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.

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?

11 Questions to Reduce Hurry and Worry

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When you start to teach people about something, it gives you yourself more pressure to be example as well. This is mostly positive thing, because then you start deepen your relationship with the things you are teaching. Often this deepening means that you are thinking what you are teaching learning at the same time from different perspectives.

What I learned this morning about feeling of hurry is this: hurry is just lack of preparation.

This means, if we feel hurry, we have failed to anticipate the stuff we are stressing about presently.

What helps here is to accept the present circumstances and prioritize and think what is truly important, and how important. It’s through prioritization only way that we can live through our commitments and learn to make commitments that are most relevant to us.

Uncertainty makes life difficult. Or life is suffering like the Buddha came to understand.

The ability to accept these and to have a set of thinking skills in the present help to handle almost anything that happens and still live a worthwhile life.

Do not be affected by hurry.

Here are some helpful questions to cope:

  1. Do I have any problems right now?
  2. What is the most important priority right now?
  3. Am I doing my best?
  4. Is there something I or we can do?
  5. What would be the first step forward?
  6. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
  7. What is positive about this situation?
  8. Is the worst thing that can happen?
  9. Is this the end of the world?
  10. What is the upside?
  11. How to benefit from this situation?

Have a great evening!

Janne

From Present Towards Utopia

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We live life forward, from the present moment onwards. I remember browsing some strategy book at my friends place, where I took one idea: that we should live 70% in present, 20% in the future and 10% in the past.

By these portions of course that the includes preparing and planning, and then 10 of the past % reflection and learning. While giving absolute portions for life is difficult, as a guideline I like the idea.

Good questions to ask:

  • how does future look and feel like? I think it should be more like an utopia, that makes life worth living for.
  • is the past a prison or building ground for your future endeavors? We can learn a lot from our past, but as the 10% suggest we shouldn’t spend too much there. Just to take what we need and then get back to living.

With this, living in the present is easier. We can proceed from the present towards our goals and ambitions if we know exactly where we are. Sometimes even when we think we know where we are, we do not, because of some sort of error. Therefore remember to figure out first where you really are, then check if you really are there and then start to think which direction you would like to go.

Use the past experiences as a source of learning, however do not attach to them too much, because that information may not be valid any longer.

Life, an Incredible Opportunity

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Life is an opportunity that over 108 billion people before us have had and then as lost as is the nature of life: there is a beginning and an end. Therefore to be alive is wonderful opportunity to do something!

In addition to biological evolution, there is also the evolution of culture and spirit. Spiritual evolution means becoming more human. As G.K. Chesterton put it: “a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” We are blessed with brains that create the human mind, which allows not only to go with the flow, but to go upstream or any other direction we wish.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The difference and human blessing of life lies in our brain, which allows us not only to live, but to learn and live better as well. This means we are no longer bound only to progress through the biological evolution, but through cultural evolution.

Other animals certainly are social and therefore have the ability for cultural evolution as well. However, very few of them are able to stop and contemplate on life on such level as humans can. We learn comparatively fast and therefore our culture, way of doing things evolves as well.

On individual level, it’s our own decision to exercise this superpower of choice each day. Well actually thinking and deciding something new for each day would be possible, but not very convenient. Although we have the ability to contemplate, it is rather energy intensive. Therefore it’s useful to use both of the abilities, the ability to contemplate and the ability to do in a harmonious way.

Contemplate and discover your values and goals. Then work on these goals every day habitually.

Do not dream of life without work. Work is the opportunity, ability to create something greater than what you were given. What will then happen? According to the law of karma, if you do good things, good things will happen to you.

Put your priorities straight using the priority category method and then live your purpose and plan.

In life you will get more things done, if you are really good at prioritizing and deciding what is important and where you can add the most value. You will be able to create more value and well-being to your environment, which then again means that you will also receive more and then we all flourish.

* * *

I’ve taken it as my mission to help other people to realize the love for life. This comes from my personal experience with the meaninglessness of life, which led to depression and sickness.

Have a great evening!

Janne

Exciting Life

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Uncertainty can be a torment or bliss.

When you grow and adopt growth mindset, you’ll start to invest more which means taking risk and working to reduce the chances of failure. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Uncertainty is always present.

Then at times, you’ll know you will probably win. Or you will know something will probably happen and you’ll start thinking how could you use that something to your and everyone’s advantage.

When you grow, you’ll learn. Through the learning you’ll see. When you see the future as exciting potential you are living an exciting life. Every morning starts to be exciting, because exciting opportunities start to appear here and there.

Suddenly your attention is not on what whet wrong, but what can potentially go right. Of course your still work the basics right and work to reduce the risks, but you will start to see the potentials.

Seeing the potential, and living the potential to something it could become, something more or something surprising is what makes life exciting.

 


Some thoughts, that life should be exciting. Exciting takes work, we need to learn to see the exciting and the potential. Or that’s at least the path I’ve had to walk: to see all the potential.

 

BR,

Janne

Live Your Purpose and Plan

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Do you have a dream? Have you made the dream into a goal by setting some due dates?

My purpose is good karma, which means trying to live everyday virtuously according to my values so that the after the day I would’ve done more good than harm. This is a bit difficult to assess to be honest, because even with best intentions one can end up causing harm. Knowing this, I try my best to do good and mostly that starts with myself.

My purpose shows in daily actions as following the vegetarian diet, exercising, writing journal, reading books and meditating. I try to apply it to everything I do and work, this is described as “karma yoga” or yoga of action as described in Bhagavad Gita.

After the important daily actions which I mentioned, I still usually have quite a bit of energy left: this goes to work of serving other people. Usually most of my energy goes to my professional work. After my professional work has been done and the daily actions are done, I do not have much energy left for the day. Usually with the reminder depending on the day I spend with friends, family and finally try to write and publish a blog post. Then there is also perhaps a bit time during the week or perhaps weekend for reflecting and planning for the future and reflecting of the past. Especially life planning and financial planning are perhaps weekly themes that I check, if everything is going as I feel they should.

Even though I feel like I am living a purpose, I feel like I must still have some sort of action plan and vision for life. I’ve vision about better future, where we could succeed together in bigger and more audacious projects such as discovering the potential of the human mind, space travel and exploration.

This requires learning and that’s why I am big advocate of learning: I wish everyone would have the opportunities get the basic schooling to be able to read and write. Then get the access to knowledge through teachers, mentors, and coaches. Internet is important place to learn and share the learning,

Civilization, becoming civilized I think is the answer and that happens through learning. With learning there are few necessary skills such as critical thinking and learning and the abilities to learn and required. Then with reading and language skills, access to knowledge such as teachers, internet and libraries we are finally unlocking the vast potential of human curiosity. I value highly projects such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Khan Academy.

Planning and having this positive desire, does not need to mean to having to attach to this plan or the result. Life is prioritization all the time, it’s not skillful to get attached.

Karma yoga

Your work is your responsibility,
not its result.
Never let the fruits of your actions
be your motive.
Nor give in to inaction.

Set firmly in yourself, do your work,
not attached to anything.
Remain evenminded in success,
and in failure.
Evenmindedness is true yoga.

—Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-49

Yet having a plan, means that you’ve given a thought for the future and when the future meets present, you’ve ore options. At best you’ve a different plans plan a, plan b and so worth and then you can choose the closest options or the hybrid of these plans and continue with that. Planning is proactivity and probabilities. Planning means recognizing risks and working to minimize those risks.

Life is rather short and no one exactly knows how much time we have left. Thus living a mindful, present and happy life with a sense of purpose is a sound piece of advice. Yet what could be more inspiring reason to get up than inspiring vision, that today’s actions do good today, but perhaps tomorrow as well?

Because of the shortness of the life, we have to live the purpose every day. Where we spend most of our time we should stay focused there. Yet we should be aware of the future potentials, plan for different skenarios and be awake to take advantage of them. If we could be even greater service through planning, shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

That’s exactly what I had in my mind today as I broke down my previous cash flow calculations into a more actionable goals. About a year ago as a part of the real estate investment coaching I calculated the following cash flow requirements from assets per month to feel secure, wealthy and rich.

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It’s still holds true I feel. However, as I had these stages thought out, I didn’t have much plan to how to achieve them. I had a bunch of separate ideas hanging around, yet crystal clear action plan or scenarios thought out.

Three scenarios I did manage to write for the near future, that was rather rewarding. Then in regards to this stages, I also considered the potential vehicles. Mostly I’ve come to the conclusion that real estate investing is the way to go, the vehicle of the choice so to speak. What now made these stages now really feel achievable was that I was about to calculate with my conservative numbers how many apartments I would have to own in order to achieve these goals. First earned euro from real estate asset is of course the first step, however now I also know that the first milestone is 13 apartments. This feels very energizing and great to know that it is doable number, although there is a bit of how still remaining: planning helps us to visualize the potential outcomes.

Then it is just up to us to live the life mindfully in the present and enjoy whatever life brings without an attachment!

Courage is the Key to Learning and Growth

 

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If we want to have something different than what we have now, we must be prepared to risk it. Without a risk position, nothing can be gained. All growth is based on taking a risk, accepting it and then working so that the risk will not ever come true.

Sometimes despite all the work, the position does not succeed. What does a wise person do? Learn.

It is through courageously taking risks, and then learning from each position that creates growth. Sometimes we fail, yet we always learn. Sometimes we succeed bigger than we ever imagined possible.

Risking to get no, is better than never trying. At least you know.

Where are you developing your courage?

What are you risking today?

 

Poem: The Change Makers

 

Ignorant we all are, I must admit.

Yet there are those who to this do not submit.

These people are the shapers,

The change makers.

 

Those who are courageous enough to seek truth.

And stand to face the oppressive Brood,

Who do not care where the truth stood,

Or what was for everyone’s good!

 

People like Mandela and Gandhi,

Have become such examples, how handy!

Equipped with truth, love, and courage,

Have built their wisdom and virtue while pulling the carriage.

 

Suffering of the wheel,

Is imaginable and real.

They made no squeal,

Because it was in their interest to heal.

 

With grace they endured,

To the inner work they spurred.

Through work they developed,

And a new kind of thinking enveloped.

 

Wrong they faced,

Pain not only grazed.

They got to taste the pain of living,

And transformed it in their minds into a giving.

 

Yet people were astray.

Not caring what they had to say.

Thus they were sent away.

Only to return; and light the way!

 

They learned to care first,

To quench another one’s thirst.

People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care, said Teddy.

 

World is not so steady,

You better get ready,

Your ignorance is unstable,

To care you are able!

The Happiness Equation: book highlights

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Out of 34 books I’ve read this year and out of 36 that I read last year, there are few gems in there. Among all the books, one that makes almost any day better for me is the Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.

Yesterday I reviewed my notes thoroughly and they made me so deep impact that I ought to share the main points with you today.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future”

Life is happening now, we must learn to be present is the present for a reason. To be more present, mindfulness is a good practice it makes us happy and success follows happiness. Be happy first.

Distractions in life are major obstacles for happiness. Like we are in the present, we shouldn’t focus to external goals, but to internal drivers. Internal motivation is a driver of excellence. Happy people do things, because they are happy and interested about doing things.

While external motivations can get ourselves distracted, it is only our own judgements and criticism that often makes us discouraged and sad.

Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Be happy first, and start with yourself. You are worthy of attention, love and affection. We cannot control most of what happens in life, however we can control how we react to it.

So now we have the groundwork covered. Next is the difficult part: the purpose, the work and social life. To put it shortly, we are social animals and we need social context. We should work in something where we can increase our collective happiness. As it is pointed out: giving is the simply best way to increase your own happiness. Doing good for others.

We need to stay active with the giving and kindness as well, here we get to the purpose or what is described in the book as ikigai. Never retire, what you do not use you lose: this applies to happiness, your brain and your health as well.

Like Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

I ought to read the whole book again soon and I recommend it to you too.