The Power of Your Decisions

Before we begin, I wanted to let you know that there’s a sale on my site! I offer you 5$ off the monthly membership until December 24th 2017 ūüôā

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My experience with journaling has shown me the power of a decision. For the last 37 consecutive days, I’ve practiced writing in a journal. At first, it was hard, but at day 37, I don’t have to force myself to sit down to write anymore. On the contrary, I look forward to doing it every morning.

When I decided to keep a journal every day, I didn’t know all the good that it would bring to my life. The act of writing by itself is amazing, but the super power it gave to my confidence to act on the things I know I have to do is compounding. The more I decide, the better my decisions are. The more I decide, the less stressed I am, and the less procrastination I do. The more I decide, the happier I get.

When you decide something, and make it happen, it gives you¬†tremendous power. Each time you follow through¬†on¬†your decision, you become stronger, you have more discipline, and you get a sense of self reliability. You can count on you to do the things you said you’d do!

As you start taking one small decision every day, and do it when you said you’d do it, you create momentum in your life. Procrastination becomes a thing of the past because you’ve built the muscle to beat it. You have a lot of practice and wins taking small decisions and acting on them. This makes you better able at taking on bigger and harder decisions because you know you’re going to make them happen. You’ve proven to yourself you could do it.

Here are a few examples of small decisions you can take to practice:

  • decide to say something kind to your partner/friend/family/coworker today
  • decide to go for a 5 minute walk after dinner tonight
  • decide to follow the speed limit on the way home tomorrow
  • decide to add a cup of veggies to your dinner for the next 3 days
  • decide to write 1 thing you’re grateful for every day for 7 days
  • or decide to spend only 10 minutes on Facebook today

And then just do it.

What’s one small decision you could take today and follow through?

Be Crystal Clean About What you Want

Many of us want some changes in our lives. We want more freedom, better relationships, and we want to contribute to this world. And that’s the problem, and the reason nothing will change; we’re too vague.

Have you ever seen a child write a letter to Santa like this one?

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I want toys.

Thank you!
Little Bobby

The reason you need to know exactly what you want is that your brain will start working when it knows exactly what it is that you really want. If¬†you don’t get what you want, you’ll be disappointed, frustrated, and unhappy, which is a good thing.

How can being disappointed, frustrated, and unhappy be a good thing?

Because you need drive¬†to move toward your goal. You need to know it’s going to be painful if you don’t get there. To avoid the pain, your brain will figure out a way to give you what you’re after because it wants the pleasure from successfully getting what you want, and because it wants, at all cost, to avoid the pain from not getting it.

The next time you set a goal for yourself, make sure that:

  1. you set only 1-3 positive goals at a time to avoid goals competing against each other;
  2. you break-down long-term goals into small bites that can be achieved in 12 weeks or less;
  3. your goals are crystal clear, so that you don’t end up with a Barbie while you wanted a Tonka¬†loader (true story bro);
  4. you work on your goal and follow-up every single day to create momentum, and see progress;
  5. you have strong reasons why you want what you want;
  6. you know what it will cost you (pain) if you don’t make it happen.

 

Knowing what you don’t want isn’t going to help you. That’s why you have to set a positive goal.¬†If you know what you don’t want for dinner, how is that going to help you eat tonight?¬†

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Update on the Useless Stuff challenge.

This week, I bought a book for 0$. I would not have bought it this month if I’d had to pay for it.

In the context of my useless stuff challenge, I am wondering if this would count as a fail. Although the book didn’t cost me money, I have succumbed to consuming something.

Next time, I’ll make my rules clearer about what counts as a fail.

What do you think? Did I fail or not? 

Role Play

You don’t decide what role you want to play in life. You’re a mother, father, brother, or sister. You’re a lazy employee, a good citizen, a renter, or a home owner. You let your environment and situation decide who you are, and what you do. If you’re not having much success in your life, you might think you’re a failure.

Even if the situation can be changed, your behaviours and your beliefs make you think you can’t do anything about it. You¬†learned to be who you are instead of deciding¬†who you want to be.

You get trapped in a state of mind as if in a bad dream from which you can’t wake up.

Your beliefs get stronger because you accumulate evidence of who you have become. Even if the evidences are false in reality, they would still strengthen your beliefs because you give them the power to define who you are.

So, how do you become who you want to be?

Destroy the evidences by making them stand in front of reality. Only then can you change your beliefs and your behaviours.

If you believe you’re a lazy couch potato, and you’ve accumulated evidence that you are a slouch, you’d need to find all the instances where you were¬†diligent, disciplined, and smart-working.

And when you’re actually on the couch doing the hot potato, remember that this is earned relaxing time to unwind from your productive, disciplined day.

Now, define who you want to be.¬†That’s where the fun begins. You can be anyone you truly want to be. Write down all the qualities you want to have, and all the things you want to be able to do. Make yourself extraordinary according to your standards.

Example:

I am a kind and compassionate¬†wife. I enjoy being disciplined because it makes me strong mentally, physically, and in all other areas of my life. My trial skills are progressing; I can make a¬†controlled¬†wheelie to cross big rocks and tree trunks…

Role play: act like that person you just defined. Breath, walk, speak, eat, smile like that person you want to be. Imitate him or her. Ask, “what would she or he do in this situation”, and do it!

You’re already role-playing your life, might as well be on your term! Agree or not?

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Update on the Useless Stuff challenge.

So far, so good.

I’ve made an IKEA list, but didn’t check out.

I’ve got a camera and a lens in my amazon shopping cart that’s been sitting there for about 2 months; I didn’t check out.

I didn’t buy new books; this is my weakest link, and it’s almost a daily struggle. I have more than 500 books in my Kindle app, I guess you could say I have enough.

Useless Stuff

To follow-up on last week’s post, We Have Enough, I thought I could put myself through a challenge.

Unlike many women, I genuinely hate¬†shopping. It’s hard for me to understand the excitement my friends feel when they shop. I see this activity as a stress inducer, feeling no pleasure whatsoever in giving my hard-earned cash in exchange for¬†a thing that might eventually end up unused after 3 months.

But I’m an imperfect being, and¬†I do sometimes buy things I eventually don’t use. When I do, it makes me feel guilty, and, at some point, I want to get rid of the useless stuff I bought not so long ago.

We/I easily blame the media¬†for this behaviour, and the marketing strategies they use to create needs. As I believe we always have a choice, I think it’s wrong to blame them for our consumerism habit.

The real reason I sometimes buy stuff I don’t need is my habit of mindless consumerism. I convince myself the thing I’m about to buy is going to make my life so much better. About¬†95% of the time, it ends up being the opposite. The stuff takes space in my home, in my mind, and robs me of precious time when I need to care for it.

Because I love challenges, and because I want to change this bad habit, I will¬†experiment¬†not buying anything for the month of November 2017. I’ll only buy food, and the essential personal hygiene products I absolutely need. I have enough clothes, kitchen utensils, and all the tools and product I need to care for my home, myself, my motorbikes, and my car.

If I like how the challenge goes, I might extend it to December. I will keep you posted in a short note on my weekly blog post.

Do you think I can make it? Have you ever tried a similar challenge in the past? And would you try it with me this month?

The Life we are Capable of Living

It’s intriguing to think about the lives we are capable of living compared with the life we are actually living. The life we are capable of living is the one that we secretly desire. It exists somewhere deep inside us.

But this amazing life isn’t driven by the you who gives in to procrastination and doubts. It can only manifest when you’re at your best, confident, and healthy. You can live this life when you show up, when you make things happen, and do everything you can to make a difference.

To make this extra-ordinary life happens, you need a system, one that will work for you. You need to try new ideas and implement them until there’s a good fit with the system and your personality.

But most importantly, you need a vision. Something that will drive you to action. I invite you to write it down, without judgement, without thinking about what others say you should be, have, and do. Without asking “How am I going to achieve this?” but by asking “What if?”. What if I could save the world? What if I could end poverty? What if I could become a millionaire? What if I could own a Tesla or a Ferrari? What if I could become a farmer?

What if?

Action

I’ve talked before about how I have trouble with information overload. There’s always a new book, a new TED talk, a new YouTube video to watch, a new blog post to read.

They all get me excited about making myself into a better person, creating a better video for my website, making my body fitter and stronger, or understanding the needs of my loved ones better.

I know I’m na√Įve. I thought I just had to consume the information, and my brain would take care of the rest.

Of course, that never happened.

What I try to do now, is to take one deliberate action on the information I consume and practice it until I have absorbed the knowledge. It’s hard, I struggle, because I’m addicted to the excitement I get from starting a new book, listening to a new TED talk, or YouTube video.

And that, my friend, is the foundation of consumerism.

I sometimes imagine I could read the same book over a period of a year. One or two chapters a month. Dig deep, and practice the knowledge until I make it my own, until it becomes second nature, until I’ve mastered the teachings.

Level Up

I tend to think that we live our lives in levels, sort of like when we play a video game.¬†You can only go to the next level or chapter until you learn the lessons from the current level you’re living in.

If you want to know the lessons you’re meant to learn, look at the things you’re afraid of, the things you complain about, or the things you’re avoiding.

The way to get to the next level, and learn the lessons, is by taking action. When you try the first time, you’ll either succeed or survive a failure.

If you succeed, congratulation, you’ve learned the lesson, and you can level up!

If you survive, examining the failure, and picking your brain on what could be the lesson, you can try again with a better understanding of how to succeed the next time.

Until you succeed, you’ll be stuck at this level, and the same type of challenges will be thrown at you until you learn the lesson.

When you’re aware of this, life’s challenges become fun because you’ll want to level up!

What are you afraid of, avoiding, or complaining about in your life?

Use Simplicity to Take Action

When something is complicated, the mind bumps into, and focus on the complexity instead of taking action. To help you take action, breaking down what you want to do in simple, clear, small and easy tasks will often do the trick. When a task is so small that it takes only a minute to do, it’s easy to have a first win. That easy win will grow into more successes.

Whether it’s exercise, eating better, creativity, work, un-cluttering, or learning new skills, using simplicity is¬†an easy to reproduce system for everything in your life that you feel needs a change. Starting simple, clear, small and easy will compound into big results over time, even if today, it seems ridiculous.

Can you think of big tasks you’ve put off because they seem too complicated, and break them into¬†simple, clear, small and easy steps?

“When the book is open, it’s easy to lean inside and read a few lines.”

 

The Perfect Day

I love writing down how a perfect day would look like for me. I ask myself, “what if I didn’t have to work?” or “what if money wasn’t an issue?” or “what would a perfect day be like for me”.

Then I go ahead and start writing how a day would look like with these questions in mind.

At first, my real days didn’t look much like my dream days. But every time I do the exercise, I come closer to live my perfect day.

Some of the things I wrote a while back, and that are a reality now, were:

  • Wake-up to the sound of birds.
  • Go for a walk with my dog every morning.
  • Exercise everyday.
  • Take some time to connect with the precious people in my life and tell them how much I love them, and how important they are to me.
  • Play.

What would a perfect day look like for you? 

 

Ask Great Questions

Our mind is always chatting, and we let it drift to where ever it wants to go. It sometimes tells us shit we wouldn’t dare think of telling someone we care and love.

But we end up telling ourselves unacceptable, harmful, demeaning, destructive things without even fighting back.

It’s like this flow of thoughts that if only we could redirect, would let us have an extraordinary life.

I found a great way to direct my flow of thoughts into positive, constructive thinking.

I ask myself great questions. They start with “what” and “how”, almost never with “why”.

Here’s a few I ask on a regular basis.

  • What are you not doing, but you know you should be?
  • What feels messy or confusing, and how can you make it tidy?
  • What have you been putting off because you’re scared? (this one is my favourite!)
  • What’s the most obvious change that would benefit you?

What are great questions you ask yourself?