4 Rare Psychological Skills Only True Masters Of The Universe Know

Photo: sergey causelove / Shutterstock
woman pulling sunglasses down

Our need for instant gratification is our Achille’s heel.

We want results now. And don’t want to adopt the mindsets and put in the work ever.

But that’s not going to happen. Right now, you can only focus on the mindsets and the work. The results will come later.

So let this tendency to chase results “right now” be gone. You’re not a child. You’re a smart grown-a** person who understands how things work.

Hence, right now, start learning how to make your mind more skillful. 

RELATED: 19 Micro-Habits That Dramatically Increase Your Intelligence

Here are 4 rare psychological skills only true masters of the universe know:

1. They turn laziness into excitement

In any journey to a goal, there are two types of days.

  • Type 1: The day you feel like showing up and putting in the work.
  • Type 2: The day you don’t feel like doing it.

Everyone — both average people and extraordinary people — put in the work on days they feel like doing it. That’s easy.

But only people who eventually end up having extraordinary results put in the work on days they don’t feel like doing it. This means Type 2 days are the separator between someone who is normal and someone extraordinary.

"Putting in the work on days you don’t feel like doing it is exactly what will differentiate you from the ordinary."

You can use this quote to turn your laziness into excitement. Here’s how:

Step number one is to accept that you want to be extraordinary. Only then will this quote truly resonate with you.

Step number two is to link this quote with the feeling of "not feeling like showing up." Every morning, on purpose, induce the feeling of "I don’t feel like working." And then, read the quote. This will form as an association between the thoughts "I don’t feel like doing it" and this quote.

Step number three is to catch when this quote starts popping up in your mind automatically. After step two, an association will be formed between the quote and the feeling of not wanting to show up. So when you don’t feel like showing up in real life, this quote will automatically start popping up in your head. You’ll feel, "I don’t feel like working out today." Your mind will say, "But working out on days you don’t feel like is exactly what will differentiate you from the ordinary." When this happens, become aware!

Step number four is to relabel such days from "not feeling it days" to "separator days." When the quote pops up, you’ll realize the importance of putting in the work on that specific day. And hence, relabel the day from "Not wanting to show up" to "Separator Day."

Because now you know this day is what will separate you from the ordinary, this awareness will convert your laziness into excitement.

2. They can imagine their fiercest competition 

First thing first. Ditch these ideas.

  • "Your only competition is yourself."
  • "Being competitive is a bad trait."
  • "Competition is bad for your mental health."

The reality is that your only competition is not just yourself.

You don’t get the job because you’re better than who you were yesterday. You get the job because you’re better than others. People don‘t read your articles because it's less crappy than it was yesterday. They read it because it’s more interesting than watching cat videos on youtube.

Being competitive is not a bad trait. Competition is what forces all of us to improve. If we were not competitive, humanity would not be at the level it is today.

And competition is bad for your mental health only when your ego comes in the way. If you’re competing for the sole purpose of learning and being better, competition is great for your mental health.

When you’ve done that, start using the power of competition to better yourself.

A good way to do that is to embed yourself in a competitive environment. For instance, I’m an excellent medical student because of the fierce competition that exists in my college.

However, when you cannot embed yourself in a competitive environment, start imagining competition. Make this quote close to your heart:

"Somewhere, someone else is practicing harder than you, faster than you, longer than you. They want it more than you. And when you meet them, they will win."

Note: Only use the power of competitive behavior to better yourself; never for inflating your ego and you’re good to go.

RELATED: 4 Psychological Skills I Stole From Super-Smart People

3. They reverse what they do "now" and what they do "later"

Does this sound familiar?

  • I’ll watch an episode of Suits now, and then I’ll write an article.
  • I’ll complete a few chores right now, and then I’ll write that report.
  • I’ll take a nap now, and then I’ll study.

Suffice it to say, our "now" and "then" are upside down. A psychological skill to develop is to start reversing it. This means, you do important work now, and you rest later.

And this is great for a couple of reasons:

  • First: When you watch an episode of your favorite TV show while putting off that report for later, you reduce the joy that’ll come from watching the show anyway. This is because that “report” is going to be on your mind. You might even feel guilty while watching the show. These chip at your joy.
  • Second: The way of procrastination you choose right now can easily engulf the “later” time you're scheduled for work. This might mean that you never actually get to work.

Hence, the next time you find yourself saying something like, "I’ll watch this movie now, and then start working." Catch yourself and reverse it. Say out loud. "I’ll start working for an hour now, and then I’ll watch the movie."

This simple switch will make you highly productive.

RELATED: The Simple Trick To Achieve All Your Goals In Approximately One Year

4. They anchor their mind to a default "no" to distractions

When Oliver Sacks, the British Neurologist, wanted to write his book, he did a very powerful thing. He stuck a page on the wall in front of his desk with one word on it: "NO."

He knew that if he wanted to be a writer and write books, he needed to say no to distractions. In fact, he needed to make it so that his mind is more biased to say no than toward saying yes. And that’s why this poster thing was so wonderful.

Because it anchored his mind to the response "No."

Right now, you are probably anchored to saying "Yes" to distractions than saying "No" because —

  • Work is boring.
  • Distractions are fun.

But if you want to make something great of your life, you need to learn how to anchor your mind to “No.” Here are two ways to do that:

  • Take inspiration from Oliver Sacks. Stick a page with “NO” written on it on the wall in front of where you work.
  • And, every morning, time travel and imagine the distractions you might face later that day. For instance, “I’m supposed to write an article today. But a friend might call me up and ask to hang out. What will I say? No.”

Both these, when done long enough, will rewire your mind so that your default response is no. And then, you can start doing great work.

  • Turn laziness into excitement by relabelling days you don’t feel like showing up to “Separator days” that differentiate you from the ordinary.
  • Imagine fierce competition to fuel your growth.
  • Reverse what you do ‘now’ and what you do ‘then’. Do important work now. Waste time later.
  • Anchor your mind to say no to distractions.

RELATED: 4 Psychological Experiments That Will Make You Smarter Than Everyone Else

Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.