Get Focused By Working on BOTH Your Inner- *And* Outer-Game, AT THE SAME TIME
“To conquer yourself is to be at tactical war against both your
instincts and your social conditioning, simultaneously.”
When it comes to conquering yourself, there’s both an internal and an external dynamic to the process…
In my book How to Conquer Yourself I describe this as The Two Frontiers, saying that “half of your challenges with self-mastery are personal or psychological in nature, while the other half of your challenges are social or environmental in scope.”
So on one hand, when people have problems with getting focused (and staying there), they can be a bit too “extroverted” in that they
>> constantly switch between different time-management techniques and
>> experiment with any trick, cheat or “life-hack” that seems plausible
…to get more out of themselves without ever truly looking AT themselves: without searching for the deep realizations and insights they need transcend past their own internal blocks and subconscious self-sabotage.
On the other hand though, people can often have the same problem but be a little too “introverted” instead, because they’ll:
>> spend waaay too much time analyzing their past trauma
>> journal and talk about their emotional issues in-depth, daily and
>> meditate in order to attain “higher levels of consciousness”
…to get more done without actually ever DOING anything: without structuring their work process, taking statistical account of their progress and results or even starting on any major life-project to begin with.
What I’m getting at here is that I often find people hijacking their own ambition by either (A) constantly changing their system and looking for new tricks or (B) going too far inward and trying to emotionally therapize the living daylights out of the most practical of problems. (The first is especially true of society in general; the second is of mega-philosophical, new-agey types in particular.)
Don’t let this be you: if you’re having trouble staying driven, staying ambitious or staying clear, don’t lean to far on either side of the spectrum.
Ultimately, as I tell my friends all the time, focus is a fragile state: the things you have to do to cultivate willpower are, for the most part, subtle and counter-intuitive. Part of the reason focus is so elusive and hard to sustain is because what you have to do in order to sustain it run OPPOSITE to how you’re naturally predisposed to diagnose things.
Get focused by working on BOTH your inner and outer-game at the same time. Develop your sense of drive from both the bottom-up and the top-down because “To conquer yourself is to be at tactical war with both your instincts and your societal conditioning, simultaneously.”
Discover more great insights, techniques, strategies and wisdom for self-mastery and artistic success in my new book, How to Conquer Yourself: Discipline & Willpower for the Conscious, Creative Thinker, available on on Amazon here. (For autographed and personally-dedicated copies, delivered much faster, click here)