Be Strict about Showing Up. Be Lenient about the Results.

I’m strict about showing up, lenient about results, and gentle to bring myself back to focus again and again.

This is opposite of what many people do.

You weren’t raised with a philosophy of joyful productivity.

I wasn’t either. My early education was in a strict country (Taiwan) that physically punished us for not getting top grades. It wasn’t just about showing up, it was about the perfection of the results.

It’s like in meditation or prayer: when your mind wanders, there’s no need for self-blame. Just gently bring your mind back to your meditation or prayer.

The key: no matter how I’m feeling, I show up.

Here’s a secret — I never feel like making my weekly videos. And I never feel like writing my blog posts. Why? Because of creative discomfort: the potential anxiety or fear of not knowing what to say, or of saying the wrong things, or of being judged by others (and by myself).

Skill and results will naturally grow over time.

If you are strict with staying on task —if you prioritize focus — you will, over time, naturally increase your skills and inevitably improve your results. Don’t force yourself to have “good results” during any specific work period. Look at “results” from a long-term perspective: the gradual process of improvement.

I avoid the self-judgment completely. What matters is that I keep producing. With the consistent practice of work, I will naturally increase my skill, and my work results will inevitably improve with time.

How does one become free of self-judgment?

There are various modalities for this. If you reflect on what has worked for you in the past, you might have some process of becoming internally free. Use whatever method works for you.

Be strict about taking breaks, too.

I’m strict about breaks, even when I don’t feel like it.

This is opposite of what many people do: they only take a break after they’ve exhausted themselves. So many of us just work in one position (sitting down) for long periods of time.

 by the author.



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George Kao

George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"