Take the bait. Just do it.

Why so sad? — Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

Surprise, there are no 7 fucking surprising truths. What did you think? Did you really think you could scroll through the headlines of this post in 7.73 seconds, smile at some pics and learn something new? Did you really believe you would then take action and transform your life? No, you didn’t. You clicked on this headline because you are mindless. You are needy. You are afraid of missing out. You are bored. You can’t stay alone with yourself. You are “learning new things”, that’s the story you tell yourself. And yet, during the hours and hours you spent navigating the web, how often did you actually learn something truly valuable, something with the potential to transform your life? The answer is — sometimes, and more rarely than you would like to admit. But then, how many of those learnings did you take the time to think through to find out how they could help you specifically? And how many of those learnings did you actually plan and put the effort to implement in your life? What more do you need to know? Don’t you already know that you would benefit from having a more regular sleeping schedule (e.g. making your bedroom a hi-tech-free zone, even if it means buying that damn old-school alarm clock), exercising a bit more than you did last week, consuming a little less sugary foods and drinks, meditating 10 (or 5, or 1) minutes a day, switching your phone off at certain times of the day, putting your house and your administrative affairs in order, scheduling tech-free time with your loved ones (to have fun or talk some things through that need to be talked through and say some things that need to be said), scheduling some purely distraction-free time (if possible in the mornings) to write, create or think things through that need to be thought through? Don’t you already know most of the practical advice you need to successfully introduce those habits in your life, like writing down clear and time-bound commitments, telling someone who will keep track and punish and reward you, not overwhelming yourself, starting small and improving incrementally by setting goals that are only at the edge of your comfort zone, asking from yourself to be only slightly better than you were last week, trying to be consistent rather than intense, trying to practice in the same circumstances, removing temptations from your practice environment, not putting yourself down when you fail (and instead focusing on getting back on track asap)? What if you decided that you know enough, decided to stop and put what you learned into practice, before you came back? Wouldn’t you know enough to completely quit using the Internet (non-productively) for a week, a month, a year? But then, what’s the use of checking all those valuable input sources multiple times every day? Yes, you are getting it, maybe there is a more sober way to approach all this. It’s probably not quitting all consumption of online media forever — there is more good, even essential stuff to learn, after all. But it’s also probably not mindlessly giving in to the urges to check things out whenever they arise. Many of the things listed above, things you know would improve your life, require you to be present. So stop acting like you need to know so much more and realize that that’s just an excuse to mindlessly click away instead of facing the small, humble pains and gains of daily life — because that’s what your life is made of, and, in the end, what you are truly missing out on.

Hi, I’m Nick Redmark, your Meaning-Centered Life Coach. Want more meaning in your life? Get it now on nickredmark.com and subscribe to the Nick Redmark Newsletter to get more of it in the future!