´ Stop Deluding Yourself -
May 2, 2015

So how are you deluding yourself? What is your version of success and happiness

myths? We have heard of happiness and success myths. We get the scientific evidence presented that some beliefs are incorrect yet we cling on to them nevertheless. One of the most popular ones is ‘when I have time I will (insert whatever you want to achieve)’. These ideas can be very persistent and they are an obstacle to getting things done that we really want. (There are also instances where you are not deluded but science got it wrong, but we’re not talking about that today).

One of the best things that ever happened to me was to actually confront my success myth. My version was ‘if I have time, and don’t come home tired every day from work and then have to worry about family issues I will be incredibly productive as a writer. Heck I’ll probably write a whole book if given the chance.’

So after graduation I took two months off, flew to the opposite hemisphere and rented myself an apartment in Cape Town. No distractions, all the time in the world aaand I was miserable. Day after day I dabbled but I didn’t get any serious writing done. ‘Maybe I just have to relax after the stresses of finishing my studies while working next to a full time job.’ No that wasn’t it either. I didn’t do nothing but I wasn’t nearly as productive as I imagined. Lots of other great things happened but being productive wasn’t one of them.

At first I was mad. Then I was confused. What had been the problem? Then I finally understood. You don’t become a writer or an entrepreneur or anything else because you have time. Yes it’s glaringly obvious but once we have stopped deluding ourselves we can  start thinking about what needs to be done.

So here’s the challenge: take two full days, lock yourself in a cabin and get cracking. You have nothing to lose: if it works and you are miraculously productive you know that you have to lock yourself in a cabin more often. If not you know at least that the lack of time, energy or apple-shaped boobs is not what’s keeping you from achieving your goals and you can instead make room for something more useful than excuses.

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