It’s been a year since I quit my job and here’s what I’ve learned. Entrepreneurship is tough.
I have to pave my own path not knowing what the end result will be or if I’m even going in the right direction. I work longer hours than I did as an employee and I’ve learned to protect my dream and focus, focus, focus, no matter what’s going around me.
But for the first time in my life, I’m doing work I absolutely enjoy and jump out of bed every morning eager to start my day. I’ve got five books out since December, have hit a few best seller lists and already see results which are amazing.
I’m normally a happy and healthy person. Over the past four years, I’ve managed to start and maintain several behaviour modifications in all areas of my life. I now exercise every morning, eat vegan, get good sleep and wake up feeling grateful to live in one of the most beautiful parts of this country—a move I purposefully made.
But there’s still one area of my life I haven’t conquered yet. It’s the most difficult part of my life journey so far and it’s been bugging me quite a bit lately.
Almost every day, I struggle with niggling little worries like: What a crappy chapter. No one’s gonna read this. Will I even make it? I’ll end up making no money, running out of savings and going bankrupt. Who am I kidding anyway? I’ll die a lonely death and get thrown in an unmarked grave or even to the sea. And on and on and on.
Science has shown that negative thinking (just like negative people) can ruin a career, relationships, even life. Negativity reduces the brain’s ability to think clearly and stay productive. It’s lowers our body’s defence mechanisms and triggers sicknesses. Plus it’s a massive waste of time.
My anxieties aren’t about what others think or say or do or whether someone else is getting ahead or not. I cured that problem after working in places like NATO. A few weeks there and I’d already had the hide of a rhino! No, my worries are all about how I feel about me. I am my own worst enemy.
There’s a saying that it takes a positive attitude to achieve positive results. As Victor Frankl shows in Man’s Search for Meaning, events are neutral. It’s our choice how we respond to them. The decisions we make today determines our lifestyle tomorrow.
Okay, but how in the heck do we control the mind then?
Today, I decided to try an experiment. A low-tech one. Every time a negative thought crosses my mind, I’m going to drop a red bean in my brand new Stinking Thinking Jar.
Here’s the plan.
Whenever a negative thought pops into my mind, I’ll ask myself if that thought has any benefits to me, anyone else in the world or if it’s aligned with my core goals. If the answer is no to all three, then in the jar a bean will go.
Every night when I journal about my day, I will add up the beans and post the number in a corner of the page. This will measure this activity in concrete terms—i.e. number of red beans—so I can’t bluff my way out or hide from the truth. I know the competitive nature in me means I will very quickly try my darndest to decrease the number of beans in the jar so I can “win.”
And that is what will reduce my stinking thinking behaviour.
I’ll update this post in 30 days to share my results. I’m confident I can do this!
In the meantime, here’s an amazing video compilation that I know will inspire you.