Ep. #23 – Cynicism Is The Enemy of Self-Discipline

“Done is better than perfect.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

In This Episode

You’re going to learn about one of the biggest enemies of self-discipline. For years, this was the reason I struggled with procrastination and even to this day, if I’m not mindful of it’s presence, it can still bite me in the butt. The inner cynic.

What is a Cynic?

You’ve probably met some, or been one yourself, though you’re less like to notice if it’s you who is the cynic. But still, it’s possible you noticed, fought it and overcame.  If so, congratulations.

Here are the signs you’re dealing with a cynic:

They believe nothing is ever worth doing and if you do decide to do something, it’s probably going to be an incredibly waste of your time. 

They believe there’s no real value in just about anything you desire to do that, ironically, actually has some true value to it.  The invaluable stuff the cynic believes to be perfectly fine and of great benefit.

They are the ones you go to if you want to find out all the ways a project could potentially fail. If they don’t already have a list of reasons, they’ll quickly whip one up before you can finish explaining it to them.

The External Cynic VS The Internal Cynic

I’m sure you’ve run across the external cynic. Those are the people in your life who do all the stuff I mentioned above. They’re usually a friend, family member or other person who loves you and wants to “protect you.

The external cynic can be incredibly dangerous when it comes to getting the things done you have to do and making sure you aren’t procrastinating.  But, as dangerous as the external cynic can be, the real deadly beast is the cynic that lives within you. The internal cynic.

The internal cynic is the one one that knows you upside down and backwards.  It knows every weakness and short-coming you have or ever have had. Not only that, but it will remind you of each one of those in gruesome detail, leaving you laying on the floor in the fetal position, afraid to ever move again.

The other thing you’re going to have to deal with is trying to argue with this animal.  Obviously, the internal cynic knows every logical and compelling argument you could possibly conjure up and will shoot it down before it ever leaves your lips.

So what do you do to beat this foe? There’s a secret weapon, or better stated, a secret tactic you can use that will slay this monster almost instantly.

Beating the Inner Cynic

Reject the idea of perfection!

That’s the secret weapon you have against the inner cynic.  I know it sounds incredibly simple, but perfection is what feeds your inner cynic and the sooner you can reject that idea, the sooner you’ll get on to finishing your projects.

Don’t just saying you’ll settle for less than perfect, as “settling” implies it’s less than what you want.  You need to want your project to be done more than you want it to be perfect. Even an ounce of desire for perfection will feed the inner cynic.

Remind yourself that your project isn’t perfect but it’s further along than if you had waited for it to all be in place.

When you realize imperfect accomplishment is better than procrastination in pursuit of perfection…

…the Inner Cynic dies.

Self-Discipline Course Update

If you’d like to be updated when my self-discipline course comes out, click on the image in the upper right-hand corner, the one about why The Secret doesn’t work.  Not only will get that book for free, but I’ll make sure you’re one of the first to know when my Self-Discipline course is available.

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P. Desmond Adams

A formerly frustrated entrepreneur who has learned how to go from dreamer to doer to done. I help you discover your purpose, explore your psyche, maximise your productivity, and grow your platform so you can bring your unique gift to the world and live the life you deserve.