When was the last time you came across an Elon Musk motivational YouTube video and thought to yourself: “What the heck am I doing with my life”?
Or how about those of Steve Jobs? The man whose life inspired even top dogs like Richard Branson and made entrepreneurship mainstream?
They shine so brightly, you just can’t help but feel inspired. Their accomplishments make you want to dig up all the best-kept secrets on productivity and success you could find.
Yet, after consuming hundreds of videos and articles on the subjects, dreaming about what your life could be, telling your friends and family that you’re going to do it - still, not much has changed.
You failed to follow through, again!
But why? What else could you possibly need? Are you that unhelpable?
Perhaps what you need is not more colorful advice, but a reality check. And no one can give you a better reality check than yourself.
Here are 5 brutal reasons to why you actually don’t get things done:
1. YOU'RE IN THE WRONG LANE
I get goosebumps every time I hear: “Follow your passion” or “Do what you love”.
Quite frankly, while it’s not a totally inadequate advice - once you get past a certain point in your career and in your life, you’ll understand that this advice has its limits.
First of all, passion is not something that you just innately have. It’s something that you acquire when you are exposed to a certain subject or activity over time. Sometimes at the age of 5, sometimes at the age of 50.
Secondly, passion and capabilities are two different things. As the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, said: “There are a lot of things I am passionate about. But the things I ended up being really good at were the things I found myself putting my time and effort into."
So if you know that you are passionate about a particular subject, let’s say science and medicine, but you find yourself spending a lot of time reading up on recent research and brainstorming new ideas, perhaps you should look into becoming a professor instead of a surgeon.
2. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING
You’ve come to a plateau in your career or even your personal life, and you know it.
Like a headless chicken going ‘round and ‘round, you’ve been busy but for some reasons, things are not getting better.
The truth is, productivity is different from busy. One requires intelligence and the other doesn’t.
Fortunately, the first step to getting out of this toxic cycle is some courage: The courage to stop things in its track and re-evaluate.
Give yourself some love. Sit down with your favorite cup of coffee, some paper, and pen, and start uncovering the realities of your situation.
Know what needs to change in order for you to move forward. Plan and organize accordingly, then stick to it!
3. YOU'RE NOT TOUGH ENOUGH
No one likes to hear this, but it’s probably true and you need to accept it.
Ironically, being able to open up yourself to this insight actually makes you a stronger person. Isn’t that beautiful?
Good things in life always demand sacrifice, patience, and consistency. If they didn’t, then everyone would have it swell. But that’s not the case, and quite frankly, that’s a good thing.
Instead of hating this reality and feeling sorry for yourself, look at these problems in a different light.
Hardship and failures are as normal as the air we breathe and the ground we walk on.
They exist to separate the weak from the strong, the undeserving from the deserving, the norm from the elite.
Which do you want to be?
4. YOU ONLY DAYDREAM ABOUT GLAMOUR AND FAME
You don’t want to become a doctor because you care about people’s well being, you want the prestigious title. You don’t want to grow a million-dollar company to improve people’s lives, you want Lamborghinis.
It’s normal for humans to seek respect and attention, but if that’s all you think about then it’s time to be honest and reevaluate.
In order to achieve any level of extraordinary, it inevitably requires not only capabilities but also support from other people. And people would only support you if they think that your success would also benefit them or society in return.
So whether they are professors writing letters of recommendation, or colleagues referring your business to others - you’ve got to have or do something in return.
5. YOU DON'T WANT IT ENOUGH
It would be nice to achieve your most outlandish goals, but you’re comfortable where you are right now.
If it doesn’t work out, meh, it’s ok.
And while that’s something your loved ones would tell you because they care about your happiness, it’s also something that holds you back if you believe it too much.
There’s no urgency, no pain without achieving whatever this goal is.
Going back to reason number 1, perhaps you are in the wrong lane and it’s time to have the courage to uncover who you really are and what you really want.
Has any of these points ticked you off? If yes, great. You are now a few steps closer to the life that you want.
You have the power to become better by doing things differently and correctly. Whatever the outcome is, it’s all up to you.