Coming from a small town in the Midwest, I cannot count how many times I've met someone who has fallen into a routine of simply working for a paycheck. Each and every day of their lives, they wake up, go to work for 8-10 hours, and then go home. This happens day after day, week after week, month after month, and if you ask these people how they feel about their jobs, they respond with the notion that they don't particularly love what they do. They'll say things like, "Well it's a paycheck" or "I'm just getting through the week, waiting for Friday".
But if you're somebody who is searching for more, there's no reason you should be wasting your time by coming home from work only to sit on the couch. If you truly want to accomplish something worthwhile, you know you have to put in the work. After your 8-10 hours of working, you need to come home and put in 4-5 hours of your personal time working on whatever it is that you envision yourself doing in the future. That is the only way that you will ever see those goals through. Not by making the excuse of, "Work was rough today. I need a beer" and then binge-watching a show on Netflix. You won't accomplish that one goal by going out to eat with friends every weekend. No, you have to put aside those luxuries and find the time to put in the work.
"If you live for weekends and vacations, your shit is broken" - Gary Vaynerchuk
Getting back to the example of people that I've met who don't like their job, so many individuals use the excuse of, "But I work hard already. I work 50-60 hours a week" or "I have children, and I just don't have the time. I'm constantly running here and there". They'll give reasons why they are working the same job for 15 years, a job that they hate or that drains them physically and psychologically, and they refuse to acknowledge that the only reason they are still in that job is because of their lack of work. What so many people fail to realize is that they are not truly working that hard. They've become lazy, and through the lens of their laziness, they think they're working hard simply because they work a full-time job. They've convinced themselves that their job justifies their lack of action once they punch the clock and head home. In their minds, they deserve a break, right? That's what they tell themselves while they spend 4 hours sitting on their ass at home, accomplishing absolutely nothing before going to bed and then doing it all over again the next day.
"There is no substitute for hard work" - Thomas Edison
So I want you to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, "How hard am I really working?" It's a simple question, but the answer can be difficult to hear. The simplest way to answer this question is to write down the actions that fill your day from the time that you wake up until the time that you go to bed. Map out everything that you do, from going to work to cooking to watching television or reading a book. Everything. Once you've done this, identify if those actions help or hinder you from accomplishing the highest level of personal success. Is your time being used effectively to increase your chances of accomplishing that large goal that you know you've always thought about? If not, you're not working that hard.
The easiest way that I've found to motivate myself from wasting time is to use a simple comparison technique. I've identified successful individuals who have accomplished what I dream of accomplishing, and then when I'm doing something throughout my day that I think may be a waste of time, I ask myself, "Would that individual use their time to do this? Or would they be working on something else?" If the answer is "No", I stop what I'm doing and refocus my efforts. This means that if you truly want to change your life as bad as you say that you do, you'll have to give up playing Angry Birds or Pokémon Go on your phone. It means you need to stop spending an hour each week watching Survivor or Grey's Anatomy. If you are tired of the same thing day after day, then the free time that you have should be the time that you put in the work.
"Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work for it." - Napoleon Hill
My message with this post is simple: Chances are you're not working as hard as you think you are, and you're full of shit if you truly believe you don't have the time to become successful. Every single person on this planet who has built a business, travelled the world, or created a product has the same amount of time that you have in their day. The same 24 hours that you use to scroll through Facebook is being used by someone else to research diseases. The same 24 hours that you waste taking selfies for Instagram are being used by someone else to run their restaurant in order to open a second or a third location in three years.
I'll close with one final thought...I'm disgusted with how many people hate Mondays. Around 7 or 8 o'clock on Sunday night, millions of people in this country start to get depressed because they know that in 12 hours, they have to go to a job that they hate for five consecutive days. But the most mind-blowing part about this scenario is that they use Sunday night as a few hours of laziness instead of working to create an escape from that very job! It's unbelievable how many people sit on their asses while complaining about their circumstances at the same time.
I'm challenging you to not be one of these people. Recognize the opportunity that you have within the next 24 hours to change your life. Use that time wisely and to your highest potential. Make the next 24 hours the most productive of your life, and you'll see amazing results.
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