Limiting Beliefs: Are You Really?

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Mostly what prevents us from doing the great things, is our own beliefs. Because of beliefs we choose not to do the small things, which with enough repetition lead to the great things.

For example: “I cannot go out walking, because I am hungry.”

Are you really? When did you last eat? If it has been within today then you do not have a problem. If you haven’t eaten today you probably should figure out that first.

Since I am writing from the first world perspective, I try to remind that human beings can go about a month without proper food if it needs to be. So taking the walk today isn’t really going to make you die out of hunger.

Do the things in priority order: if you’ve been sitting  at office all day and you are considering  if you should eat first when you come home or go jogging, the choice is obvious: go jogging first. You can survive another 30 min or one hour without the food, but what are the chances to crash to a comfy position and never get out of the door?

I have to say the probabilities to stay at home during winter time here in Finland are quite high, although on every day I think possible it is possible to get out there. Much of what we seem unpleasant is not that much about it really, it’s how we interpret it.

Challenge your beliefs! Are you really what you think you are?

The Choice

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You have a choice; you can choose what you believe. Your beliefs will translate as action, which will then again translate as results.

Beliefs may or may not have some basis. During the weekend, I was discussing with my brother and I understood. I understood a thing about my own past and then I presented a question what causes people to challenge their beliefs?

Answer is something from outside needs to challenge our beliefs, which then with later reflection may tip us to turn into ourselves and ask if it’s true or not. Even more accurately a blog post that I found describes this belief formation and questioning: How Our Beliefs Form and What Causes us to Question Them.

When I think about my own life, nine years ago I did question my beliefs and decided to start test some these beliefs if they are right or not. Turns out most of my beliefs were not true.

As I read that blog and saw the set of questions to challenge some of my beliefs I am quite certain that I’ve still a lot to do.

We have a choice about our beliefs. World is wonderful place when we have more positive beliefs about people and things. When we look at the facts, world is at the moment better than ever before. What do you choose to believe in today?

Making a Difference

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 Do you want to matter? I bet you do, many of would like to. Only few of us are willing to challenge ourselves to do it.

Our energy saving programming drives us to do this.

Yet our conscious desire and ambition should every day do something to challenge this status quo of energy saving. We should push ourselves consciously, in order to make sure we are getting most of our lives and that we are making the life better for generations to come.

Yesterday I was under the tutelage of Jari Sarasvuo again in the form of coaching session. Well a good teacher makes all the topics worthwhile going through again. He asked me why do we need to grow?

Spontaneously I answered something, yet missed the core and that’s okay. What was wonderful is that my mind continues to work with that thought “why do we need to grow.” Actually I’ve written about it in February (Why to Grow?) last time. Yet the mark of the master is everyday start to ask the same questions and furthermore drill deeper in to the nature of things.

So this is as always, a kind of continuation to the last thing, every time getting slightly deeper.

Jari said that growth is what separates us from animals, we are the conscious animal and I agree on that.

Yet at the same time, I gotta same time remind that we are an animal. We may have 40 bits per second of conscious bandwidth, but most of us are not using much of it all during day. Adults are mostly operating by our routines and habits.

Here comes the important point: CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

I’ve written about this too. Last time during summer when I was traveling: Challenge Yourself and Survive. Without the challenge, pattern and routine breakers we gravitate to the center of our comfort zones.

Actually the ability to break patterns is at the moment in my mind the most important skill in leadership, no matter are you leading yourself or others. Even in basic things such as conversations, the ability to break the common patterns is the sign of leadership.

With pattern breakers, the common becomes uncommon, it becomes meaningful and that makes all the difference.

Also real difference and progress is made only when we grow. When we grow to handle our emotional responses; made peace and traveled through the vastness of space. Then have made a difference.

Janne

P.s. Because life is so limited, we also should ask regularly what does matter? Are these results meaningful? In the core of the triple loop learning is not only asking are we doing the things right, or are we doing the right things, but to contemplate on what is right as well. Staying humble and asking questions, because humility unlocks the next level (Model for Long Lasting Happiness).

Capacity Matters

 

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Today I was reflecting that I am happier when I’ve meaningful work to do, than when I do not. I do not mind the work to get it done.

People make the work meaningful, all the people involved, especially those who I work for the most of the time.

What I like about working, is that it builds the capacity to work more. During last summer I noticed, that both my mental and physical stamina are at surprisingly good levels. Then I started to ponder how this came to be, and mostly I came to the conclusion that it has to be not only the physical exercise and small things I do each, but the mental exercise as well.

Work builds capacity. And above all it’s the capacity that matters.

If I were suddenly taken into less challenging work, it would start deteriorating and in few months I would already be in position where I cannot the old.

I think capacity matters, especially if you ambition matter. And I do think that we all have or should have a purpose that for which challenging ourselves matter and therefore our capacity matters. We shouldn’t settle for just anything, we shouldn’t lower our standards, but to keep challenging our capacity.

What We Do Often Strengthens

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Learning is based on repetition. Yet repetition can sound daunting, boring or unnecessary. Yet the only way we learn is repetition, that’s the way our brains know which is important and which is unimportant. Important things are used often, unimportant things are not used to often.

Some emotions like fear can create a strong memory that will be remembered for a long time after the event. In everyday life it’s a bit challenging to evoke such strong emotions as our learning aids, so the second best choice is repetition and some funny associations.

Life is simply what we do and at what frequency. That which we do often, it’s particularly convenient to remember.

That what we do, and do often strengthens. Think carefully what kind of behavior you want to strengthen.

At the Top Differences Are Slight

Anyone who has strived to become great at anything knows that the differences at the top are just ever so slight. At times a person has combinations of qualities that secure slightly more advantage that seemingly cause the person to seem dominant. As seen here:

(Image credits: PhotoBobil – originally posted to Flickr as Bolt. Usain Bolt winning the 100 m final 2008 Olympics)

Seemingly slight differences make huge differences in the end result.

This is both physical, mental, emotional or spiritual qualities. Small things add up!

Those who strive to be the best version of themselves, get to be just that by trying to do it by doing the small things well. In the end we are all imperfect, however doing those small things just so right bring us as close to the perfection as we can.

Any closer we cannot come or go, we did our best.

With doing the best and doing the small things right, my point is that journey and effort that matter. When we challenge ourselves to do our best and then something, we are in fact learning. We might be succeeding sure, however at very least we are increasing our own and hopefully the knowledge of all humanity.

Records are created to be broken, and challenged.

Ability to Find Positive in Daily Experiences Increases Positive Experiences

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Ability to find the positive in what happens increases the likelihood of future positive experiences. This is because our mind has a sort of lense through which we look, if we look positive we shall also find it. When finding positive becomes a habit we tend to find the positive experiences more easily and thus we experience more positive experiences.

About six years ago I started writing to my journal the at least three positive things from each day. At first it was a bit challenging, however in few weeks I could find effortlessly several positive things from the day. Now years later days are filled with positive things and half-dozen positive things come effortlessly and dozen with a bit of thinking.

This habit of training myself to find the positive has also rippled in many ways to the everyday life. I’ve learned to apply it to whatever happens and I try see most events from many perspectives and finding the value of the experience.

Value of positivity is such as:

  • Seeing challenges as chance to get stronger
  • Seeing past as a treasure trove of learning
  • Not being something yet, is call to adventure

By being more positive means merely focusing on what is good with the world, rather than what is wrong. It is constructive approach to the strengths and possibilities.

Sustainable Happiness is Based on Production Capability

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In all leadership including self-leadership or leading others, it is often one thing to get results or to see long term flourishing.

Execution ability and ability to deliver results under time pressure is a crucial skill in professional business life for example, where the time constraints can determine whatever business goes bankrupt or not.

If we are to operate in sustainable manner, of course we would have the amount of proactivity that we could push the immediate threat of bankruptcy far enough so that we do not have to react to these critical events that require immediate attention so much in the present. So that we could focus being proactive.

Proactivity in this case means also building the production capability, means preparing and training ourselves to meet the future challenges.

External motivators such as rewards can be harmful for the production capability yet they are used all the time to get the result. This results in just golden eggs, while we could focus having more golden gooses.

If we want to have more apples, well harvesting them this year certainly gives us X amount of apples. However, in the long term we do not get more, we get less unless we plant more apple trees.

Same is with the people. Unless nurture ourselves and others, we do not produce more, we produce less.

CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” – Peter Baeklund

In leading ourselves, we need to remember to develop our production capability. Doing more is only helpful until to a point, where our work starts to exhaust us in the long run. We need to work smarter and to build our capacity to produce in limited time.

With people this means training and nurturing each individuals belief in what they have potential to become. If you treat people as what they have potential to become, they just might respond to that. Nurture their internal drive and remember the autonomy, meaning and mastery.


If you are interested in further about this topic see Daniel Pink’s ted talk, his book Drive and Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for starters.

Communication is a Core Skill

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I’ve been under appreciating communication as a skill. Yet it seems, that I have not been only one, since otherwise I would’ve set some lifelong learning goals at a business school.

Communication is hard, really hard.

I realized is that those with great communication skills simply have more time. Because, once you can communicate with others in a such way that they understand, that means you are able to scale your productivity.

It always takes two to communicate, so each interaction is unique situation. This is exactly where the perceived challenge starts: no matter how good communicator you think you are, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how and what has the other person understood?

Also how does one make sure other person has understood at all. Sometimes due to cultural differences yes does not mean yes. In some cultures, nodding means no as well.

Successful communication is the sum of many skills and above all the understanding of the many contexts.

However, there is one particular skill in communication and leadership that cannot be replaced: repetition. Repeating the same message in variety of interesting ways is the most effective ways to make sure that the other party will understand and remember.

Your Perceived Limits Expand When You Do What You Can Do

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Making your dream come true happens a one step at a time. If it’s ever going to happen, it’s going to happen step by step. Make the determination to take the step to the direction today, then continue tomorrow and keep going.

Today I realized that that the perceived limits shift all the time. If we take the step today, then the boundary is pushed away just a little bit. However, on the other hand if we do not attempt to take the step forward, instead we just keep repeating the same as yesterday, then our perceived limits already start to shrink a tiny bit. And if we do not do at all, then the shrinking really accelerates each day.

Where are your perceived limits? What are you doing to challenge them?

When we chip away at our dreams by doing a step at a time, it allows ourselves to develop in many ways and most importantly push the perceived limits much further than we thought was possible.