Overestimating your capacity is a bad keystone habit that enables a lot of other self-sabotaging habits, and while there are ways to turn things around, as with any addiction, you’ll be vulnerable to repeating bad problems and must maintain constant vigilance. This kills your self-esteem and motivation to build and achieve things. It encourages you to cope by procrastinating and sedating with other habits, and continue to paralyze yourself in crippling anxiety of unrealistic expectations placed on yourself and others.
It isn’t true and just as you have the power to create the situation, you have the power to change it all. Here are a few steps to take.
1. Recognize the existence and importance of trade-offs.
As a society, we are at that point where there is so much stupid information being pedaled as truth, that I have to emphasize as a step – to actually acknowledge and let soak in the FACT that trade-offs exist, and they are an important part of the journey of life.
Denying the existence of trade-offs is not abundant thinking. It is a sure fire way to fail. You will not 10x your life by pretending that trade-offs don’t exist. Every mow, blow, and go guru loves to take your money and tell you otherwise. But isn’t it convenient that they’re out of town after the hype wears off and the conditions have to be addressed?
Trade-offs are real. You trade your money, your time, your attention and your energy. And I believe those deals matter. Those deals are made every day. They are made in fractions of seconds in every decision you make, and I believe they matter.
2. Give the most meaningful initiatives plenty of room to grow.
Once you open up your eyes and re-acknowledge the facts and reality of life and trade-offs you can move on to making some better decisions, including prioritizing the most meaningful goals in your life. Once you’ve honed in on the most meaningful goals and initiatives, they often need far more than the time, energy and attention you’re estimating to
So as a rule, you want to develop the habit of giving the most meaningful things in your life plenty of room to grow. This means giving them white space, breathing room, getting them out of the pot and planting them in the ground so that you don’t limit their development.
See what happens for most people is that they want to shove so much shit in their lives, and fit it all in, because they’re told they can, by the market and by snake oil gurus. And all that ends up happening is having a mental garage chock-full of half-assed crap, ideas that don’t make it off the napkin, aspirations your friends are sick of hearing you talk about because you never take action to make them happen. People fill up their calendars and overwhelm themselves and burnout. They go 10x one day and flame out the other 4, every week. This is unsustainable.
The biggest trees need room to grow. If you want to live abundantly, you’ll start giving your top initiatives more room than you even think they need. It’s not about how much time, energy, attention do you need to pour on to make them survive, it’s about making them succeed. This means achieving your goals and thriving not just surviving.
Bottom Line – Make it your habit to leave room for growth.
- Leave plenty of white space on your calendar. Give your self an abundant fudge factor for your most important efforts.
- Leave plenty of whitespace on the calendar around the most important events.
- Spending 20 minutes reflecting on nothing in particular, is better to calm your nerves than filling every minute, feeding your anxiety by viewing social media.
- Leave plenty of whitespace on your desk. Give yourself an open runway to smoothly take off and land the day’s work.
- Leave plenty of whitespace in your inbox. Limit your check times to twice a day. Don’t use email to collaborate. Use a better platform. Unsubscribe from all that spam so you don’t have anxiety when responding to opportunities from real people.
3. If you take one and only one step by yourself, let it be this: follow The Heroik Golden Rule
The Heroik Golden Rule: Cultivate that which truly serves you, and unapologetically hit the eject button on that which does not.
I don’t care what Oprah, Deepak Chopra, or any of the hustle-porn or new-age ads tell you, you cannot have it all, be it all, all at once. You have to make trade-offs. Just as you have a finite amount of space in your garage, you have a limited mental, emotional and physiological space as well, you need to follow the Heroik Golden Rule.
This means aiming for less but better. Aim for the meaningful stuff.
What’s the point of owning a mountain bike, kayak, paddleboard, surfboard, motorcycle, and a bunch of other toys if they sit in your garage and you never use them?
That’s ridiculous – but commercialized society commands you to buy all that crap. And the same thing happens in the marketplace for business owners.
Put another way, this means structuring your business to be profitable on fewer projects but finished ones; projects that you can be proud of and brag about. These are the ones that elevate your position in the market.
This has the added advantage of using a position that most competitors will never adopt because they are suffering from the same capacity problem.
Following the Heroik Golden Rule means doing what YOU need to do – to uphold YOUR standard for who YOU want to be and what kind of company YOU want to own and operate. The implications of the rule are unique to you.
This may mean foregoing having a ping pong table and bean bag chairs in the lounge at the office. This may mean driving a sensible car instead of acting hood rich by leasing some expensive hunk of junk to pretend to be more abundant than you really are. Maybe it means the opposite.