It was yet another whirlwind week. I failed in the usual things and succeeded in others.
I savoured the bitter taste of failure while trying to wake up at dawn(-ish) and I pretty much failed with general time management. But the good thing is I was quite faithful with my new commitment to fitness. I succeeded at the gym (albeit painfully).
Concerning the waking up and the whole time management issue, I'll keep trying. I have to. I'm testing out a couple of different tactics to see what sticks.
Whatever does will definitely make it to these weekly discoveries. So stay tuned for that.
Besides it being about what I wasn't able to do and what I managed to do, the past week saw me stumbling upon a few fantastic things.
Here they are:
1. The Personal MBA
This is an epic book by Josh Kaufman that I spent a couple of days on.
I didn't read it.
I was lucky enough to listen to it.
The funny thing is, I got it for free! Most likely when I signed up for Audible a couple of years ago. By the way, if you don't have Audible yet, I don't know what you're doing with your life!
Anyway, there's a reason why I had the book for so long without reading it.
I (shamefully) judged it by its cover. The lack of colour and a certain je ne sais quoi did everything to discourage me from getting to it. I know, I'm ashamed of myself.
But the other day, I decided to give it a try. Purely because I'm trying to set up a business (I mentioned this earlier) and because, at the time of discovery, I was looking for a break from the other books in the app.
Once I started listening to it, I was impressed. Very impressed!
It doesn't disappoint. This guy, Kaufman, is a master at explaining seemingly complex concepts to business dummies like me. And he covers everything (and I mean everything) you need to know if you're planning to start a business.
If I loved it and plan to do repeat listens over the next few months, there's absolutely no reason for you to ignore it.
Find it whichever way you know best. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
2. An awesome medium post about goal setting
I'm some kind of Medium addict. I check the site every other day for interesting posts on self-improvement and then I bombard my brain and my Twitter followers with whatever I find.
I came across this epic one about goal setting by Benjamin P. Hardy and it stuck with me. Especially because I'm usually terrible at staying true to anything that looks like a goal or a resolution.
The post includes a lot of great questions you can ask yourself when it comes to your goals.
It also does a great job in tackling the deathbed mentality, which reminds me of the death countdown clock.
If you think about death, it will show you exactly how to live.
Imagine you are told that you have six months left to live. What would you do? Would you continue living your life the way you are now?
The other important point from this post is the idea that it's indeed possible to strive towards achieving your 10-year plan in six months.
This kind of thinking sheds away useless excuses and makes you work even harder towards your goals. It's the kind of thinking that'll make you think and work at the necessary optimal levels every single day.
From this thinking, I actually added a reminder on my phone that reads: "6 months to live...what would you do differently?" It conveniently pops up in the middle of each day. It acts as a constant reminder that directs my mindset towards things that feed my soul.
3. Artistic greed
And speaking of goals and things that feed my soul, let's talk about art. Or rather, lots of arts!
I'm an artist. And right now, mainly a fine artist/writer/sort-of-designer/Macgyvering jeweller. I'm also trying my hand at videography and (another tough one,) poetry.
But there are a lot more art forms I want to learn.
That's the artistic greed I'm referring to.
Here's my theory. If you're any kind of artist, you can engage in another (if not ANY other) art form. An artist is an artist, right? And creativity is the common denominator across all fields of activities that human beings have labelled as "art". So why can't we do it all?
And so, I want to do it all.
I believe I can do it all.
Of course, I'll want to focus on some main ones but I don't think it hurts to learn others on the side over the next couple of years/decades. I specifically have eight that I think are the most urgent for me in the almost-near future.
It's all part of my diabolical plan to create every single day.
4. A podcast episode about patterns
Invisibilia is one of my favorite podcasts. It usually shares some great insights about the human condition. I find it to be absolutely intruiging.
I recently listened to an episode about patterns. Simply put, it's about how we assign patterns to everything.
We see a string of actions from someone and we assume that the pattern will continue. It's a safe way to make judgements about people and things. It's a safe way to survive in this world. But it shouldn't be an excuse for us to go on autopilot when it comes to individual situations that deserve to be treated differently.
The episode also touches on the desire human beings have to predict the future using past patterns. Just look at how much of the internet is running on algorithms.
What also came up were questions centred around the following:
- How much of life can we really have control over and how much of it is simply subject to happenstance?
- How much of life can we actually predict and how much of it are we meant to just accept as "what is meant to happen"?
I've tried my best to capture the spirit behind that episode. But it'll be best if you listen to it here in order to make your own conclusions.
5. The Four Tendencies quiz
Remember the waking up and time management failures I mentioned in the beginning?
There's a rational explanation for all of it. It's because I'm a Rebel.
And that's according to Gretchen Rubin.
She's created an entire framework around how each of us deal with expectations - expectations from others and expectations from ourselves. The framework says that each of us is either an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger or a Rebel.
All this can be found in her latest book The Four Tendencies. But you don't need to grab the book to find out what your Tendency is. You only need to do this quiz.
Ever since the quiz labelled me a Rebel, a lot of things have started to make sense.
While I knew I was some kind of rebel, I was oblivious to one important fact.
Sure, I usually find it difficult to do what the world tells me I'm "supposed" to do. I knew that. What I didn't know was that being a Rebel also means me finding it difficult to do what my inner self wants me to do. Things like waking up early and properly managing my time. Both of which are daily struggles.
I must admit, though, that it's quite comforting to see my mannerisms in a framework! That means I'm not extremely abnormal.
I'm currently trying different tactics to help me get better at my "shoulds" and manage some of the negative Rebel inclinations. I'm trying tactics such as specialised self-talk, speaking to the Resistance (which I mentioned here) and engineering a million and one reminders on my phone.
I guess I'll have to get the book to know more. I need those details on how to harness my "superpower".
Which of the above discoveries speaks the most to you? And what new thing have you discovered recently? Let me know in the comments section below. Until next time, stay curious and keep discovering!