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Let me explain how this is possible and how this realization played out in my life.By the time I was 17, this disconnect had caused me to shed what little religion I had, so I had become an atheist, much to the chagrin of my family. I think this decision made perfect sense. I was taught to be intelligent and to make rational choices, and I found my religious upbringing to be highly irrational. In my way, I probably thought I was correcting a logical error made by my parents, an impression which only grew stronger after experiencing their reaction to my decision, which as you can probably imagine left the realm of rationality far behind.
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I tended to regard spiritual people as a bit wacko. To me, they were wasting their time and not making worthwhile contributions to the world, aside from a few notable exceptions (but I had my doubts about those too). In my mind, spiritual people were of a lower order of intelligence, ruled more by fleeting emotions than by intelligence and common sense. I generally regarded such people as dumb and inept; at best they were simply misguided. I devoted myself to a purely rational existence, shunning all things spiritual or religious.
Years later I began considering how my beliefs might be creating (rather than merely observing) my experience of reality.
In college I double-majored in computer science and mathematics, two subjects where rationality reigned supreme.
I learned the difference between empowering and disempowering beliefs. This came from being exposed to a wide range of personal development material in my early 20s. Thinkers such as Earl Nightingale, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Brian Tracy, and Tony Robbins taught me that my own thoughts and attitudes would play a critical role in my results. If I believed I could achieve something, I was far more likely to be able to do it. If I defeated myself in my own thoughts, I would only hinder my own progress.
Studying time management has been an extremely worthwhile endeavor. While the claims made by people selling products in this field
are often exaggerated and overhyped, I did realize some genuine productivity benefits from applying the best ideas.
I took the same classes in 1.5 years that other students took over a 4-year period,
but I was able to compress them into a much shorter period of time by taking about triple the normal courseload. However,
I don’t consider this to be an extraordinary achievement.
The sad truth is that most people are so incredibly bad at managing their time that rock-bottom personal productivity is simply accepted as normal.
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It’s tempting to say that excellent time management is a result of having a great time management system. But I have not found this to be the case. I think the general mindset of time management is far more important than any system.
If you find yourself wasting a lot of time, you probably don’t have a strong enough reason to manage your time well. No system you use will make much difference until you address the underlying issue of self-respect.