Do the real thing.

Whatever your goal is, do the real thing.

Don't do fake things to prepare for the real thing, while fooling yourself that you're making progress in the real thing.

You're not.

I'll explain to you what I mean.

Back in high school, we had a physical fitness test called the NAPFA 2.4km run.

To prepare for it, guess what I did?

I ran 2.4km every day on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym.

I was making excellent time on the treadmill, hitting 9-minute times consistently.

I was ready.
Well the day of the test arrived, and I was determined to get the best time in my class.

Guess what happened?

I gassed out like 5-6 minutes into it.

Despite leading the race for much of it, I saw people from the back overtaking me while I was forced to walk the final stretch.
I ended up with a time of 13:39 or something embarrassing, barely passing the test.

I thought I was prepared, but I didn't realize there was a huge difference between running outside in the heat vs. running inside with the ground moving under me while I "pretend" ran.
I didn't do the real thing.

I tried to simulate training for the real thing but somehow avoided doing the real thing.

The next year, I only ran outside to prepare for the test, and, unsurprisingly, I got almost 10-minute flat.


Because I did the real thing.
This applies to all things that people want to accomplish.

When I was working in a restaurant back then, I used to have a co-worker who wanted to be a DJ like Avicii or Martin Garrix.

So he spent hours learning how to mix beats and also studying tapes of popular songs.
I knew what was going to happen eventually if he kept this charade up, so I asked him, "Why don't you just make ONE song and put it out on iTunes?"

He's like, "Oh, I have to learn more, I want it to be perfect when I release it."

Guess what?

He's still a waiter 5 years later.
Because he didn't do the real thing.

I've had friends who say they want to become entrepreneurs, but all I see them doing is writing business plans, finding investors, printing business cards, designing logos -- anything but creating products and finding customers.
They too didn't do the real thing, and then they wonder why they fail after seemingly working so hard for years.

In China, there's an MMA fighter called Xu Xiaodong who became a nationally-hated figure because we went around China beating up Chinese kungfu "masters."
These so-called kungfu masters do physical training, rehearse their routines, study theory, even hit punching bags on a daily basis, but, whatever they did, they didn't do the real thing.

They didn't spar with a real uncooperative opponent on a daily basis like MMA fighters do.
So when it comes to a fight, the average MMA fighter prevails even against some of the most highly-skilled kungfu masters, as in the case of Xu Xiaodong.

I've had friends who say they want to learn to code, but all they do is read tutorials on how to code instead of... coding.
I have friends who say they want to learn to invest, and then all they do is muck around with paper trading simulators.

Yeah well, it's not the same unless/until you put real money on the line, and you experience real stress, anxiety, excitement, and thrill from the markets.
I met a girl who said she wanted to be a TV screenwriter, and the first thing she did was to intern for a TV producer for 3 years to "get her foot in the door" instead of actually buckling down and writing screenplays.

She was doing pretend work to avoid the real thing.
I could go on and on.

I have friends who say they want to learn new languages, and all they do is doing stupid Duolingo quizzes instead of actually immersing themselves among native speakers and developing real practical fluency.

They just refuse to do the real thing.
I have guy friends who say they want to learn how to get "good" with women.

What do they do?

Go online and read stupid pickup guides/theory and even work out in the gym instead of actually interacting wtih women in real life.

Anything but doing the real thing.
So you have to ask yourself, whatever you're trying to do, are you doing the real thing?

Or are you procrastinating by doing pretend work while deluding yourself you're getting there?

Imagine if a chef only reads recipes and sharpens knives instead of actually cooking.
Do you think he'll be a good chef?

Now consider a chef who hasn't touched a recipe but cooks every day, improving his craft based on feedback from actual food tasters.

His first meals might be terrible, but at least he does the real thing and has a chance to improve upon it.
Want to be a fashion designer?


Want to be a porn star?


Want to get a girlfriend?


There's no shortcut.

You can do pretend work and waste your time, or you can do the real thing and improve from there.


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