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it's not that hard

Over the last couple of weeks, I've reread a lot of self help and motivational literature in my library. Most of it falls in the category of "shortcuts, get rich quick, wealth without effort." Some of them have good ideas, but no depth behind the ideas, as if the author lifted thoughts from somewhere else. But I found one author who seems to be the real thing: Brian Tracy.

Granted, he has a lot of books out there, and a lot of the messages are very similar, so I'll just focus in on what, for me, is his best work. It's a little volume called "No Excuses!" The theme of the book is self-discipline. There are really two deeper messages, though: Deep work is it, and deep work ain't that hard.

I won't go into quoting a bunch of passages and trying to sell the book. You can pick it up in most discount bookstores for six or seven dollars, and it's easy to find in electronic or audio form. Instead, let me just explain how I see these two messages embedded in the text.

Deep work is it. He talks extensively about the perils of things like "the expediency factor," the path of least resistance, and seeking easy, fun shortcuts. It's threaded deeply through all the advice and explanations. In a sense, he's assuming that deep work is what you're striving for, without describing it in so many words. 

Deep work isn't that hard to get into. He's also more direct than most authors. He has the pedigree, having been a troubled child from a poor family, knocking around at day labor jobs for several years after dropping out of high school. He's one of the only authors I found that actually bootstrapped himself from rags to riches -- without getting there by telling people how to get rich.

He doesn't say that deep work itself isn't hard; most of his advice is predicated on sweat equity. But he doesn't glorify it or suggest elaborate rituals to get yourself into it. Throughout the book, and throughout his other works, his advice on deep work is simple: "get up," "get on with it," "do it or don't do it, but don't make excuses," and "back to work should be your mantra."

In a sense, he's probably recommending the journalistic style of deep work, which has you getting into concentrated effort as you can, whenever you can. The only difference is that he recommends being very intentional about scheduling and protecting that kind of effort.

I'm finding some synergy there. You might try reading his book.

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