Have you heard stories of people who read like mad dogs and still fail exams?
People that seem so serious in life and can’t seem to leave the average ring. With time, they start to believe that their case is spiritual, but that’s not it. It’s a case of pseudo work. We all know success takes hard work. We all know you don’t get what you don’t prepare for. The success that lasts takes effort. It doesn’t just happen. What we don’t know, or what we’ve always ignored is what kind of work success requires. That’s what I’m here for. I’m going to tell you. Success, I must mention before I continue that I’m am not talking about all these short lived versions of successes we have around, like graduating with a first class, I mean that’s awesome if you make something out of it but most don’t… Anyway, moving on. I mean success that involves solving people’s problems on a grand scale, being a blessing, like literally. That kind of success doesn’t necessarily require hard work. What is needed is deep work. And what most of us do is pseudo work, aka fake work. I’ll make all my gibberish clear soon.
Let me give an example;
Pseudo work is when you have a test on Monday and today is Friday. You plan to study for the test during the weekend but you don’t give a specific time slot to studying. You launch into your weekend. Suddenly you realize it’s Saturday night and you haven’t even opened your study material, so you say to yourself, I’m going to read for six hours tomorrow. When tomorrow, that is Sunday, comes. You settle down to read. You have your phone by your side. You study well, for about 30 minutes, jotting like a pro. Tho you take several tiny breaks to check your phone and tell your buddies that you are studying amongst other random gist and scrolling. But that doesn’t really matter since you get what you’re reading. After about 90 minutes you’re tired, the work seems boring and inscrutable but you continue, you stop jotting, you continue taking breaks to check your phone, you relax, now you’re not even assimilating anything again, you’re just reading the words and anytime your phone buzzes, you hurry to catch it. You go on like that for the entire 6 hours and when someone asks you if you studied, you’ll feel a sense of pride and contentment overwhelm you. The truth however is that you will not do great on that test. You might do good. But you will not do great. Great is 80% and above. Your work was fake. And that’s how most of us live life.
We forget the importance of focus. Some people say things like I can read with my phone, I can study with movies, I can study with music, except the music is without lyric and it’s classical, see all that is just bullshit, if you actually want to be above average results in your life. The key is focus. It’s not the length of time, it’s not finishing the textbook, it’s not any of that crap. It’s focus and consistency. If you want to find a solution to someone’s problem set a time in the day when you dedicate all your mind to that problem and do it consistently. That’s deep work. You don’t have to do it for 20 hours. Just switch off your phone for at least 30 minutes every single day. Experience quiet and think, plan and read. Exercise your mind to concentrate, to brainstorm and to be exceptional.
The world is not looking for someone who can do exactly what any six year old can do with wifi and a mobile phone. The world is looking for actual solutions to actual problems and if you don’t decide to contribute you are only, directly or indirectly, adding to the burden of the world. Yes, if you are average, it only means you are +1 to the list of people that outstanding people will boss around, fend for and levy.
Quit pseudo work. And rise.
What are some of the challenges you face with getting productive work done? Do you believe in the idea of Pseudo work?
Love & love—O