Stop distracting yourself

It is stunning to witness the impact of distractions in the world today. When you look at dynamics of everyday life you’ll see that most of us are not bound by hard limitations. Sure, we will complain that we don’t have enough smarts, resources or time. But closer inspection will almost always show that none of that is the real issue. The real issue is focus.

The biggest challenge is to actually allow ourselves to do what needs to be done. As soon as that hurdle is passed, everything becomes easier. Center yourself and start – and most often you’ll just keep going.

If you made commitment, honor it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve promised something small or something big. What matters is that you stop allowing yourself to stress daily about things you’ve thought through multiple times. Understand that your brain wants to protect you – we are wired to always look for easy way out. But you should be responsible enough to recognize when easy way is not the right way.

Sure, rethink your decisions once a week. Set a time, sit down and see what you can improve. What is missing from your routine? What are the results of your work so far? Can you do something better – eliminate unnecessary tasks? Try out something new you haven’t so far? Ask and answer all the questions that popped in your head when you were about to perform work.

But in the meantime keep doing what you decided to do. Do not challenge. Do not procrastinate. Do not think.


You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do -Henry Ford

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do -Henry Ford


12 thoughts on “Stop distracting yourself

    • Well – that alone makes this post “worth it”. If you can update me when you finish that collage course – curious to hear how you did.

  1. Sir, thank you.
    I wish I could paste this post on my wall, because I have so so so many commitments at this moment, and I’m still not doing anything, just surfing the web. I am not only cheating myself but my parents too. I have a lot of schoolwork. But rhese lines were a reminder. Thanks to you, I closed all the tabs. I am going to work now. I am going to do.

  2. This resonates with me quite deeply. However, how do you make this commitment?

    I graduated from university with a maths degree but ended up as a software developer a couple years back. Simply because it’s so easy to get a job as a developer even with no experience — people are more than willing to train you on the job.

    I’m doing OK, but I am not great. For some reason I believe that I could do a lot better if I committed to programming. I would probably do some additional learning at home and quit my current job (the team is not really ‘progressive’/inspiring). But I always wonder if I would be committing to the ‘right’/’best’/’optimal’ thing. How can you tell?

    • As Zig Ziglar says – you go to be before you can do. You got to do before you can have.

      From your comment I think you need to mostly work on accepting the fact that you can be great. After 15+ years and numerous development teams – I am yet to be part of one that’s anywhere near perfect. Looking back, it’s never about “finding”, it’s always about “creating”.

      Meaning – be the best developer on your current team. Don’t search for another team, don’t quit current job, don’t hope for better place. Simply ask – what can I do on my current job to get to the level where it’s obvious I’m the best developer on my team. Then do that. Read books, put in extra hours, take responsibility. Fail.

      Sure, life would be way easier if our environment was more supportive. Most people shy away from responsibility because of all the extra stress and little added benefit. But the reality is – noone became great by coasting. So, once you have the answer on what you need to do – do it. Read a book a week. Take responsibility for the biggest feature you guys need to add to the system. Be the first one in the office and last one to leave.

      And stay humble… when people see the change in you most lash out with jealousy. Don’t hold it against them. Simply stay on your path and keep improving.

      Good luck and reach out whenever you have a question.

      • First of all, thank you for your comment and time.

        However, I think that you focused on the least important issue that I am having. I do realize that the people on my are better at programming. While I still believe that I would learn more FASTER elsewhere, it does not mean that I blame my current environment for my my skill level. I do blame myself for that.

        What I am struggling most is with actually committing — choosing to dedicate my time on programming instead of something else say creating my own business or even data science. Why one or the other? I have read about how our minds often mislead us (e.g. Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman, an amazing book) and now I am constantly wondering if I have made a mistake or maybe if I haven’t found the ‘right’ option yet. So I do not try hard enough and in the end I do nothing and do not improve in any area…

        What about yourself? Have you never entertained the idea that maybe you should have done something else? That you could have done much more? If so, any advice how to get rid of such thoughts?

        Again, thanks for responding to my message!

        • Well, that “mind misleading you” that you are talking about – that’s actually exactly what you are doing with those doubts about programming.

          I personally have often entertained thoughts of other careers. Like I’ve always thought about being more of “business guy”. Making deals and then passing work on someone else. But after trying it I’ve came to realize that is pretty much illusion. If you are “business guy” who strikes deals – you are just doing different type of work… one that can be pretty sleazy and depressing. Plus you’re completely dependent on those who are actually doing the work… which is extremely stressful.

          In the end – if you are not trying hard enough – it’s simply that you don’t want to do it. I remember myself when I was earning $25K a year… $50K seemed like a dream. I promised that if I ever attained it – I would be the best worker ever. Looking back – I worked harder when I was earning $25K than now when I am earning way way more than that.

          So – don’t worry – you won’t miss out by committing. It’s kinda like marriage – majority of guys believe that by committing to one girl you are missing out on countless others. Which is a mirage. Life is more about “going deeper”… if you keep swimming around you’ll never get to find that treasure that’s deep down in the ocean.

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