The World’s Biggest Startups Tell Us: The Only Forward, is To Act.
In 2017, we have become a society of consumers. The first thing most people do is wake up and check their phones — go on Twitter or Facebook and check out the irrelevant things people are doing in their lives, get up to speed with the latest political opinions of people they don’t even remember adding to their friend list, and double tap every dog picture on Instagram they don’t care about. And continue. Every 1 hour for every hour they are awake, before tucking their phone under their pillow in case they don’t miss a “like” from their long-lost crush from High School.
This type of behavior has no place in the arsenal of someone looking to attain peak-productivity. By constantly following others and giving your precious time away to validating the opinion of strangers, you are living the life of others and never giving yourself the opportunity to form your own beliefs and convictions. That is a fatal flaw, hamartia.
Here’s news for you: the most successful people in this world are active. This is as true for olympic athletes or founders of successful companies. They don’t passively consume information and wait for life to “happen to them.” They don’t give a shit about the flashing of their iPhones or for that little (1) symbol on another tab of their Chrome browser. They make up their mind what to focus on, and then do it.
What those obsessed with peak-productivity do focus on is execution. And they focus on it more than most people think humanly possible. Chris Sacca wrote a great medium post about Travis Kalanick’s work ethic. In it he says:
“He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t lose focus. He will even forget to eat. He executes again and again, inspiring those around him to have the same passion for the end game as he does.”
This unrelenting desire to be biased towards execution means that time is spent on getting out there and getting sh*t done rather sitting in the confines of your home in front of your smartphone scrolling at success memes or re-reading success guides all day. Stop just reading them. Apply them. That sales call you have been putting off? Do it, now. That conversation you wanted to have with your boss? Stop putting it off, call him now. That blog you were going to start? Do it, now. You should be so obsessed with action that you cannot think about anything else. Get so consumed with action that you forget to check your phone.
Becoming obsessed with execution comes with a steep price. You’re more likely to make mistakes, you are more likely to fail sooner, and you’re more likely to get rejected. That’s good.
Take it from me, you’ll learn more from screwing up in real life than you’ll learn from hypothetical situations that someone posted on Reddit. That’s how it goes. The quicker you fail, the quicker you can change to succeed, and the quicker you will succeed. This is how you get better. This the way of man. Leave the endless planning and thinking to the dreamers. 5-Year plans might be the status quo in Soviet Russia, but we all know how well that actually ended up working out for them.
You must fall to rise. You must break to recreate. A sword must be forged in fire. Be the sword.
Strength and Honor,
The Story Behind’s UBER’s IPO: Relentless Execution was originally published in AZOTH on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.