Action and the result

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“Act Until Echo” – M.J. DeMarco, Unscripted

Action until it yields result. A powerful thought which upon feeling I felt many pieces click together. A sort of missing piece in my own puzzle to make sense of the world.

A kin to the thought great thinker Hannibal “I will either find a way, or make one.”

I like simplicity in this M.J. DeMarco’s version, there is specified action (act), then there is time constraint (until) and then there is also defined the wanted outcome (echo).

Echo refers to the feedback. Action creates all kinds of feedback, you can then go further and define what kind of echo it is you want to see in your life.

In life often there is more than single path to the desired outcome, as Hannibal suggests.

What one deems worthy of action is not so for another one, we are all in path to learning and understanding the priorities of life. On this path action is our friend, because action can be then transformed into harmonious action.

This is the insight shared in Bhagavad Gita. Passivity must be transformed to action. Action into harmonious being.

When you determine your desired outcome, take action until you get feedback. Based on that feedback you can decide to keep doing what you are doing, adjust or find another way.

Truth (Accountability Mirror / David Goggins Challenge #2)

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Yesterday I started listening the David Goggins’ Book Can’t Hurt Me as I wrote in Owning Myself (What is Your Bad Hand? / David Goggins Challenge #1).

Anything that was holding me yesterday back, I wrote there and came to the conclusion that only action was left for me. I cleared the challenges I set for myself yesterday and planned progressively challenging tasks for today both mental and physical uncomfort.

In the first half of the day as I’ve done most of the physical challenges I set for today, I realize that there is something else. One reason from my past came to my mind in shower: the reason why I’ve unconsciously avoided getting strong is from my childhood experiences with my other half-brother who is nine years older than me. He kind of used me as a living punching bag when ever he felt frustrated and that has caused me to avoid physical confrontation as much as possible because well who wants a fight they can’t win? I can forgive him and now start owning this pain and weakness as well and grow something else in place instead.

Life is about growth and we grow through challenge. Sure at times environment challenges us. But then at times it doesn’t, especially in the dimensions we need that challenge. It is up to us to do that and that’s what drives me now.

Instead of speaking of ideals, I would like to live them. Like in this order: Read a book. Live the book. Write a book.

Let’s see what part of the many ideas I can carry until completion. That is my mission, what is yours?

Clarity and energy to you!

Janne

Focus on What You Can Do

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Input is the work you do. You should do work every day to make greatest contribution (read Tiny Action Towards the Greatest Contribution).

You should design your days therefore action oriented.

Action is something you, yourself can do and decide about.

It’s about the use of your time and attention within that time. Where are you going to focus your attention to? You can choose and decide where you put your attention.

Where you put your attention, grows and gets stronger.

If it’s not in the right place, wrong things will come to your life and you will feel dissatisfied.

If it’s in the right place and right things, you’ll feel deep satisfaction and sense of progress with your life. Even if the actual outcome is still far ahead.

We are not our outcomes. We must understand that outcomes are shaped by small frequent actions piled on top of each other.

At best there are even many tiny, frequent actions working in harmony (other people), towards the similar purpose or goal. This is what I call the harmony of virtues.

What actions today, would bring about the greatest contribution to others?

Where is your attention?

Where do you spend your time?

How do you measure the actions within that time?

What you measure, can grow stronger. What you measure can be improved.

Measuring gives you feedback. If you do not measure it, it’s not clear enough. Measuring is a key.

Effects usually are seen in single metrics such as sales or cash flow. Yet those metrics are outcomes of actions.

When measuring the actual doing, there needs to be taken account both volume of action and the quality of action. This contradiction is hard to grasp. There are people who vouch loudly for volume or the quality. Yet both can be true at the same time. What times of benefits would the increase of volume and quality bring?

Everything has to start with the volume. Passivity has to be transformed into action (volume and frequency of doing), before it can be transformed into harmonious action (quality).

Keep your focus in the present. Do not cling to past. Do not cling on what other people are doing.

What matters is your virtue in the present. As Jordan B. Peterson puts it: what is the smallest thing you could do that you would do?

Do those tiny things that you do as well as you can. That’s your effort, that’s your energy, that’s your contribution and a gift for the world.

Tiny Action Towards the Greatest Contribution

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Taking action and making yourself to move towards your purpose is more important than the results of your actions.

Bhagavad Gita says this about energy: it must be first changed from passive to action, before it can be transformed into harmonious action.

Any movement is better than standing still.

Having written this, instantly my moral philosopher hat on my head I feel contradicted.

In my mind some action is better left undone in the sense of the total good. Yet action over passivity is right in most cases, we just need to recognize the limit. There is also this phenomenon called illusion of action.

Action is the first answer, not the only answer.

Taking more of the right actions is the key. And to take right action means to stop the wrong actions.

More and more of the right actions.

Daniel Pink had a short interview of Tom Rath in Pinkcast about the Life’s Great Question book. Tom Rath advises there to focus on the greatest contribution instead of passion. Greatest contribution is a clue towards the right action.

At the moment for me getting the book published is the greatest contribution I can make. I feel that writing the book was easy, now I am totally in my uncomfort zone with actual steps towards making the publication happen. Yet I’ve made decision and commitment to small incremental action every day to make it happen. Sometimes it might be more, sometimes less. I am making small progress every day that’s what matters.

In the same time as I am making small progress everyday and I am satisfied with that I am also able to keep what I most value in my life which is the habit of writing. Writing is the habit which I wouldn’t want to give up and after finishing my book I had a little bit over a month where I did not write every day. Then I realized writing is something I must do. I’ll figure out everything else in tiny bits and keep on doing the writing because writing is my creative medium which allows me to contribute the most.

At the same time I realize mere writing is not enough at this point and I need to get these writings published as well in order to continue growing as writer and in order to contribute more to the world.

You can do this as well. Understand your strengths, understand in what direction your greatest contribution is and take action towards that, every day. No compromises. You develop your greatest strengths in the direction what the world values and needs most. Both of these things may change shape during the journey and that is okay. By doing this, you’ll take a step by step. Always keeping on taking the step and you’ll see that the steps you’ve taken will form a path. Eventually a road. Travelling will become so much more easier. You’ll become the path, you’ll become what you’ve been doing, and you’ve become great at it because of the effort.

Joy and energy to your life 😊

Janne, writing and scribing on an apartment floor because writing is what I must do

Building Positive Momentum

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When life goes well, let it be that way.

Change is such a buzzword. Change happens all the time. If you think about it in our experiences we tend to think change either as a) good b) bad.

Depending in the culture you are living in, you might have more or less bias towards action. Some cultures prefer a lot of action right away where are others are more of the ‘wait and see’ types.

There is no right or wrong.

When it comes to living a life where you feel good because of your actions, you’ll need to learn to recognize what is desirable and focus your limited actions to reinforcing that good. Often times no action is required: when things are well – let them be.

Too often we sabotage our own wellbeing.

Action is not always the best solution. Sometimes inaction is good solution too.

Do not confuse inaction with laziness, that’s a different breed. You’ll need to learn to recognize what kind of action creates waste and what kind of action creates value.

Either you need to focus on building more and more value, or find someone to who your waste is value. These both are rather good options.

You have limited time and focus. Use these limited time and focus to build something meaning, something positive and reinforce that positive momentum.

Once you’ve the positive momentum going, do not touch. Just seek to build on it. Build on every success you’ve, one brick at a time.

Life Direction

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We have the ability to look forward, just as much we have the ability to look back or be present in the moment. Contentment of life depends quite a bit how much attention we fix on any of the states.

A year ago, I was browsing through a book of strategy at my friend’s place and there was this rough division of attention 70/20/10. 70 % in the present, 20% in the future 10% in the past. These figures have stuck with me ever since then and I think it’s rather applicable.

We feel most alive when we are doing things, and this requires us to be present most of the time and taking action.  What justifies more of the time spent on future, rather than in the past is simply that we cannot change the past, but we can create the future by taking action in the present. Therefore, it is necessary to remember a little bit more of the time what do we want to achieve and why.

Then once we have done our thing, we can sit back and reflect on what we did, how did it turn out and what did we learn from it.

Past is a place to learn and to be satisfied with the present, this line summarizes it very well: “Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now.”

Epicurus put even some more advice in to the similar thought: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

If we keep trying, it’s almost inevitable that we will succeed eventually. Our present comes therefore the utopia that we once dreamed of.

You Get Better at Doing by Doing

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Only Doing furthers the progress of the task. This is easy to say, hard to understand in the way that it translates as immediate action.

One of the best leadership questions after a decision to do something, is to ask when you are going to do it? And the follow up is, why not now?

Important things should be started immediately. Next best thing is to set clear slot to calendar and do it then.

In sales there is saying “time kills deals.” In leadership it could be said that procrastination kills inspiration.

What ever is the cause for the delay: procrastination, hesitation, fear – all of those reasons we can figure out if they are defences or not, and then to think if this is really a excuse or could there be a way to do it now?

Doing things now, requires preparation and courage. Preparation for the most important things in life should be one of our daily practices. We cannot always do the things we want to do right now, however when can take the present moment as a practice and preparation for the moments that come. And when they come, we should seize the moments without hesitation.

Do it right away!

See the tasks that feel difficult right now as a practice for the future success. Those who are willing to put themselves through difficult situations learn the quickest. You’ll get a lot better through challenges.

There is one exception to the rule: things that are way too difficult We do not need to try to do the impossible, but the thing that just is just out of reach, not out of sight.

Making Happiness a Habit

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Happiness is an attitude to respond to the joys and sorrows of life. We can choose how we respond and happiness therefore is a conscious decision.

Happiness is the habit and you can choose to create it. Do not complicate life: enjoy what you have now and you will have more of that which you focus to. If you focus to the good, you will have plenty more of the good.

We can program habits through action. So start choosing your attitude of happiness, do it enough many times and you will have the habit of happiness. Train your mind every day, not to ignore the bad, but to find the good and focus to the good. Reinforce what is good and work through your strengths to create more good and you shall have plenty.

Work is the magic that can transform your present, into something even more through the process of accumulation. By doing small things every day you will create happiness more and more. Remember to keep on working at it every day. The thing with the habits is that, we need to keep using it, or we lose it. All the good habits stick only if you practice them consistently.

Habits become easier day by day, however keep on challenging yourself with tiny things to make even stronger habits and through that greater results. When you are skillful at happiness, it’s much easier to uplift others as well and through others you will have much better times.

If You Could Decide What Would Your Life Look Like?

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There are tremendous forces at work with life. They crush and crumble our plans easily. That’s why plans are useless. Planning is useful thought, because it allows us to mentally prepare for things to come and then adjust accordingly.

Visualization has the same effects on our brain as actual exercise. Same I believe to be true with planning. When we plan, we are living potential lives already. That prepares us for the actual reality to come.

With all this chaos and change in life, it might be easy to fall into the trap of victimhood: I do not have control.

While it’s true that the big picture of life gets set, we cannot affect the circumstances or the other people that are in our lives, we have surprisingly a lot of control within our own limited life.

Each day we make hundreds of decisions about our life. What if you started to look at your life the way you want to live it and make more decisions according to that ideal?

Decisions themselves are potent if you follow them up with sacrifice (decision to do means also decision not to do something else until the thing is done) and then action.

Pressure Reveals Ourselves and the Culture We Are Surrounded by.

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We can become that which we learn to be under pressure. By observing our thoughts, we can change our response, we can change our action and we can change our habits. We can change ourselves to take smarter action under pressure.

We can become smarter by taking smarter actions.

Top performers perform better under pressure, because they have more time to choose a better response. So can anyone become better at chosen action is the responses are better and you have more time to respond.

Pressure reveals how prepared we are, and how do we react to the pressure: do we have time to evaluate the best choices or do we mindlessly react like animals do?

More than ourselves, the way we react reflects the culture around us. For those who are in the culture, it is difficult to see. From outside its easier to observe that under pressure our behavior is often based or even copied from those who are close to us.

Pressure therefore not only reveals ourselves, it reveals the culture we are surrounded by.

Of course we do influence and get influenced by culture at the same time. What is in our own control is the respond to each situation and that’s it. Do you breathe for four seconds before reply or do you respond straight away? Do you have multiple choices or do you go with the first one that pop  into your heads.