Monday, February 22, 2021

Why am I pushing so hard?

My wife asked me an interesting question recently. I was telling her that I'm quite relieved because I've completed the week's quota for my blog articles. The quota stands at 2 articles per week, rain or shine, until an undetermined period of time. So she asked me why am I pushing so hard? It's not like I am being paid or sponsored right? And there's no manager behind my shoulders barking at me to fulfil my quota. So why?

Her question makes me realise that I am indeed pushing myself on different aspects of my life. I didn't even realise that. Here's a list of the stuff (I call them projects) that I'm currently doing:

1) 30 to 60 mins of practice on the piano every day

2) exercise every weekday for at least 1 hr, except on Wonderful Wednesday, which is my break. There are more detailed fitness goals to do on each gym session, like 30 pullups, at least 30 mins of running, 30 mins of weights training or bodyweight exercises 

3) 2 blog articles per week

4) 1 book per week (on average)

That's a crazy amount of things to do on top of work and family time. And I'm still deciding if I can add one more project - to practise digital drawing. One quick sketch per day. But back to the question, so why am I pushing myself like this? I can come up with a few reasons:

1) I value personal growth. Every year, I strive to be a better version of myself.

2) This builds up willpower. There are days where I don't feel like doing anything (like exercising), but if I push through that feeling and still do it anyway, this will build up a reservoir of mental willpower to tap on whenever I'm doing something difficult in the future. Willpower is a very valuable and scarce resource. Like mana.

3) I try to fulfil the 10,000 hours needed to master anything. At 1 hr per day, I need 28 years to clock 10k hours. At 2 hrs per day, I'll need 14 years. At  3 hrs daily, I'll need 7 years. At 4 hrs daily, I'll need 6.5 years. I don't have a lot of 6.5 yrs, not to mention 28 yrs left, so I better get moving right now and seize each moment as best as I can.

4) I try my best to be a good role model for my son. I want him to know that failing is okay, I just need to fail better the next time and try again and again until I get it. I want him to see first hand that as long as I keep trying, my practice will see some results.

5) It's important to keep me in a newbie mode. See this post to learn why.

Every person has 24 hours each day. That's 3 buckets of time with 8 hours in each. After subtracting 8 hrs to work and 8 hrs to sleep, we still have our last bucket of time. What we choose to do with this last bucket will determine how we are going to be like in the future. Choose carefully.


Vincent from Finance and Toast said...

This is great motivation for all of us. I believe you are pushing hard because you see the long term value in it and also derive joy and fulfillment from the activities you love.

I too have days which I am "not in a mood" to do anything but at least I try to read a few pages of a book.

Still wished I have the discipline and consistency to post twice a week like you!


la papillion said...

Hi Vincent,

That's true - there must be some underlying reason to do the things. When I'm feeling lazy, I just think that showing up will be 80% of the results already haha

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