Decision You Make, Make You!

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We have limited attention. Our ability to prioritize this attention is one of the few things we can truly control and is one of our primary sources to gain more power from the world.

Great decision making means you can have more of what you really need. You will have all the time in the world for the most important things. Decision making is powerful: not only does it mean commitment to do something, but also decision not to do something.

Decision you make, sharpen your focus, you will get more productive. Through deciding what to do, you decide what you become!

Decide wisely.

Happy Way to Get What You Want In Life

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Think for a moment, what it is you want in life? Let’s say next three years. Set an audacious goal.

Isn’t it so that you probably have to face some kind of adversity in order to get that? If it was anything daring, out of your current level of competence, this is definitely case. Audacious goals are audacious and meaningful exactly because they are just beyond our current level of operating.  Does what you what bring happiness or just gratification to you? Make sure to pursue the kind of goal that brings something more lasting than the instant gratification.

Okay now we have an audacious goal in three years, what are you going to do now towards that? Crawling millimeter by millimeter towards the goal is the key to the success as I wrote in the Climb.

Also another trick towards being more productive and getting to your goal even more sure AND feeling happier now is being happy now. Well while of course that won’t happen just because I tell you so, here are some ideas to get a boost in your both present and long term happiness:

  • Giving
  • Sharing
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude
  • Going extra mile to smile

That which we focus upon grows. That’s why I am always looking opportunities to help, give and share. I’ve been writing gratitude’s to my journal, actually anything positive. My favorite addition to my routine this fall to start giving positive feedback, so now I try to use every opportunity to do that as well.

So now you have an audacious goal, that is probably connected to your bigger purpose. Give your daily tasks your everything, you are surely to develop very good at them. Crawl forward and remember to be happy first 🙂

Janne

Become the Programmer of Your Life by Reflecting on Your Stress Responses

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When we are born into this world and grow up, we cannot choose the environment much at all where we are brought up. From the environment where we grow up, we inherit, learn and copy models for responding to stress. Let’s call these learned models scripts from now on.

Script is essentially a sequence of thoughts, emotions and actions that happen automatically and effortlessly in mostly unconscious mind.

Stress should be defined as influence that alters an existent equilibrium. Therefore inherently stress is not good or bad, it’s merely a sign that something should be done and thus triggers thoughts and emotions in us.

So when we grow up, and a stressor enters our world we automatically take actions according to the learned scripts. If we get hungry, we may go to the fridge and grab whatever we would like to eat at the time.

Since life is complicated, these scripts that are drilled into unconscious mind save a lot of time and energy for us. Yet to live a happy and productive life, scripts we have inherited, learned and copied may not always be optimal. The reason is simply that we are the very first version of ourselves the moment we become aware of this. Before we are aware of this, we are a product, not a programmer.

When we become aware, we become the programmer of our lives. Conscious time and space for reflection is one way to be aware. I write journal every day and try to meditate as well. From these activities I write down all thoughts I can get.

Best of all habits is to have time during weekend for such reflection, because then we can contemplate more deeply on what actions we have taken and have they been optimal.

As an example today I had such a reflective day which I spent mostly in quiet long walk. It’s during this walk I happened to go upon sea where I rested a bit and start my mobile phone and entered upon the realm of social media where I saw an update by a friend.

My reaction then and there was rather negative since the emotions like  uncertainty, inadequacy and jealousy a rose. I caught myself a few minutes afterwards thinking, why would I choose an emotional response to that?

I had to accept that I had a script that lead to rather unskillful stress response. Now that I had become aware of such unskillful script and accepted its existence, I could do something about it. Since I knew, I could choose the way I respond to stressors, I began to think what would be mature way to respond to this? I quickly found more positive things such as happiness for others, belonging and acceptance.

Actually it is through this reflection that changed the whole lense I am looking now at the happiness of others that is shared often through social media. I have to admit my ignorance: it’s a bit scary that I haven’t noticed this earlier in myself.

During the walk, I also decided to start practicing and deepening my bond with the virtues even more. In 2013 I used the virtue list, an idea from Benjamin Franklin. Yet now in 2017 since I’ve put more thought into my values and virtues as well, I thought I need to start practicing these in the same way, one virtue each week. Humility is on that list too.

Remember as long as we live, we are never the final versions, we are always under development. Are you a code produced by the chance and the environment or are you the coder of your own life?

Smile Your Way Through

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Smile has power to change negative to positive in our own experience, we can counteract the effects of pessimistic thinking by forcing a smile for example. Even a forced smile makes our brains and bodies to re-evaluate the situation: “is this really so bad?”

Eventually smile can rewire our experience, and the fake smile can become a real one.

Fake it till you make it, William James said and so does positive psychology.

Smile manifests positive emotions, which in turn create cycle of positive emotions. Emotions are contagious so why not spread some smile?

With smile action can be more fun, pleasant and thus also productive.

Communication is a Core Skill

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I’ve been under appreciating communication as a skill. Yet it seems, that I have not been only one, since otherwise I would’ve set some lifelong learning goals at a business school.

Communication is hard, really hard.

I realized is that those with great communication skills simply have more time. Because, once you can communicate with others in a such way that they understand, that means you are able to scale your productivity.

It always takes two to communicate, so each interaction is unique situation. This is exactly where the perceived challenge starts: no matter how good communicator you think you are, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how and what has the other person understood?

Also how does one make sure other person has understood at all. Sometimes due to cultural differences yes does not mean yes. In some cultures, nodding means no as well.

Successful communication is the sum of many skills and above all the understanding of the many contexts.

However, there is one particular skill in communication and leadership that cannot be replaced: repetition. Repeating the same message in variety of interesting ways is the most effective ways to make sure that the other party will understand and remember.

Power of Naps

I’ve been a longer time a fan of naps. In my normal routine there is less chance for such because of open plan office workplace.

In my previous work I had the chance to nap during lunch hour. Just a 10 or 15 minutes dord wonders to a mind.

Now that I’ve been on vacation that has been combination of many activities I’ve been reminded of this habit. Having a naps during the day revitalizes the mind and feels great.

Now I’ve recognized that the skill to nap anywhere is great to have simply because it gives the day fluidity you wouldn’t othereide have.

Lead Yourself with Calendar

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To do lists are weak. Even with the highest prioritization with cutting everything that does not work well enough. If you would add a when and how long element there, then that would start to work.

However, to our surprise there is already a thing for this and it is called the calendar. There you’ve this day and all the time you’ve during this day. Then you’ve the tasks that you can do today. That’s it, that’s all there is. Everything else remains to be undone.

When you do it does make the difference. There is only so limited time for us. If you cannot decide this, then you are not really serious about it.

Routine helps even with the calendar. Allocating enough focused work time and recovery routines makes all the difference. When your plan becomes your habit, you know you are far, just keep on repeating the system.

When and By When

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Everything gets done at some point, it’s up to you determine when and by when.

Personally I know that if I cannot answer both of these questions, I am not very likely going to do it. These are really good questions to see if I am really serious about it or not.

There are few habits I am really serious about, which I do not negotiate about. One is writing, I may be distracted some of the time, but when the time pressure hits I’ll always want to start to produce over any other options. This inclination towards action under pressure is what makes me think that I might actually become writer someday.

Recently I’ve noticed the same tendency in exercise, which I hope will keep up. In the recent days I’ve found ways to always finish my other routines in order to get around the same time out to exercise.

With some other stuff such as finding good investments, I’ve had hard time recently. There is no system in place which would allow me to identify a good investment. I’ve the rule to identify 100 prospects for 10 candidates and then close a deal. It’s good idea, yet it does not have the “by when” element which would get the stuff done.

What are you doing and by when?

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.

Resolve is Crucial for Results

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As I’ve been reading the One Thing, book, I’ve had many realizations about the purpose, regrets and time.

The core lesson is that in life we often regret that we do not do.

Why don’t we do?

We lack something or we believe so.

Beliefs are a big leverage, with beliefs we can do amazing things. When beliefs are combined with decision to do something for real: when we decide to do something which we think we can do, then we have resolve.

Resolve matters, because with resolve we can do everything quicker and faster.

When we have resolve, we put in the work to the hours instead of working the hours.

“It’s not how many hours you put in, it’s what you put in the hours.” – Sam Ewin