Avoid specificity at the cost of success

How specific you are with your goals determines your success.
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Self Mastery
May 28, 2022
1 minute

We all have goals, but are your goals specific enough?

I've realized that schools and other institutions teach us to dream big without thinking small. It's killing your chances.

Dreaming big will not get you to your goal. You have to zoom in.

The Hobbyist Mindset

A painter is someone who focuses on the small details.

Let's suppose someone paints dragons on coffee mugs on Saturdays. What do you think is going through their head?

Do you think they hate what they are doing? No, of course not. It's their hobby!

Hobbies have this weird way of making work not feel like work and this is a result of specificity.

Our hobbies are self-directed and specific. Between 12-16 years old I would collect coins. But, not any coins. I was fond of collecting American minted coins, usually containing silver content. Holding a chunk of value in my hand amazed me as a child. US quarters and dimes used to have 90% silver content in them all the way up to 1964, when they stopped minting them. Knowing specific information like this was a result of my hobby.

When taught in schools, similar information goes out one ear and out the other. This is a result of schools not teaching the hobbyist mindset.

Specificity makes you happier to learn.

You're the Only Competition

The more specific you get with what you want to do, the less competition there is.

At the most specific level, you're the only one in existence doing that particular thing. Your only competition is yourself.

Once you reach this place, the comparison ladder fades away. There is no more passing people, there's only passing your internal standards. Comparison is a huge hindrance because it makes us focus on other people and not what we're doing. It's like when we watch movies and live vicariously through others' lives. We should write our own script.

Make your script specific.

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