don’t go outside. You don’t do ‘that cool thing’ you always wanted to do.

You decide to wait. You wait until you have everything you need to make it absolutely perfect. Only until you have the best quality tools, the best quality equipment and the best quality materials…then it’ll be better.

You’re doing it wrong.

Waiting for the right moment, waiting for things to happen, get’s you nowhere.

Say for example that there’s something you want. This something isn’t just anything that everyone else would understand, it’s something unique and personal to you. But you want it! You want it so bad, but there’s not much you can do to get it. Either that or you’re embarrassed by what you want and you go vague and unclear when describing it to others.

Being to vague or unclear about what you want, doesn’t get you anywhere either. If people don’t understand what you want and what you’re trying to do, how can you expect yourself to?

It’s important to be clear and concise with what you want. You have a plan in mind. You have a goal. There’s a objective to your mission. That’s why you’re on this pursuit in the first place!

Instead, being vague, being unclear, telling half the story, get’s you nowhere.

You’re doing it wrong.

Have you ever started a new project that you’ve been super excited about? The entire prospect of doing this niche kind of work heavily appeals to you and you have all of these fantastical visions about the end product, the streamlined process and the seamless transition from the first idea into the end result. In a perfect world there are no hiccups, no mistakes, no backtracking.

But we don’t live in a perfect world and we all know that there are going to be mistakes made. Yet even though we are aware of these facts, we still find ourselves shocked when something challenging within the project comes up. In the moment, its daunting and frustrating. It would be so much easier to simply quit now and avoid dealing with those issues all together.

So the moment that things get hard, we quit. We back out and we move onto something else.

Quitting when shit gets hard, quitting when your work matters, get’s you nowhere.

You’re doing it wrong.

Everyone makes these mistakes in their lives. Everyone messes up, it’s a part of life. No one can be perfect all the time. So if you’re reading this and you realize that you do one, two, three or all of these things, don’t worry. I’ve done them to. I’ve done them all, yet at the time I didn’t realize what I was doing or why I was doing it.

These aren’t hard or fast rules about life that you need to live by in the strictest way possible, they’re simply mantra’s that have helped me to become more productive, more intentional and ultimately live a more meaningful life.

So give each of them a thought and try them for yourself.

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