Self-improvement is one of the most loved topics on the internet.
But it can get out of control. Trust me, I’m a self-improvement junkie. Then everything changed. Now a lot of the cliche BS doesn’t work anymore.
Perhaps you can relate.
Do this to mess up your pretty little self-improvement goals
Have a baby.
That’s right. Either give birth to a ball of poop if you’re a woman, or watch your wife do it if you’re a man.
The whole process looks like the scene of murder. Blood everywhere. Loud cries — mostly from the scared dads (like me).
Now I have a baby girl all those 4 AM morning routines are bloody hard to follow. Before my kid I did everything with two hands.
Now I’m a one-handed mutant.
I have to try and type my little self-helpy articles with a kid on my lap. When I write a killer headline she screams as if to say “clickbait, dad.”
She’s a little cutie but has a devil’s heart when it comes to writing on the internet. I used to have this gorgeous morning routine.
Damn, Tony Robbins would have been proud.
I’d go to bed at 10 PM and get up at 6 AM. It was glorious. I’d start work before all the noise of the city would roar to life.
Now I got a little missy poopy to micro-manage, sweet dreams are a thing of the past. Sometimes I go to bed at 10. Other times she cries until 2 AM so I get to bed late. Some mornings I wake up at 6.
Other mornings I have a kid hangover worse than a real hangover after 21 tequila shots at the strip club I used to work at as a DJ.
If you love self-improvement then it’ll get bloody hard if you have kids. Now I’m doing a hard reset on everything self-improvement.
Here’s my 5-step reset process you can copy.
#1. Why am I doing this?
Self-improvement on its own is meaningless.
No one gives a crap if you can wake up early and do kettlebell swings while listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast at 10x speed.
I’ve looked deep inside my scared little mind. Why am I being productive at all?
- I don’t want to work a job ever again. It feels like death by a thousand paper cuts.
- I need to buy my kid a house with a small backyard and her own bedroom. Right now her bright red crying face sleeps next to mommy and daddy. If I don’t get off my lazy ass and work she’s never gonna have her own bedroom or know what grass feels like. We’ll be stuck in this concrete jungle called Melbourne forever.
- I like writing online. But I probably do it too much too often. Writing is how I make sense of the world. Writing is how I get off 0% creativity which causes most people’s minds to enter the digital dark ages.
- I give a crap about helping strangers on the internet. And I’d like to continue my work to help people in 3rd world countries through writing and scholarships.
#2. What’s my big stupid goal?
Fame and accolades are a nightmare.
I care little for them. Heck, I even got a book deal from a well-known publisher and feel like I’ll turn it down.
To answer this question has not been easy. The weird answer that came out after much deep reflection is I want to work even less. This means I need to hire a small team of freelancers to get my time back.
And it means I need to write less at some point.
It feels scary to write that. People always make nice comments about how prolific I am with writing. Losing that identity, on some days, feels like losing my firstborn daughter.
My other big goal is to hang out at jungle gyms and chat to the mothers who are quietly thinking why the heck isn’t this dad with a hairy monkey chest at work?
In other words, more time with my daughter. They’re only young once, right? Why piss up her childhood for the sake of extra money or shallow writing goals I don’t care enough about deep down?
#3. Will all this matter in 10 years?
In the present moment everything I’m doing feels super important.
I sometimes wonder, though, will it matter whether I published an extra article this week or not?
Will saying yes to that uber-cool podcast interview really matter? Will future generations really sit by the campfire and have an orgasm after hearing every word I said to James Altucher on his podcast?
More and more I feel the answer is no. Most of what I’m doing right now won’t matter in 10 years. Maybe publishing a well-written book, though, could matter. It’s why I’m rethinking my decision to say no.
#4. Am I giving too many f*cks?
Mark Manson on the brain. Soz.
To give a f*ck is to care way too much about something. Despite the illusion I’m a good little well disciplined self-help man, I’m not.
I get triggered too. People say crap just to get a rise out of me. And social media apps like Elon’s birdy app make dumb decisions that get under my skin all the time.
Then there’s crypto. It was supposed to save the world. It was meant to cut the chains of digital slavery that Mark Suckerberg placed on our risks all those years ago with Facebook.
It hasn’t happened yet. I feel it will happen but I also think I gave way too many f*cks about the whole narrative. Innovation never happens the way we think it will.
Trying to predict trends makes you a retard. It’s impossible.
#5. Could I be doing something else?
This question slaps me behind my big ears too.
At least this one I can answer honestly. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than living in Australia, playing with my kiddo, and writing on the internet. Even though I haven’t achieved it all or done it all, I think this fortunate position is something many people don’t experience.
And for that I’m grateful. So tell the hippies and the commies to come join me and let’s sing kumbaya to celebrate and drink vegan smoothies.
What this all means for you
The questions above help you do a hard reset.
They force you to get honest with yourself, because the person we tell the most lies to is ourselves.
Sometimes you’ve got to throw a grenade at your life and blow it up, so you can rebuild it again in a new and better way based on who you now are, not who you were.
Now is a good time to blow up your life. What matters? What doesn’t? And what lights your sexy ass on fire?