Sifting Through the Garbage

Published by Aram Parunak on

Honestly, social media is exhausting and mostly garbage. Recently, I struggle to understand it to the point that I find myself avoiding it. When I spend 30 seconds sifting through the garbage, here is what I find.

There’s the political banter that is a complete waste of my time. Then there’s the attention-seeking behavior that is sad. Next, there’s the self-promotion that drives me crazy. After that, there’s the trash-talking and criticism that is unproductive. Finally, there are a few posts each day that might actually make me better. Maybe they make me think or they make me laugh, but those are few and far between.

I’m sure that doesn’t sum up social media as a whole, but that sums up my timeline when I actually take the time to look at it. Maybe I need a “social media start over”. The best things I see on social media are videos of puppies. Other than that, I’m mostly confused.

However, social media plays a huge role in how we connect with the world. It’s how we find out about products and services. It’s how we keep up with the news. It’s how we learn about each other. It’s how a lot of people build relationships.

The Question

My question is how real is it? Anyone can make things look good in a picture or short video. But even then a lot of things are trash.

Let me keep it real for a second. I’m not going to promise anyone anything except my best effort because that’s all I can control.

Anyone who says that they have the magic trick or magic sauce for success in anything is lying to you. There is no magic drill. There is no magic play. There’s no secret exercise.

The Answer

The keys to success are consistently working hard and working smart to be better each day.

It is choosing to get better at something and then getting better at it.

That sentence is so simple yet it is so loaded.

First, you have to admit that you need to get better at something, and it needs to be specific. Saying, “I need to get better at life” isn’t very specific. The more specific you can be the better you’ll be. A lot of people can’t do step 1 and so they are done before they even start.

Next, you have to be able to measure where you are now so you know when you’ve gotten better. Being able to evaluate yourself accurately is a big deal. If you say that you’re good or bad at something doesn’t mean much. You’re good or bad compared to who or what?

I’m a terrible shooter compared to Klay Thompson but I’m an elite shooter compared to my dog.

Then you have to know what to do to actually get better. This is tricky because some things that come across my timeline actually make players worse and other things don’t help at all. Just remember you can’t get back wasted time.

After that, you have to want to do what it takes to actually get better. Finally, you follow through and actually do it.

Then the process starts all over again.

Reality

From what I can tell, so many people are getting bamboozled that they are bamboozling themselves. If you’re working out for more than an hour at a time, you’re wasting your time. If you want to work out for two hours, work out hard for an hour, rest for an hour or two, and then go again.

Paying ridiculous amounts of money for multiple training sessions per week sounds to me like you are looking for a babysitter, not a trainer. If you have to spend multiple days a week with your trainer, either your trainer isn’t very good or you’re too lazy to go put the work in on your own.

In any single training session, I could give you 10 different things to help you improve at one specific thing. If you practice those things diligently, and you’re not significantly better at that skill than you were last week, then you probably don’t need to work with me anymore.

The problem is that you really don’t want it that bad. Some people might tell you that you can’t do it. I believe anyone can improve if they put the work in. The truth is you want to blame it on this or that instead of saying “I need to get better at something” and then going out and doing it. And then doing it even better the next day.

So what if you made 10 Free Throws in a row yesterday? Make 15 in a row today. Then make 10 shots in a row without hitting the rim tomorrow. Impossible? Or are you too lazy to try?  Or are you too scared to fail?

I’m not discounting your success in making 10 Free Throws in a row. But if you’re satisfied with that, then you’ve just limited yourself.

Conclusion

As you’re making decisions in your life, whether it’s about basketball or whatever else, I hope you’ll surround yourself with people who will support you but not enable you. I hope you’ll be honest with yourself about what’s really important to you and what you’re willing to do to get whatever it is that you say want. Most importantly, I hope that you’ll make smart decisions about how you spend your time.

The world is full of garbage. Just look at your timeline. I hope when you’re sifting through the garbage, you will find the nuggets of goodness that will make you better or make you laugh a little bit each day.


Aram Parunak

Aram Parunak

After 18 years of coaching college basketball, Aram wants to use the Hoops College platform to have a greater impact on the game and the players who play it. Allow him to join you on your journey to be the best player with the most options you can possibly have.

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