Becoming Great Through Focus & Discipline

Okay I admit: I f’d up.

I made money online, I traveled the world, and then it happened… I got lazy.

Suddenly I lost all of my discipline. I lost my ability to focus. I became an internet addict (like you too).

I constantly am finding myself distracted, “scatter brained,” and all over the place. It’s a bit frustrating.

Oh hey, look another YouTube video!

[3 hours later]…

I can’t remember who originally said it but there’s a great quote that I only now can understand. It goes something like this:

“The enemy of the good is the great.”

Here’s what it means decoded. It means that people often don’t become great because they get trapped in “good.” People become comfortable in that 9-5 or university or whatever, so they don’t go for the things in life that really fulfills them.

It’s easy to work 12 hour days when if you don’t you become homeless or starve.

When it’s do or die, the human mind & body is capable of insane degrees of creativity, willpower, intelligence, and persistence.

When it’s a matter of good or great, most people settle for good. I’m a victim of that myself (damn you caveman brain).

Working on the internet doesn’t make it easier. Sometimes I even have to use my cell phone for work, and it’s so easy to get notifications from my girlfriend, Snapchat, family, etc.

Anyways, here are a couple of things I’m working on and maybe you can benefit from them.

1. Commitment

“You mean like, not cheating on your girlfriend?” Okay yeah well that’s good but I don’t mean that kind of commitment silly.

I mean committing to excellence and a project. It shouldn’t be a question to commit to your partner or not!

Okay look most of us young people struggle with committing to anything longer than a cat video.

We can’t play an instrument unless it meows, we can’t talk to anyone about anything deep without looking at our phones, and we can’t do “that one thing” we always wanted to do.

…and when you want to start… more cat videos!!!

Silly writing aside, I’m practicing commitment towards my projects.

A month ago I completed a 30 day challenge in which I uploaded 30 videos in 30 days on my YouTube channel. I must admit it wasn’t easy, and I really wanted to quit, but it felt pretty amazing.

Even though I didn’t get a ton of subscribes, it felt really nice to improve my speaking ability and get some regular viewers (thank you friends :D).

Right now my goal is 3 hours of focused work minimum per day, 5 days a week.

I know this doesn’t sound like much, but keep in mind focused work is so much different than distracted work. You might work 8 hours at a coffee shop but spend only 1 hour focused (and it’s easier if you spend 1 hour focused ten minutes at a time).

Whatever you’ve wanted to do but haven’t, try set a 30 day challenge. Make it sustainable rather than too big. For example, “I will play the guitar one hour per day 6 days per week.”

Commitment sucks sometimes but you’ll end up loving it.

I remember once when I was a kid I loved practicing martial arts, but then I took a month off. Then when it was time to get back into things I hated it.

One thing I’ve learned is that we humans love our habits more than what the habit is sometimes. If you can put in the effort to develop a good habit, then you’ll be loving life!

Dare to commit. Set a challenge and stick to it. It’ll suck at first but then you’ll feel so much more fulfilled than a thousand cat videos.

2. Practicing “Focused” Time

In addition to commitment I’m trying to make it “distraction-free.”

As kids we can naturally focus on things for very long periods of time. Now that my focus ability is a fucking mess, I’m shocked I ever completed High School.

Your ability to focus can be developed and grown over time. The more boredom you can learn to deal with in your life the more you will succeed.

Listen making money online isn’t fun all the time. But I love traveling and living in Bulgaria or Iceland or wherever-the-hell I want (Asia soon??).

Learn to deal with boredom, or else you’ll end up entertained from cat videos yet feeling purposeless.

And yes, obviously you can tell I’ve had a problem with fucking cat videos…

3. Meditation

I’m reading this book right now “Why Buddhism Is True.” It’s cool.

I’m also trying to meditate more often. Holy hell is the mind random and… confusing.

Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense what I’m thinking. I’ll get little blobs of words and then it’ll get covered up by other words.

Meditation is epic and I’ll let you do your own research. Try to meditate and discharge a bit.

4. Taking mini-breaks 

During focused time I have this bad habit of trying to stay 100% focused 100% of the time. That’s near-impossible.

Taking a 5 minute break every hour is nice. This is something I struggle with.

And no, you can’t watch cat videos during your breaks. It’s best that your breaks are literal breaks: sit and do nothing, relax, or talk to someone nearby.

I was originally going to title this post “leave room for inspiration” because I was going to talk only about mini-breaks… but of course I talked about everything else.

Anyways  taking breaks is like “leaving room for inspiration.” You give yourself a second to recharge, which allows you to feel inspired again.

If you charge work head-on, you probably will burnout. You have to take a moment and remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Why are you playing that instrument? Why are you building that business? Take a break and focus on the end goal.

Yeah yeah enjoy the present moment & flow and all that but make sure you know where your direction is going.

Becoming Great

I have so many goals I want to achieve but haven’t yet. There are things I want to do and know I can but due to a lack of commitment & discipline on my part I haven’t yet achieved these things.

I am making my priority now the ability to focus and “dive deep.” I’ve since become aware that my mind is all over the place, I’m quite fidgety, and focusing for longer than 20 minutes at a time is rather difficult.

In order to become great you must be able to focus on your dreams long enough to let them manifest.

You have to “think & grow rich,” but you can’t think once- you must stay focused on the growing rich part. The book better be called “focus & grow rich” because you can do a whole lot of thinking but without the focus you won’t go anywhere.

I’m trying to become great. This is what I’m working on.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post or not?

Let me know 🙂

-Michael