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Screw It, Don’t Do It

Life coach taking lie detector testYou may be familiar with the Richard Branson book, ‘Screw it, let’s do it

Apparently if Branson cannot make his mind up on a new business venture that’s what he usually ends up saying.

It’s typical Branson and you really can imagine him saying that and following it up with, “I’ll let you guys sort out the details I’m off to go kite boarding with a naked super model”.

By and large I like it as a maxim for life because too many people act in the opposite manner. When they have to make important decisions they forget about the immense power of their gut instinct that is almost certainly saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and start to analyze the crap out of everything.

Analysis is useful of course, but it removes the incredible power of the unconscious mind from the equation. Sadly, that in and of itself has killed at birth thousands of brilliant ideas, inventions and projects.

Self Justification – You’re A Genius At It

As humans we find it incredibly easy to justify any decision we make after the event. We can explain our rationale and what was going through our mind during the decision making process.

If we see a competitor beat us to market with a product that we thought of first but didn’t act on, then we sensed this and saved ourselves a lot of money and time.

If a colleague got a job that we wanted, but didn’t dare go for, then it’s because he was a brown-noser and we really knew we never had a chance anyway.

And if we see the girl at work who we adore we were no doubt juuuuuust about to ask her out on a date when that dick from marketing beat us to it, then that was because we knew she really lusted after him and were avoiding looking foolish.

The problem is, the reasons above are nearly always untrue and we rarely know what causes either our inaction, or action in the wrong direction.

We presume we know by looking at the event in hindsight and coming to what we believe to be sensible conclusions based on the outcome, but the outcome had nothing to do with the decision making.

When Is A Lie Not A Lie?

Unfortunately, we all do this and it’s a process that is largely out of our conscious control. Even people who have committed unspeakable acts will have justified their behavior to themselves at a deep level and not even know it.

When you see a person on trial for murder or rape and they are “obviously lying through their teeth” they may well not be. In fact, they probably aren’t if you can accept that a lie is not a lie if the person believes it to be the truth.

On Tuesday my wife underwent surgery that will keep her in bed for the better part of a month. It came at a time when I am ridiculously busy with clients, have two projects underway and have just been approached to write a 75,000 word book by the end of the year.

So in short the timing sucked a tad.

On Thursday after I collected her from hospital and managed to get her in bed away from our 3 very boisterous dogs I left her to come and do some work. After all, it was Thursday and I needed to write a blog post as the only post I had published that week was a guest post.

If you had stopped me at that moment I could have easily have justified leaving my wife on her own, letting the dogs trash the house and deciding take out was the best option for dinner because I didn’t have time to cook.

After all I had work to do and that pays the bills, right?

Well of course that’s true, but it would also have been a con job on myself, an exercise in justifying something that didn’t deserve justifying.

I love my work, but not as much as I love my wife and dogs.

Screw It, Don’t Do It!

At that point I thought of the Branson phrase and said to myself, “screw it, don’t do it”.

I have backed off from blogging once before, but soon slipped back into posting twice or even three times weekly, but that was different.

Then my reason for backing off was the fact I was running out of ideas and I was feeling like I was forcing everything.

In one of life’s cool ironies the moment I posted that I’d be blogging when I felt like it rather than to a schedule I started to get a new flood of ideas.

Amazing what happens when you remove the pressure from yourself, isn’t it?

I have no idea how often I’ll blog over the next month or so, but I do know if a blog post means I need to neglect family duties, it won’t get written.

I love you my reader and I have a lot of fun interacting with you and trying to help. But when you have moved on to a cooler more entertaining blog, I don’t want to be left looking around and wondering, what the fuck happened to my family life?

And you know why I don’t want that? Well apart from the obvious fact that I like my family situation, I’ll start to self justify and will convince myself that I wasn’t to blame, when I absolutely was.

Looking For Guest Posts

As a consequence of not writing for the blog as much I am looking for some high quality guest posts.

I will not lower the standard just to fill the void, but if you want to spread a message or idea to an intelligent, fair and open-minded bunch of blog readers check out my conditions.

21 comments to Screw It, Don’t Do It

  • Sounds like you made the right decision. I probably would have turned myself inside out trying to do-it-all! Seriously, I will be the first to admit I lean toward over analyzing things, but what has helped me to drastically shorten that process is using my journal to have a brisk debate with myself. Yes, I know, sounds a little goofy, but somehow the process of writing the problem and both sides of the issue down seem to clarify what I need to do so much faster – and I’d be darned if it doesn’t work out every time. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your wife.

  • Alice

    I say “Yay for you Tim”. To me, it just shows another side of your integrity. You know what is most important in your life and have made the decision to put your energies there. Your wife will love you all the more for it. I hope her recovery is swift and without incident. Many blessings to you both.

  • Liking something is a n extremely extremely important factor if you intend to flourish in that field.But just because there’s pressure to be dealt with doesn’t imply that we must throw in the towel,even briefly.Sometimes it simply pays to keep chugging away.
    thanks anyway.
    Mona

  • Hooray for keeping the right balance. Life is too short to miss the important things and family is important. Readers will be there when you get back. They will stick with you if you’re good or leave you if you’re not whether you do the right things with your family or not. So, I applaud you for taking time for your wife when she needs you. Both of you will be in my prayers.

  • Fear is what prevent most people from making things happen. If you remove “Fear” from the equation, expect big miracles.

    Nice post.

  • Great line:

    I love you my reader and I have a lot of fun interacting with you and trying to help. But when you have moved on to a cooler more entertaining blog, I don’t want to be left looking around and wondering, what the fuck happened to my family life?

    We laugh, we cry, we throw irrate comments on your blog and then leave when you raise the subscription price.

    Very touching to devote more time to your wife than to us. And i say that in the nicest way possible.

    As I mentioned to you Tim, anyone saying this in politics ( I want to spend more time with my family) , will usually be arrested or indicted, shortly after the announcement LOL. So, it’s awesome you’re doing this simply out of love!

    I am going to ask the universe to deliver quality guest posts to you.

  • A great post. Most of the time, we run ourselves out looking to solve marriage problems. But we don’t realize help is at hand without going to a costly counselor. We just need to look at it a little differently!

  • Hi Tim,
    We will miss your blog postings but understand your need to wind them down a bit. Just know that I for one will be waiting for you when you come back to them and I won’t be moving on to a cooler and more entertaining blog, because there isn’t one!

    • Thanks Pamela! I’ll still be posting, just not quite as frequently, at least not for a month or so. I’m guessing things will eventually return to normal, whatever that is ;-)

  • While for different reasons, I’ve done the same lately. I just published my latest post today when my last was over three weeks ago (my plan is to post weekly). Whenever that stress monkey starts to get me riled up because I’m not “on schedule,” I remind the little creature that I’m the one that made up my schedule and I can change it whenever I want.

    My family is the most important and I’ve had some other priorities pop up that had to be tended to. Things are calming down and I’m easing my way back into my more active writing schedule which I love.

    Life happens. Act in accordance with your top values and all will be well (as taught by a very wise life coach).