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!

Small Steps Taken Daily  

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Wishful thinking about big changes is easy, yet not very realistic fantasy. At the same time human mind tends to underestimate the change that is capable by doing small things every day.

List your most important priorities. Okay now go through the list, what are you doing today for:

Health

Loved ones

Financial status

Purpose / career / dream..?

You need to know what is it you want to achieve, and then ask yourself what it is you can do for it today. Then simply start building the discipline to do it. Eventually that discipline becomes habit, your identity and your identity is the biggest leverage you can get. You’ll start doing things because you are the action, you are the verb, you are your own doing.

You are the master of your fate.

It’s not the achievement that matters, but the journey. It’s the sense of progress that brings lasting satisfaction, not the single achievement. Even when you happen to achieve the object of your desire, you do not last very long satisfied. At best it is about five seconds.

However, nothing expect yourself can take away the sense of progress and that you get from taking a step each day towards the grander horizons.

Only by trying out how far you can get, you’ll know how far you will get. You might surprise yourself, or the world might surprise you. However what won’t change is the satisfaction you’ll get from the journey and from each step.

Start valuing the small steps and the journey. Start walking now, because present is the only moment we really have control of.  Every day is like a new life, we can remember some of the lessons of yesterday and we do not know yet if we can make it until tomorrow. Place emphasis on the journey today and take the step!

Introverted Clarity

 

snail-2245529_640.jpgToday I had a day with introverted clarity, I felt perfectly alright with just my thoughts. Even though sitting at open plan office, I managed to routine greet the people and then continue whatever what I was going through in my mind.

In fact I wasn’t capable of much else today, just too much to think about today, so I felt like extra socializing is just going to break the habit.

This evening as I was reflecting the day I thought to go through the notes from Susan Cain’s Quiet. I found interesting highlight: psychologist named Hans Eysenck hypothesized that human beings seek “ just right ” levels of stimulation.

For different days there are different levels of stimulation. Often in the end of the week I feel like I haven’t been able to process all the input so I would benefit from the calm, where as beginning of the week I am starting to gear up a bit for the week.

Quite simply I think introverted mode is all about quality, focus and clarity, while extroverted is all about action, quantity of interactions and connections.

Guiding Questions

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Adding to the yesterday’s post, today I realized there are a few questions I am using to lead myself through the days:

  1. How does this add value to my life?
  2. What is the most important thing I can be doing right now?
  3. How can I do this?

First question I’ve been using around a week now, second one around two months and the third one for about nine months. I realized that together these are forming kind of guiding habit to my thinking which helps me to identify what does add value, what is most important and how I can achieve that.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire

Life is about finding the right questions, then pursuing to answer those questions.

Illusory Superiority

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I’ve been pondering upon the Dunning-Kruger effect among others in the recent days. It is easy to observe Dunning-Kruger in action in other people. In myself it has been much harder to notice this in action despite my best efforts.

Humility as a habit and guiding value does help though.

Another interesting point of view is the culture: when we are in the culture we know and those we are not just seem to be so outside.

And those who come from outside, think they know, but we know they don’t.

This is kind of awesome and scary thought at the same time.

Where does your illusory superiority lie?

Breaking Out of Financial Dependency

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“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Since I was a teenager I’ve thought out that the world of adults is kind of stupid loop: from caffeine dose to caffeine dose, from nicotine dose to nicotine dose… I too was wired, wired for sugar back then big time and I didn’t even see it.

What’s curious about addictions is that they do not even have to include substance, we get addiction can occur through our own hormonal system and often will. Examples are games, thrills or sports.

Well since then I’ve overcome quite a few “bad” habits and even so called addictions. It hasn’t been until more recently, maybe about a year ago that I started to think of the monthly salary as a form of addiction as well. Probably the idea I understood when I was reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Being dependent on monthly salary is a bad idea, bad habit, an addiction. It might be necessary for sometime, in the longer run it’s not viable option.

So how exactly it is possible? Well, don’t work for the money. It’s as easy as that mentality, yet what is difficult for many is the mentality of putting the money to work. That actually takes a lot of work, to find the opportunities for money to work.

From addiction to connection

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble).”

Merriam-Webster definition of addiction is strong and harmful. However, in the same way there are some addictions so deep that are more like subtle and the effects are socially accepted that the harm cannot be seen so easily.

We all have the potential to be or become addicts. We probably are addicts in some subtle ways as well. Being addict is not a bad thing. Johan Hari in his TED talk says that opposite of addiction is connection, there is an idea that we have innate need to bond and this need can go wrong as well. In the TED talk he refers to the rat park experiments where addiction overdoses rarely happens if rats are well connected and live in environment that represents well their own.

In most of us our addictions are harmless and mild to ourselves and other people. Yet, because they are mild and harmless there is still vast potential under there. But most of us are totally convinced that the job that pays the bills or the morning coffee are so minor and pleasurable things that are actually beneficial to us. We live in blissful denial.

Today as I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant book I realize that I am not only addicted to money, but as well to the process of acquiring that money which is the work.

Being addicted is easy. Breaking the patterns and putting effort to see the reality as it is, is really hard! In fact it takes so much effort, most people do not bother. Those who did bother are enlightened beings, saints or whatever you want to call them.

We have the potential to change our patterns, discard our addiction and embrace the connection.

I would like to see a world where there will be less money, gadget fidgeting, coffee, soft drink, alcohol, cigarette, drug, medicine and video game addicted people.

Maybe it’s too tough to achieve, however I don’t understand why some consumer choices still exist. They’ve for a long time for the sake of the economy. However, in my utopia we would be smart enough to spend the money somewhere where it does actually have positive impact: such as our own education.

I believe the change in the world can happen when more people will go from addiction to connection. Most of our problems are from the disconnection and we need more real connection and understanding.

When we are and feel more connected with the world around us, we will start to care more and make less bad choices collectively as well.

 

Further materials

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Unq3R–M0

Two ways to control metabolism for peak performance: activity and breathing

meditation-1087853_1920I’ve had really fast metabolism through my life. Active lifestyle furthermore increases it. Downside with really fast metabolism is that, when doing physical work and thinking too much, it’s really easy to get hungry.

Fast metabolism is rarely talked about in mainstream, since now most of the western world has the opposite problem called obesity. For me that hasn’t been a problem due to the naturally fast metabolism so mostly genetics as well as quite healthy lifestyle. As a kid I quite hated eating and I even occasionally caught myself dreaming about life were one didn’t have to spend any time eating.

That kind of dream is actually quite interesting vision about future; although completely avoiding eating is still far fetched idea, there might be some sorts of nutrition solutions in near future which we just need to consume maybe once a day to get all the energy needs.

Fast metabolism means kind of quick feeling of hunger as well. Although the feeling of hunger I believe, is mostly subjective experience. However, there is still some level of optimal energy level for our bodies and minds which should be fulfilled, in order to be able to use the higher brain functions for example.

Our brain’s tend to use about fifth of our energy [1], which is significant. In reality I do  not know is my body just using or burning more energy or is it just more ineffective to turn the into energy or storing that energy. Fat is essentially stored energy, so my body might be just bad at storing energy as well, that might be the case.

However, one thing I’ve observed: activity of course increases metabolism rate and the feeling of hunger as well very effectively. This leads to hunger and thus I should eat a lot if I am to do any physical activities or even thinking.

Essentially I’ve noticed that we can affect two main ways to our metabolism most importantly the intensity of breathing and secondly physical activity. Activity will affect the breathing rate, but also more importantly the blood flow as well, which is a lot harder to achieve with breathing alone.

To achieve peak performance we need to find the sweet spot between activity and relaxation. Breathing can be used to tone down, activity to rev up.

 

[1] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/thinking-hard-calories%3C

Transforming awful wake up into wonderful opportunity

Good morning!

Today I was planning to sleep in a bit. Of course I failed to take into account the facade repairs that are going around my house at the moment, and thus I get a nice wake up around seven o’clock as construction workers start their machines.

I felt tired, stressed and annoyed. My unreal expectations had met with reality. I considered my possibilities for a moment and I didn’t like them, so I lay down again and think for a while.

Now finally some helpful thoughts begin to stream into my mind. As first I remember yesterday’s coaching about setting goals from there where you are. I began to apply this thinking of accepting where I am now: so I probably cannot sleep anymore, however I can have a nap later.

Next the pressures of life and stress were dominant. I was feeling inadequate about about work and results.

To counter this thought I just consider a moment: Are we really just our results? Thinking this aloud made the thought sound silly, of course we are not. Although I think our emotional parts of the brain like simple stuff like that to feel secure. Another thing related to the results came in mind from yesterday’s coaching was results are never higher than effort and effort depends on your beliefs. With these thoughts it was easier to get going on with today’s effort and creation, which is the thing that matters.

There was still a final bit of key thought that occurred to me again and transformed my morning: forgiveness. Forgiveness has this amazing power to unleash our potential. Firstly I needed to forgive the construction workers who had woken me up. They were doing their work anyway, so who was I blame them? Even though thoughtfulness is a skill of virtuous people, it’s not gonna increase in the world by yelling, shouting or blaming.

By accepting the current situation, I was able to calm myself and focus to what’s possible.

Then instead of stressing out, I chose to understand that effort in right places is what matters to get the results, therefore I am safe now.

Finally I chose to forgive to the reasons that had raised the annoyance levels. Root cause was in unrealistic expectations.

After these steps I am feeling more like open, relaxed and inspired. I took earlier wake up as a chance to do a bit of drawing, then I watched a few videos from School of Life (I learned about that channel yesterday from a friend) and finally of course write this article. Truly productive morning!

So these themes have proven their value for me in life and that’s why I also want to share them with you. Remember forgiveness is a way forward. Mahatma Gandhi put it the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Let’s wish for strength to be strong.

Janne

Present Day Problems are Created Yesterday, How to Avoid that Tomorrow?

flowerYesterday I was lucky enough to attend coaching by Jari Sarasvuo. It was all powerful experience as ever, as I linked a lots of the things that he talked about to my own life and observations of it.

One particular things that I highlihted today upon on writing down the notes to my computer was statement the present misery is result of the wasted future. Jari was talking about identity stress about how our perceived self and real self are in struggle.

I would like to observe a smaller portion of this phenomenon now. Here is the thing: essentially most of our problems occur because we did not take skillful action in the past. If we would’ve taken skillful action in the past, we would have more skills, more experience and less and less problems coming at us. Instead we would get more opportunities and yet we would challenge ourselves to learn more in order to keep the edge.

Present however is a tricky state, we often think we can in the future, however in present our minds take the easy way out in order to conserve energy. We often have less conscious capacity than we think, or our lives are consuming more conscious energy than we think. Either case the trouble is that we do not have the necessary energy to bring results on the table.

Time flows, we never be as young as we are today. It’s about to do something you already now. It’s time to prioritize and make those priorities unconditional.

Jari noted in yesterday’s coaching as well as on Monday’s podcast that the succesful people are internally ambivalents and exterially bivalents. So their inner worlds have all kinds of shades and colors, while the external action is either yes or no. You show up on time or not. You either drink or not.

I am quite fascinated by this idea. Now I’ve begun to make observations about my life. Most important choices are bivalent like, I take the stairs, we cook at home, I write journal & meditate.  Then there are a few habits that are more negotiable. For example tea drinking, which I quit on a whim to reduce the negative effects that tea has. Most of the time I don’t drink, or feel like drinking, however some morning when I am obliged to start writing I might exchange cup or two of tea for an article.

The key to get more bivalent is to have high priority, commitment and determination to the habit. Once you decide something, stick with it for as long as you can, until you start doing it without thinking about it.

Human mind has willpower or conscious capacity, so we need to get through one significant change at a time.

Let your new habit take a root of your identity. Don’t get discouraged by failure, we are not our failures after all. Think of failure as a stepping stone to the platform where your real identity waits you.

Tsemppiä!

Janne