How To Stop Ruining Your Life

Destruction. Chaos. Outrage. Consumes me.

How do you get from A to Z without ruining your life?

Shit, I don’t know. I’ve tried it all.

Running fast.

Running slow.

Working more.

Working less.

But still, I fall. Down. Hard.

Where do I go wrong? What drives me over the edge? How do I lose control? These are the questions running through my mind, giving me the gift of refocus.

Energy!

That’s what we all are. And how we direct this energy determines whether we live on the clouds, or crumble to our knees.

Reality Check: You can make A LOT of money and still fail. How? If you want to be X but you become Y with a ton of dough… did you succeed or fail?

Thought so.

You used your energy in the wrong manner.

And that’s the point I’m at right now.

I made a lot of money, but still… I ruined my life.

First world problems? Surely.

But there’s a lesson hidden inside these words. A lesson that’ll completely change the way you see the world.

More on that in just a second.

But first…

Here’s how I ruined my life (do you recognize any of these points in yourself?):

I went from seeing the entire chessboard to becoming a small piece of the chess game.

Here’s where the problem lies.

When you lose sight of the entire chessboard, you die.

Small details consume you. Small living becomes you. It’s your new world.

Thinking big eludes you. Every time.

The objective of life is to make your chessboard bigger and bigger!

Yet I did the opposite.

I became a piece of the chessboard. I stopped thinking large. I grew too comfortable. The money was good. And it became a drug in itself. The price I paid? Sacrificing greatness for mediocrity.

Ouch!

I thought I was too busy.

Once you start thinking like a small piece, you suddenly become really busy. It happened to me. Not once. But over and over again. I never learn. Do I?

And that’s because…

Living small breeds small thinking.

Small details consume you. It becomes your new world.

Everything seems important!

And it is… to you.

But if you were able to see the entire chessboard (the ability you gave up), you’d realize 95% of the shit you spend your time doing DOESN’T MATTER. At all.

It has no impact.

It has no influence.

It has no jarring on whether you succeed or fail.

Yet you don’t know that. And so, you fill up your daily planner with these tasks. Over and over again. Because to the small piece, everything is important. There is no perspective from living small.

It eludes you.

And even though you’re hustling and bustling, putting in the long hours, you’re actually getting nothing major done. Nothing that’s going to move you forward. Most of us spend our entire life MAJORING in MINOR things.

Hurts?

I know. I felt the dagger cutting my insides open too.

I tried to do it all by myself.

Not only was I majoring in minor things, I was also trying to do all those minor things myself.

Here’s what I mean.

Picture a day filled with a shit ton of tasks… that don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. Now imagine racing through each and every one… trying to get them done by yourself. Bad strategy? You bet.

I eventually did get them done.

But by the time I did, I had no time left for anything else.

And you know what ‘anything else’ meant?

Everything that was important to me.

Which brings me to my last point:

I stopped doing the things that made me.

Successful people are the sum of one or two things done really, really well.

That’s it.

Everything else is just noise. It doesn’t matter.

But you forget that…

And you start taking on too much, taking on too many ‘noisy’ things, tasks that don’t matter.

Maybe you do it for money.

Maybe you do it for status.

Maybe you do it for power.

I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: once you start taking on too many ‘noisy’ things, you lose time to do what made you. And then, your entire life becomes ‘noisy’. And ultimately, meaningless.

This is the point I reached.

Then I started drowning out the noise. Swimming to the shore! Restarting fresh.

How did I get there? I didn’t know.

But how did I get out? I do know.

I read a book. It gave me a shit ton of perspective. It got me thinking, contemplating, and strategizing. Something I had lost time to do.

And here’s what I realized:

Ninety-five percent of things don’t matter. They have no bearing on our life. Yet that’s all we do.

How can I do less of those things? And more of the things I want? Things that have actual, real impact?

It starts by saying no. Over and over again.

Life is full of many good opportunities. That’s the problem.

But you have to say no to the good to make room for the great.

Today I could have made $xxx in an hour.

But I said no.

And wrote this article instead.

This is the beginning, the very beginning of doing things that matter. Only.

Why?

Cause the enemy to greatness isn’t just mediocrity. It’s also ‘good’.

And that may be good enough for some people.

But for me, it’s not.

And so, I had to take a step back and remind myself of the motto:

“Top of the world or bottom of the ocean. There is no room for good.”

Tej Dosa
4:53 pm
Vancouver, BC

  • Carl Phillips

    Tej, this is one that really hits home with me. There is an old saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy man” . Thanks for helping me regain some perspective!. Too many duties make me a pawn on the chessboard!