Previously I wrote about how I discovered the purpose of life.
In this post, I'd like to share how that revelation helped me cure my procrastination and inaction.
A lot of times I would have ideas for things I want to build, write about, and share with the world.
But usually I tend to run into one of these problems:
- getting stuck at the idea phase
- having trouble finishing what I set out to create
- not publishing or releasing the things I create
I've read countless tips and advice on how to stop procrastination, overthinking and perfectionism.
And you can just tell from the frequency of my posts on this blog that none of those worked very well 😅.
Now, when surface tips and tricks fail to fix a problem, it usually suggests that there is a deeper, more subconscious root cause.
What changed for me fundamentally, was that I adopted a different mindset and broke free from my limiting beliefs.
I used to believe that my procrastination and inaction were caused by me having high standards.
My excuse (or belief at the time) was that I needed to give people the best experience when they are using the things I create or reading my articles. That's why it always took me longer to plan things out and execute on them.
As it turns out, I was lying to myself.
My inaction was caused by my own ego and desire to always be impressive.
The quality of the finished products that I release needed to be impressive not because I have high standards, but because I needed to show that I am impressive.
While there is nothing wrong with having a desire to impress people (debatable), I needed to get my ego checked (might I suggest reading Ego Is The Enemy).
On the other hand, I set out to bring value to others with the things I create. And procrastination is getting me to run the opposite way.
After realizing the purpose of life (tl;dr: it's to help others), and remembering from what my mentors (Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman) taught me years ago, I seem to have found the cure to procrastination and inaction:
Just fucking do it.
But it's not that simple, is it?
Everyone knows that the opposite of inaction is taking action.
But what really gets us to take action is having the right mindsets and positive beliefs.
If we understood the purpose of life and focus on sharing and helping others, then our ego and self-image aren't that important anymore.
So that's what I did to kickstart the momentum to take more actions:
I started uploading videos straight from my phone camera, with no room decoration, no post editing, just a blank wall on my channel.
I published articles with no header image to "spice things up", no cool visuals, not even a newsletter signup form.
Sometimes, when I want to share some learnings to more people, I'd even abandon beautifully formatting the post on my blog, and instead publish it as a forum post.
If it helps others gain new perspective, perform better in their work, and even just feel better, the timeliness and value it creates greatly exceeds the impressive wow factor and my supposed "high standard" and everything I deemed to be necessary in the past.
So what's the cure to recap? It's this:
Just fucking do it because helping others is more fulfilling and rewarding than trying to perfect your crap in order to protect your self-image and ego.
Another benefit of putting stuff out there instead of worrying and having them rot inside is this:
Mr. Step Aument here gave me a shout out in his latest blog post — this would have never happened if my ego got the best of me!
P.S. go read Step's blog. He's a much better writer than me and can explain ideas much more concisely.