If you want any perspective on life, you have to listen to this podcast immediately. All of it is great, but I am talking about the part from 41:39 to 48:22.
If you don't have time to listen then my summary is below, that surely will not do it justice, but here goes:
Remember that your time on this Earth is fleeting. Thinking about the history of human beings, if it was a 700-page book, you would only be alive for a sentence at most. This is the most exciting time to be alive and most people will not do anything that would make it into that book. There have been so many amazing shifts in technology and communication that it is very unlikely that you will make an impact big enough to hit the 700-page highlight reel of human history.
But you can still make an impact.
To your friends. To your parents. To your children. To your teachers. To your mentees. To your co-workers.
You do not have much time to be alive. Why must we waste any of it?. Each day is fleeting and we must make it our own.
Is it mindless to constantly do the same thing over and over and lose conscious thought about it? When thinking about the daily commute or the grind of working for a big corporation in a low-grade job, then it seems prudent to stop and reassess where you are where you want to get to.
When thinking about daily habits, it seems more sensible to set it and forget it - to keep the existing ones and build on top. Unless you have bad daily habits, in which case replacement should be the focus.
The ones I am talking about are the ones that were developed from active thought. Ones that were developed from Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning, for example.
These active habits: exercise, meditation, yoga, journaling, affirmations - these do not ever seem like they are mindless or futile to just keep doing every day. Quite the contrary.
Doing this practice every day helps to be more mindful, more present and more grounded. And if you have reached the stage where you are doing them consistently without thought, then you have truly mastered the habits necessary to bring whatever wealth you desire into your life.
This is going to be the best year of your life, as every year should be. To find out why read my previous post.
This year my focus is on being fit and healthy. I have realised that after sacrificing some time in my morning in order to get some business stuff off the ground, that nothing is sustainable without finding time for exercise, yoga, meditation and eating right. Shortcutting these things inevitably leads to suboptimal performance showing up elsewhere.
There are a lot of things that can be fixed by just getting up earlier in the day.
What are you making time for this year?
When I am at my most productive, I follow the life S.A.V.E.R.S mnemonic from Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning book. Then I write morning pages to get blog ideas. And finally, catch up with my developers for any issues or test the latest build of my app. All before leaving for my day job at 0730.
What this looks like for me is:
S. Silence. I use Headspace app for 10 minutes of meditation first thing after I get up to start the day calmly.
A. Affirmations. These were really difficult to start with but have built up over time and now also include lots of quotes - mainly ones to stop procrastination
V. Visualisation. I use a visualisation board. Which contains a visual split of Tim Ferriss’ dreamline: things I want to have, things I want to do, and who I want to be.
E. Exercise. I don’t use weights as I want to avoid injury and want to be in proportion. So I do pull-ups, chin-ups, pushups and air squats. I also do 10 mins of Yoga Studio app on the Apple TV or iPhone to stretch out and increase flexibility. This also reinforces the mediation as there is lots of deliberate breathing.
R. Reading. I used to hate reading at school and I still hate reading fiction. But reading non-fiction in the morning really starts to get my creative juices flowing and ready for action.
S. Scribing. I use the 5-minute journal to practice gratitude and also just to get in the habit of writing things done and out of my head. When I started my blog I also then started practising morning pages…
This is basically just starting writing. It does not matter if you do not know what to write, you just write for three pages every morning. I thought this would be hard, but I find it incredibly therapeutic. Most of the time when I cannot think of a blog post, if I start this one just materialises out of my subconscious. If not, then it gets everything off my chest ready for the day ahead.
As I referenced, I also write a daily blog to make me get in the habit of shipping things that are not perfect. This is a good habit to cultivate, especially for a person like me who is more prone to procrastinating over perfection.
A couple of tips for those that feel like you can’t get up early, but want to start. Firstly, you can do it! I used to be a complete night owl and would not get going until after 5 pm. And I would be the last one in the bar at night. Realise that there is no natural morning or evening person, you are just a reflection of your habits. Also, realise that there is no race, you can start slowly and improve.
A great tip is to first, just get in the habit of sitting up when your alarm goes off. If you cannot even get up without snoozing for an hour, then no point setting your alarm for any earlier. Do this for a week then, once you can literally get up on the alarm start to set your alarm 10mins earlier each day until you manage to get to your desired wake up time. I like to still get 8hours sleep a night so this means going to bed earlier. This might be a deal breaker for some, but how much do you really want to be more productive? 8pm-11pm I know that I am not going to be doing any work anyway, I will be watching Netflix. So better to cut that out, go to bed and do something productive in the morning. It is a lot harder to waste your time-consuming content after you have just woken yourself up to do it.
Once you can get up on the alarm and at the time you want, you may still feel a little groggy. Try reading on an iPad or tablet - the light will ease you awake. For more abrupt wake-up, try brushing your teeth straight away, splash cold water on your face or just go straight to a cold shower.
1. No one comes to work trying to do a bad job and they are likely better than your immediate impression of them. But they might also not come to work prepared to give their all or be very good in their current position. How can you help them either way?
2. Be incredibly grateful for what you have. Know that you can always do better. Continually work on both.
3. Enjoy yourself in the present and prepare for the future.
4. Realise you can be frugal and extravagant.
5. Focus… and do both. Realise that they are only one thing. Reframe them into one.
6. Give all of yourself to those closest to you… by looking after yourself first.
There is never a good time.
Unless you are working 168 hours, you have time.
Cut the excuses.
Look after your family for the short and the long term. Follow your dreams and engage in current reality.
Do both. Do what matters. Do it anyway.
Life is full of paradoxes. When young you have lots of time and not much money. At some point, that will switch and the opposite will be true. During that transition, your mentality will need to switch with it.
When young, say yes to everything to be successful. Then say no to almost everything to be successful.
Finding the right side of the paradox is the secret no one can tell you. It must come with hunger, experience, self-esteem and humility. Often paradoxes themselves. That is the beauty of this big game we are all playing. Enjoy it while you figure it out. It is the only way.
A little old now, in the grand scheme of things, but still a good one. Like a form of meditation, the one figured controls allow you to gently and calmly carve your way down a mountain, collecting scarves as you go.
Beautifully designed, allow yourself ten minutes downtime to recharge as you fly down the slopes.
I read three or four books at the same time. Someone asked me, “well won't you finish them faster if you focus on one book.” Yes, but the goal is not to get to the end of the book as fast as possible. It is to link as much different knowledge as possible to find the connections that others don't. If I’m enjoying a book then I want it to last as long as possible.
The other day I came across the quote in the picture followed by this excerpt from the Tao Te Ching:
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.
The point of planning is not to get a plan. It is to do the act of planning.
If I'm executing a task then single tasking is the way forward. If I am thinking then I want that to be as broad as possible.
Split your time into thinking and doing and do not confuse the two. Plan and then ruthlessly execute.
And enjoy each step. Why rush? The goal is not to get to the end. The goal is to work towards a goal.
A bite-sized package of wisdom, some of the text will make you stop and think. Depending on your mood and situation, some pages will make no sense. But persevere, review them often and you will be sure to find something that matches your current state.
Read a page per day for a tiny slice of replenishment for the mind.