You have my permission…

April 16, 2023

Today is your lucky day.

Why is that?

Because I hereby grant you full permission to…

Stop doing what’s not working.

This might sound trivial, but it isn’t. Too often we hang onto ways and methods that don’t work for us. We try to diet, but aren’t losing weight. We try to take more time off, but never do. We try to be more organized, but our minds and physical and virtual spaces are as messy as ever.

So accept my permission to stop doing exactly the same thing.

And give yourself permission too. I’m not your boss. Although perhaps I should be… I am looking for a business assistant. But that’s a different topic.

My point is: don’t keep banging your head against the wall. Try a different approach!

Instead of dieting, learn to play padel and go three times a week with a friend. Instead of never daring to go away from your business for weeks at a time, start with some extended weekends off. And instead of trying on your own for the tenth time to set up a task management system, pay someone to help you.

I recently walked the walk on this. If you’ve been following me for a few years, you might have seen that one task that I just never get around to has been to sign up for a meditation retreat. After spending just a few days at a retreat back in 2017, I’ve been wanting to go to a longer retreat. But I procrastinated and then it was 2020 and covid happened and after that I found a million different excuses.

So, last week, I said: let’s just do a short retreat. I booked one that lasts four days. Ideally, I’d like to go to a retreat that lasts ten days or even longer, but I was having trouble finding the time. So I decided to start small. And now it’s booked and I’m going soon and I’m so excited about it.

In a similar vein, instead of complaining yet again that my business growth is being held back because I don’t feel like setting up a recording space and editing videos, I booked a session in a professional video studio and hired a video editor. We’ll have to see how that works out, but at least I’m trying something else that might help me produce more videos.

I know that I mostly speak on topics related to productivity, but stop doing what isn’t working applies to any part of life where you’d like to grow. To get different results, you have to do things differently.

Here’s the thing, though. You now have my permission and your own permission to do things differently. But that permission comes with a responsibility: you must take a different action than the actions you’ve taken in the past.

So try out a new time management technique. Don’t keep trying the same one that doesn’t work for you, even though Cal Newport swears by it. Heck, if your career isn’t working for you, switch careers! You don’t need anyone else’s permission or approval: you just got mine and your own.

And here’s a final note: it’s not you. If you haven’t gotten what you want yet, it’s not because you suck or because you’re not cut out for it. It’s what you’ve been doing that’s wrong. It’s not you. That’s a subtle but also a very important difference.

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