There are tremendous forces at work with life. They crush and crumble our plans easily. That’s why plans are useless. Planning is useful thought, because it allows us to mentally prepare for things to come and then adjust accordingly.
Visualization has the same effects on our brain as actual exercise. Same I believe to be true with planning. When we plan, we are living potential lives already. That prepares us for the actual reality to come.
With all this chaos and change in life, it might be easy to fall into the trap of victimhood: I do not have control.
While it’s true that the big picture of life gets set, we cannot affect the circumstances or the other people that are in our lives, we have surprisingly a lot of control within our own limited life.
Each day we make hundreds of decisions about our life. What if you started to look at your life the way you want to live it and make more decisions according to that ideal?
Decisions themselves are potent if you follow them up with sacrifice (decision to do means also decision not to do something else until the thing is done) and then action.
When one does not see the way, doesn’t mean there is no way.
Sometimes we drift without a way.
Sometimes we walk the way set by others.
Then there are the ways that remain for us to discover.
Discovering means that they are hidden, others do not see them and we ourselves do not remember that even though others do not see them does not mean we shouldn’t try to find out what it is.
We might find the way when we go far.
We might find the way if we stay around.
To see, means we have to close our eyes.
Lack of questions signals that there is no interest. When I understood this a few days ago I felt shocked as indeed it’s in many cases easier not to ask anything than it is to ask. Sometimes I’ve also passed asking questions even though I’ve been curious about something, however I still haven’t bothered to open up my mouth.
Often the questions are more valuable than the actual answers.
Questions show that we are thinking.
Questions show that we care.
Questions are essential for learning.
Questions connect people.
When you do not ask questions you are not moving towards people, you are drifting apart.
Asking questions means building understanding, building happiness, building love and all that good stuff.
In the context of professional work, we ought to simply practice more.
Robert Greene sums it up well 1) practice, practice, practice 2) learn from the masters of the field 3) transfigure, make the thing your own.
It’s rather easy, except the practice part takes at least 10 000 hours. If you are really committed you do not measure it in time, but the times you do. Masters always find room for more practice, more improvement.
Study the masters: do more.
When it comes to believing, our minds easily find a hundreds reasons to do or not to do if we go into that. How about we would just do what we want to do?
Practice what we have set out to do without any other thoughts. Learning to let go of what can be done, what is possible and instead just try to do your best without attachment to the result. Then keep on improving that result, because of course if you are doing your best and you are learning, your results are improving. Results give the feedback of improvement after all, if there is no improvement in results you are not improving, so you are still learning 🙂
Do more, get more results and do not let your beliefs hold you back.
Growth. Something in physical terms would mean to increase in size or mass. In emotional terms it would probably means mature response versus immature response. In spiritual terms, I don’t know. In intellectual terms it would perhaps mean better performance in a quiz or test.
Around 2007 I found the idea of conscious growth from Steve Pavlina’s blog and around 2009 I think I’ve been practicing daily.
Growth is always in relation to who are and where we want to be. We cannot compare ourselves to anyone else and we shouldn’t. Bill Gates would have said that comparing yourself to anyone else is an insult to yourself.
To grow then, we would need an understanding of our present state, to understand that we are but in the beginning of our journey.
To grow, we need to accept that we are all beginners. Masters are the masters at this skill, humility.
Humility opens up the mind for learning. So the way to grow is to start a fresh.
Yesterday I had an epiphany that only person who really has a chance to get to know myself is myself. To truly know oneself, is a long process which we usually do not spend enough time with.
Not enough time? We are actually also the source of our time, we can create more of it and as plenty as we wish.
Once we know ourselves, we are able to give more of ourselves to others as well.
We should begin by stopping and knowing ourselves, since it’s really our privilege to know ourselves. If the senses are a channel to get to know others and that channel is a bit limited – with ourselves we do not have that problem.
Discover yourself, start to create your own time and benefit others.
We can become that which we learn to be under pressure. By observing our thoughts, we can change our response, we can change our action and we can change our habits. We can change ourselves to take smarter action under pressure.
We can become smarter by taking smarter actions.
Top performers perform better under pressure, because they have more time to choose a better response. So can anyone become better at chosen action is the responses are better and you have more time to respond.
Pressure reveals how prepared we are, and how do we react to the pressure: do we have time to evaluate the best choices or do we mindlessly react like animals do?
More than ourselves, the way we react reflects the culture around us. For those who are in the culture, it is difficult to see. From outside its easier to observe that under pressure our behavior is often based or even copied from those who are close to us.
Pressure therefore not only reveals ourselves, it reveals the culture we are surrounded by.
Of course we do influence and get influenced by culture at the same time. What is in our own control is the respond to each situation and that’s it. Do you breathe for four seconds before reply or do you respond straight away? Do you have multiple choices or do you go with the first one that pop into your heads.
Yesterday’s decision making process put some interesting energy on the move. It’s the kind of energy where I remembered who I am and decided to live true to that.
We need to remember to be true to ourselves, and then we will find the energy to do the things that matter.
To be to oneself requires decision making based on self-understanding. Self-understanding requires listening and accepting that which is evident.
We get to be only ourselves in this life. Although what makes life fun is that we get to play many roles during our lifetimes. Still some roles fit us better than others and here the listening part comes crucial.
Listen, understand and say no to what isn’t you. Stay true to you.
Love yourself as you are. We need to love ourselves first, because not necessary there will be no-one else to do so either. We need to learn to be by ourselves first.
When we are able to with ourselves, it’s much easier to be with others and be of value to other.
Therefore remember to be true to yourself.
Decision making is energy intensive and energy creating process.
I’ve a few times a year these phases where the existential crisis kicks in. I’ll keep performing habits without much emotion. Then in some actions there is still spark left, while my rest of the mind wanders in deeper questions.
It’s because of this deeply inquisitive mindset that my mind apparently starts to question a little bit of everything. Including my most beloved and hard earned habits as writing itself. In fact today I made the decision not to write.
Until then I found some energy on the decision what to do tomorrow. And when I found the energy to decide on what to do tomorrow, what inspiring thing I will do tomorrow, now I got my inspiration to write about that decision making energy.
Making decisions is really energy intensive, however by doing so it allows us to focus our energy that which truly matters. And we should spend our days doing what truly matters, because other stuff doesn’t matter at all.
So far the very best answer to the meaning of life is to live life so that whole life is an answer to the question. And to do that we should be making smarter decisions on what to do and do those decisions with higher intensity.
Tom Rath has written a wonderful book titled Eat, Move, Sleep, it’s one of the best books I’ve read on wellbeing and if you have not read it, that would be the one book to read.
Today I amused myself with the thought that prioritizing sleep is important because once I am well rested I can respond better to almost anything! Up until to a point.
Sleep therefore deserves to be first. The second is a bit more difficult, but I would assume that if I first take care that I’ve rested well enough and I’ve empty fridge I guess I would have to move. The same would’ve applied to the hunter-gatherer example: if there is nothing to eat we need to move before we can eat.
Especially when we live the life of growth, the growth happens when we rest.