Today I want to take a different approach, today we’re comparing our adult lives to high school, to see where we might be making the same kinds of errors.
I’ve thought of 3 main ways we make the same kinds of mistakes, the planning fallacy, lack of motivation, and a false sense of security.
The fallacy of planning
We as humans regularly overestimate what we can accomplish short-term, and underestimate what we can accomplish long-term. Sadly, we only have this problem when we look our own tasks, when it comes to evaluating someone else’s tasks and situation, it becomes a lot easier to see the big picture.
How do we solve/avoid this? By doing what parents, teachers, and mentors of all sorts have told us since the beginning, listen. Listen to your coworkers, listen to your friends, listen to your spouse, whoever, when they tell you something will or could take more time than you think it will.
Lack motivation or focus
Procrastination… A lot of us tend to sit around and wait…
Some people claim they do their best work last minute, the truth is, it’s just another excuse. Sometimes you have to create your own motivation, especially as an adult, there are times when you just have to suck it up and do whatever task you keep waiting to be motivated to do. It could be cleaning your apartment or car, or maybe re-doing your resume so that you can finally get out of the job that makes your stomach knot every morning. Stop waiting for some magic catalyst that lights a fire under your butt.
Here’s the problem with waiting: motivation comes and goes, but the demands life don’t. If you’re relying on magic motivation to show up and keep you focused, you’re going to be perpetually late and do everything last minute, there’s never enough motivation to go around. Focus on the process, with the end in mind, and get clear on exactly what YOUR motivations are. For example, I take the stairs everyday as often as possible because I hate working out, but I know moving more will keep me fit, and healthier. So every time I feel like taking the elevator instead of the stairs, I remind myself that the 10 seconds of, “why didn’t I take the elevator?” is a lot better than saying, “damn, I need a bigger size”.
A false sense of security
There’s hearing, and there’s listening. So many people in high school think they’re being good students because they write everything down, and read all the text, but when it comes time to take a test and reproduce the knowledge, there’s a blank page. Passive learning is a real thing, and hopefully there was one teacher you had in high school or college that helped you find your way to actively learn, and actually process the knowledge. If you haven’t by now, find your way to learn. You will accomplish so much more, so much quicker. When you find your way to not have to re-read things, and can just do it once, eliminating the frustration alone will be very much worth it. You’ll be surprised how much you retain.
I’m sure you can think of at least one thing that these apply to, from school, and currently going on in your life. As a final thought to leave you with, set short term realistic goals for yourself, and make sure you hit them. Then, reward yourself. It’s important to the learning, growing, and changing process to reinforce your own good behavior. Be your own source of motivation and change so no one can let you down but you, you don’t have to rely on anyone else, and whether your fail or succeed, you know who deserves the credit.