When I was a kid, I played a ton of sports including soccer, baseball, and football. And I’ve coached my fair share of sports with my two daughters. One of the things that you experience in these environments is the thrill of competition, the camaraderie of the team with its different strengths and weaknesses, as well as the personalities that permeate the team to try to make it a cohesive, successful unit.
Before and after each practice as well as before and after each game, I would remember the coaches yelling to all the kids “BRING IT IN” when they had something to discuss with the team. And as I grew into coaching my youngsters, I did the same thing. When you bring the team in, you have them huddle around you for some advice, some strategy, some wisdom, and some planning. Everyone on the team comes in close, watches the coach and listens. This is the main time that a coach truly bonds with his team as well as the time the team gets the coach to have a good discussion about why they’re all there, and what they all must do to succeed. Unless you’re coaching toddlers, then they are eating bugs, crying, or picking their noses. It’s really like herding cats.
The whole point of the gathering on the field, sidelines, or in the dugout, is to get the team focused, either assess or re-assess the situations and identify problems or issues during practice to work on, as well as getting all the team to understand concepts that they’re either to work on or did well.
It’s a tiny lecture hall outside that everyone can get on the same page, pull back from the action of practice to have an honest discussion about what worked, what didn’t, and how to move forward. It gives the team and coaches a chance to reflect on practice and games and what they did well, as well as what didn’t work. Each player takes time to assess their own strengths and weaknesses all while analyzing what takeaways there were from each play. What were the key plays? What hurt us? What helped us?
Today’s blog entry is about “Bringing It In”. What does it mean in context to you trying to get control of your life? Read on to understand.
Simplify, Don’t Overreach
So what does this have to do with life in general? Well, in my life, I had to assess my current situation. I was a mess. All over the place. Many things are unfinished not only in my home and my work but also in things that were undone in my side hustle. Podcasts, interviews, writing my book, I needed to focus. My finances were a mess as well. Everything wasn’t completed, laying about and I was flailing. So I decided to take control.
First were my finances. What are you paying for that you don’t necessarily need right now? Subscriptions that you have for stuff you don’t watch. Paying for games on your phone you don’t play. Services you don’t use.
Get rid of that stuff. Then, when you get your finances back, you can then truly identify good services versus bad. What are you using? What can you live without? There are short term cuts I made as well as long term cuts that will save me more money. My debit card got stolen so as I was looking at my figures, I truly realized it was death by 1000 cuts in terms of expenses. Strangely enough, thinking all of this clearing would be difficult, it only took a 20-minute assessment and a few phone calls and clicks of my mouse to be cleared of some much needed monthly revenue that I could use to pay my debt. Clear the clutter.
Then my job. So many unfollowed leads, so many unanswered emails, so many voicemails. Get to them all and get them out of the way. Then, when your phone rings, answer it. When you get an email, reply promptly. Get rid of all of your junk mail. Drop your to-do pile in the dust and fix the other piles on your desk. Clear the clutter.
Next was my home. So many projects undone, clothes piling up, dishes, errands that had to be run. I had drywall to repair, toilets to fix, lights to install, and other items. When I first moved in 4 years ago, I let the stuff sit while I hoped my life would get better. All of a sudden, one day, I decided to get up and get it done and my life, surprisingly enough, got better. Less to do when I got home meant more to do on things I loved. Clear the clutter.
My side hustle has been a mess. Keeping up on podcast episodes I didn’t feel were meeting the standards meant shutting it down to re-tool. I stopped writing for Youtube, Twitter and other aspects, when what I really needed to do what write and write a lot. I needed to clear my head and focus on what was really important to me, the written word. I have a book I’m working on, so I needed to drop back and punt on all the other crap I was trying to take care of. Clear the clutter.
Jordan Peterson’s first rule is “clean your room”, and it really hits home how much it really does help you clear not only the spaces in your life but also in your mind. It’s amazing how many things can get built up, not managed and can just flat out overwhelm you. Powerlessness is never a good feeling and if there is one thing I mention over and over again in my blogs and on my Twitter (@TW_Beckett) is that to truly start to improve your life, you need to have your finger on every button in it, watching it carefully and making sure you are making moves with nothing hindering you.
So I’m bringing it in. I’m hitting pause, stepping back, assessing my goals, strengths, and weaknesses and then moving forward in a direction that I know will be the most beneficial for me.
Always Be Recalibrating
Life can get out of control. You can spread yourself too thin. Your expenses get out of control. You have too much on your plate. Too many irons in the fire dulls the heat.
One thing that I was guilty of was always diving in headfirst before figuring out if this particular path would be a good idea and how would it be beneficial to me. As a recovering nice guy, I would plow forward to help people without regarding my own feelings. This was a recipe for disaster. I sometimes slip back into that thinking, but with my new conditioning, I tend to catch myself very quickly before falling back into old ways. But it still does happen. You have to always be recalibrating your life to make sure you are getting the most out of it and doing the most to try and improve it. The problem? Most men don’t do this and when something bad happens, they look around for organized mobility and get nothing but a crap sandwich. Don’t get caught with a mess on your hands.
As many of you know, my current life path reflects this blog and my thoughts are written down as quickly as I can get pen to paper. This was on my mind last night and this morning I have taken steps to unclutter my life and prepare for a better future.
Many men feel the task of cleaning up is so daunting that they leave the mess and you see it from the way they carry themselves to the way they work to the way they live. They are suffering from this heavy burden of not doing the work to get things cleaned up and it weighs them down. I know because I was one of those men. After things out of your control destroy your life, the only thing many men do is just look around, survey the damage and say “fuck it” and either move on or stay stuck. The men who prosper are those who refuse to let any setback define them. Clear the clutter.
Like a coach at the end of practice asks the players to “bring it in”, you must stop all the business and activity to assess your own life. Take all of it in. Remove that which weighs you down. Is this adding value to my life? Or is it an unnecessary burden? Addition by subtraction.
So get to work clearing the clutter of your own life.
And always stay vigilant to how you can continue to improve your life all while clearing the clutter and making moves to establish yourself.
It’s your life, clean it up.