Circle of Control: Attitude

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Out of everything that happens to us during life, attitude is what defines our life experience in all situations. Consciously choosing a mental attitude is a sort of pre-empting to whatever happens to us and how do we take that.

Positive mental attitude primes the mind to seek the good, while negative the bad.

And that which we focus in life grows stronger.

In fact positive attitude to life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When was the last time you checked your attitude towards life?

Positive Mental Attitude book by Napoleon Hill is recommended reading for anyone who is interested digging deeper in to the topic. Here are my top five picks from the book:

  • Think of your friends often and never of your enemies
  • Find and stick to a one reason why you can succeed in this rather than have many reasons not to succeed.
  • Thought can be just as effective as action.
  • Do you want to feel? Be enthusiastic. Act enthusiastic!
  • If the man is right, the world is right.

 

Have a great evening!

Janne

Imperfecting Life

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The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve realized how important it is to strive for imperfection. What is even more curious, as I strive for imperfection this can be misinterpreted easily by people who do not know me so well.

Yes, I am very interested in personal growth and learning. That doesn’t make me perfectionist, in the pursuit of something more and better. It makes me rather imperfectionist, trying to be a little more accepting of myself and others every day. It is through acceptance of imperfections that we can truly begin to make the journey anywhere. It is through imperfections that anything gets done!

In life there is no such thing as final version.

For what we need to do, we already have everything we need to get started. The result will never be final, yet we can do our best by doing our part in this project of life, then pass on the baton, light the fire of others and move on.

Living the life of imperfection is extremely satisfying.

Have a great day!

Janne

Resistance is a Growth Opportunity

 

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Resistance might mean resistance to change. However, the more we feel resistance the more potential we have to grow. It does not have to be in a leap, although it could be.

It’s only through resistance and challenge that we can grow from. If there is no resistance present, then we are not in position to learn much either. Too much comfort stunts the growth.

Therefore when we notice resistance to do something, we know we have a lot of potential for growth in that area. Most of the growth in the area can come from simple acknowledgement and opening up to possibilities.

With resistance comes often denial: we start to decline opportunities. What if we would say yes instead, what’s the worst thing that can come from learning and trying something new? You are likely to learn something.

Resistance is a kind of invitation to explore and grow. Instead of locking up with resistance, be mindful and acknowledging: see it as an opportunity to grow now or in near future 🙂

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.

Good luck!

Janne

Sleep, move, eat

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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.

Quiet Contemplation on Decisions

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On occasion it’s good to have no structure and enjoy the chaotic connections and insights that arise. In order to prioritize we must determine and decide what is important. For that the time to reflect and weigh different options is necessary.

It seems I need to spend at least a day of a week in this kind of quiet and reflective in order to stay operational and to be able to function.

Life is rather easy if we think about it: we just need to prioritize spiritual, social and physical wellbeing and then when the time to do something comes, we are able.

Yet a life of growth is a bit different, because we are not facing the same challenges every day, instead we are facing progressively more difficult challenges.

Stress challenges our mind, body and spirit, and with rest all these grow stronger. Rest is much more than sleep: in physical terms it’s also everything that maintains our body. Our mind also needs healing: thinking practices, social bonding and emotional intimacy. Our spirit needs also nourishing: from social life and spiritual practices.

If we each day and week face increasingly more difficult challenges, how come we spend so little time to prepare for such?

I feel that we have plenty of time to prepare if we do it economically, each day a little bit. To do it economically only thing we really need to do is to keep doing the practices and reinforce the decisions we have made for example to exercise, meditate and socialize with friends and loved ones. Quiet contemplation lets us to appreciate and feel grateful for everything good we have in our lives and to work for those most important things even harder.

Breakthroughs in Your Daily Actions

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“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.” – Upanishads

While there is connection between, thinking and talking, sometimes the connection between the talking and doing seems to be far away. In my mind the phrase “there are those who talk and those who do” lives strong. This despite the knowledge that while this may apply, it does not apply hundred percent, and that there are always exceptions to the exceptions.

Action is the only thing that does make thoughts and words visible and concrete. It is through work and action that great things get made.

Action then repeated often becomes a habit. With thinking combined, habit can improve drastically. You will of course improve a little by little over time which is nice. However, at times you are bound to reach also breakthroughs, at times you will reach a completely new level of doing and being.

Key with the actions and habits is that, you need to stick with them a particular amount of time for breakthroughs to happen.

Not only starting an action is the challenge, sticking with it until it becomes a habit and then keeping the small pressure to challenge yourself in order to gain small wins is the key. This is called character: something that becomes part of your identity. If you manage to do this you will reach breakthroughs in the ordinary things you’ve just kept long enough with.

Get Crawling

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Life is imperfect, we need to accept this right off the bat. Imperfection is not the reason not to get started and going. I am imperfect. So may be you. Yet both of us have the capacity to become something a little bit better, this in fact I feel like is the meaning of life.

To be able to become a little bit better, in order to benefit others more. To love myself so that I could nurture the growth of others as Scott Beck put it.

Whatever it is you are interested in doing, you should find a ways to do it now, or very at least today something towards it. Then just repeat it the next day and you are again a step closer.

Today I for example I calculated that I managed to combine three activities that must be done into a one: exercise, chores and learning. In fact all of these I wanted to do now, because I know that how much I will benefit from all of it. I feel like it is great use of time to batch activities like this.

World won’t be perfect over a day. Sometimes big breakthroughs do happen overnight either by coincidence or by sheer creativity and necessity. Yet most of the improvement happens gradually over time. Breakthroughs are rather unpredictable and what matters most is the crawl: ability to every day proceed towards what is deemed as important.

Now when we are moving, let’s talk about prioritizing your tasks.

Prioritizing is one of the most difficult cognitive task we can set for ourselves. We have to make choices to do and not to do. I recently learned that it’s rather useful to set the morning for prioritization and this is true especially for me who gets interrupted a lot at work during the day in an open office setting.

Of course prioritizing happens through the day and through week. I plan my work week ahead during Sundays. This has been a habit for me since my college years when I liked to dedicate Sunday for quiet study and contemplation without any interruptions. I still do enjoy this Sunday study time a lot and in fact even today I used to prioritize my life board – it’s kind of collection of post it’s full of wisdom that include my goals, daily actions to crawl towards those goals and important tools to keep with me during the journey. Reorganizing and updating this info is one of my favorite things to do during the week – I feel like when I organize my life board my mind gets clearer as well.

Now you know what you want to do during the week and during the day, just get crawling.

Conscious Growth for the Benefit of Others

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Conscious growth means taking responsibility and meeting challenges head on. It means facing the challenges and recognizing that there Is “little that I know already.” With the growth, means that we can tackle greater challenges, which then in turn eventually lead to a position where you do not honestly know.

According to the Peter Principle “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.” I think this applies to our personal growth as well. Eventually we will run into things in which we are incompetent. So we grow and still are incompetent at the same time.

Becoming something more than we were before is rewarding. It’s even more rewarding to see results in our own growth to benefit other people. Perhaps something that I learned will benefit you as well.

Thus the efforts to become incompetent in something, do not go in vain. Instead it is something for others to step on.

Do not hurry to become incompetent. Take your time, nurture your own growth so that in time your turn will be to nurture the growth of others.

Return to the basics every day. Masters worship the basics.

Breakthroughs

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Learning happens in breakthroughs, not linearly like might be expected.

In life in order to get to the new level, you must bear the emotional cost of the frustration. Frustration is the emotional cost and price for the breakthrough. If you are willing to do the right work and, keep building the belief of success, you will succeed.

After a breakthrough and upon reaching a new level, there will be plateau, a time of rather stagnant period where the changes are not that dramatic. Stagnation follows action. If there is not action, even regression might follow soon, this is why the “use it or lose it” is very accurate phrase.

Breakthroughs are fun, they are what makes life worth living for.

There are perhaps there qualities that lead to breakthrough:

  • Persistence
  • Right action
  • Belief that this can be done (helps with persistence ;))

Breakthroughs happen especially when all you’ve learned is crystallized in action such way that it brings results.