“ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”– Albert Einstein
I saw something I wrote in my journal two years ago that was kind of sad for me. It was written out of frustration about how I was feeling in life. I was watching many people online do amazing things, and I felt stuck and uncertain about what I wanted to do.
Here’s the title of that entry I wrote that day, “Still dream about building something I’m proud of.” The sad part to me is that’s how I felt two years after writing it. Nothing has changed. I can’t point to something in my life that I’m building that gets me closer to that statement.
I’m still in the dreaming phase.
I’m still that same Benny that wrote that two years ago this month.
It’s disappointing to know that I have little progress to show after two years but it’s a great wake-up call for me. I don’t want to be writing that in my journal again two years from now.
I want to be writing the opposite of that. So how do I go from where I am now to there?
Lots of things have to change. The person that I am now has to go. He’s doing a decent job getting me here, but this version of me won’t be able to take me to where I want to go.
I can’t keep doing the same things and being the same person and expect different results.
Doing something new
Last Friday, I wrote down three things I wanted to get done for the day on an index card.
They weren’t urgent but they were good for my bigger goals. I’ll share what they are after in the near future and here’s why I’m not sharing it now. I recently learned, and found to be true for me, that when you announce your goals you get a fake sense of accomplishment. You feel that you’ve already reached that goal, but you haven’t even started. It’s based on research that showed announcing your intentions makes you less likely to do it.
So I’m going to share after I have something that I can show.
Back to last Friday, I set a timer for 20 minutes and focused on one thing. After 20 minutes I took a small break. I repeated it two more times with the two other things on my list. I’ve known about the Pomodoro technique for over 10 years, yet I never do it. I can’t remember the last time I set a timer to focus for 20 minutes on that one thing. I always multitask and get easily distracted. If I want to check something random that popped into my mind on Google I’d do it right away. I’ve got to try different things if I want different results. After I finished those three 20-minute sessions, I opened my journal and wanted to immediately write down how I was feeling.
“that was crazy. Working in the zone. Working a a flow state feels so good. I have to keep doing more of this.”
I had to write it down because of how I felt. It was so satisfying.
I had some great outputs come out of those work sessions.
I know doing it one day isn’t enough. It has to be consistently done in order to have real results from it.
Today I’ve done the same with writing this newsletter. It took a couple of 20-minute sessions, but I’ve been focused on it without distraction. How much progress could I make towards my goals if I did this Monday-Friday? I’d be writing a much different journal entry a year from now.
Is there an area of your life where you feel like you’re not making any progress? Think about what you’ve been doing up to this point and what you can be doing differently instead.