There are over 3500 self help books published yearly, courses and seminars ranging from $5 to $50,000 that money back guarantee to make you a more empowered, productive, happier version of yourself. Amidst this fury of commercialism I would like to present the least monetizable piece of self help advice you will probably ever hear.
Ignore your problems.
In the movie Limitless, at one point the main character narrates, "There are very few problems in this world that forty million dollars won't fix." Now your goals probably will not net you $40M in the immediate future, but if your goals are fairly large (and I assume they are if you're on this website), then accomplishing them should fix your problems. Time, money and resources spent working towards big goals will almost always yield a greater ROI than time, money and resources spent fixing problems. Structure your goals and vision for life in such as way that your problems are fixed as a by product or side effect of reaching them.
History is not impressed by your problems:
- Lance Armstrong winning the Tour De France 7 times despite lung, brain and testicular cancer.
- Stephen Hawking, one of the world's foremost physicists, despite being paralyzed since his 20's by Lou Gehrig's disease.
- Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the great composers of history, despite going deaf after age 26.
- Bethany Hamilton, a world class surfer, despite having one of her arms missing due to a shark attack.
- Howard Hughes, an aviation pioneer and one of the wealthiest men in the world despite chronic pain and OCD.
- JFK, becoming the President of the United States at a young age and saving the world from a nuclear Holocaust despite being a constantly sick man, he suffered from severe chronic back pain, urinary-tract infections, colitis and severe mood changes resulting from his addiction to amphetamines.
A major problem that I faced early in my career as a small business owner was that i did not have have a drivers license and was facing a very complicated, expensive and time consuming process to get it back (this was NOT due to drinking and driving or any other criminal offense). Consulting at client sites, sales meetings with prospects, coordinating events, outside sales and the other activities that fill the day of a small business person are very challenging to do without a car, I walked many miles and spent more time than I care to admit waiting in the cold at bus stops and light rail stations. Eventually this taught me to work more efficiently, schedule my meetings geographically and task batch my transportation requiring tasks. Those months I strongly reconsidered my decision to go into business for myself, maybe it would just be better to wait to get my license back... Eventually, the networking and business skills I acquired brought me a deal with a attorney who was very skilled in resolving drivers license issues. This attorney saved me a huge amount of time, head ache and at least several thousand dollars in getting my license back. This was a case where procrastinating paid off.
This is an advanced mindset for people who think very critically and analytically, taken to the extreme it could be quite destructive actually. Imagine a person who ignores a serious health problem that kills them before they accomplish their goals. There are times when small problems can grow into bigger problems and there are times when small problems stay small and can be stamped out by accomplishing your goals. How do you tell the difference? Get some expert opinions on the matter first. Knowledgeable doctors, attorneys, authors, or consultants are almost always willing to give a free or affordable initial consultation or opinion on whatever problem you are considering blowing off. Unless your problems, present a health risk to you or significantly hold you back from accomplishing your goals, blow them off, delegate them to someone else.
At your funeral are people going to praise you for...
Always paying your bills on time?
Always responding to emails promptly?
Always changing your car's oil when it needed to be changed?
Getting your yearly check up at the dentist on time?
Getting good grades in school?
Doubtful. They will praise you for taking risks and going for the goals that are important to you.
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