In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport talks about the importance of deliberate practice in developing your skills. This isn’t a new idea, especially in the productivity sphere, we know that you have to be mindful about your work in order to get the results you desire. Deliberate practice will result in a lot of strain, that’s why a lot of people don’t work this way. It’s uncomfortable.
A lot of specific concepts such as deliberate practice can be applied in different parts of life. Instead of deliberate practice that’s specific to productivity, we can think about deliberate living that can be applied to life as a whole.
I often catch myself doing the same things socially because it’s comfortable in the moment, even though it can hurt my relationships with others in the long-term. Admitting that things are rough requires a lot more strain than just saying that you’re fine.
Just like in our work, we can make the same mistakes repeatedly if we’re not actively trying to improve. The same thing occurs in our day to day lives. We have the same habits that we picked up years ago, some even when we were children, but we’re being mindful about them. It’s more comfortable this way.
Life is short, as Paul Graham states in his essay. We don’t have much time, so we must not spend it on bullshit activities. This is why deliberate living is so important.
In the great expanse of time, we are already dead
We only get one life, and it’s a rather absurd one. In the great expanse of time, we are already dead, as the character Axe declares in the show Billions. When you think about it this way, you shouldn’t be afraid of living deliberately, living life on your own terms. You should be terrified of the long-term consequences of your inaction, rather than being scared by the opinions of others. Time is often the best judge.
Deliberate living brings anxiety with it. It’s going to be uncomfortable in the moment, but it’s ultimately the best way to act and think about life long-term. I wouldn’t want to have regrets on my deathbed.
So go ahead, live as you intend. Live deliberately. When you catch yourself feeling comfortable in a situation, do something that makes you anxious and excited, something that allows life growth.