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!

Life is Fun When We Are Learning

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Attending business school created momentarily illusion for me that I knew something about something, grades did support this illusion for a moment. However, I was glad enough to enter a place where I could learn how business really works and I quickly realized how much I have to learn.

After completing my studies I understood that although I knew some theories and I had put them into some practice, the real learning would start now.

What I’ve been amazed is how little effort people put to their learning after universities to their professional development. Their employees even might be investing to their training and they do the minimum required. This might serve all of the parties involved in the short run, however it is not going to be enough in the longer run.

Learning is constantly refining our understanding of the world, applying that understanding, reflecting upon it and applying it again. I found PACT learning cycle from Skills You Need which does represent this very well:

  • Procure. New knowledge (theory) or ability (skill) is acquired.
  • Apply. The new knowledge or skill is then practiced in some way.
  • Consider. The results of the practice are evaluated and/or assessed.
  • Transform. The original knowledge or ability is modified accordingly

At best learning is this ongoing process. Yet people do not put much effort to first procure quality knowledge or skills, they settle with what has been given to them. Failure in the first steps leads to the lack of practice in later steps: people who take inferior ideas into practice, also do not have the ingredients for high quality synthesis in the transformation step.

In a sense, you need higher quality ideas in the first steps and then to keep on practicing all four steps in order to have high quality original working ideas.

Most of our ideas come from people are close to us. However, if no-one in the social circle procures any relevant knowledge outside the social sphere then the atmosphere becomes quickly stagnated.

Life is fun with great ideas, because it is through ideas that we can satisfy our needs of safety, change, uniqueness, belonging, fulfillment and sharing.

Happiness Management

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Life is a weird game of happiness management. First we need to manage our own happiness. The

more happy we are, then we are likely try to satisfy and make other people happy as well. The more we are able to do this, the happier we are also in return.

This is how I would boil down the life to.

Yet when I google words like happiness management, it is most likely to be in business / organizational point of thinking, even though it should also very personal.

Even less there are hits when I try to search for satisfaction management, which is essentially the base of life experience: am I satisfied with my life? How can I help others to be more satisfied with theirs?

These are very basic questions; to which I for example have hard time answering. And then I have to ask myself other questions such as to rank my life areas in order to get some kind of vague idea where I am at the moment versus many other moments before.

Most of the so called happiness is thus unveiled through series of questions. Questions that hopefully lead us closer to the root causes of this.

Life is series is of questions, ongoing investigation who we are and what can we do for ourselves and others. These questions are the sort of control we have over our lives.

To manage happiness, we need to ask these questions ourselves frequently and keep revising these questions. Perhaps we will be ask closer to the right questions in the future through this practice and manage internal happiness better.

Where Ideas are the Driver, Habits are the Vehicle

 

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Ideas can be powerful drivers: they either can lead us towards fulfillment, or astray. We must be careful in determining which ideas are worth pursuing for. Ideas take away energy, and time. So unless, we have a system of focus, we may end up losing a lot of time and energy.

Just like we need to keep up and develop media literacy, we need to develop and keep up idea literacy, or the ability to read and determine when the idea is good for us.

Smart people can entertain several opposing ideas at the same time, yet they carefully consider the applications, timing and the fit for the complex system of their own lives and situations. They understand that in the information age there is no shortage of the ideas; therefore they need high filtering ability to determine the suitable ones from the unsuitable ones.

An awesome idea might be unsuitable for the moment. To make that idea work, might require something else, it might need to wait a bit. For times like that, it would be awesome idea to have a system to store the ideas 😉

Once you know, who you are and where you want to go you can start aligning rest of your life around those ideas. To get there, mere ideas are not enough, we need to the power of habits. Habits are the vehicle to make the ideas reality.

We are the sum of our habits. Some are more natural inclinations, while others are more consciously picked routines. Yet what we are now is thanks to our habits. And the potential from this point onward relies much in our habits.

Of course habits are not fixed, new ones can be learned and old ones can be transformed. Yet old ones cannot really be forgotten at all, they are always lurking underneath, so therefore we need to be mindful that habits are in fact us and how we shape them in the future is going to make the future for us.

 

Further reading

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

 

 

When is X?

Thinking and especially questioning the routines we are running is beneficial to attempt to look at the life we are living with different set of mindset. When we living the routines, everything is automatic and more focused to the present and short term, with actually thinking we can entertain ourselves with silly thoughts without necessarily taking on them as habits seriously. Questioning is also very good tool to ensure that what we are doing still matches what we want: it can happen that we’ve changed and the world has changed, however we still keep doing that which does not apply any longer.

Today I had such privileged morning that I was able to go through my walking, thinking and questioning, in other words I had the time and space for it, which was lovely. Results surprised me, I pursued one question for hours and as a result I did get different ideas sketched down on what to do. I did not get yet to answer to the question I was pursuing, yet I am very satisfied with this result.

The whole thinking practice started today because last week I understood that I need to answer myself: “When is X.”

I’ve had this process of continuous improvement, and a system for it in place. Yet I’ve been quite literally blindfolded about until when I am going to do it. Also although I’ve been improving, I haven’t been making any leaps, mostly it has been just small and incremental improvements on the way. Therefore I had decided I need to answer this question now.

Following image appeared:

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Sketching this I understood that what my current process in earning income lacked, was the breakthroughs. While I’ve so ambiguous ideas when there might be such breakthrough, because finances have to do with numbers I could fairly accurately predict already with the current process when I am going to do the breakthroughs. Most importantly when I know when is the X I could actually start thinking about more creative ways to make it happen earlier.

SMART goals are great, just need to remember two when’s: when you are going to work towards it and when you are supposed to finish.

What If Greatness is a Process?

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Past two weeks I’ve been thinking about uncertainty. I am also reading Taleb’s book Antifragile about the topic as well, which has no doubt influenced my thinking.

Furthermore today, I got an insight for myself in the form of this question: what if all the great things we have in life, are in fact produced from the uncertainty by someone who has been willing to do some work?

Leila Hoteit put it even more roughly in her TED talk, where she mentioned that one of her strengths is the ability to convert sh*t into fuel. I like that idea, in fact most I do think it as a manure rather than anything else.

By the thinking clarity I reached today I mean that literally anything that I can for example perceive as a quality today, would mean that someone in there has been enduring uncertainty, taking risk, taking all those unpleasant feelings and converting them to something else.

I began to ponder, is this all our faith who want to have something? Is it something we need to do – to learn to build on that which life gives to use?

The proverb says “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Also Ajahn Brahn has a Donkey story, with the similar lesson.

So what if greatness is a process, where you live the present moment and make it great to the best of your abilities?

Pushing Through the Resistance to Quit

 

pokes-fun-at-1164459_640.jpgMany creative tasks require effort, and therefore the initial urge to quit can be great. The first revisions may not be particularly rewarding either. Yet if it is something you like, you should just give it a shot, take some space and see how close to completion you can go. It can be worth it!

I’ve been with the cartoon sketches like this: I get funny ideas on which I would like to draw and develop further, however as the laziness and space of no time takes over, the idea quickly gets buried and forgotten.

It wasn’t always like this, in my youth I did draw more and express my ideas more openly. I enjoyed the process and most of the pieces I showed with pride to my friends and people in my community.

Although I was a total amateur, in itself that is a point of hobby. Doing something enjoyable and getting the satisfaction out of the results.

I am talking about this, because it has been about fourteen years since I’ve actively practice this hobby. In between only a few ideas here and there, only to be quickly given up and buried in the drawers. Today I decided to push through the feelings of giving up and decided to finish it and so I did to a certain standard. Although it took me three revisions to get it up, I did it. I am quite proud of myself, and the end result I sent to my girlfriend. It is an inside joke, I know which will brighten her day.

As a result of the result, I feel like I’ve found long lost connection to an activity that I had forgotten. With the today’s result I see a lots of room for improvement, however also so much improvement in taste and style that now it would be shame not to have any time in the week to draw up some ideas and see how they develop.

Books and Ideas Start a Life Inside You

 

book-863418_640.jpgLearning is breakthroughs at the time. When the year changed I had a breakthrough in my reading and that has had tremendous effects in other areas of my life as well. I’ve doubled what I used to read in month. And now I am ready believer that that I could double it again in time and when it is the time for that.

What I noticed through all this is not that much how much I read, but what I do with the books which are read. Although in casual conversation there might be references to the books, even present a few ideas here, some recommendations there… Yet it does not itself convince much change.

This is when I realized how much of what I’ve read I apply to my life on daily basis. Most influential books are of course starting their own life inside of me. Ideas take such a strong shape that they automatically shape my actions and decisions as if it were the new normal. There is no going back. Even better, I do not need to consult other people what I do, because I know I am doing the right decision.

Be careful what you read, those ideas might become reality.

Developing Higher Quantity and Quality of Ideas

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When it comes to creativity and with ideas, there is nothing special about them. There are tons of ideas out there in the world, who nobody does anything about.

You’ll recognize a great idea you actually are willing to work to make it real. The work process there is an important part, that makes the idea real. And often the end result will end up being quite different from the original idea, which magnificently shows the difference between our understanding of reality and the reality. On the other hand we also happen to learn a in the process, thus also developing the idea much further bit by bit.

Not all ideas are right away ready to be turned into a reality. Where it is easy to accept or reject an idea, and work on that, to get much more quality ideas we also could DEVELOP some of the ideas.

To make idea that is under development into reality too soon would actually be hurtful. However, idea that is under development should be revisited and reviewed preferably frequently, i.e. taken active work to make that idea viable in the future. The reason to keep developing the idea could be that either you know too little about the idea, so you in order to acid test the viability of the idea you can easily just do some more basic research online. Keep digging until you’ve great general understanding and then if the idea is worth executing schedule everything and execute.

Developing ideas should be the kind of pre-screening phase, before making any bigger commitments. It can be great way to increase the quantity of ideas you consider, quality of ideas in all phases. Why quality? Because you are learning quickly about the idea in more diverse manner and thus also creating more documented approach in the process.

Any idea can be revived later, when it’s time has come. So take your time to nurture both quantity and quality of the ideals.

Do Difficult Things Together

 

network-1020332_640.jpgPreparing for the challenging week, I was not sure how I was going to get through it. If it’s just me I knew I was not going to make it, alone with all the work and pressure. Although I still have to do most of the work, the way I ended up organizing the work turned out to be crucial: together with others.

Doing difficult things together has tremendous impact. Even the most challenging and difficult things become the things of learning.

Even stretch goals become possible when done together.

I’ve noticed that there is a point in where direct feedback becomes convenience and even expectation. It’s much faster, saves the energy of everyone than the being nice politeness.

Around people who can give such feedback and development ideas, the impossible becomes possible.

Support of course is priceless. Almost anyone can be of support, however of course the deeper the connection, the better the spirit.

When you’ve really difficult things to work on, do not try to figure out everything yourself. Find a way to do difficult things together, even if you are