4000 Weeks, cont.
I’m still processing some of the things I read throughout this book. One of the more interesting points is this:
“As the American author and teacher Gregg Krech puts it, we need to learn to get better at procrastinating. “
This is an interesting concept and one that is difficult to put into action. Procrastinate? Yeah, sure I can do that but to procrastinate the good stuff? What does that even mean? To get the donkey to go in the direction we want we dangle a carrot in front of it’s face. We’ll imagine if instead of just a carrot there’s an apple and a banana and a peach and a melon all dangling leading off into different directions. All things we want to do that are tantalizing and distracting. We won’t get it all done and usually it means that instead of getting one thing done, nothing gets done.
This is the hard part. Unfortunately, there will come a time when we will have to turn away from all the alluring things we want to do. Even things that might be high on the list. I came to this conclusion during one of my hospital stays. I thought I’d have all the time in the world since I was going to be sequestered to a hospital room for almost a month. I grabbed my Nintendo Switch, my iPad loaded with movies, my Kindle loaded with books, and my phone loaded with Audible books. Each day was a disappoint in how little I was getting done. Granted there were some days where I felt so bad from the chemo that I couldn’t do anything but with my mind racing on trying to get so many things done I was stressing myself out trying to come up with a way to do it all. And these were all fun activities and it was stressing me out. Now take that same scenario and toss in real life. A job, a spouse, some kids, and home chores. Then think about how little time there is for the fun stuff. Eventually something has to give and it’s not likely going to be the job or family and if you don’t do the chores the spouse will take care of you and not in a pleasant way.
All this to say: narrow it down. Pick three things. Why three? It’s a magical number. Whole philosophies are written about why three is used in stories, fables, and religions. Focus on those three. Scrap everything else. Anything that doesn’t make the cut needs a hard ax put to it because it will only be a distraction. You only have 4000 weeks in which to live your life. That’s if you live to be 80 and if you’re 40 like myself then the life is half over. That doesn’t mean to double down on your efforts. That just leads to ruin. Pick and choose. And it’s not that you can’t change your mind but dutifully choose wisely and resolutely. Apply what effort you have when all the necessities are taken care of and strive to be great. Time is running out. Don’t spread yourself so thin that you waste that remaining time.