The Biggest Lie You Tell Yourself

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There’s a song by rapper Wax called “Tomorrow“. He sings about the major life changes he’s going to make: stop smoking, quit drinking, become more disciplined and productive, and focus on improving his mental health.

But… he’s going to do all of that tomorrow.

However, that tomorrow never comes. He just keeps drinking, smoking, and trashing his life. Yet every time he does, that’s totally okay and justified in his mind because he’s doing it for the last time. He’s just getting it all out of his system because tomorrow, everything is going to change.

But it never does. As he says: “I sing this song every night”.

How many times have you been in the same situation? How many times have you decided to completely change your habits and behavior, only to end your plans with “tomorrow”? Or “after the weekend”? Or “right after New Year’s”?

The problem with making life-changing plans is that we consider the act of planning as the first step. But it’s not. Planning is not doing. Planning the perfect future, endlessly organizing your to-do list, preparing to start the next day right, these things are usually just a way of avoiding doing the hard work. You know, the work that actually starts the change.

  • Making a to-do list is easy. Doing one important task from it is harder.
  • Finding the perfect workout app is easy. Going to the gym is harder.
  • Finding motivation on Instagram is easy. Reading a book is harder.

We opt for making plans, motivating ourselves, and promising big changes because it’s much, much easier than the alternative. Eating healthier today is harder than making a plan to start eating healthier next week. Going to sleep earlier today is much much harder than promising to wake up early tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong. Plans are important. Having a clear to-do list is good. Being motivated is great. But if you find yourself spending most of your time on the preparation phase, on promising things instead of delivering results, on trying to get inspired instead of simply starting, then something needs to change.

  • Forget about making the perfect to-do list. Pick ONE important task and do it today.
  • Forget about finding the perfect app for tracking your progress. Do ONE thing that is a step in the right direction.
  • Forget about trying to get motivated. Just start and motivation will come naturally. Even if it doesn’t, you will still have completed your work.
  • Forget about trying to get motivated. Just start and motivation will come naturally. Even if it doesn’t, you will still have completed your work.

Don’t get stuck trying to execute a “perfect” plan. This in itself is often your downfall. Don’t think: “I’ll just continue with my bad habits today, because starting tomorrow I will do everything perfectly.” No, you won’t. You will eventually fail. You will slip up. You will break. But that’s okay.

Actually, it’s more than okay — it’s expected.

Success doesn’t come from perfection. It is not a big, important step at the right time. It’s a combination of small steps that eventually build up and make a difference. And the good thing about small steps is that you don’t have to wait for the perfect moment to do them. As I’m sure you know, the perfect moment will never come.

Just like Wax, the biggest lie you tell yourself is “tomorrow”. So stop lying to yourself. Want to be better? Don’t talk about it. Do one thing today that will bring you closer to your ideal.

And if you need a little more structured help in the steps you need to take, take a look at the Mind of Steel Handbook: The Essential Rules of Mental Strength.

Stay strong,

Phil Janecic

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