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Choose What You Focus On

Colin Stuckert

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” 

― E.B. White

If you focus on the wrong point, the picture won't come out right. The same is true in life: if you focus on the wrong things, there's no way you'll get the right ones.

If you focus on the wrong point, the picture won't come out right. The same is true in life: if you focus on the wrong things, there's no way you'll get the right ones.

Man-o-man did this quote hit me.

Every day I start my writing by “rewriting” works of various writers and copywriters whose styles I admire. I open a book or article from a preferred writer—I have a library full—and I type what I read. 

This was a tip by the late Gary Halbert, said to be the greatest copywriter of all time. He theorized that you could “neurotically imprint” good writing on your brain by rewriting successful ads (or any writing) in one’s own handwriting.

For me, doing this has been a priceless part of developing my writing skills, and if you want to improve your writing, start doing this immediately.

Rewriting great writing helps you learn styles of grammar and syntax. You learn how to write short, pitchy sentences that have been edited down multiple times by the writer and editors.

After my rewriting,  I go to this link www.goodreads.com/quotes to sometimes takes a bit as I tend to search for quotes that reflect recent parts of my life. Unfortunately, most quotes don’t always “grab”me. They don’t always “hit” me. 

But sometimes—like today—they hit me like a bolt of lighting or a hot knife through butter. 

Today’s quote hit me like that.

You see, I’ve been battling with this problem for years now, ever since I started working for myself.

Every day I wake, there is a part of me that yearns to be locked up in a room with a keyboard and a bunch of books so I can learn and create—the artist’s calling. If I were to do this, I know I would be able to produce an amazing amount of work. And obviously, I always want to do more work and create more art—it’s programmed into my DNA for whatever reason.

On the flip side, the other part of me wants to get outside, feel the sun, interact with people and move. 

And this is the opposing forces of my being that pull me in opposite directions on a daily basis. What I end up doing, on average, is a bit of each every day.

Each morning, after waking, I take a 20 minute walk. After that I make my Bulletproof coffee and do some push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. Then I start my rewriting and writing. This usually lasts for two hours. After that, I move to “work” stuff like processing email, making phone calls, and working on my website (agymlife.com). After I’ve been at it for 4-5 hours, I “get outside.”

Getting outside usually involves exercise, the gym, and food. I errands, maybe hang out at a cafe or coffee shop for a bit to do some reading, and then finally go home to work the “night shift.”

My late-night work involves editing, writing, building my site, and whatever other projects I have at the time. I’ll also do some reading.

Finally, after I start feeling myself waning in energy, I’ll play a game of Starcraft or lay down to read some fiction or watch a show or movie on Netflix.

And that’s my average day. 

I get plenty of done, sure, and I should be happy about it, but I don’t always feel that way. I have a constant yearning to do more. Since I know that I could do more if I locked myself in my room all day, I sometimes battle with feeling like I “wasted” my day because I didn’t get as much done as I could have. 

I know that this thinking is poison.

You might not struggle with this the way I do, or at least, maybe not as it relates to work. Maybe you struggle with that guilty feeling after eating that piece of cake or with skipping the gym. Maybe you have anxiety because your school project is due and you were “lazy” today. And so on.

I think we all struggle with feelings like this.

And we all need to stop!

We need to be in the moment, focus on the next step, and appreciate what we did do instead of worrying about what we didn’t. 

That’s it, that’s my best advice. It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s extremely hard in practice.

Yours in Health,

-Colin