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!
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.
Aside from getting things done, reading is my favorite pastime. The more I’ve read the more I like reading, without the cost of actual action of course. Knowledge without application is not much at all, therefore you should always seek to ask yourself “what and how I am going to apply this to my life?”
The more I read the more amazed I am by everything that I do not know.
The more I know, the more I know how little in fact I know.
The more I read the more I want to read.
I want to visit the places of the books. And create places that do not yet exsist.
Reading is an amazing door to the worlds, I wish everybody knew this.
Reading the superpower to do anything. Aside from making the ideas real, the only activities I get more out of are teaching and writing.
Exercise your superpower, read more.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ― Oscar Wilde
If we want to have something different than what we have now, we must be prepared to risk it. Without a risk position, nothing can be gained. All growth is based on taking a risk, accepting it and then working so that the risk will not ever come true.
Sometimes despite all the work, the position does not succeed. What does a wise person do? Learn.
It is through courageously taking risks, and then learning from each position that creates growth. Sometimes we fail, yet we always learn. Sometimes we succeed bigger than we ever imagined possible.
Risking to get no, is better than never trying. At least you know.
Where are you developing your courage?
What are you risking today?
After finishing this classic, I got to say that this is exceptionally well honed book. The structure is great and the key message seems to be clear: you will find it much more advantageous for everyone to further your cause when you start with kind words.
The title of the book and the structure is brilliant. You can clearly see the vast amount of study and practice it has taken the author to put this all together in a such clear and concise manner. Wisdom is age tested, and carefully structured to this book.
Some of the content can seem rather repetitive after a few examples around the same topic. However this also creates a more interesting reading experience on subsequent reading times.
Mostly because those a bit outdated examples I chose to give 4 / 5 rather than full five. Definitely a book worth of reading and studying again and again.
Reading quality sources increases our awareness quicker than pure action does. This quality of information is transformed into awareness, which then should be transformed into action as well. Action then in turn provides feedback and experience from which we can build a solid foundation for wisdom.
What is quality information? As example, books that have passed through the filters of many and are recommended by many and the message of the book is relevant to us at the moment.
This is because well researched and written book is certainly standing on the shoulders of giants. There are discoveries, upon discoveries presented there in very thoughtful manner. When you are reading such book, you will know from the first pages and lines that this is a material to be studied for a lifetime.
The more you read, the more aware you become. By starting to have conversation with the quality material you will deepen your bond with the knowledge, and make it easier for yourself to apply the knowledge and wisdom daily. You will start to master the material, eventually becoming master yourself.
Attending business school created momentarily illusion for me that I knew something about something, grades did support this illusion for a moment. However, I was glad enough to enter a place where I could learn how business really works and I quickly realized how much I have to learn.
After completing my studies I understood that although I knew some theories and I had put them into some practice, the real learning would start now.
What I’ve been amazed is how little effort people put to their learning after universities to their professional development. Their employees even might be investing to their training and they do the minimum required. This might serve all of the parties involved in the short run, however it is not going to be enough in the longer run.
Learning is constantly refining our understanding of the world, applying that understanding, reflecting upon it and applying it again. I found PACT learning cycle from Skills You Need which does represent this very well:
- Procure. New knowledge (theory) or ability (skill) is acquired.
- Apply. The new knowledge or skill is then practiced in some way.
- Consider. The results of the practice are evaluated and/or assessed.
- Transform. The original knowledge or ability is modified accordingly
At best learning is this ongoing process. Yet people do not put much effort to first procure quality knowledge or skills, they settle with what has been given to them. Failure in the first steps leads to the lack of practice in later steps: people who take inferior ideas into practice, also do not have the ingredients for high quality synthesis in the transformation step.
In a sense, you need higher quality ideas in the first steps and then to keep on practicing all four steps in order to have high quality original working ideas.
Most of our ideas come from people are close to us. However, if no-one in the social circle procures any relevant knowledge outside the social sphere then the atmosphere becomes quickly stagnated.
Life is fun with great ideas, because it is through ideas that we can satisfy our needs of safety, change, uniqueness, belonging, fulfillment and sharing.
Life is a learning experience, about the world and about ourselves. About ourselves, not everything is not revealed even during lifetime. Thinking about this: even though we are with ourselves, yet we barely can comprehend this.
If we cannot know ourselves fully through lifetime, how can we expect to do so about others, or about our environment?
Learning begins when we acknowledge our ignorance or the lack of understanding. It’s often about the things we take pride in, that we have to admit that we do now know much at all. If we can do this in healthy manner we can rise to a higher level, where again eventually we will face the place where we have to admit to our own ignorance.
Where ever there is ignorance, there is also potential for learning.
Learning to admit our own ignorance is one really useful skill to have and to recognize. Ignorance is often focusing on one kind of thinking and shutting down the other possibilities. Total openness and awareness about the possibilities could be at the other end of the spectrum.
For the word ignorance, antonyms are for example understanding, intelligence, education or wisdom.
More important than absolute states I think is the direction which we are going to: is it opening or closing. Enabling possibilities or shutting down possibilities.
Learning means progress and thus increasing liberties. Ignorance means satisfying what is and shutting off possibilities.
However, we learn the quickest when we recognize the ignorant thought patterns in our lives, accept them and then we can start to notice that over there is actually a lot to learn!
To learn, one must be willing to learn without expiration date.
Magic of the learning happens with the attitude of openness, humility and curiosity. The best are awake and trying to constantly learn.
First thing is the preparation: those who are eager to learn are also prepared, both mentally and physically. Have you ever tried to absorb knowledge with an empty stomach?
Even if we recognize something we rarely know.
Even if we know something well enough to teach it, there still comes up something to learn.
So where exactly the learning stops? Answers is, it doesn’t. The road to mastery is the passionate learning and practice every day until the end of days.
Surrender yourself to the learning and make a note of everything, not just the parts what are highlighted and require. Often in the coaching people just write or draw what is being drawn to the flipchart, even though 90% of the themes spoken are not being drawn or demonstrated anywhere. So why record only 10?
Mostly this is due to laziness and lack of herd behavior to support to writing. Yet Even if you would attentively listen and write half of the references that come up, you would be way better off that most. Then if you would actually study those books and examples mentioned in during the training you would probably be in the top 10%.
Most importantly you would be actually learning.
Achievement is one of hardest things to let go. I do not know how come we are still so easily moved by such motivation.
Letting go and accepting the present is a good exercise as it is rather never ending practice.
Where I sometimes seem to worship habit, sometimes I am willing to let go even a positive habit for the experimentation of the letting go.
Wisdom is wise priorization.
Let go and make room for priorization.