Habit Combinations

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Living the last week of 2017 has again draws the mind to the contemplate how did this year go and what  to focus on upcoming years.

This year I’ve become more aware than ever so far about the power of habits. On my own eight and half year conscious growth journey majority of the time I’ve spent unlearning habits and then a bit by bit finding more healthy behaviors. With the exception last two years I’ve dedicated more conscious effort into two habits that seem to reinforce each other very well: reading and writing.

As I pondered a bit about this, I understood that most habits do work in combination. I.e. it’s not only reading nonfiction that turns into writing. It’s the whole process of study, application, dialogue and experience that makes it meaningful.

Best habits work in combination with each other.

What is difficult about habits is thought rarely we can really know if a habit is suited for us and how it is suited for us with too short time span. In the beginning of my personal development journey I read about 30 day trials on Steve Pavlina’s blog. Idea seems to be fine, however now equipped with the experience and understanding I have now, I don’t think the 30 days is nearly enough to test drive any significant habit.

On the other hand I’ve come another interesting way to look at the habits. The advice was originally from some dating scene,  however I think the application is very same with the habits as it is with the partners: we should see through a year first before making any significant advances and commitments in the relationships. Just as with the habits: see the full year first, then decide to move ahead or not.

One year is interesting time, because as humans our moods are also a lot different depending on the time of the year. One year will give the full experience of the year and certainly the timeframe to really know if this habit is for us.

As I mentioned this is for any significant habit, any significant life choice that you would like to make.

Within year the habit starts to solidify as part of your identity. Then what you can do after a year of doing having the habit, is to start experimenting with habit combinations.

I think and talk a lot about writing. At times I feel like writing is the only thing I’ve wanted to do and often times I am craving to write. Yet at times, I wonder, if this is really the thing that I am most enthusiastic about?

However, I’ve noticed writing is a great way for me to express myself and my various ideas. So it’s probably so that writing by itself is more like a medium of communication for me rather than my thing in itself. Despite being a mean of communication, it still is important way to process and think as well, so definitely a habit that I keep experimenting with and finding a way to keep in my routine in combination of all the new and exciting habits to come.

What Service Are You Drawn to Do?

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There are actions which make everybody’s future better.

There are actions which make everybody’s futures worse.

Know these two, it’s easier to choose to put any extra energy to make the future better.

For longer time now, I’ve been drawn to writing. I’ve had to be rather internally motivated, because there has been very little extrinsic motivators. Or perhaps there has been, but I’ve haven’t been really interested in looking those up.

1,5 years ago as I was starting my writer journey, I got a piece of feedback & advice from authority figure: apparently my thinking and writing is clear, but the writers are not gonna get paid.

Well this didn’t bother me, as I hadn’t done it for the money in the first place. It still doesn’t bother me, because writing is just a way for me to crystallize thinking and share interesting and helpful ideas. External feedback is appreciated and the comments etc. are the best part of the writing.

Of course writing has a purpose, but first and foremost it’s a service: value to the audience first. If audience has a feeling that it’s valuable, of course then the feedback response is very much appreciated.

Therefore for me the writing is first and foremost a way to channel my reminder energy into a service that I feel is a most natural way for me to create value. I do it, because I can and I am able. Then I think how I could serve best today. With the serving focus I do write and as I am done, I publish my blog for example.

Anything that happens after that is just rather a nice addition and possible new ideas to elaborate what I’ve done days before 🙂

What are you inclined to do with your excess energy?

Does Your Decisions Increase Well-being of Others?

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When your thoughts match your words, and your words match your actions, you are what we could call happiness.

This sounds easier than it is, however with practice and effort it is achievable state of being.

Any mismatch here causes anxiety. Anxiety is not a state of wellbeing to ourselves or others.

We make decisions at thought level. Therefore a good question to ask yourself, does this increase the well-being of myself and others? Well-being that we manage to create for others always returns to ourselves, we only get that well-being what we have managed to create into our environment.

Live Your Purpose and Plan

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Do you have a dream? Have you made the dream into a goal by setting some due dates?

My purpose is good karma, which means trying to live everyday virtuously according to my values so that the after the day I would’ve done more good than harm. This is a bit difficult to assess to be honest, because even with best intentions one can end up causing harm. Knowing this, I try my best to do good and mostly that starts with myself.

My purpose shows in daily actions as following the vegetarian diet, exercising, writing journal, reading books and meditating. I try to apply it to everything I do and work, this is described as “karma yoga” or yoga of action as described in Bhagavad Gita.

After the important daily actions which I mentioned, I still usually have quite a bit of energy left: this goes to work of serving other people. Usually most of my energy goes to my professional work. After my professional work has been done and the daily actions are done, I do not have much energy left for the day. Usually with the reminder depending on the day I spend with friends, family and finally try to write and publish a blog post. Then there is also perhaps a bit time during the week or perhaps weekend for reflecting and planning for the future and reflecting of the past. Especially life planning and financial planning are perhaps weekly themes that I check, if everything is going as I feel they should.

Even though I feel like I am living a purpose, I feel like I must still have some sort of action plan and vision for life. I’ve vision about better future, where we could succeed together in bigger and more audacious projects such as discovering the potential of the human mind, space travel and exploration.

This requires learning and that’s why I am big advocate of learning: I wish everyone would have the opportunities get the basic schooling to be able to read and write. Then get the access to knowledge through teachers, mentors, and coaches. Internet is important place to learn and share the learning,

Civilization, becoming civilized I think is the answer and that happens through learning. With learning there are few necessary skills such as critical thinking and learning and the abilities to learn and required. Then with reading and language skills, access to knowledge such as teachers, internet and libraries we are finally unlocking the vast potential of human curiosity. I value highly projects such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Khan Academy.

Planning and having this positive desire, does not need to mean to having to attach to this plan or the result. Life is prioritization all the time, it’s not skillful to get attached.

Karma yoga

Your work is your responsibility,
not its result.
Never let the fruits of your actions
be your motive.
Nor give in to inaction.

Set firmly in yourself, do your work,
not attached to anything.
Remain evenminded in success,
and in failure.
Evenmindedness is true yoga.

—Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-49

Yet having a plan, means that you’ve given a thought for the future and when the future meets present, you’ve ore options. At best you’ve a different plans plan a, plan b and so worth and then you can choose the closest options or the hybrid of these plans and continue with that. Planning is proactivity and probabilities. Planning means recognizing risks and working to minimize those risks.

Life is rather short and no one exactly knows how much time we have left. Thus living a mindful, present and happy life with a sense of purpose is a sound piece of advice. Yet what could be more inspiring reason to get up than inspiring vision, that today’s actions do good today, but perhaps tomorrow as well?

Because of the shortness of the life, we have to live the purpose every day. Where we spend most of our time we should stay focused there. Yet we should be aware of the future potentials, plan for different skenarios and be awake to take advantage of them. If we could be even greater service through planning, shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

That’s exactly what I had in my mind today as I broke down my previous cash flow calculations into a more actionable goals. About a year ago as a part of the real estate investment coaching I calculated the following cash flow requirements from assets per month to feel secure, wealthy and rich.

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It’s still holds true I feel. However, as I had these stages thought out, I didn’t have much plan to how to achieve them. I had a bunch of separate ideas hanging around, yet crystal clear action plan or scenarios thought out.

Three scenarios I did manage to write for the near future, that was rather rewarding. Then in regards to this stages, I also considered the potential vehicles. Mostly I’ve come to the conclusion that real estate investing is the way to go, the vehicle of the choice so to speak. What now made these stages now really feel achievable was that I was about to calculate with my conservative numbers how many apartments I would have to own in order to achieve these goals. First earned euro from real estate asset is of course the first step, however now I also know that the first milestone is 13 apartments. This feels very energizing and great to know that it is doable number, although there is a bit of how still remaining: planning helps us to visualize the potential outcomes.

Then it is just up to us to live the life mindfully in the present and enjoy whatever life brings without an attachment!

What You Think Becomes What You Feel  

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Interesting point about us that either can think what we feel, or then change our thinking and then feel what we think. I realized this today morning while listening to Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind by Joe Dispenza.

What you think frequently is what you get used to and what will you gravitate towards. Our brain generates emotions which are in fact chemical mixes and then our brain likes to maintain homeostasis – a familiar mix of chemicals all the time. If this gets disrupted, our consciousness gets signals to restore the balance in form of cravings, wants and annoyances for example.

Considering the difficulty of changing emotional life, it does take a  long time. Yet it appears we have no choice.

As I understood it, the cells in our brains we decay and degenerate if nothing new happens: new experiences of learning. Repeating the same is the way for destruction when we are talking about cells.

This biology seems to support the idea of continuous growth and openness to experience 🙂

What If…

…You are capable?

…You have the energy?

…You could see things through?

…There is hope?

Be careful where you direct your attention. We often have more answers, solutions, actions and decisions within our reach than we see that there are. We could get better results by doing things differently and asking for other people to help us to do these things in better ways.

Motivation

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I’ve spent whole day preparing for Tuesday’s speech at work and important component there is motivation. Because it has been all I’ve been thinking today I shall write something about it here as well.

Interesting thing about motivation is that although it is very popular concept, the scientific definition behind motivation tends to be forgotten. Then you can easily find articles which describe motivation or sources of motivation without really defining what the motivation it is.

One particularly satisfying part was for me to deep into the etymylogy of the word and break it down. According to Dictionary.com motivation appeared in English around 1870 consisting of the word motive and suffix –ation, meaning action. So motive for action could be understood. The source for the word was in latin “movere” which means to move.

Makes sense!

Motivation has been theorized and researched a lot, no wonder many businesses are interested what makes us tick in order to make more profit.

To put it in simple terms there is internal world: your interests and strengths. From this internal world you can decide quite a lot, or little depending on your own decision. Those who are conscious and control are strongly driven through these internal worlds.

Then there are people who do not ask themselves these questions such as, why I do this, where I am good at and what else there is I could do to increase the wellbeing of others… Are instead moved by external world’s demands such as having to pay the rent, then they motivate to do that in order to be motivated to pay the rent again in 30 days.

Internal needs are always there. External pressures only add to those.

We all actually can operate from internal world if we come to accept our current situation, what we can control, what we can decide about. Then we should work to clear the urgent external demands out of our needs list and lastly focus to prepare for the important things in life.

This is the nature of motivation. Reasons for action.

Often our basic needs are rather simply taken care of. Then there are loved ones whose basic needs we want to take care of. After that we are not driven so much by needs, we have time to contemplate greater things.

We still could be fooled to be driven by external needs, demands, however we could choose as well not to.

Ask yourself why you are doing what you do five times, find the underlying reason and think if there could be better match for your strengths, interests and the external worlds needs.

Problems or Suffering Are Never Going to Cease

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Solving a problem leads to a multiplying amounts of tinier problems. We have the power to create happier problems.

Since problems are not going to cease, we just might pick one that is interesting and start chipping at it. If we just worthy problem, solving that just might become our purpose.

Like Schopenhauer said, our mind swings between boredom and suffering. Mind will always find a way to do one or another. I’ve found that it’s easy to suffer although things are very well. It’s unless we teach ourselves, what is real suffering and what is not, we will suffer no matter how well our life is.

Any suffering is tolerable with a right and just purpose. Our purpose may become our legacy and legacy is one form of immortality that is within our reach.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

 

Focus to Important, Empty the Excess

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Accept where you are now, it’s the only place to continue the journey. You are not where you want to be, where you once where or where you would like to be. You are only where you are now.

So next what do you think of as important in life? What is this important thing as daily doing?

Make sure to do it every day. Do not focus to the distractions, focus doing what is important. This way you will do the important things first. Then you can do the big things, which are probably nice. Lastly you can do that which are nice, but not so important.

You’ve enough time for everything important.

Do Each Moment the Most Important Thing

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If you do each moment the most important thing for the day, you will have done everything by the end of the day.

Ask yourself once every hour, what is the most important thing at the moment? Time is the only leverage we really have, we better start using it to the important things.

When we direct our attention to the important we may not get necessarily more things done, but we get that which is important done and that’s all that matters in life.

I’ve been trying to practice asking myself about the important things for about a year now. Yet the breakthrough happened quite recently when I realized that if I just do the important things I am done, I do not need anything else.

With this thought I get:

My work done.

My exercise done.

My writing done.

My reading & studying done.

Preparation for the next day done.

A good night sleep.

What more I could ask?

 

Determine what’s important for you.