Many times in your career, you will feel stuck. You are unable to move forward and a dreaded sense of stagnation creeps upon you. First, we need to learn that it is completely ok to feel like that and it happens to the best of us. It happens to me all the time.
The goal is not to eliminate the feeling of being stuck with your career (which you never can). The goal is to make sure that you have enough energy to bounce back to productivity when you are feeling stuck.
Humans are biological creatures with complex physiology and psychology. A good emotional state is very important for us to feel motivated and have enough willpower to do the things required to move the needle in our careers.
Imagine the available energy that you have right now as a flame. Are you burning a clean flame? The flame gives the energy to build your life, and career and pursue your goals.
Your flame is not burning in a clean way because you have not done enough sacrifices for your career. You have not taken it seriously enough.
You have habits, mostly bad habits. Your habits might be impacting your career success.
Eating in an unhealthy way, not having the discipline to sleep on time, not cutting down on your social media usage and all such habits are messing with your flame. You are holding yourself back, no one else. You only have yourself to blame.
You probably think that you are not able to progress in your career because:
- You did not go to a good college
- You have not made the right contacts
- You had the wrong life partner
- People are holding back secrets from you
- You are not in the right place at the right time
It is easy to project your problems outwards and blame someone else for your problems.
But the main reason why you are not able to progress in your career could be:
- You waste time on social media and watching Netflix (check screentime on your phone and see for yourself).
- You can't give up spending time with your friends and bonding over intoxicants. This might take up half a day in your week, sometimes more.
- You don't get enough sleep and don't eat healthily and you are always low on energy (and you try to become active using caffeine).
- You can't keep upskilling yourself with discipline (you think you are done with learning once you are done with college).
- You can't get productive work done every day (you procrastinate all the time and never get it done).
Results come with consistency.
Results come with Repetition.
- If you want to build muscles, do your reps.
- If you want to build your personal brand, write every day.
- If you want to sell, generate leads, and reach out and be ok with rejection.
- If you want to quit your job, save money, invest right and earn freedom for yourself.
Most people think I just got lucky because I was at the right place at the right time. That's because people do not want to see behind the scenes. They don't want to see the consistent work I have been doing on DigitalDeepak since 2013. (That's almost a decade now).
People don't want to see the pain I went through when I faced multiple rejections from multiple employers and clients. Because if they see that, then they will realize that the only person stopping them from achieving success is themselves.
You might think: "I can't leave this, I can't leave that."
But without sacrifice, you cannot achieve anything.
Sacrifice whatever you can for what you want the most, and throw it as fuel into the flame.
Let the flame burn brighter, cleaner, and more consistently. 🔥
Minimalism, Time, and Convenience
To build creative work, you also need to be a minimalist. The more you add to your life, the more you are taking away from your work.
The "fun stuff" that you buy takes more time, energy, and money. You need to maintain the toys and also make sure that you use the stuff to make the cost of it worth it.
The best investment of your money is buying time and convenience. Not "fun stuff".
When you outsource tasks that take time, you make more time for what you can create. If you invest in convenience, you will be able to have more willpower, to do the tough things that are required to build your career.
For example, I have no hesitation in hiring a full-time chef, a driver to drive me around on certain days, and hire people to who I can delegate tasks (even in my personal life).
I also invest a lot in my health. I do not cook food for myself. I do not have the time or the patience to cook. But I also do not buy gourmet food with all the zing.
Instead, I buy healthy and raw food, organic is preferable.
All these expenses are not expenses for me, but investments. Because one more hour in a day, with much cleaner energy in my body, means that I can invest that one hour in my work.
Some people might want to buy a new car with their newfound money. I invest it in my body and mind. Either I am buying healthy foods, or buying courses, books and training programs.
With the time I save and the extra willpower I have - I could create content, make a video, write a blog post, or work on my marketing and sales funnel. The ROI on such investments will be astronomical in the long term.
During the initial days of your career, you might not be able to invest in saving time and convenience. But as you grow, you will be able to.
Make sure that you don't become lazy and start procrastinating work.
Once you achieve some level of success, you might feel like you now have so much convenience that the motivation to work might come down. But do not work for living a convenient life. Invest in a convenient life so that you can work.
A convenient life is by the work, for the work. Not the other way round.
Once you reach a level where you can have a clean flame burning from morning to evening, you will be unstoppable.
For extreme levels of career success, what you really need is:
- Wake up by at least 6 am.
- Exercise and get your blood pumping
- Meditate and clean out your mental cache
- Read a book for an hour
- Have a cold bath and shock your body. Wake it up.
- Get to deep work at least by 10 am. Work on something that takes a lot of willpower (like content creation). Tune out everyone and everything during this patch. This is where you get 10x results. Phone on DND. Ideally, a separate room to work (else headphones). No interruptions, no exceptions.
- Once you get your deep work done, you will have the rest of the day to get other tasks done (which require a lot of context switching - like emails and meetings).
- Learn from video tutorials, training programs, discussion groups, and digital mentorship. Spend another 1-2 hours before you close for the day.
After your day is ended, don't go out to a party and drink. Spend some time in solitude so that you can reflect on what happened in the day. (Watch this)
Spend some time with family, pets, or in social service.
What you need to set as a goal for yourself is to have a perfect, productive, satisfying day. Those days are the ones that will help you achieve your goals (whatever that might be).
The goal is not the outcome. The goal is practice. The outcome is a side-effect of the practice.
If you can't get your day right, you can get your week right, and your month, year, decade, and life won't be right.
Maybe until now, you have not had good days. But there is nothing stopping you from having a perfect day today (whatever that is left of it), and aim for having a good productive day tomorrow.
Results come from small compounded results from the everyday focus that is invested consistently.
Become a lean, mean focus machine.