Sleep, move, eat


Tom Rath has written a wonderful book titled Eat, Move, Sleep, it’s one of the best books I’ve read on wellbeing and if you have not read it, that would be the one book to read.

Today I amused myself with the thought that prioritizing sleep is important because once I am well rested I can respond better to almost anything! Up until to a point.

Sleep therefore deserves to be first. The second is a bit more difficult, but I would assume that if I first take care that I’ve rested well enough and I’ve empty fridge I guess I would have to move. The same would’ve applied to the hunter-gatherer example: if there is nothing to eat we need to move before we can eat.

Especially when we live the life of growth, the growth happens when we rest.

Conscious Growth


Definition of ‘conscious’ according to Google: late 16th century (in the sense ‘being aware of wrongdoing’).

Being aware of wrongdoing! To be aware of the wrongdoing would require some sense of the right. And for this there are some simple questions to ask yourself:

What is my purpose?

What is my mission?

What is my vision?

What are my values?


Pause, Don’t Panic

While the set of questions may be daunting, pause for a minute first.

Often we are living our lives without personal life statements such as these, yet many organizations have their purposes, missions and values which we are exposed to. Although we might be unconsciously gravitating towards what feels right, I think everyone owes it to themselves to be aware of their own values and drivers.

The ability to love others come only through our own growth. And growth can only begin if we know where are a standing, and then where we want to go. So this is essential groundwork to be done on the journey of growth.



My purpose is simply to grow, explore so that I may nurture the growth of others. As for my mission, it’s more about how good karma is my guide and I try to lead a good and virtuous life through example. These serve my vision which is to organize progressively challenging successes together, so that we could maybe one day work towards exciting goals such as interplanetary travel.

I admit that in an everyday situation I would probably be unlikely very well articulated about these. Yet I am recognizing the importance of knowing the purpose, mission, vision and values by heart. Often many organizations such as companies and churches have their values in many places so that people will remember theirs easily. Yet why is it so that we do not have our own values memorized?


We Are What We Remember We Are

Our understanding of the reality pretty much of what we remember, either through experiences or knowledge. It is the memory and identity that dictate what we think we can do.

Therefore we should remember our purpose, values, mission and vision by heart. If you are young, some of these might be still working versions, which is totally fine. It is the sign of a wise person to be able to have dialogue with the world and change their behavior upon learned experiences and wisdom.

Quick and permanent judgement does not simply work, because all life is in constant flux and fluid like water. It’s like saying the water in a running river is today same as yesterday. Well although its water, a lot of water has passed already! Understand the impermanence in life.


Paradox of Life

You have to prioritize the needs of other people and your own growth at the same time.

Again, pause and breathe! Two things can be true at the same time: think of circle overlapping each other or the atmosphere of the earth. Because in fact there is no clear point where space starts and the atmosphere ends it’s seamless!


Sustaining Growth

To sustain growth, we need energy.

Prioritizing the needs of others eventually drains ourselves. Yet there is no greater purpose in life to serve others and nurture their growth.

For this reason, we need to prioritize our own growth at the same time. We need to take our own energy. and growth. There are many forms of energy: mental, physical, spiritual and intellectual and you must attend to all these parts in your life.

Due to the seamless nature of life we ought to become the masters at prioritizing each moment according to what will serve our overall purpose the best.

I’ve attempted to describe the prioritizing with the following picture:

action preparation'.png

And right away contradicting with my own model I dare to say it is possible to rest in motion if you are well prepared. Likewise it is possible to have rest that does not feel like rest at all if you have taken too much action.

What I find interesting, the more you shift between the action and preparation, the better of you actually are. As extreme example: Elon Musk has his days split into chunks of 5 minutes. This kind of schedule would be really fluid between burning energy and recovering it.

I am trying to have split my focused work to 45 minute spurts and then something else between.

When it comes to sustainable growth, we are all individuals with different drivers (values, purpose, mission…), so some are willing to sacrifice different aspects of their lives than others. However, be aware of your choice.

Path of the Conscious Growth

Conscious growth means acknowledging your responsibility over your own growth in order to benefit others. Conscious growth is essentially recognizing the potential in yourself and then starting the work to actualize some of that potential.

Next think: what is it you want next?

Based on the previous questions, you should know by know that the time and energy are limited. We still what we want and setting a goal towards that can be beneficial, at least you will be going to the right direction.

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.

Energy First


I’ve been struggling with my life past few days and as a consequence I haven’t really had a spark to do anything. Then I decided to listen to myself and prioritize the one thing: rest to get the energy back up.

That was two days ago and today surprisingly I hit an energy spike after work to do extra chores around the house which is in the normal routines would be very rare.

I thought this is pretty cool: to have energy to do this kind of things. Although that’s just a spike, I asked myself could this be possible more often? Probably I wouldn’t still have energy to do it every day but on some days yeah sure it is. All I need to do is prioritize the rest first, then put the energy to something that creates more energy like exercise, healthy diet, cleaning and that kind of things.

Prioritizing the life like that, for the rest is the challenge. I’ve quite often prioritized the needs of others above my own. I’ve stretched for others, yet I haven’t kept my own priorities straight.

When the energy comes first, there is ability to do the work that is required in a focused manner. Everything else is just unimportant distraction. I am describing the pareto principle here… Which I need to start applying more and more.

What work brings most of your results?

Too Busy to Take Care of the Most Important Things



Does the topic sound familiar? Today a big click happened in my head:  I’ve been too busy to rest properly for each day. Why cannot I feel well rested every day, I asked myself?

I require quite a lot of sleep: doing the daily eight hours feels barely enough, yet that’s what I’ve been going with for most of the time. I’ve tried increasing that a bit in the evening with varying results.

It also turns out now with better rested perspective, that it is very difficult to imagine the cognitive capabilities of a well-rested person, versus let’s say tired. It’s quite easy to guess, however difficult to imagine for oneself.

Two weeks ago, I started noticing certain exhaustion in myself that just wouldn’t go away.  I had slept, however the quality of the sleep was poor, so therefore even the eight hours didn’t feel much at all. Even though I didn’t consider myself a person who can stress about sleep it started to become a topic of stress.

On the positive note this didn’t go on for very long as I started to think what I can do about it. I decided proactively to do some work with my calendar and start work one hour later on most of the days. Additionally I would go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. I decided to use the extra hour in most of the mornings for important personal stuff like writing, if I would wake up earlier.

Now I’ve about one and half weeks experience, and I have say that being well rested is the advantage I’ve been looking for. Mind that is well rested is capable in complex problem solving and creativity. Much of the challenges we struggle daily, can be solved with one moments’ creative insight.

Work smarter, not harder” – is a thought that I’ve tried to identify with before. Yet, it is so humane to get derailed from that beautiful thought, like a bunch of lemmings going over the cliff, we humans too love such herd behavior and do not even notice it.

I quite hesitated to do even these minor changes: because there is no guarantee of the net positive effects, and most importantly how it looks to others.

Well since I chose to stop caring about “how it looks to others” and decided put my wellbeing as top priority that certainly helped me to get the courage to try.  Life is quite too short to be pleasing imaginary opinions of others, I do not know how did I came to forget this as well.

Learn from my mistakes and listen to yourself.

Relaxation begins with detachment


This weekend we spent on island cottage. I think the boat ride makes all the difference in a spiritual sense: when taking only the essentials with and leaving everything allows deep relaxation to begin.

In the book The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz present some powerful ideas about positive, energy replenishing rituals we could build in our lives.

Reflecting the both experiences with island cottage life and the ideas in presented in the book, I think the actual sacrifice and ‘journey to the cottage’ should be in that sense made every time we intend to switch gears from the working mode into the relaxation and recovery mode to allow deeper recovery.

This makes me think, sometimes the duration does not matter as much as the intensity of the experience.

Even short vacations, where a lot of the unessential have been left out both physically and spiritually, can allow tremendous recovery. Healthy boundaries for work are necessary when we need rest, we need to drop down all our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical baggage when we are resting. One ritual, that Ajahn Brahn suggests is to literally pick up a stick and write worries there and then symbolically throw it away, we are literally carrying all this kind of baggage with us and we need rituals to deal with them.

There must be a lots of baggage we can always leave at each doorstep we arrive, that is draining our energy?

Other side of growth is recuperation

evening-sky-141797_1920Yesterday was last day to work for the next four weeks. Most of the people started their well earned summer vacation. July is still the most popular summer vacation month in Finnish business world.

As a parting words at Trainers’ House Max Henttu talked about cyclic nature of life. I am quite of sensitive to these kinds of things, and this cyclic nature of life has been something that I’ve been contemplating before. So this was like a fresh summer rain for the seeds that started to grow quite rapidly. More in just a moment.

So I have now four weeks of free time, which for most of my ambitions is really short time and I recognize this. I do not have much plans, aside from spending some time in the summer cottage, picking up blueberries and mushrooms. I enjoy the summer here in Finland, it’s luxurious not too hot just right breeze of wind, feels cool. I like shadows and breeze of wind rather than scorching sun.

These thoughts weren’t yet yesterday in my mind as many people were asking about my plans: nothing much came to my mind and that started to feel stressing. What’s the point to stress about vacation?

Even this morning I was considering my options and I am quite happy where I am right now.

The seeds of thought about yesterday’s orientation for the vacation have grown quite a bit. I started thinking what is indeed the other side of growth?

Growth. How do things even grow? It takes time to grow for sure. There was a metaphor in a book few days ago, loosely translated as “old trees grow slowest” when talked about particular Finnish author Sakari Pälsi. Really sweet words.

It put me to think, is it really so that the oldest trees grow slow? Quick Googing did not yield reliable results top three hits were kind of contradictory so I did not come to a definite conclusion. As a nature person I believe it solely depends on the trees and the environment, adaptation is necessary.

I think the tree metaphor is so nice for a human growth as well. As I was pondering about this topic in the morning I came to understand that the other side of growth is recuperation, saving the energy for a more suitable time to grow and probably doing some inner reflection. Growing fast or slow does not matter, as long as we are able to grow towards the meaningful direction.

For me, I have to learn to value the recuperation as much as growth.