You must know that it is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own, unless each day he maintain it and hear it maintained, as well as work it out in life. -Epictetus
First thing to realize: if you want to live a truly productive life, you are going to have to fight for it.
Fight tooth and nail.
Fight yourself, your spouse, your kids, your boss, your Mom, your friends, your coworkers, your clients, your instincts, your habits, your culture.
Because everything will work against you, intentionally or otherwise. Mediocrity will pull you down. The decision to be freakishly productive is, at the core, a decision to be only exactly who you are, to do what matters to you even at the expense of what matters to lots of other people.
It is a decision to set your own standards, blaze your own trail.
Obviously a machete will be involved.
Obviously you will not make everyone happy.
Just as obviously, you should never try.
Being who you are, being true, having and living with intention and integrity: this is the best way to live. We all should live this way. But 99% won’t. Even of the few people who actually read this post, only a small percentage will act.
Most people succumb. They get numb. They don’t care. They don’t get you.
Most will settle for average.
But not you.
You don’t have time for average. Fight for a life above it, a life of true productivity.
Now go do what you need to do.