“I admire hard work. But it isn’t my gift. And while I will continue to improve my discipline… it never will be.
Only once I accepted this did I start to make money.
Who understands why?”
I tweeted this out the other day and promised to explain why on here (I save the best of everything for you guys)
This was a very hard issue for me to internalize.
And to be honest, I still haven’t fully internalized it yet.
(As I like to say, deep work is like moving a massive ship — it takes time)
But the gains since even a little bit of a shift have been enormous.
The reason is a bit paradoxical.
But first, a few things about me:
I don’t like being told what to do. And I don’t like to be forced to do anything.
Which pretty much means that “work” is something that on a very deep level I despise.
Now, is this laziness?
Who knows. It certainly looks lazy to outsiders.
But I’m certainly not idle.
As I revealed last week, I spent DAYS doing deep research into WW2 history, tactical formations, looking at literal divisional strength, armament… I can tell you the exact way Fall Rot and Fall Gelb (the German invasion of France) and Operational Bagration (the Soviet destruction of 25% of the German Army in Belarus) played out.
This was 20+ hours of research a day (seriously I barely slept)… hardly something you can call lazy. But I did it because I WANTED to improve a game.
It was “fun” — not work.
I only “work” — do things that do not interest me — when I absolutely have to.
This is how I am.
My mind is constantly active — consuming, processing, and synthesizing information — but only at my own pace, per my own intuitive inclination.
There are many pros to this. My mind is wired for insight and problem solving. The cons are that it doesn’t produce what is necessarily important at the time.
Now that you have the context, back to the paradox.
I was raised in a “protestant work ethic” household that valued hard work as the sign of whether or not you were a good person.
This meant that in school I had to do well, I had to get a good job and succeed, I had to apply myself to the task in front of me and work hard to get it in order to “deserve” success.
The fact was, though, I hated working — I procrastinated constantly and with few exceptions did the bare minimum to get by.
And I hated this about myself.
It was a character flaw, I thought.
And so I concluded that until I worked hard I didn’t deserve to be successful.
You see, on a deep level I associated prosperity with sacrifice.
Which created a dilemma.
Because while I wanted to be successful, I also didn’t want to spend my whole day working. I didn’t want to do things because I had to do them.
So I self-sabotaged.
I’d whip myself into working like a dog for a day or two… and then binge on escapes, like porn, video games, social media…
Trapped between a rock and a hard place, my business and personal life languished.
I couldn’t work for someone else… and yet, I was terrified if my business was successful it would also control me.
And since I didn’t want ANYTHING to direct my life, even if it was of my own making… I made sure the business wasn’t successful.
Can you see where I’m going with things now?
I tied my deservedness to the one thing I didn’t want to do: work for something external.
What changed was simple.
I learned to embrace myself.
The truth is that I’m not going to work for the sake of working, or because I’m told to do it. I will never operate this way, and while I respect people who do I am not like them.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve success.
So long as I can do things other people can’t do — so long as I can provide value to others — I deserve whatever I can get from it.
Bingo. My business can be 100% devoted to providing me with more freedom. It can be oriented to stop me from having to do things so I can fuck around on projects that interest me.
And if I need something that requires dedicated hard work, I can hire someone who is psychologically inclined to do it.
It was a huge reframe that changed my life.
(And, paradoxically, got me working more… since I was no longer concerned I “had” to do it.)
Crazy stuff. But I know I’m not alone.
The human mind is filled with dissonance. It’s a product of our own “deep” self getting mixed up with social mores and life experience.
And it creates all sorts of misalignments.
Like a muscle knotted up, it leads to injury… and stops us from performing in peak condition.
Which is where I come in.I’m a “massage therapist” of sorts when it comes to the mind.
Like I’ve done with myself, I find the knots in your mentality and smooth them out.
I help you get aligned, so you can feel amazing *and* perform (on your own terms) with the full extent of your talent.
Most people have no idea what they are capable of, they have spent so much time being their own worst enemy.
Time for a ceasefire.
The link is here: www.patstedman.com/application
PS The title of this email is actually the name of a great book that reveals many secrets about how the universe works. I recommend you check it out…