Achieving Success Is Boring

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    140 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    One thing for you to think about

    The older I get, the more I realize that success at most things isn’t about finding the one trick or secret nobody knows about.

    It’s consistently doing the boring, mundane things everyone knows about but is too unfocused/undisciplined to do.

    Get good at boring.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    Where in your life do you struggle because of a simple inability to be bored on occasion? Is the inability to be bored perhaps distracting you from something uncomfortable?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Go be boring. It’s not so bad. I promise.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    New This Week

    33 Life-Changing Books Summarized in 20 Minutes – The video is exactly what it says it is. You know what to do. Go get it.

    What Everyone Is Getting Wrong About Mental Health (ft. Lori Gottlieb) – I sat down with famous therapist and author Lori Gottlieb to talk about what people don’t understand about therapy, why the mental health crisis seems to be perpetuated by mental health awareness, and what we should all look for in a partner.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to reflect on your romantic relationships (or lack of them) and align your actions with your expectations.

    This is exactly what A has been doing:

    Coming from a household where my parents did not showcase a healthy relationship has made my dating life quite frustrating and messy. I had the tendency to go for the emotionally unavailable ones and then drive myself crazy trying to figure out why a guy I barely know doesn’t want to commit to me.

    Somehow I was lucky enough to meet my current boyfriend. The biggest thing I am unlearning is that communicating what I would like from him doesn’t make the ‘thing’ any less special or nice. Early in our relationship I was often left disappointed and upset that my boyfriend didn’t just *know* what I would’ve liked from him.

    We’ve been together for two years now and are planning on moving in together this summer. I have been much more forthcoming with my expectations, and I try to make a conscious effort to ensure that he’s not the only one doing the heavy lifting. Here’s to continuous improvement for those you can’t imagine your life without.

    While this next reader is re-evaluating what he expects from his wife after receiving devastating news:

    I like to think I have a good relationship with my wife of 16 years. I never doubted our future together, enjoying each day with the love of my life.

    But a little over a year ago, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors said she might live about one to three years with treatment. After that news, my vision for our future was shattered: she won’t be here to share it with me.

    Since that time, I have been caring for my wife. I have stayed with her, sometimes out of a sense of duty. But I noticed some things have changed.

    For example, my wife still has ambitions to fix things up around the house. I responded to some of her dreams with selfishness: ‘You won’t be here much longer to enjoy it, so why spend the money?’ I’ve found myself thinking…

    Why do I feel this way? I think it’s because I am thinking of my future. I want to have finances to live a full life after she is gone.

    But this week’s prompt puts things into a new light. Give and take… Maybe I am not accurately gauging what I am giving and getting in return here. Sure, I want to be well prepared for my future, even if my wife passes away. But what about her life? She is living now. And she deserves to live a full life now just as much as I do.

    So maybe I should stop trying to protect myself from the future, and live more in the present. Yeah, it’s sad that she will probably die soon. But we are still a couple here today. We are here together now…

    Worrying about the future is often a way to escape a painful present. You would not be the first person to do it in such difficult circumstances.

    The only real currency in life is time. Everything else of value is merely an exchange for time. Your time left with her is incredibly scarce, making it more valuable than anything.

    Decades from today you won’t even remember the money. But you will remember the time. And wish you had had more of it. Be careful not to squander it.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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