/ Elliot C Smith / blog

Punch in the guts prioritisation

August 23, 2020

Sometimes I get punch in the guts recalibrated. When I say recalibrated I mean that something comes along and knocks me so far off where I was that I need to stop and rethink what I’m doing. As someone who tries pretty hard to optimise it doesn’t happen that often. When it does happen, it hurts.

Punch in the guts calibration is the kind of awakening that makes you think “What the hell am I doing here”. I might spend a day down a rabbit hole rather than working on what matters. I may spend the day working rather than spending time with the people I love. I may spend months avoiding things that really need to get done. The key thing is that once it’s done, you feel like an idiot for not acting sooner.

I’m not always sure what causes me to notice, or punch myself as it were. It might be hitting a milestone and not feeling victory. It might be hitting midnight and realising a day is gone. I am yet to find any consistent way to flag these things other than to try and prioritise and reflect as much as possible.

I think there is something special in finding someone else willing to snap you back to reality. There are two versions of that, one where it borders on tall-poppy syndrome. Knocking you down so they look taller in comparison. Forget those people. I’m talking about people who are willing to call you out on not being focused on what really matters. These people need to both know you well and be close enough that calling bullshit on how you are spening your time isn’t going to set off your ego. These people are rare. I have people like this in my life and I am very glad I do. They make me better and counterbalance my flaws.

Find those people, hold onto them. It takes a rare breed to be willing to punch you in the guts for your own good.

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