OYM Day 16: 8 Habits of Highly Successful…Oh, go fuck right off
Articles with titles like that make me want to roll my eyes so hard I might wake up in another dimension. I used to read articles like that. Then I realized I would never be waking up at 4am and cleaning a juicer every damn morning. And going for a run while listening to an audiobook just isn’t something that comes naturally to me, as I would most definitely get distracted and run into a tree or oncoming traffic if it was a good book.
Can we stop doing this to people? Can we stop coming up with arbitrary numbers and tacking lists to them full of drivel that successful, happy, healthy people live by? I can’t afford to grocery shop like Gwenyth and no one naturally wakes up at 4am unless you’re over 70 or a bat.
Adopting the habits of Steve Jobs will not give me his success. It will just make me an asshole…and last time I checked, we were doing pretty good on those. No need for more.
If you’re looking for some new habits or ways to practice self care, by all means, read those lists. Then spend the next week not checking your email when you wake up, and starting a gratitude journal, and practicing meditation. Then start falling off these habits, because you’ve been working late and you got sick and couldn’t take the time off because you’re only allowed 3 sick days a year and then you got in a fight with your spouse about needing more help around the house but couldn’t focus on that because you’re on hold with the yoga studio trying to pause your overpriced membership so that you can afford to see your therapist your insurance doesn’t cover to deal with the mounting anxiety you feel from constantly falling short. Then let me know how much more you feel like Elon Musk.
Maybe I’m just lazy, but I hate to think that happiness, success, and health are always the same recipe. I personally fluctuate on what makes me happy, what makes my body feel best, and what has moved the needle in my career. I also know that those titles are click bait. They get so many clicks. Pick a random number, attach it to something involving self improvement, and people will read it.
Whether it’s 5 habits of people in a healthy marriage or 7 reasons you’re still out of shape, tell those articles to fuck right off. They don’t know you, or your spouse, or the hour you wake up, or how hard you find it to meditate with a toddler clawing at your eyelids. They don’t know that power poses are a thing of the past and that fitting in a new class every month doesn’t give us a creative outlet, but instead just makes us busy. The dreaded busy. The time suck that exhausts us, gives us anxiety, and leaves us unfulfilled. These lists? They’re just regurgitated garbage.
And you’re better than that. Listen to yourself and don’t hold yourself up for comparison with people that also very likely encountered giant strokes of luck.
Be kind to yourself. Notice your unique habits and cherish them as individual to you. Maybe my habit of setting out my coffee cup the night before has saved me 1,357 seconds of time that I can now spend each morning, becoming a better person. See how stupid that sounds?