Use a PERSONAL SYSTEM to Overcome Procrastination and Adversity w/ Sean Kernan

Aug 24, 2021
 
 

Welcome to episode 8 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.

Episode 8’s guest is the insatiable Sean Kernan. He’s an online writer with hundreds of millions of views across thousands of articles in both Quora and Medium. He’s personally one of my favorite writers because he’s so creative and he brings humor to his work. He used to work in finance for many years and was just writing on the side for fun but he just kept blowing up and he kept going viral. Eventually, he decided ”I can do it”, and he took it full time.

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels. 

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to troubleshoot your motivation and find solutions.
  • How to design a personal system that helps you get work done.
  • Why it’s important to be proactive with your productive work.
  • Find what works best for you as a creative by trying tips and sticking to those that suits you best.
  • Why personal systems are crucial to success.
  • Writing online and creative pursuits.
  • Self-employment challenges.
  • How to adapt to change.

Keynotes:

  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Doubt is a very powerful tool (2:05)
  • Managing the basic things (9:49)
  • The move that changed everything (18:33)
  • The ideal lifestyle (20:59)
  • Talking about routine (22:35) Getting your lifestyle correct (28:46)

—————————————————-———————————————

Intro Music:
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick — bit.ly/youtube-monawonderlick
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download: bit.ly/himalayas-download

—————————————————-———————————————

Transcript

[00:00:00] Sean: I have I set up a suit. I have a series of steps that I set up. If I’m, if I’m feeling nothing is happening and I’m not getting my task done, I have, I have my own troubleshooting document. I have things that, I do that. I go down and, we’ll do this, do this, do this, do this, do this. And I think that whatever someone is doing, if it’s creative or anything, if you’re sort of in a rut, start identifying ways to dig yourself out and write them down and have a, have a list. An emergency list.

[00:00:32] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven Podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today’s guest is the insatiable Sean Kernan. He’s an online writer with hundreds of millions of views across thousands of articles in both Quora and Medium. He’s personally one of my favourite writers because he’s so creative and he brings humor to his work. He used to work in finance for many years and was just writing on the side for fun but he just kept blowing up and he kept going viral. Eventually, he decided ”I can do it”, and he took it full time. 

I’m excited to share his story with you today. I hope you enjoy listening.

 Hi Sean. It’s great to have you. I know you don’t do many interviews, so I really appreciate you coming on.

[00:01:09] Sean: No, no problem, man. Happy to be here.

[00:01:11] Amardeep: You’ve got a massive Indian audience in Quora. So a lot of people listening to me will find this very enticing.

[00:01:17] Sean: Yeah. I do. When I joined Quora, it’s funny because I didn’t, I sort of started riding there on a whim and I had a viral article and all, I started getting all these, I started getting all these comments, and everyone’s last name was Ghouta, Sharma. And I was, huh, and I’d never interacted. I’ve there’s hardly any Indian people here in Florida, and suddenly I had this viral article on this side and I was seeing all these really long south Indian names., you know, there, I mean the longest names you’ve ever seen in your life, they’re they’re 25 letters long, you know, the randomness of the internet. I ended up getting a huge following from India.

[00:01:48] Amardeep: One thing I really like about what you do is that you bring in a bit of comedy into your answers and you put a different twist. That’s what a lot of people say, and you’ve done so many [unintelligible], but one thing I want to know is what’s some common advice you disagree with?

[00:02:00] Sean: The problem is on Quora because it’s a question and answer. One of the complaints about the platform is that people just regurgitate dictionary answers. It’s almost they copy and paste them. And I think that with any type of writing, you need to put an element of yourself in it because it doesn’t just make it more engaging, but it also, it makes it more authentic and it makes it sound you’ve put some thought into it. And I just make jokes in general, so that’s what I do. I actually used to get a little bit of trouble because I have a much dirtier sense of humor than I represent online these days. I curse a lot and I’m very vulgar and I had to tone it down a little bit because it would piss people off and kind of limits the reach of your jokes. I think one of the common advice, it’s about confidence and not doubting yourself. And I think that there’s a healthy level of, of that that does apply, but I think that doubt is about powerful tool. And it’s something that I use quite a bit. I mean, every day, probably to a fault writing and in sort of inspecting my articles and questioning myself and I routinely get in arguments with myself over one sentence in an article. I mean neurotically going, this doesn’t work and I switched to this way and then switch it back and I switch it back and I switch a bit and I get caught in this loop, you know, I’m, I’m under no illusions that what I’m doing now will work indefinitely. It’s very possible that, you know, it’ll just become defunct and dated and I need to keep revising it. So, yeah, I think doubt doesn’t get this, basically this mindset and swimming because I was a swimmer in college and there’s never a point where, and this applies to most sports where you are a finished product. You’re always looking for ways to make it better and swim faster and be more streamlined in the water. And really, that’s just kind of the constructive, critical mindset that you apply to things you do. I mean, I think that you look at Caleb Dressel, he just won five gold medals and I’ve been following him for years. And he, you know, when he even wins a race and smashes a world record, when they interview him, he always lists everything he did wrong in the race. So finding ways, and I think there’s a line between being, you know, being critical of yourself in a healthy way, and just beating yourself up and you gotta be mindful of when you’ve crossed that line and reel yourself back in.

[00:04:18] Amardeep: I think one thing that’s interesting about that is when people say never doubt yourself, then we’re all human and we do doubt ourselves. It comes along with this cycle of shame of, oh, I shouldn’t be doubting myself. So I’m doing something wrong, which is a negative spiral, because you start feeling bad about doubting yourself, which makes you more anxious, which makes you doubt yourself even more. If you can have some of that acceptance that it’s okay to have yourself, even if so, you’ve got what? Billions of views online and you still got yourself writing, Katie dresser with Scott, in the gold medals. And he still attacks himself when he swims that’s it. Then you can be successful in habits of doubt. You don’t need to stand out.

[00:04:56] Sean: Yes. And it is a fine line to walk though. I mean, it’s so easy to get too hard on yourself. And, and this is what, you know, the psychologist’s offices are full of people, full of patients because of harsh self talk. And so it’s super easy to get in that trap. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s the thing I navigate to. I try not to, you know, I read, you know, I still, I read articles all the time and I’m, ah, I can’t even reread this article. I wrote, it’s terrible. It’s weird too. It makes me think about, cause a lot of the most famous artists and stuff, and I’m not comparing myself to these, these people, but they had mental illness and it makes you wonder is that maybe that the, their secret is they just thought they were terrible and blah, blah, blah. And that’s why they got so good. You know, I don’t, I don’t know what the right answer is in terms of the right balance between, you know, self-confidence and self critique. But I know that the answer is not to go into life thinking everything’s perfect and you’re doing everything perfectly right. But I think, you know, maybe it’s just a matter of being content with making mistakes and knowing that that’s going to happen and accepting that. So.

[00:06:05] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:06:37] Sean: Absolutely. And I think that there’s, there’s a necessity of attention. There’s gotta be attention at somewhere inside of you because that’s really where things happen. When I was a financial analyst, I remember I would do these reports all the time, and I remember having these financial reports and these are the reports that are printed and sent to all the executives that list the earnings and everything, and I would sit there and I’d be last from the office. And I would just be terrified that there would be a typo or some number wrong, and I would prove it just over and over and over. And there was no mistakes the last 10 times that, you know, that’s just the hard thing about it. You have to, there’s gotta be something that forges you and it’s gotta be that anxiety, that entrepreneurs feel. That doesn’t really go away. I mean, you know, writing when I first started going on my own and being a writer and a ghostwriter and all these things. It was extremely fun because I could wake up whenever I wanted, I could jump in my car and go to the grocery store. You know, there’s no one to check in with. I didn’t have to put PTO request in, but then it sort of dawned on me that, you know, this train only moves if I, if I keep it moving and I’ve got to, I’ve got to find the ideas and the clients, I would still choose this any day over being in an office, but it really is, you know, there’s no running from that tension and I think that’s in competition too in sports. I mean, It’s gotta be there or you’re not going to be your best self. I mean, you look at, rappers, if you look at music and rap, M and M got famous from doing rap battles, he got good at rapping from competing. And, so whatever, there’s always gotta be an edge, in whatever you’re doing, you gotta find it. And I don’t know, I’ve learned to enjoy it on some level. It’s kind of fun to just figure out and really channel that energy into something. So.

[00:08:15] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:08:46] Sean: Absolutely. And, that’s a good segue, cause when I was swimming, it was very common that I would be, I would be the fastest guy in my team, but the best times I did as a swimmer where I went on the last team, I was on where I was not the fastest summer. I went significantly faster and it sucks not being the fastest guy and getting the ego boost of getting all the social currency with that. But when I was on a team with faster summers, I got better times. I’d rather have the better times than be the dude. Yeah. I mean, that’s a good, it was definitely a good lesson for me. And it’s swimming as a, I always comes back to that for me, cause it was my life and it applies to every career, you’re kind of in your own lane, it’s, the world is competitive, but really you’re kind of in your own land. You’re just trying to be the best that you can possibly be. And you can’t change what happens in those other lane. So.

[00:09:32] Amardeep: Yeah. And that, so you did swim when you were in university, right? And you were trying to start swimming with whatever you’re also doing life. Did you find that quite difficult? And how did you manage that? Because I know that people struggle to keep [unintelligible]

[00:09:45] Sean: Yeah. So I started swimming. I was at George Washington university and you know, it’s just really crazy training and you’re waking up at 6:00 AM and you’re coming back in the afternoon. And I was, you know, I was just a drunken idiot. I was chasing girls and I wasn’t doing much homework at that point, but I just wasn’t sleeping. That was the main thing. And my body started to break down and I just, I couldn’t even get through the day. It was sort of an early lesson on the importance of getting sleep and managing the basic things. Right. And it took me a few years. It took a few years for that lesson that . But to the today. I mean, there’s nothing, I love getting a good night of sleep, eating a good meal. Cause I know that if I eat terrible stuff and I don’t sleep, I’m just not going to be a functional human being. And I think that one of the things that people really need to hang on to is that I think there’s deal breakers when it comes to being happy, deal breaker habits because the human body is really, we’re just millions of chemical reactions happening at once. Right. If you,, if you’d compromise and you drink alcohol all the time, or you smoke cigarettes or you sleep, you have sleep deprivation, you’re toying with that chemistry and you’re, you’re going to be miserable. There’s just no way around that. You’re or you’re going to stack the odds against yourself, at least. So I think with the balance side of it, that’s the biggest lesson I learned from all that is, and then I try to do today is I try to go to bed at roughly the same time, wake up at a decent hour, try not to just, you know, trash my body, cause I just feel better.

[00:11:07] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:12:08] Sean: Yeah, I did the exact same, it’s, you’re giving me déjà vu because I did the exact same thing in college. I would come home and I’d be, I have a class at 10 it’s now 9:30. I have time to fall asleep for 27 minutes. And then I would, you know, be late to class and just be exhausted. And the other thing too, that I’m trying to monitor is, I find that anytime I’m kind of in a bad mood or even my girlfriend and I are both kind of in bad moods, it’s usually because we’re just tired. We need to slow down a little bit and, kind of, not even necessarily take a nap, but just chill for a bit, you know, lay on your back, do something that’s sort of low bandwidth. Watch TV, read a book slowing down, especially when you travel too, because when you travel, the trap is that you’ll run yourself into the ground and you’ll do too much. Balancing that is definitely very, very important. So.

[00:12:56] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:13:29] Sean: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I used to put on, I would lay on the TV, I was in the couch and I’d put on either soccer, or golf, or football in your country, and I would be kinda half asleep, but when something interesting was happening, the, the announcer would always get kind of loud and I’ll kind of half wake up and see what was going on and then kind of, kind of drift back. And, it was kind of a nice idle activity to just kind of recharge a little bit without, cause you don’t want to, I don’t the hangover I get from taking a nap in the middle of the day. I don’t know.

[00:13:56] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:14:22] Sean: National, those National Geographic, those lions are chasing the zebras and I’ll just sit there and can a drone. It’s, they’re fighting for their life on TV and I’m taking a nap while I watch it. And that’s, you know, last night, for example, I had set aside four hours to do writing and I didn’t get much writing done last night and it wasn’t even that I was distracted. It’s just that it wasn’t happening, and this happens a lot where I’ll sit there and it’s my job to just come up with stuff and, you know, soup to nuts, get it done. There’s nights this, where I have four hours and I didn’t get jack, diddly, squat done. I got a bunch of chicken scratch sentences done. It’s very frustrating, but you know, I think that it’s stepping away is the important thing and accepting that, you know, sometimes your brain is just sorta not working because for every day you have that, you have a day where you come in and an article writes itself basically in an hour. And you know, I honestly less than I probably should have just stepped away and done something else. Cause I think I was just tired and I was sitting in my keyboard with my eyes half closed and trying to force it. So yeah. I mean, it’s this mindfulness thing I need to get more dialed in on it. So.

[00:15:25] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:15:54] Sean: What you can do too, is I, if I’m not, if I’m just feeling off and I’m not, it’s just not working, I’ll go, I’ll put in my headphones and I’ll listen to a podcast and just go for a walk. I mean, that can kind of get my mind, my wheels turning and it interestingly engages a different part of your brain that’s got a little more gas to it, I think. So, yeah, I mean, that’s an option too. And I have, I set up a, I have a series of steps. That I set up,, if I’m, if I’m feeling nothing is happening and I’m not getting my task done, I have, I have my own troubleshooting document. I have things that, I do that. I go down, I’m, well, do this, do this, do this, do this, do this. And I think that whatever someone is doing, if it’s creative or anything, if you’re sort of in a rut start identifying ways to dig yourself out and write them down and have a, have a list, an an emergency list. I don’t know. It gives you a sense of control. And it does help you, you know, fix things. So, yeah. Let me see just go read sometimes I’ll go read just random lists of facts, random facts articles. I will go look at ads, commercials, and stuff, kind of clever commercials. I will listen to a podcast. I’ll brainstorm. Shower thoughts about things. So it’s just shaking things up is kind of the theme to it. I’ll ask myself the question. What is this in all caps really about? If I have an article and it’s kind of all over the place asking yourself what it’s really about. I also do that in the title. Those are a lot of them.

[00:17:18] Amardeep: Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show.

[00:17:55] Amardeep:you recently moved, right? [unintelligible] in terms of your balance and your lifestyle?

[00:18:04] Sean: Yeah. It’s, so the move basically it changed everything. It’s, I have, it’s my dream house. I love the place. I lived in the previous house for 13 years, and so I have a townhouse now and it’s three stories. I’m on the top floor here. I love it and all, but I have two long flights of stairs cause I have high ceilings, but I also have, I have an elevator but I’m too impatient to wait for the elevator. So I’m flying up and down these stairs and, my legs were just destroyed. I’m losing weight, which is nice.

[00:18:32] Amardeep: You’ve got an elevator in your house?

[00:18:34] Sean: Yeah, I’ve got an elevator. It’s nice. But at the same time, I’m, I wait, it takes, it only takes three, 1000 for the door close, but I’m just too impatient for that, so I fly up the stairs and then later I’m sweating by the time I get to the third floor. Yeah. I mean, so being more patient with it and just upending my routine, man, . When I’m used to everything being in a certain place and getting a new system down because most people roll out of bed, they sit at the same spot for breakfast or wherever where they turn on the TV. They have the same thing for breakfast every morning. And then they brush their teeth, dah, dah, and just jumbling all that. And resetting has taken some getting used to, I mean, it’s a good problem to have I lived in this shanty house that was only, it was 1100 square feet. And essentially I lived way below my means for a decade. I mean, I was saving money and investing money and, but the house was about to collapse on my head. So, but I lived in this really nice neighborhood. If you drove through this neighborhood, you’d see these giant mansions and then you would see this tiny hut the sandwich between two giant mansions. It’s laughable and so finally, I’d had a lot of people knocking on my door to buy the house, and finally this guy behind me who, you know, really wealthy on a 70 foot boat. And I said, I was finally ready to sell and sold it and he gave me a cash offer.

[00:19:48] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:19:53] Sean: Yeah, it was because I actually, so I’d invested a lot of money in Apple and in the past two years, Apple has tripled in value. And so it really positioned me to get a better house, so I ended up selling it at less than a quarter of what I sold it for, for the Apple stock. So it was very opportune.

[00:20:12] Amardeep: Do you think, at this point this is your successful lifestyle? Is this your ideal lifestyle you want to continue into the future or do you still have things you’re working on?

[00:20:21] Sean: Yeah, I’m, I’m, I mean, I’m very happy with what I have now. I mean, the house is super nice. I don’t need anything much nicer than that. I don’t need to have anything, you know, it’s weird cause I’m not a very money, I’m not a very, I’m not into buying sports cars and things like that, and I feel successful. I mean, I’ve got, I have things and, and I, I feel very fortunate, but I don’t know what else I need or want. I mean, I’m okay with this. And I think that if I could just continue writing and making a decent income and I’ll just be honest, I said, that when I started writing, I told myself if I could just make, you know, 70,000 a year, I’d be fine with that, the rest of my life and I still feel that way. I mean, I, I, if I could just make a decent income and, you know, I don’t need anything more. And then as long as I have time and I love not having a boss and the flexibility of living my own life. I mean, I don’t, I don’t have email anymore. I don’t get emails. I don’t, I check my email twice a week and I used to, I used to go into work and I would have 100 emails every day that I have to get through and figure out which ones are. And I’d have people stopping by my cubicle every five minutes bothering me with something. It was just constant drama intention. And God, I hate, I hate the corporate life so much, man. I really, if I can stay out of corporate, continued doing the writing thing. I’m good, man. That’s all I need to do. I’m happy with dying and doing this.

[00:21:43] Amardeep: Do you know roughly how many hours you work a week at the moment? Have you got a kind of a routine or is it no?

[00:21:48] Sean: I don’t count because I had to track my time so much in corporate. It reminds me of, I mean, I don’t think I work as many hours as I did when I was in corporate. I work every day though. And I, I treat it more like kind of a lifestyle. I write every single day. I think about writing all the time.

[00:22:02] Amardeep: On Saturdays and Sundays.

[00:22:03] Sean: Yeah, not all day writing, but I, I write every day. I just kind of prefer it that way. I mean, I, and I did that even when I had a job, I would come home and write on Quora. I mean, I think that’s kind of a sign that you love what you do. It doesn’t feel like work really. Yeah. There’s days. I am, Aw, shit. I don’t know what I’m going to write. The article I wrote yesterday was garbage. There’s days where I’m writing something and I I’m 90% done. And I’m thinking to myself, man, this one’s a total stinker. This thing is going nowhere. I mean, I don’t know. I feel, I feel very fortunate and yeah, I mean, I think that my way of doing it is not necessarily advisable. I think that a healthier way of doing it, where you divide your time and you do it. I know, I think most writers are kind of more systematic about it that they’re not full corporate. I mean, how do you do yours? Are you Monday through Friday?

[00:22:49] Amardeep: I started checking my time using some called Clockify because what I found is that I just ended up working random hours. I would be sitting at my computer, but don’t actually do anything. And then I would have time to things that I thought I made into the clock is FM going to do this? And the next house. And I’m being tied and then I’m going to go and do something else. So I found that helped me in that way, just because it kind of gives me a bit more structure, whereas, so I believe my mom work each day is really varied. So it’d be four hours one day. And I was the next day, six hours the next day, because I’m sitting in the honeymoon phase, I guess with me quitting my job. So I go to yoga in the middle of the day. I’ll go out for drinks with friends and I’ll do all this other stuff. I’m kind of make time for social activity. Because I kind of stories if I quit my job to be free. And if I’m seeing myself, but all hours of the day and I just put myself in. And all the have gone from one place to another, or I’m trying to have that freedom. And it’s, I think if ideally I can get to Monday to Friday, just so I can do things with the weekend, a bit more weight in have to be out of the weekend and think, oh wait, when I got home, I need to do that. That’s why I don’t want to get to where I can have that peace of mind where when I’m doing something the weekend, I don’t need to think I need to get this done before I go to this front trip before. To see these people. I think that’s the kind of thing that’s most important to me is the, having the clarity of mind. But I can just not think about this. If we think about rights and ideas. And if you think about, oh, this could be an article or something that, they’re not thinking. I’ve been tossed, I guess.

[00:24:26] Sean: Yeah, that’s good. I think that’s a healthy way of doing it, man. That way you’re dividing things up and you’re being more efficient. And I use a thing called Habitica. I often have just a daily, I have a set of recurring tasks that I do each day. And so mine is not really time constrained, It’s more goal oriented. What am I going to do today? And, I have a 100% equivalent which means finish an article today. Whatever you do, it’s gotta be done. Yeah. And then I have other things,, you know, don’t check your stats till 6:00 PM, you know, meditate, you know, positivity journal and don’t eat for two, three hour windows. Cause I have a pattern of grazing. And so you punish yourself if I screw up on these, I have to dig myself. I can do a minus button. So I do this a lot to self-regulate. Think that, you know, controlling your behavior and knowing how you best work is very important. I started the flow and I don’t timeline cause it’s kind of a fuck you to corporate in a way for me and I to kind of do it whenever I feel doing it. And my girlfriend always comes over on Saturdays too. She usually comes around too. And I find that, that’s when I write the best is when I know she’s coming over. I have something on my calendar and I’ll blast through a bunch of stuff and get it done. Yeah, no, there’s, there are many ways to do this and it’s, you know, you don’t have to lock yourself in for life and one way of doing it. So maybe I’ll try your way sometime.

[00:25:43] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:26:48] Sean: Dude, such social media is so insidious man, those likes and stuff, checking that, it’s, it’s really kind of sick, if you think a lot about it, this data scientists, they’re just trying to get inside your head and really juke your dopamine receptors. Yeah. I mean, it really is not healthy to even ever check your Facebook likes. I mean, I think with the stats, your end of month thing, I think that’s good. But for me, I find that, I need to see them because when I see them going down, it gets me motivated and I’m, oh shit, I got to write. I got to write. So I think there’s definitely a healthy balance. And I think that that works for you. I think you should just stick with it though. I’m not always good about the stats thing. I check them a lot and I need to get better about that. And that’s just cause I’m, I was a financial analyst for so long. I’m obsessed with numbers and analytics. And I got to stop doing that though. Cause it’s a, nothing happened. It doesn’t change anything. If that time was spent writing, you know, I probably would have more money.

[00:27:42] Amardeep: What’s one mindset shift, you think listeners can make to make a positive difference in their lives?

[00:27:47] Sean: Well, I think that there’s some of the things we talk about, the main stuff, getting your, getting your lifestyle down, correct? Because I see a lot of people that are there. They’re staying up till 2:00 AM playing on their phone. You know, they’re, they’re not eating fast foods, especially here in the United States. The diet people adopt and you know, they go to lunch and they have this giant hamburger and french fries. And then they they’re, they’re drowsy at their desk for the next three hours. I’m, well, what did you expect, man? Come on. What? So avoid yeah, avoid the deal breaker habits, man. It’s to stay vigilant and really attack what you’re doing and be open to be bad at things too. I think that the, the trick that I have, I was writing on Quora, I wasn’t a good writer when I started, I was actually pretty awful, man. I was, it was I, some of my, the first year, our answers I did are just God awful. I mean, it’s the thing about writing too, is you think about bad memories and things that kind of make you wince, with writing, they’re in print, those are bad memories that everyone can still see and it’s out there and, it’s sort of those highlight reels, if you’re a fighter and you get knocked out really bad, now you’re on someone else’s highlight reel forever. And and that’s okay though. You’ve got to just embrace that and, I’ve been so shitty at so many things, man. I’ve been, I was trying to play guitar and I was terrible at that. I’ve tried drums. I took art classes and I was the worst student in the art class., but I think that even if you’re bad at things and you try super hard at it still gives you something subconscious, a skill and a thing that you can do, stay with, and I don’t think the goal, I think the goal doesn’t always have to be, to be exceptional at things that you do. I think it’s just good to pursue getting better at things and see what happens. And I always stayed with writing because I kind of enjoyed it. I was willing to, I enjoyed, I came back and it almost made no sense. I was writing on the internet for no money. Why am I doing this every night? why am I? And people would ask me that. And I was, I don’t know. I just enjoy doing it. And think that if you find a hobby that, where you’re willing to be bad and continue doing it and enjoying it and doing it consistently, there will come a day where, you’re suddenly a lot better at it. And people are, oh, you’re pretty good at this. So I don’t know, just explore and try things. I mean, and don’t be too hard on yourself, man. People are, you’re going to be shitty at it when you first start.

[00:30:00] Amardeep: There’s so many examples of it. It’s happened to me as well. I’ll say for example, dancing, a lot of people are scared to go to dance class because they don’t want to be bad. And the whole point of going to class is to get better. You didn’t need to be good to go there. And same with yoga or going to the gym. You don’t have to be fit to go to the gym. The whole point it goes to gym is to get fit. and just that shift in mindset,, you’re not going there to show off.

[00:30:24] Sean: No.

[00:30:24] Amardeep: You’re going there to get better.

[00:30:26] Sean: Yeah. And the other thing too, is that, here’s the everything that kills people. So they go to a class with a bunch of other beginner. They start, let’s say we’re drawing and you’re drawing, and each week this other person is progressing faster than you. You see them, their pictures getting better and better and better. And yours are still kind of, so linear progression is not linear. People hit ceilings and bottlenecks and, it’s very possible that you’ve come in one day and suddenly your stuff comes to life. It gets way, way better. And that happened with writing for me, I wrote a hundred thousand horrible words before anything was kind of, kind of decent You just have to have this stubbornness to keep going and and not care if it’s bad. Just, just keep doing your terrible pictures and go and go and go and dancing. I’m sure it’s the same thing. I’m sure. One day eventually something clicks in your brain. Some neural pathway, links and you’re, oh, this is how you twirl around, and so, yeah, I mean, it’s, the payoff is super sweet too, when you struggled for so long too.

[00:31:25] Amardeep: So I think the other thing as well is that at all people in the notice how bad do you think you are? [unintelligible] They can be focusing on themselves because they want to get better. They’re not really focusing on, oh, they’ve got other things to do at that time. So you didn’t put this pressure on yourself that other people are judging you. cause they probably don’t care.

[00:32:01] Sean: No they don’t care. There was some quote or some comment I read that everyone goes through life thinking they’re the star of a movie about themselves. And, everyone is so in their own world, the guy next, the guy next to you, that’s doing the better art, he’s probably sitting there thinking his painting is horrible. So, I mean, in most of the memories that we cringe about, no one even remembers it. There’s, they’re too busy, replaying their own low lights in their head and, yeah. I mean, I agree a thousand percent on that. So.

[00:32:28] Amardeep: And this, this experiment that somebody did as well, because people get worried about what to wear to work. And two women wear the same clothes for a year to work. [unintelligible] And nobody noticed, and people were complimenting them. Every week I so, [unintelligible] they just don’t notice.

[00:32:50] Sean: No, not at all. They’re just totally. So, yeah, I mean, there’s a good lesson in that and that, I mean, I think that just going easy on yourself about being bad at things and you know, everything for me comes back to, to writing too. And just making sure that, if you’re really serious about getting good at something, to make sure you’re getting, you’re getting feedback from someone who’s credible and who’s skills you respect. And you’ve got to get some sort of loop going where you’re on the right track and you’re not just spinning your wheels and going nowhere because that can happen too. So.

[00:33:25] Amardeep: [unintelligible]

[00:33:28] Sean:Yeah. Let me just look at my stuff on Medium and I don’t really, I don’t sell a lot of things really. I’m just kind of a writer that fly under the radar and I write for clients and yeah, just come and say what’s up on Medium for now. That’ll be fun.

[00:33:40] Amardeep: The final thing to wrap up on, what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy recently?.

[00:33:44] Sean: Yeah, waking up for the first time in my new house and seeing the nice ceiling and just yeah, feeling the payoff from all the hard work and having the house and definitely that, that that’s these little things that, or will make it all count. So.

[00:34:00] Amardeep: Savoring the moment isn’t it??

[00:34:06] Sean: Yeah, definitely because you know, working for so long, and then finally, you know, using everything you’ve done to, to better your life and being able to just immerse yourself in it. You’re surrounded by your trophy, basically. You’ve, you’ve worked hard for so long and saved and lived in squalor and yeah, it’s a good feeling, that I hope, it doesn’t go away cause I still get it a lot. And I’m, I hope this house hasn’t burned down from a strike of lightening or something and and no, man, life is good and it’s all about the little things. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. So.

[00:34:44] Amardeep:If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes. Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.

Reach Your Goals Without Burning Out

Get my free Anti-burnout Toolkit and weekly tips to help you balance your work and life.