Having tools and systems that are easy to remember can help us stay in a learning mindset. One of the fun ways to remember some of these strategies is to remember your “P”s. We’ll look at three “P” words that help and three “P” words that hurt your progress.
Focus Because Life Is Short
Are you a dreamer, or an overthinker? Then understanding the “Philosophy Of The Negative And Positive P’s” will really help you build momentum. It will help you make progress toward things that actually matter to you, instead of all the fluff we could get focused on.
It often seems that there just isn’t enough time to accomplish what we want in life. That’s because it’s true. The reality is, if we are any bit of a dreamer or thinker, it will never happen. It is impossible to do everything we dream of since ideas are infinite. Yet, we have a very finite amount of time.
For every one of us, our window of opportunity is bound by mortality. We have an individualized number of minutes to create what matters to us. The craziest part is that we know it is one specific amount of time, but we don’t even know how much time it is. If we attempt to “manage” this time, we will live in a constant state of worry over how much we have.
The Hurtful & HelpFul “P”s
What I know is that I will live somewhere between 6 more minutes and 6 more years. I can’t try to manage those minutes, instead, I need to enjoy them to their fullest. And knowing these 6 P’s, 3 positive, 3 negative will help me do just that.
There is so much we want to do. When we slow down to worry about how we will fit it all in, we enter the realm of the “Hurtful P’s”. Procrastination, Pressure, and perfectionism will destroy any chance of creating what we want.
In order to overcome the hurtful P’s, we need to focus on the helpful ones. Perspective, patience, and prioritization allow us to relieve the pressure and accomplish as much as possible.
Procrastination, Pressure, Perfectionism
Procrastination occurs when we have decided something is important, we set time aside to do it, but we don’t get it done. It is important to understand why that is and what you, individually can do to get rid of such a habit.
Pressure comes when we worry about a timeline, when we stress about the results, keep score, or have concerns about what other people think. Instead of learning to learn, or participating because something is enjoyable, or beneficial, we start to make decisions for the wrong reasons.
Perfectionism can make us run in circles never really making progress. A funny way to think about this is if you wanted to train your ability to sprint, but you were only willing to pump your arms perfectly before moving on to the legs. You’d neve end up getting anywhere. Similarly many of us buy course, after course and listen to podcasts, or videos on a topic for years without actually taking action for ourselves because we feel like we aren’t prepared.
Again, we only have a limited amount of time on earth, so we need a way to fight these P’s of perfectionism, pressure, and procrastination ASAP.
Perspective, Patience, Prioritization
So what is the antidote to these “Hurting P’s”? It’s actually fairly easy to remember because believe it or not, there are “Helpful P’s” too.
Perspective, patience, and prioritization allow us to relieve the pressure and accomplish as much as possible. Throughout the learning process, we often throw hate on ourselves with negative self-talk. This can lead to frustration, depression, and anxiety. But with perspective, patience, and prioritization on point, there is very little that can go wrong.
Perspective reminds us two big things. One, we appreciate that we don’t know how much time there is anyways. As hard as it is for many of us to hear, it’s true, we don’t actually know if we can accomplish our goal because there is so much beyond our control.
By using catchphrases such as Seize the Day, or Be Here Now we remind ourselves to live and learn in the moment. And two, when we worry about results, or being perfect, it’s often because we feel others are better than us, or we fear judgment.
The fact is there will always be people who are better than us, but there will also always be people we are better than. There will also always be people who are sick in hospital, not able to do the things that we are able to do. So, maintain a healthy perspective, and just keep creating, learning, and creating more.
With patience, we are not worried about having to get something done right away. With the pressure off, we can focus on doing the things that bring us vitality; more joy and happiness. This in turn, perhaps counterintuitively leads back to a greater likelihood of having enough time to accomplish our dreams and goals.
Go figure. By slowing down, and understanding that anything worthwhile achieving is going to take a long time, we are actually able to speed up our progress. We are willing to sleep better. We take time for walks, to prepare healthy food, or calmly chat with friends, or family over coffee without worrying about all the things we could be doing. This will lead to more health and ultimately a greater style of success.
Prioritization brings us back to creating more of what matters most to us. With a priority, at any given moment, we get more valuable work done. We can get more done overall because we have time to focus on the most important task at hand. By managing the work, instead of time, we put focus and effort into the next most important thing.
Each time we crush the next most important goal, in line with our big dream, we are maximizing the likelihood of them coming true.
A friend of mine often uses the phrase “it’s just math”, which is how I feel about trying to learn. It will take “x” number of minutes to do the next most important thing. Get those minutes in as soon as possible and then decide what is the next most important thing. When you get another chunk of time, you simply repeat the process. If we fail to prioritize, then we spend our minutes, our precious time, doing things that may never matter.
So it’s important to ask ourselves every time we get to work, “what is the next most important thing?” (*If you havent’ heard the Ed Sheeran, solo episode three, go back and give a listen, it’s our most downloaded episode by far and it reminds us that it is super important to focus on what yields your greatest results by putting in the most important work)
I like to picture it as a big design thinking circle for our life. *Actually let’s look at this design thinking mindset in the next solo episode and give a couple of helpful examples*
But just quickly, you basically, set your big goal, work backward from that someday vision, to yearly goals, monthly goals, a weekly goal, and eventually what do you need to achieve today? A couple of times a year we can review the plan based on feedback and shifts in your thinking. But once you set the plan again, maintain perspective, prioritize, be patient and good things will happen.