2015 is when I hit my lowest point. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds. Not exactly rock bottom but it’s low enough. Things didn’t really seem to start moving forward till near the end of the year.
But at least it happened. And I’m grateful.
Like most people, at the beginning of 2015 I was certain it was gonna be my year. Unfortunately, most of the year was spent pondering and thinking… and not much executing.
I have a tendency to think too much about things. It becomes a distraction. The more I think, the more I don’t do. I’ve gotten better at it over the year, but for 2016 I aim to DO a ton more, whether or not it’s a good or bad idea. As much as I deny it, I still have this fear of failure. But what I’ve always reiterated is that failure doesn’t move you. And I definitely need to move my ass. I’m not getting any younger.
My diet and health we’re definitely not on the top of my list. Fast food and soda we’re the majority of the food items. Although I didn’t eat as much this year, so I didn’t really gain as much weight as I thought i would have. I did however, completely stopped exercising. I’ve only recently started picking that up again so we’ll see how it goes.
More than half the year was spent eating bad, working a job, feeling numb–basically going through the motions of just existing.
My freelancing film business is still very much informal. Since I don’t make enough to warrant getting taxed, I haven’t bothered to get setup with the EINs, DBAs, business bank accounts or anything official. A few jobs here and there, then I buy video games or blow the money on something stupid.
I think a big reason for me moving slowly is, I tend to think really big when planning something. I overdo things and what started out as a cool little ideas becomes this huge complex flowchart of things that need to happen to make that idea possible. And in between all that I come up with disparate ideas that have their own flowcharts.
Once an idea starts generating in my head, it doesn’t stop. It just keeps fucking going and I end up with all these ideas that i want to pursue and usually execute very little. I still have a massive amount of notebooks on my desks with actions plans, but no action taken.
Nearing the end of the year is when something finally clicked for me. And I don’t remember what it was, but it must have really pissed me off because for the last four months I’ve been more productive than all year.
For one thing, I finally put together a hodge-podge system for productivity that keeps me moving. I put together all the time-management tools and ideas and theories I’ve learned over the years and found a way to make them all work together. Bits and pieces of GTD, The weekly schedule from Tony Robbins’ “Time of Your Life,” a few lessons from Leo Babauta at zenhabits.net.
But the breakthrough, for me, with the productivity is that there really is no such thing as “TIME MANAGEMENT” only SELF-DISCIPLINE. It starts with a commitment and pride to myself and not an external need to corral my being into doing something. It’s not about manipulating myself, it’s about having the desire to do it. Or maybe not even a desire, just an understanding of why something is important to do.
If it’s not important to me, I don’t do it–bottom line. But if it’s important for my future, then I will do it. And I don’t necessarily mean future like years down the road, I’m talking about investing for tomorrow or the day after that. If I go to sleep at 9, get a good 6-7 hours sleep, I’ll be good for the morning. Or maybe I shouldn’t drink this soda today because the cost on my immune system having to deal with it later or in accumulation. Those kind of investments.
Speaking of investments, I’ve finally tweaked my financial system to where I’m actually saving money. I can thank Marcus Lemonis and his show The Profit for that one. Watching that show made me keep track of everything that’s needed to make a business run. Combine that with the ideas from Ramit Sethi’s book (which I’ve owned for years now) “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” and the methodology from YNAB (You Need A Budget) and I think I finally got this thing down.
For the last few months I haven’t depleted my bank account or lived paycheck-to-paycheck. I always have at least a month’s worth of income in the account now. The goal to is gain a six month runway in order to live off of that and figure out how to create more income streams.
One thing I’ve never had a problem with is self-awareness. I’m constantly thinking about the world directly around me and how things affect me. But to take that natural ability to see the world outside myself and turn those into action steps, that’s what I forgot to do. But it’s coming back.
I’m glad to say that the BAD OR BAD stuff is still going strong. I finally got down to creating a separate website for it because it outgrew this site in terms of size and audience.
I’ve pivoted this site to be more for creatives so the movie review thing had to go. In the next few weeks it’ll all be off and on its own. Which is good because now it allows me to expand that community with contributors and more content types.
I started the first podcast by myself called SHOKUNIN-IN-PROGRESS. Sadly, I’ve only got two episodes out because the BAD OR BAD site-move kind of took a lot out of my time as I designed the new site.
I’m also going to redesign this site as well in the near future.
I don’t have much to show for this year, and that’s fine. It’s a little disappointing and very unimpressive. But my psychology is getting better, my drive is filling and I’m getting hungrier for change.
One thing that does unanimously continue to get better is my filmmaking. That, I can guarantee you is never going to stop. I’m the dumbest guy in the room when it comes to my craft, and that stance presupposes I will never…ever… stop learning.