Set Exciting and Empowering Goals

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Did you know it takes just about the same effort to be mediocre and awesome? Well I hadn’t thought about it that much, until now I realized this through listening Success Through Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill.

Let’s say remaining mediocre means you can remain in your comfort zone and does not require much mental effort. In real effort through, which does feel better: accomplishing mediocre goals or accomplishing awesome goals?

Set goals that empower and make you feel excited about life. Do not think in terms of what you can or cannot, instead set the goal first and let the excitement fill you. Good goals should energize you each day.

Keep the goal in mind and start thinking how you could do it. Your subconscious starts to work on that. Keep the goal visible, so that you can each morning ask yourself how I can do it, what can I do for today?

Setting exciting and empowering goals, will energize you to think different and in the end make you achieve those goals.

Today utopia, tomorrow flesh and blood as Victor Hugo said.

If you want to dive deeper into energizing goal setting I recommend listening Awaken the Giant Within Abridged edition by Tony Robbins. It’s just 1h and 30 minutes and you will get to set four of your major life goals in a guided manner.

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!

Conscious Growth

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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.

 

Example

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:

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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.

Where Does Your Path Lead?

 

future-431270_640.jpgDo you have a dream? Is that dream connected to goals? Are those goals connected to actionable tasks?

Well achieving grand dreams is really that simple.

On a company, organizational level that grand dream could be described as a vision.

For anyone I hope there is something beyond the hassles of everyday life.

My dream is not that clear, I would like to see greener future thought. And since I like the things that grow, I’ve dubbed my dream as sustainable growth. I like the idea of things growing in sustainable manner.

Although I am concerned about our ecosystem, I am also concerned about the sustainable growth of human beings. We also need to keep on learning and growing, and how we are supposed to do that? Well first part is the access to information. Although internet is doing good job in terms of access, there is still a lots of information that’s not accessible. Books are, however they are behind closed systems. Ideally I would like to see a world where we are spending most of our time learning and striving for higher heights.

As far fetched as it all seems, that’s what I am working for and my goals and choices in life point that way. Where does your path lead?

From addiction to connection

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble).”

Merriam-Webster definition of addiction is strong and harmful. However, in the same way there are some addictions so deep that are more like subtle and the effects are socially accepted that the harm cannot be seen so easily.

We all have the potential to be or become addicts. We probably are addicts in some subtle ways as well. Being addict is not a bad thing. Johan Hari in his TED talk says that opposite of addiction is connection, there is an idea that we have innate need to bond and this need can go wrong as well. In the TED talk he refers to the rat park experiments where addiction overdoses rarely happens if rats are well connected and live in environment that represents well their own.

In most of us our addictions are harmless and mild to ourselves and other people. Yet, because they are mild and harmless there is still vast potential under there. But most of us are totally convinced that the job that pays the bills or the morning coffee are so minor and pleasurable things that are actually beneficial to us. We live in blissful denial.

Today as I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant book I realize that I am not only addicted to money, but as well to the process of acquiring that money which is the work.

Being addicted is easy. Breaking the patterns and putting effort to see the reality as it is, is really hard! In fact it takes so much effort, most people do not bother. Those who did bother are enlightened beings, saints or whatever you want to call them.

We have the potential to change our patterns, discard our addiction and embrace the connection.

I would like to see a world where there will be less money, gadget fidgeting, coffee, soft drink, alcohol, cigarette, drug, medicine and video game addicted people.

Maybe it’s too tough to achieve, however I don’t understand why some consumer choices still exist. They’ve for a long time for the sake of the economy. However, in my utopia we would be smart enough to spend the money somewhere where it does actually have positive impact: such as our own education.

I believe the change in the world can happen when more people will go from addiction to connection. Most of our problems are from the disconnection and we need more real connection and understanding.

When we are and feel more connected with the world around us, we will start to care more and make less bad choices collectively as well.

 

Further materials

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Unq3R–M0

Break Your Imagined Limitations and Fly

 

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We have physical limitations such as our physique, time and our health.

Then we have mental limitations such as lack of imagination and beliefs.

Physical limitations are hard to overcome, and that’s exactly the daring thing that the science, technology and medicine are attempting to do.

Then we have these mental limitations over which we have influence and control over, because in fact they are just constructs in our heads. Still changing these thoughts we believe to be true does not happen overnight. We need to learn to open our mind and question our beliefs, then we can begin to chip away these limiting beliefs and have more correct sense of the truth.

Once we learn to entertain possibilities, we can begin imagine better or even more wilder future. Instead of judging this, we should ask how this is possible?

 “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” –Muhammad Ali

How can we fly? Well with wings, or broomstick for example? I would prefer jet-pack which is in fact already very viable transportation option.

What are Worthwhile Problems in the World?

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Big part of this morning was to have internal dialogue with myself in order to clarify what to do with my life goals. These goals are the kind of metrics in order to stay track for the bigger purpose. However, if possible, shouldn’t I be serving the bigger purpose right now? I’ve failed to define the big purpose clearly.

I am big fan of Elon Musk, because he identifies problems and comes up with really good solutions that are better than everything that has existed before. He has done this time and time again, I was awed today as I saw the solar roof unveiling presentation.

I am angry at myself, because I have not defined even what are the most important problems in the world that need to be solved, so that I could be working at them.

As an example, I was quite recently checking out one solar roof company here in Finland. At the end I deemed that it was quite nice idea, however it was still passionless and costly. Now as I see the Tesla & SolarCity solution, I am awed.

What is the difference? There is huge difference in communicating the mission, purpose and vision.

However, I do not blame the companies, because each one of us should define our own mission clearly as possible first. Then if we cannot find any organizations that align with that purpose, I believe we should organize ourselves.

What are the problems you want to solve in this world?

POEM: Strangeness of Change

When you change,

Familiar seems strange,

Old seems to suck,

And people are stuck.

 

Now you’ve a color vision,

And it’s time to make  decision.

Start the journey into something new,

In order to have a better view.

 

Life is short,

World is large,

Bit like sport,

Go ahead and charge!

Words are magic that create stories, beliefs and co-operation

 

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Trust and belief are the forces that make the world go around, but what are some of the forces behind that?

One of the biggest beliefs of mankind that currently governs the world is the concept of money, which Harari Yuval Noah calls in the Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind book (2011, 180) “the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

There is limited amount of trust without the hope. Hope is constructed through story telling. Napoloen observed that “a leader is a dealer in hope.”

Leader is in fact storyteller, who makes people believe in something that does not exist in the first place. In this sense as J.K. Rowling wrote, words are magic. Magic that make something out of nothing. J.R.R. Tolkien was in the same lines wrote, “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

Leaders create believable stories and without which it’s unlikely to be able to organize any kind of collective effort. By creating vision, leader deals hope of the better tomorrow.

“It is impossible to organize an army solely by coercion. At least some of the commanders and soldiers must truly believe in something, be it God, honour, motherland, manhood or money.” – Harari Yuval Noah (2011, 112)

On the other hand, people can stop believing these stories any time which can cause collapse of the system.

Tom Asarcker (2013, 53) explains that “what we believe is what we desire, and what we desire is ultimately what we do.” So as long as the that which we desire is attainable through the belief it’s less unlikely that we are going to give up the particular belief and that’s exactly why money is belief of a choice, because it can grant us many other things we desire.

Great leaders therefore learn to understand people, their desires and beliefs and shape the story accordingly.

We all have this power, let’s use it for good by putting positive spin to the stories.

Sources

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. 2011. Harari Yuval Noah

In The Business of Belief:  How the World’s Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe. 2013. Tom Asarcker

Lead yourself to the results: set clear expectations for daily doing

women-697928_1920Yesterday I wrote about core doing in football terms, today I want to introduce a better word pair: daily doing. I thought about what I wrote and this morning I felt really satisfied with some things that I had told myself: I knew what I expected of myself and I was mentally and physically prepared to meet this challenge head on and right away in the morning. This realization and feeling is certainly something I want to share and especially that how this daily doing relates to achieving goals in the grander scheme of things.

Our minds have the tendency to do as little as possible as late as possible. Therefore knowing only what is the most important thing is not enough, we also need to know exactly how much is expected of us. Let’s call this the minimum standard. How much is the least you can get away with?

In my case, as I stated that most important things for me are reading, writing, exercise and meditation. I need to know how much exercise for today? How much meditation for today? How much writing for today? How much reading for today? Connecting this minimum standard of doing today, with the grander goal and you will reach your goal. Of course the minimum standard is not a goal, it’s a minimum standard only to be exceeded yet never fallen short of.

As you’ve set the minimum standard for each day and you’ve each day to accomplish the task, you’ve an natural deadline for each day. Deadlines are awesome way to get things done.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ― Confucius, Confucius: The Analects

Let me give some examples about my daily doing:

For writing, I’ve set myself an article per day deadline for the blog. In addition I write my journal every day.

For exercise bodyweight exercise routine which consists of squats, pushups and sit-ups at least thirty each. Routine is easy to vary and add more challenge as well. If you want inspiration for bodyweight exercises check out Darebee as there are many, for example One Punch provides variety of movement and you can adjust the level easily 🙂

For my reading, I’ve big goal of 36 books in a period of year. The daily doing of this is quite simply read an hour a day. On work days this is really easy to hit as I get that on commute alone and on top of that I read a bit in the evenings. On other days I’ve to take really the time off for to be able to do that.

I started tracking the reading goal on October, to which I’ve three and half months to go. In this period I’ve read 16 books so I am not quite able to hit the target still on that. However, most important goal I am currently having in my mind is to be able to hit the three books a month target consistently. This has been not a problem when I’ve lots of interesting books to read, so reading is also about finding really interesting books to read and that requires time as well!

For my meditation, I’ve had a long time habit just to sit a bit before going bed and a bit in the morning. My sitting time varies from 10 – 60 minutes a day. I feel like this is a habit that I want to keep doing no matter what.

What daily doing matters to you? What kind of expectations have you set for yourself for doing that?

We’ve to make it possible for ourselves to succeed. Big mountains become small stones, that can be carried away each day.

Tsemppiä! (Finnish encouraging words you to do your best and have a good luck doing it. English equivalents are too reliant on luck, I prefer the effort.)

Janne