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 🙂

Do What Makes You Better

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Living things go upstream, while dead things flow with the stream.

What makes life fun is the learning and progress. Sometimes these take time and frustration takes over first. Learning happens often in breakthroughs and come with emotional cost.

I’ve felt this frustration lately and I haven’t been able to pinpoint it. I’ve reached saturation point in my interest to absorb new ideas and at the same time to refresh myself with the old ones. This is feeling and just my experience. Probably this is not even true: I probably could get interested about yet many things and I still learn a lot.

Yet at this point I’ve accepted the feeling that every now and then I do not have interest for such things. Instead of finding something new or getting excited about the old I’ve been meditating a lot lately and I’ve tried to pinpoint the thing that I need or should focus on at the moment. Yet I’ve not found the thing, however I’ve had some breakthrough thoughts.

Such as the title: Finding the stuff to do what makes my life better.

Yesterday I was pondering what would my life look like if I were the hero of my life.

What would you be if you could be the best you?

Identity is the greatest leverage and we should think therefore carefully who we are and what kind of things we want to further during our lives.

What Does It Mean When You Not Ask Questions?

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Lack of questions signals that there is no interest. When I understood this a few days ago I felt shocked as indeed it’s in many cases easier not to ask anything than it is to ask. Sometimes I’ve also passed asking questions even though I’ve been curious about something, however I still haven’t bothered to open up my mouth.

Often the questions are more valuable than the actual answers.

Questions show that we are thinking.

Questions show that we care.

Questions are essential for learning.

Questions connect people.

When you do not ask questions you are not moving towards people, you are drifting apart.

Asking questions means building understanding, building happiness, building love and all that good stuff.

Do More, Beleive Less

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In the context of professional work, we ought to simply practice more.

Robert Greene sums it up well 1) practice, practice, practice 2) learn from the masters of the field 3) transfigure, make the thing your own.

It’s rather easy, except the practice part takes at least 10 000 hours. If you are really committed you do not measure it in time, but the times you do. Masters always find room for more practice, more improvement.

Study the masters: do more.

When it comes to believing, our minds easily find a hundreds reasons to do or not to do if we go into that. How about we would just do what we want to do?

Practice what we have set out to do without any other thoughts. Learning to let go of what can be done, what is possible and instead just try to do your best without attachment to the result. Then keep on improving that result, because of course if you are doing your best and you are learning, your results are improving. Results give the feedback of improvement after all, if there is no improvement in results you are not improving, so you are still learning 🙂

Do more, get more results and do not let your beliefs hold you back.

Finding the Positive in the Negative

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A reflective post about acquiring new, more constructive and positive thoughts.

Often by default we do not have the optimum thoughts, no matter how smart we think we are. We are our own programmers, so we write our own destiny, even though much of what we have running inside us is also adopted from the environment and upbringing for example.

However what would happen, if something went wrong or will go wrong along the way? Unless we learn the skill of unlearning bad thinking patterns, and replacing them with more skillful ones we are likely going to end up suffering a lot.

One such thinking pattern that I’ve had to confront in my life recently has to do with abundance.

About a year ago I read this book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Yet now as I’ve listened thoughts about the book through podcasts, I’ve understood that I remember quite a little from the book. I revisited my notes and I got excited: I have to read this book again. So what I did yesterday on Sunday was to purchase Audible edition, put the speed on 1.7X and listened almost the whole book in one sitting and made meticulous notes as the author himself was reading the book for me. This was absolutely brilliant way to spend my time, because on this time I picked up very much different things than on the first reading.

On the first time I read the book about a year ago there was literally too much to handle at a one time. We can only process one thought at a time anyway, so it wouldn’t make much sense to do more. On this time thought I was able to focus more on the content and how to apply it than during the first time.

Especially interesting concept are the upper limit problems, the kind of subconscious thinking through which we (our own ego) starts sabotaging us. This is also outlined in the book: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and widely in psychology as well. Idea is that, we are rather in familiar hell than unknown heaven. Our ego is afraid, and that’s why we would sabotage ourselves.

This is also the reason why Winston Churchill said that courage is the primary virtue, because nothing would happen if we would stay crippled by fear. In the book Hendricks quotes Fitz Perls that fear is excitement without breath and suggests that cure for fear is simply start breathing.

I picked up the success / abundance / love mantra that was introduced in the book, however what I found particularly useful was the thought that whenever something perhaps undesired happens, is to view it as just so that something wonderful must be happening. This is based on the idea that we are sabotaging ourselves, because we have reached an upper limit where we cannot ourselves to enjoy the good fortune. Therefore right place to shift the attention is to wonder what kind of wonderful things are going to happen next.

Tiny Action

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Action is over- and underappreciated word.

Overappreciated as in action without consideration, thought or end in mind.

Underappreciated as in thought without action. Action remains just a word, instead of verb in action.

There is the middle way: thinking, without thinking too much and doing, without doing too much.

My personal fault lies mostly in thinking too much and doing too little. Thus I see this quality in others as well emphasized. And it might be that I am too blind to my own actions that are mindless, so I cannot even name them yet. With a bit of thinking, I think there is indeed also this mindless action in play.

The more I’ve studied about habits and applied what I’ve learned to my life, I am amazed to discover these tiny pockets of time all around me. More efficient actions (=habits) create more time and space. What used require effort, do not any longer. Thus taking action becomes easier.

With habits also the cost of starting doing something (which I feel is immense). Have you tried to start a work out after a long work day? That’s only difficult if you do not already have the neural circuitry in your mind to fire of and start doing it. When you’ve the network however, it will automatically flare up and you will start the work out when you just find the right triggers for that.

The difference between habit and a separate action decision is huge. Habits have little to none starting cost, they trigger automatically. Decisions to do something have tremendous starting cost and when we are tired and hungry we are less likely going to make any good decisions.

Therefore life consists of making these tiny decisions right through the days, these will ensure sufficient energy when we need it the most.

We need tiny action everyday to start building momentum for the bigger decisions and challenges.

 

Learn and Apply It to Your Life

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Alive time or dead time concepts are in Robert Greene’s books. Most of my life I feel like I’ve lived in dead time. I’m now 30 so 21 years I’ve lived in dead time. Only a bit over 9 years I would qualify as alive time.

Or as in Shawshank Redemption they put it: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Many talk about learning. Many go to schools. Many talk about doing this or that as well.

Yet few actually do anything. That includes me personally. Every day I have to remind myself to start doing: often we teach what we need to learn ourselves the most.

One mantra that I have is that only learning that matters is a learning that shows in actions.

“Swords, not words” would a character (Minsk) in Baldurs’ Gate 2 say.

It’s not that difficult: only learning is the applied learning.

There is also more to the learning that just that. There is the wisdom that even if we do something today and then let it be like that, we are going to lose that skill.

“Use it or lose it.”

This is one of my biggest fears with writing and prioritization. I fear that if I would prioritize other things, I would lose even my modest ability to get things done.

We only get to keep those virtuous that we sustain and nourish every day. And if we want to get a head we need to learn and apply to it every day as well.

Light in Blight

 

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Life is full of uncertainty and unexpected. Some of this makes it joyous and exciting, while at times it can be difficult to deal with.

Most common forms of obstacles are failure or experience of failure. Failure is impermanent and there is always something to be learned.

Success is nice when we reach it and while at it, yet success is as impermanent as is failure. If we forget to stay open and humble we will inevitably fail. Thus the success contains a seed of destruction within.

Failure either as it is or after a great success can get us to a dark place. Yet in the darkest days, the rays of hope can be seen most acutely: there is always hope as long as we are alive.

In fact most of the life is like that: we are facing something, then we fail and it is literally what we do after the failure that defines and makes us. It’s how we respond to the failure. If we choose to learn, stay humble and keep building ourselves up, we will succeed – there is no question about it.

Most importantly we shouldn’t be doing anything for success or not, we should do it for the greater good, for the opportunity to do what is true, right and beautiful. We should do the right thing because that is in our potential, that is the virtuous action in practice. That is our best godlike nature in action.

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.