In a RUT? Here is How to Get Out!

There was a time in my life when I lived passively.

I talked a lot about it in this episode of my podcast, where I speak candidly about the time in my life when every day, I thought about jumping in front of the train as it barreled into the station.

That was the result of a life not lived on purpose- the way it felt to mindlessly be drug out of bed every afternoon (yes, afternoon,) and then carried through my day with such lifelessness and lack of control.

I would hurry myself to the shower, almost late, thirsty and sullen from the previous night’s cocktails, feeling the leather of my skin, the scratching of my eyes, and then, almost without thought or agency, I was gathering my things, tumbling down the street with my wonky walk to Starbucks, buying a coffee, handing over the money, waiting for the coffee, and in the passing of this hour or two, I never made a conscious choice about what was happening.

My life, and the patterns of my life, had taken over. I didn’t live for joy, for love, or for purpose. I just existed.

For this, every day, as the train pulled into the station, I always thought “is today the day? Is today the day I jump in front of this train?”

Many years have passed since this time, and through a series of uncomfortable actions, I have learned to live my life on purpose. However, just starting out, it’s really hard to know what that means.

The best way to start when you don’t know how to start is to just take immediate action. This is the advice of Tony Robbins, and it’s 100% true. However, when I first heard this advice, I also didn’t know what that meant.

Many people believe taking immediate action means quitting a job, getting a divorce, running out into the street naked, or who the fuck knows? Some drastic thing that doesn’t mean anything.

In reality, taking immediate action lies in the present moment.

What can you FEASIBLY DO TODAY that will move you ONE STEP CLOSER to where you want to be?

I’ll give you an example of this-

When I wanted to start my business, I didn’t know a damn thing about how to do it. All of it, every piece, was a foreign language to me. I’m a fast learner, but even a fast learner takes time to get comfortable with a new piece of software they never used before.

Everything about building my business was a process, but before I could tangibly put together all the pieces, I first had to do two things:

1. Write a lot

2. Read a lot

Months before I even started my business, sometimes that was all I did. The larger pieces, the tech, the web, the services I needed to learn and the concepts I needed to adapt to and inquire about were all bigger pieces that would come later. In the beginning, I did what I tangibly could do, which was “write a lot and read a lot.”

That was it.

I took immediate action every day. Some days, I accomplished quite a bit. Some days, nothing happened. But every day, I took an action.

Now, I’m making money, serving people I care about and living a life that makes me happy. It all started with action. A small action.

Much like nobody goes from sitting on a sofa to running a marathon in a day, whatever you want to do in your life requires walking a road in a series of small steps. The road from A to B has no teleportation system, but if you’re eager and hungry, you will be able to walk quickly.

Another secret to breaking old patterns of a life that doesn’t serve you is simply to notice them and resolve that when you do, again, you will take action.

Here’s another example:

For the last three weeks, I have fallen into an exercise rut.

I am at a stage of fitness where I do not stop exercising in my ruts, but I do let my training slide when I experience such a thing.

Now, back in the day, I may have just chosen to ignore the rut, hoping it would pass or that something would change for me. That was back in the stage of my life when I still viewed events as happening “to me.” If I was in an exercise rut back then, it was certainly “ not my fault.”

Now, I know that if I am in an exercise rut, while it might have occurred because of something external, I can take immediate action to change my internal world to get out of the rut.

I realized that part of my rut stemmed from the subconscious belief that my running was taking away from time I could be spending sharpening my sword.

I needed to solve that problem, or the rut would persist.

I took immediate action two days ago and bought AirPods. Before two days ago, I still was the proud sporter of $15-dollar traditional headphones that broke in 6 months. My pattern was to use these inconvenient headphones because “that was what I did.”

I broke the pattern.

Today on my run, I began Wayne Dyer’s “How to Be a No-Limit Person.” This isn’t new material, but I’d never before listened to it, and I knew that it was an integral part of the foundation of the field of information that I teach.

My run was so fucking enjoyable while listening to this, and by the very nature of the material, I was reminded that what I did to handle my exercise rut was precisely appropriate. I took immediate action by buying the AirPods so that I could change my internal state when thinking about exercise.

It was no longer “taking me from something.” It was no longer “happening to me.” I was in control.

Immediate action in your every day to make a change is not always a big motherfucking hoopla to-do.

It’s often doing something as simple as “showing up.”

When I was quitting smoking, I showed up every day to the sub r/stopsmoking on Reddit. I didn’t always want to, but I did it every day, every day until I no longer needed that type of support.

Whatever your goals are, big or small, taking small, manageable steps and immediate action today will, over time, add up to where you want to be.

Or, there’s the opposite of that, where you take no action, and in a year, you’ll be standing right here.

Learn to invest in yourself.

If you make an effort to do one new thing today that you did not do yesterday, no matter how small that thing is, where you end up next year will blow your mind.

Originally published at on January 27, 2021.

I’m an unconventional thinker with quick wit. Coach. Sociologist. Mindset shift guru. Creator of and the Get The F*ck Off Podcast

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