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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

The one rule to become the absolute best at what you do


There are days when I wake up in the morning and think, "I should open a restaurant" or "I should write a blog post about this". And I would have forgotten about that idea an hour or two later. By the end of the day, I might vaguely remember that I had an idea to do something but, for the life of me, can't seem to remember what it was.

And then there are ideas that I have that I keep thinking about day after day and week after week. Whenever I watch something remotely close to it or read something that relates to the idea, the entire flow of thought comes out again with full gusto.

At the start of the year, you might have thought about the things you'd like to do in 2018. Today, two weeks later, some of those thoughts might already be forgotten. That's true for me. But there are some ideas that I've been thinking about every other day and am still thinking about today.

There is the reward and effort evaluation that you can put your ideas through in order to decide what you should pursue and what you should set aside and forget about. This is a practical way to go about things and will ensure that you only pick those ideas that have the potential to give you the biggest return with the least effort.

But these aren't necessarily the ideas that make you happy.

I've found that the ideas I think about constantly, the ones that refuse to go away even if I haven't acted on them or actively thought about them in days, are the ones that I will truly enjoy pursuing.

I don't just want to write everyday, I'm constantly thinking about what opinions I have on the things I come across, what I learn from the things I see and read, what I can share with those that might be interested. I don't just want to tell jokes and stories, I'm constantly thinking about how to incorporate what I see and talk about into my jokes and stories. I don't just want to dress up as Michelangelo's David for a costume party, I'm constantly thinking about what I eat and how I work out in order to be able to pull it off.

And as a consequence, everything I do in trying to advance on these ideas, I enjoy. I actively seek out how to do more of these during my day. I prioritise doing these over everything else that I could possibly do during the day.

You might sit idle. But your mind is never idle. It is always full of thoughts. Either thoughts that drain your energy - comparisons, insecurities, misgivings, guilt, or they are thoughts that energise you - possibilities, opportunities, making progress, learning.

You might want to work on something that you have prioritised based on the optimization for effort/reward. But, if that is not something that you're constantly thinking about, it isn't something that will be interesting to you at the moment. It will only end up being something that you will have to force yourself to do. Like a kid forces herself to go to school while she'd rather be home watching cartoons.

How do you make yourself think about the things that you ought to work on? Set up your environment to induce those thoughts in you. Disable notifications or put your phone on airplane mode, stay away from social media and email as soon as you wake up, measure and track everything that you do. And so much more.

Our environment drives a lot of what we think about. And what we think about drives what we do and how happy we are while doing it. And if we are happy doing something, we get better at it.

So do what you like and like what you want to do.

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