“You are a reflection of the five people you spend the most time around.”
Make sure that the people who fill your life and your time are people who live with principles aligned with your own.
Everybody has a worldview, a unique way of looking at the world. There is no such thing as pure objectivity.
We develop a world view or at least a view point when we decide to focus on and concentrate on one idea. At the onset, it seems peculiar to constrain our thoughts and actions on one idea but interestingly it’s the only way in which we can achieve excellence, strive, achieve and excel at our craft.
David Foster Wallace spoke about worship in his famous 2005 speech called This is Water, and the idea applies equally to building a worldview:
“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
What does David Foster Wallace mean by this is water?
If we are destined to follow the compass of our worldview, we should design it deliberately.
For my part, I have chosen to pursue simplicity.
Write Down Your “main claim”
This is a tactic I’ve adopted from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.”
He talks a lot about the importance of writing down what it is you are ultimately working towards, and then repeating it out loud to yourself every morning and every night.
It might sound silly, but try it for a month and watch what happens.
It firmly instills in your subconscious what you’re working on and helps attract into your life what you need to make that vision a reality.
In my pursuit, I’m guided by the famous words of Bruce Lee:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.
The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.
When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count
5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action.
There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it.
It’s a 5 second window. And it exists for everyone.
If you do not take action on your instinct to change, you will stay stagnant. You will not change. Just start counting backwards to yourself: 5-4-3-2-1.
The counting will focus you on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts, and excuses in your mind.
As soon as you reach “1” – push yourself to move. This is how you push yourself to do the hard stuff – the work that you don’t feel like doing, or you’re scared of doing, or you’re avoiding.
That’s it. 5 seconds is all it takes.
“It’s a tool that creates massive change. Those 5 second windows add up, I promise. It changed my life and it changed the lives of over 100,000 who have written to me about the awesome effects the Rule has created in their own lives.
In almost any situation, there’s an application for the Rule.”
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
— Bill Gates
Imagine a decade of reflection over what you achieved in the last year. My sense is similar to myself, you may be able to real off a laundry list of achievements over the past 365 days yet if you were to take a closer look at the past decade, I am sure you will find you were a very different person 10 years ago compared to whom you are today.
More importantly you will change even more drastically as a person over the next 10 years!
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the short term and underestimate the change that will occur in the long term.
This notion has been attributed to software mogul Bill Gates, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, visionary computer scientist J. C. R. Licklider, futurist Roy Amara and others.
It is as true for technology as it is for achievements in everyday life.
Technology is almost never the driver of social change but it is almost always a major actor. Although society generally has a dismal record in forecasting the diffusion and effect of new technology, one generalization does seem to apply: we consistently overestimate the rate of diffusion and the impacts of technology in the short run but underestimate diffusion and impact in the long run.
In 1995 Bill Gates published the first edition of “The Road Ahead”. He quickly realized that he had underestimated the growth and salience of the internet, and the next year he released a substantially revised edition.
The “Afterword” of the 1996 edition included the following: 10
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.
Wisdom/What I'm Reading...
The Joy of missing out
by Tonya Dalton
Many of us want to lead balanced lives. We may think that this involves giving equal attention to all areas of our lives. But this isn’t right. The truth is, if our lives were perfectly balanced, we wouldn’t move forward – we’d be frantically going around in aimless circles.
The key message of the book is:
Don’t try to achieve balance; focus on what is truly important.
Similar to riding a bicycle, our lives can’t be in balance. We need to focus on our priorities to get moving. And to keep going, we have to constantly shift weight to different priorities depending on what’s most important at any given moment.
“We need to be willing not to do everything”
Having a clear purpose is crucial for identifying your priorities and making better decisions. While creating one might seem daunting at first, it’s more than worth the effort.
Defining your life’s purpose will help determine the decisions you make.
Your purpose is a combination of your mission, vision, and core values.
Once you have identified your purpose and values, it is critical to set boundaries and avoid unnecessary distractions whilst getting only the most important tasks accomplished.
The author defines the myths of productivity- the most common one being
Multitasking is so foreign to us that when we do it, our productivity drops by 40 percent!
The second myth is that we think we don’t have time to take a break. In fact, the opposite is true. One of our biological cycles, the ultradian rhythm, demands that we take a 20-minute break every 90 to 120 minutes. Working nonstop for long stretches of time just tires out the brain.
Third myth - Technology is always better.
Writing your ideas and plans on paper is way more effective than typing? When we write by hand, it triggers the reticular activating system. This tells our brain to pay attention and store up the information. So try closing your laptop and writing ideas on paper from time to time.
Set a priority list
A priority list is made up of three levels. The first is Escalate, which features tasks that are both important and urgent. These could include last-minute adjustments to a project following feedback from your boss. They need to be given first priority.
Next, Cultivate contains tasks that are important but not urgent – like a long-term project or creating a budget plan. This level requires most of our energy because it allows us to be proactive and produce our best work.
At the bottom is Accomodate. These are tasks that are unimportant but urgent, such as the majority of phone calls or emails we receive that don’t align with our purpose. These are things that shouldn’t feature high on your priority list.
This is not as easy as it looks, the fundamental resource in creating a meaningful priority list is to refer to your purpose. Ask yourself if the actions on the list serve your purpose, if not scrap them.
"If you're ready for more Joy and less fear... read this book."
In Tanya Dalton’s book, you’ll discover how to reject the pressure to do more, be more, and achieve more. She’ll also show you how to focus on doing what’s important so you can live a truly productive life.
She lays out the book in an easy to read, simple format that teaches us how to eliminate stress by choosing that which is best for us, not just because we feel we must add one more thing to our overflowing plates. There are four main sections in the book:
I think this book would be a tool useful for anyone who feels as though they cannot stop saying yes to everything that seems good. She has a clear, decisive way about her writing that allows you to evaluate personally the choices you've made, while offering grace to eliminate that which doesn't prosper your life.
“My definition of productivity is not getting more done… it’s focusing on getting the important things done. It’s about living with intention.”
— Tanya Dalton
To read the book - click here