Having A Hard Time With Anything? That's When Following Your Protocol Becomes Crucial

I've written –and published– an atomic essay every day for the last 300 days or so. Sometimes they just come out very easily. But others… it's like pulling teeth. Here's what I do when that happens:

5 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash
Table of contents

I've been sitting in front of my laptop for 20 minutes trying to come up with something to write about today.

I have my endless idea generator. I have a list of topics. I have questions my clients have asked recently. Yet I cannot get myself to write something.

"Why is this so goddamn hard?"

As I sat here pondering that question I realized it's only hard because I'm making it hard.

I choose to complicate things. I choose to not start writing right away and instead begin "planning" my essay. If you're like me you know what it's like… Trying to make efficient a process you have yet to start.

And so, after a minute or two of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to ask myself a better question.

"The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself." – Tony Robbins

Immediately, the question that popped into my head was: "what would this look like if it was easy?"

The answer?

Stop thinking so much about the outcome and focus on the process. Run your protocol.

Ever since I began writing a daily essay, I've wanted others to read it. And hopefully engage with it. I've learned about writing headlines, hooks, "scroll-stoppers", etc. And every day I have not-so-secretly hoped people would like and perhaps share my work with their audience.

But today when I asked myself this question I realized the whole point of writing every day is… writing every day!

That's what's in my protocol!

And I immediately remembered this interview of olympic athlete Alexi Pappas (look at 1:36:50)

In it she talks about the rule of thirds:

"When you're chasing your dreams, you're going to feel crappy a third of the time. And this is normal. If you're always feeling good, you're not pushing yourself hard enough." - Alexi Pappas

Frankly, the last few days of the year were more on the "crappy" and the "ok" thirds.

But I kept showing up and running my protocol.

And today I had the chance to apply my protocol to my writing.

What about you? Feeling crappy about anything in your life? Just show up and run your protocol.

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