Perfecting the Timeless Art of Doing Hard Things

This Week’s BIG Idea

Doing hard things every day has the potential to change your life. Cultivating the habit of doing difficult things is essential because most of the things that are worth it are not easy. I believe this is the reasoning behind doing exercise early in the morning and taking cold plunges. While I didn’t understand these things at first, engaging in daunting tasks helps you get out of your comfort zone.

Doing what’s comfortable and familiar is all about avoiding risk, but it’s also living a mediocre life of complacency. To enjoy hard things we must enjoy the process rather than the destination. By challenging yourself often, you’ll notice that you enjoy running in the mornings or writing as soon as you wake up. You enjoy those things not for their potential benefits, but because it feels good doing them. I don’t think it ever gets to the point where hard things become easy. They say that no writer wants to write, but all writers want to have written. That’s because writing is one of the most challenging things you can do. If you do it every day at least, it will become less hard over time.   

What I’m Working on

I decided to take my exercise routine more seriously. I’ve been exercising on a regular basis for the past few months, but finding the proper routine for me has been more difficult than I had anticipated. For this purpose, I’ve used apps on my phone, but the ones I’ve been using lack visual feedback, so I had no idea if was doing exercises well or not. Now, I’m trying the YouTube channels of Chris Heira and Pamela Reif.

What I’m Listening to

The Discipline Expert: 2,000 Years Of Research PROVES Successful People Do One Thing! – Ryan Holiday: In this episode of The Diary of a CEO, Steven Bartlett introduces Ryan Holiday. Having read almost every book of his, I feel like I’m more than familiar with Holiday’s work at this point. That said, I want to really internalize the concepts he discusses, so every once in a while, I listen to something of his. It can come in the form of a video, audiobook, or in this case, a podcast episode.  

What I’m Reading

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene: For some reason, I’ve avoided some of Greene’s books. I think his books are intimidating because they’re long and full of historical references. Furthermore, his laws can be overwhelming when you read them for the first time. That said, The Laws of Human Nature is a fantastic book. I went back and forth between the original version and the recently released “concise” version. Since the historical references felt like fluff, I ultimately decided to go with the latter, but I’m really enjoying the book so far.

What I’m Watching 

In a recent newsletter, Ali Abdaal mentioned a YouTube channel called ThatWasEpic. In the channel, a young man named Juan asks women out or pranks random people. Since I’ve been reading The Laws of Human Nature, I’ve been using this as an excuse to see some of those rules in real life. Although it’s difficult to read people’s intentions in real life, watching videos is a great way to do this.

This Week’s Quote

“People often think that something “far off” will make them happy. That moving to a new place or getting a different job or meeting someone new will change how they feel. But happiness will always be withheld if you believe it is somewhere else. The secret is to find happiness in the people and places that are close to you. See the beauty in the things that are nearby.”

James Clear

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