I Didn’t Know What To Write About…

You’re led to believe that you are making progress because you’re reading a great book that will make you smarter than others. I mean, that’s what books are supposed to do, right? Well…kinda.

So…I decided to write about that.

“The Obstacle Becomes The Way” — Ryan Holiday

For a while now, I have been in a rut. Every night, I go to sleep with a desire to get out of this rut by doing something productive in the morning but, unsurprisingly, I end up doing nothing in the morning or the afternoon or the evening or the night. The same desire to change is evoked at night, and you know it, the cycle repeats. Every single day.

It is not so much that I don’t want to do anything, instead, it is just that I don’t know what to do. Or more importantly, how to start. Once I start thinking about what I could do today, my brain starts going into hyperdrive about what all it could possibly do. The body is filled with the excitement of everything that could possibly be accomplished in this day. And then in this life. And soon…the excitement is replaced with overwhelm. And then with fear. The fear of what would happen if I fail, accompanied by the fear of what might happen if I actually succeed. Soon, this fear leads to paralysis of action. And this is repeated every single day. Sucks, doesn’t it? It does.

The most unfortunate as well as alarming part about this situation is that it is only I that is paralyzed in a limbo. Time, just like a workaholic, never stops. And the world, as unfair as it may seem, never stops either. This combination means that the gap between a paralyzed me and the world(or time) keeps increasing at double the rate. So that sucks too, double sucks.

Hence, it becomes increasingly vital for me to get out of my rut. I am aware of that. I guess everyone who has ever found themselves in a rut knows that. But that doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t know how to start. Or what to start with.

“Tick Tock” — Time

So, just as I always have, I thought I might find an answer in a book. And what better than the ever-increasing self-help industry to help me? Well…turns out, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself in another limbo. Just like me.

What did I read? Here’s a list:

  1. The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
  2. The Four-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.
  3. Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl.
  4. The Dip by Seth Godin.
  5. The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone.

It’s not a big list, but when you read through 5 self-help/productivity books in about 3 weeks, your brain kinda gets fuzzy and your heart kinda gets disheartened. The rut becomes a super-rut because:

  1. You just spent 3 weeks only reading and doing nothing, so you’re pretty much in the same place even now.
  2. You look at all these successful people who claim they get so much done every day, that you feel worse for not having done anything, except for helping them make a little more money by buying their books.

Now don’t get me wrong. These are wonderful books with a lot to learn from. Their message is great, and tips might be useful as well. Books, in general, are great and I love them. But reading, I realize now, can become a form of insidious procrastination. It is insidious, and possibly destructive because it gives a false sense of productivity and progress. You’re led to believe that you are making progress because you’re reading a great book that will make you smarter than others. I mean, that’s what books are supposed to do, right? Well…kinda. But the second component of reading is doing, without which all the knowledge from the books becomes worthless. Not to mention, time doesn’t stop while you read. Time is still in motion, very much like sand in an upside-down hourglass.

After 5 books, over 20 youtube videos, and 15 blog posts later, I realized that I was not going to get anywhere by reading other people’s opinions, strategies, tips, and tricks. I was simply spinning my wheels. There is no book or video or article that can simply solve all my problems. There is no trick that could suddenly make my dreams come true. There is no quote that can solve life for me. I need to do that on my own. It will involve a lot of hard work. And it will be a long, arduous process and I need to be at peace with that fact. More importantly, I need to start doing something. So I decided to start small by writing this article.

So here I am, trying to make sense of it all by writing about it in a place where billions of people can read me and possibly, judge me. But that is okay. That is a part of life. So is fear, uncertainty, loss, pain, and discomfort. On the plus side, life also includes joy, love, laughter, and fulfillment, which makes me fear life a little less. And that… does not suck.

I hope this is a start. The start of me getting out of my rut. The start of me actually getting things done and moving forward in life, just like time. Not a start of a new me, but simply the start of a relatively happier and more productive me.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what I was gonna write about when I started this article, but I do feel a sense of clarity now that I’m through it. I feel more productive, and purposeful, not to mention lighthearted and happy. And if you, an awesome stranger on the Internet, are still reading it then I just want to say thank you for taking some time out of your busy life to read my ramblings.

If you’re in a rut, try starting with something small. Maybe write an article yourself. Or whatever other things that you like doing. Just do something small. Simply start. We’ll get through life…you and I, both.

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” — Bob Dylan

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash