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.

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!

Influencing with an Impact

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Life feels meaningful when we have a purpose in mind and we are progressing towards the fulfillment of that purpose. On the way to the fulfillment, we already have to make choices: what to do and what not to do. If we do whatever we want to achieve that purpose, then it might feel meaningless, because we haven’t worked to sacrifice for it.

To have something so important, that we are willing to sacrifice something else for that purpose. Fulfillment of purpose feels meaningful because of our values and because we are willing to pay the price for our values both in emotional and real cost.

Meaningful life is despite of these costs, we are progressing towards our purpose. It’s our own choice.

Once we have thought of our values, we start to make these choices, and sacrificing other choices. We become a person of virtue. We should focus to our own doing, in that way we become the shining example for others, the greatest way to influence others is through prime example.

Pure Consciousness

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As a bit of continuation to positive desire, I thought to write a bit about one such positive desire which reads on my wall: good karma. Good karma to me means good deeds and pure consciousness that follows.

Since I learned that there is a difference between a positive desire and a selfish desire, I’ve thought about it and decided to try create good karma. There is no good that hasn’t been evil at first. Evil has to be unlearned and only then we can achieve pure consciousness. Therefore I do not follow those who are born gods, I follow those who have strayed from the path and grown wise.

Pure consciousness is something money cannot buy and living with something like that is a joy. And I feel like with pure consciousness I’ve at least progressed towards my purpose rather than taken steps back from it.

For desire and a purpose progress does matter. And if it’s something that is possible bigger than just self all the better.  It’s a kind of goal of a goal.

Action is a Cure for Dreams

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Dreaming every now and then is fine and even necessary. Without dreaming our civilization wouldn’t progress.

Same thing can be said with too much dreaming too.

Often the great dreams or ideas do not get realized because we lack one thing: action. Often this action is repeated through the days, weeks, months and years until dreams are realized.

Action cures dreams as through action we can achieve the dreams. While dreaming can be entertaining, there is no greater satisfaction to work towards a fulfilling dream a bit by bit.

What’s even more, when we progress somewhere our horizons for whole life broaden. If we keep just dreaming we won’t get anywhere, we are stuck with the dreams we can imagine. Opportunity cost are the dreams we never dreamt.

Dream a dream, take action and make the dreams reality.

Skillful Way to Deal with Worry and Pressures of the Future

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Real events are the best inspiration same goes for today’s writing: it took professional pressures to contemplate again on the worry and pressure.

With worry perhaps the most productive things that pop into my head are the words of Erma Bombeck: “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”

This reminds to me that all the solutions are in the present. It is in the present we must take real action, real progress and focus our thinking according to the circle of control.

Worry eases when something is in the circle of control. However, when things start to feel out of control, pressure builds up. Especially if there is something that we feel that we should succeed in (or not to fail at least). It’s challenging and saps our energy to start think about it.

Comforting thought is that, if our focus is correct (circle of control) and we do everything we can to the best we can, we have literally done everything we can. And I don’t mean in a self-deceitful way, but in planning what the effort is worth (time, energy, resources) and putting them to the realistic max. If the endeavor still fails, you know you gave it your all. Therefore, if you already at maximum stakes (= what you are willing to lose) failed, take the learning and be grateful that you didn’t lose more. You probably gain something in exchange in any case even if the “big win” didn’t come.

First Steps in Getting to Where You Want to Be

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Obvious place to start, where ever you are going to is where you are. Are you sure, you know exactly where you are?

In life, I often meet people who describe their efforts or the results of the effort with words such as “little”, “a lot”, “plenty”… This is not very accurate thinking at all. If you do something, you should quantify that. I.e. in my professional work, where we meet people “I met three people today”, it’s much more accurate than “I met a few people.”

In the end the entropy called laziness will find a comfort zone and then the decay of efforts and results begins.

Start with accurate thinking, where are you now? What is the effort towards your goal as action? How much of that action you willing to take taking a day / a week / a month / a year?

This will create more accurate expectations for yourself and in the big picture does help you measure real progress as well.

Goals, Actions and Values Aligned

 

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Present moment is so precious. The more I’ve set my personal goals, the more I realize most of the time I should be working on personal life goals, i.e. the professional goals should be linked to personal goals.

Since the beginning of year 2017 I set up a wall for my goals, which worked sweet. It took me about a month to draw connections between these goals, my dreams and my daily actions. Once that was done, not only I begun to realize I am living my only life so working on my personal goals each day is a must.

Now I am struggling on how to align most of my energy so that I will be able to progress there.

Quick progress and quick wins are not realistic, they are daydreams and lucky strokes. Lucky strokes happen, especially to those who work hard. Yet, achieving goals does not happen commonly through a whim’, instead it is a result of more of a systematic work.

For me the question seems to have transformed into “how to align my goals and values effectively?”

Goals are broken down into daily actions and the connections between these actions and other goals can be made visible. What is the most desirable actions from values and goals perspectives? What matters and how to make more impact there?

Decision Making Tool: Net Gain or Loss

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 In the past few months as I’ve had time to read a lot, I’ve been thinking that most of our habits can be broken down to a daily net gain or net loss:

  • With personal finances, money this is very easy: if you earn and keep more than you spend you are saving up money. Would you be happier if you would have more wealth?
  • Same concept applies to health, however instead of clear numbers we get better health, fitness both of which are hard to appreciate until they are gone. Would you be happier with better health?
  • Did you progress towards your goal today? If not, when will you?

“Ultimately there is only the one impediment, and that is laziness.” – Peck, M. Scott, The Road Less Travelled

Simply by setting measurable goals, and asking yourself what you can do today for that goal you will know what can and must be done. Then it’s the matter of doing that small thing. Make each day a net gain in your life.

Work is a Vehicle to Our Dreams

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I started my new year in unlikely ways in a party and when I wake up I realize I’ve slept through half of the day. To me this was once in a year occasion and therefore felt out of character since it has been a while. Because of this different kind of experience, I felt my clarity on my life for the upcoming year to sharpen: I am willing to sacrifice for my purpose and my purpose has meaning to me.

I have a plan and I am willing to work for that plan, I feel like the completely opposite of that feeling about six months ago, when I wrote the Ode to the Laziness. As I read glanced through the text yesterday, I had managed to capture essence of something great in that text: laziness is connected to the meaninglessness of the action.

In life, there is resistance to do what would benefit us. Resistance does exist and sometimes is exceedingly strong, so that we even fail to see the relevance of taking action.

Failing to see the relevance of actions is the main cause of meaninglessness. We all yearn for meaning, accomplishing or taking steps towards that meaning create emotions of fulfillment, joy and fun.

There is nothing wrong with the feeling of laziness. It is merely telling us that, we lack understanding of where we are, where we want to go and knowledge of are we truly progressing that direction?

While answering these questions might feel very frustrating, doing fun things to distract ourselves from these questions is not really an answer either. Now with the power of retrospective wisdom I know that there are two types of fun: fun that we do to distract ourselves from the meaningful and the fun and joy that comes from progressing towards the meaning.

I prefer the second one to the first one any day. Therefore, I am willing to sacrifice the first one all the times for the second one.

Any dream can be turned into a goal, and for any goal there is something we can do today. Doing that something for the goal, could be then called work.

Clarify your dream. Dare to dream. Break it down into goals and break those goals into actions. Take up upon those actions and work on them each day with a smile in your face, because you are in fact progressing towards your dreams.

What is holding you back? Most commonly people complain about lack of resources.

In the book, Richest Man in the Babylon, George Clason suggests a simple cure for the lean purse: make habit of it to keep 10 % of your monthly earnings to yourself. Keep the 10% and make it work for you. This simple thought itself, is enough to create resources for you.

This alone will motivate you eventually to work harder, because hard work creates surplus for everyone.

What do you deem worthwhile in life? I am sure that many of the things you do today, can help you progress towards that worthwhile goal.

Sometimes we forget that our actions matter in our own journeys to the worthwhile goals and dreams. Remembering is important. Remember why, make it crystal clear. Write it down, somewhere where you inevitably see it each morning.

We need to remember the most important things. Only way to remember is to remind ourselves.

Remember: work is the vehicle to our dreams.