Fulfill Your Potential, Give Your Gift to the World

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Human mind tends to overestimate what is possible in the short run and underestimate what is possible in the long run.

This bias leads many, but not all. Through history there are people who have literally moved mountains or cut through them with small, daily actions repeated over thousands of days. You need to start to think your life in the same way: what small actions you can start doing today towards the realization of your grand goal?

If the goal feels unsurmountable, it’s not the right goal. Right goal is energizing if it were possible, you do not yet know. If you get too stuck on the totality of the goal, it will be depressing. Instead you should figure out some action, which will lead you probably to the right direction and then keep repeating these action each day. Eventually you will succeed, or die trying.

At least you tried 😉

How else we would ever to be know what is our potential, what we are capable in this life?

Even better, we should not think of ourselves too much as individuals trying to achieve something great. Start to think what is possible with co-operation and team work! Human beings are naturally social animals and we tremendously enjoy belonging and doing together. What is possible through super productivity is totally unknown. One plus one is more than two, always. In the same ways as two planks will hold much more weight as each plank individually, at best the social bonds will create much more than each one could ever do individually.

We are at least as much products of the culture (=other people) as we are our genes, and the biome we inherit. Thus nothing worthwhile should not be done alone: learn to co-operate and see how the pieces start to fit together.

Modern societies and businesses cannot operate without the power of this co-operation. We cannot specialize and dedicate our time to worthwhile efforts if our time is consumed to meet our very basic needs. With the division of labor we are getting some things right.

There still is a lot of potential in you and many others unharnessed, so it’s not a perfect system. However at least if you feel the frustration deep enough as I did nine years ago, you can start to do something about it and dedicate most of your free time to learn something more. Opportunities are not yet equal, however we should not blame our circumstances, in today and this age the opportunities are more abundant than ever.

For example:

  • Access to knowledge is great thanks to abundant libraries and internet.
  • The tools are more available than ever: i.e. you can write and publish a book, or a video very easily.

There are no excuses not to do, to start learning and to filling your potential. What is your gift to the world?

Start Now

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Where ever you are and where ever you want to go, start now.

There are really no excuses to procrastinate. The life you want, you can start living it right away.

Here are some examples:

  • You want to jog more? Go out and start do it!
  • You want to start a vlog? Start with whatever video cam or your mobile phone and do it!
  • You want to write? Start typing!
  • You want to accumulate wealth? Start saving from what you have, to look for opportunities with that that amount!

Too often the people who I talk with have barriers between their ideas and action. In reality, there are no excuses to start doing. In fact the most important thing you can do after an idea is to take action. Then keep doing that action on each day until it becomes a habit. Then keep that habit until it becomes your identity.

What is it you would like to do? Start now!

We Have All That We Have

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We do not have anything more than the present. We do not have our past and certainly not our future.

Suffering is created by clinging either to the past or the future.

If we go to past or the future we are distancing ourselves from the present. This in turn creates a vicious cycle of suffering, because if we are going to past or the future, we will lose present again.

All that we have is now, the present. Present includes everything. Buddha understood this very well and he also understood about the thinking and action which leads to these results.

In addition to the present, our present mindfulness or our thinking is all that we have. In fact we are not our thinking, because we can observe our thinking. Yet only few of us consciously exercise this human superpower called ‘thinking critically what we are thinking.’

We shouldn’t let our thinking taint our present experience, because present is all that we have. We should come to accept what we have and be happy with that 🙂

15 Thought Provoking Quotes and Book Recommendations

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Line taken from its original context may be surprisingly curiosity arousing, thought provoking or even misleading. Fifteen lines from some of my favorite books:

  1. Sugar is cancer” – Tom Rath, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes
  2. Everybody is in sales.” – Daniel Pink, To Sell Is Human
  3. Everybody works on straight commission.” – Brian Tracy, The Science of Money: How to Increase Your Income and Become Wealthy
  4. There are leaders and there are those who lead.” – Simon Sinek, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
  5. Ask no more or less of anyone than you would of your own child.” – Bob Chapman,  Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
  6. What if optimism is a learned skill, one that can be permanently acquired?” – Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  7. Spend your free time the way you like , not the way you think you’re supposed to .” – Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
  8. There’s a common belief that creativity flourishes when criticism is withheld, but this turns out to be false.” – Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  9. You can’t extinguish a bad habit , you can only change it.” Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
  10. Once a person stops searching for information and self-knowledge, ignorance sets in” –  Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!
  11. We give too many fucks when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  12. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life.” – Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything
  13. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
  14. People often experience big breakthroughs… and then find a way to avoid relishing their achievement.” – Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
  15. Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people.” – Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future

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.

Values in Action

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Values are wonderful. However, if they are not put in action they are nothing real. Values in action are called virtues.

I’ve thought quite a bit what do I value and so far I’ve been rather satisfied with these seven:

Value Virtue (value in action)
Love Kindness, compassion, metta, forgiveness, mercy
Aspiration Excellence, purpose, openness, curiosity, courage
Responsibility Sustainability, effort, courage
Courage Positive action despite of fear, growth, rightfulness, effort
Truth Seeing the world as it is, open mind and learning.
Gratitude Awareness, meditation, metta
Humility Service, gratitude

 

It’s not perfect, yet it shows what I value the most. While these I review every day, it’s not really the same as thoroughly reflecting and deepening the bond with these values and virtues.

When I read Frank Bettger How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling and Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People, I picked up an idea from there that they picked up from Benjamin Franklin about the virtue list. A theme virtue for every week.

First six days are now in behind with the love theme. What the theme does, is forces me to contemplate further how do I practice each day and what could I do more. I’ve found it to work like magic.

What are your values? What do they mean in action? What are you willing to do and on the other hand what are you not willing to sacrifice?

Master the Materials

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Reading quality sources increases our awareness quicker than pure action does. This quality of information is transformed into awareness, which then should be transformed into action as well. Action then in turn provides feedback and experience from which we can build a solid foundation for wisdom.

What is quality information? As example, books that have passed through the filters of many and are recommended by many and the message of the book is relevant to us at the moment.

This is because well researched and written book is certainly standing on the shoulders of giants. There are discoveries, upon discoveries presented there in very thoughtful manner. When you are reading such book, you will know from the first pages and lines that this is a material to be studied for a lifetime.

The more you read, the more aware you become. By starting to have conversation with the quality material you will deepen your bond with the knowledge, and make it easier for yourself to apply the knowledge and wisdom daily. You will start to master the material, eventually becoming master yourself.

Repetition – Simple Way to Get More Out of Reading and Learning

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When it comes to reading or learning anything worthwhile, repetition is underappreciated. Common arguments go like “why bother learning anything at all because you can Google it.”

Well certainly you can Google, however you are just relying on outer source of information which may or may not be available. Another thing is that you are just processing information, you lose wholly the ability to understand deeply and synthetize deeply on based on this and other knowledge you have.

To simply put, that which you do not know and remember are not in the domain of your thinking, you cannot use it very well.

Simple way to get more knowledge, is to read more. And then read again after sometime, in order to understand what you have read even more deeply and from other perspectives.

After each reading time it’s good to have some key takeaways and put them in to action. And when you read it the next time you are more proficient in everything the book discusses and you can dive deeper.

When you repeat the repetition eventually you become the master, you could write it on your own, because you have done as you preach so long.

Life is What We Think

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Life is what we think it is: it’s the sensory input and then however we interpret that.

Much of our suffering is caused by ourselves, because if we would have thinking skills we would focus to what is best at each present moment, instead of thinking too much of the past or worrying about the future.

Our life is a construct of our thoughts and these feelings that follow. And yes through conscious thought intervention (called stopping and thinking) we can actually affect how we feel in the long term. Actions lead to results, which come back to us as feedback which causes feelings.

What is in our control is our attitude towards life.

If we think like is cool, then it is cool. What we focus on grows stronger and we will find the strength to live.

If on the other hand we do not see life as an opportunity, then we the negative begins to strengthen and grow, which then in turn causes more negative intended and unintended consequences.

What we focus on, grows and determines how our life is. We have the choice.

We Become What We Do, We Do What We Think

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If we become what we do and we do what we think, then if we ought to become something we ought to think more along the lines what we ought to become.

To put it more simply: if we want to acquire a quality, we should also improve the quality of our thoughts.

Better outcomes rarely come by coincidence, therefore studying others who have already achieved what you want to achieve is a good place to start. More specifically it could be useful not only study those who have achieved what we want, but also to study their ways of thinking, their thought processes to understand what exactly they are thinking with actions they are taking.

Deeper understanding opens up the ways of thinking, and therefore the ways of becoming.