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.

Decisions to Do Create Something from Nothing

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Today as I was packing my stuff for the move. I finally got to my lifeboard, a very deal construction of post-its and such that I try to keep there to remind me of that which is really important and valuable for me in life. Each morning I’ll start my day by spending five minutes with lifeboard.

Now that I was taking lifeboard down carefully, I noticed that there are too many things there again. A decision to do something, should always go with a plan what is worth sacrificing for this decision. The decision become holy when something is sacrificed. Sacrifice is for example the decision not to do something, there is opportunity cost involved and based on conscious decision one choose an action over another.

Decision to do, requires a decision not to do.

When you’ve done something, that you have sacrificed your time and actions for, it really starts to matter. Anymore there is no messing around. Decision making is serious business as time is really limited.

Virtuous person will find oneself in a position where there is not simply possible not to do. This is because virtue is values in action and when one is able to live virtuously, there are few unskillful actions and when there are those actions are quickly corrected. Thus we get to a point where you’ve to choose in what order or with what focus you will commit to your decisions. It’s possible to overlap several things: such as going for a walk, with audiobooks and with grocery shopping. Three things done at a same time.

However, the experience of listening to a audiobook suffers still from opportunity cost of taking notes or checking additional material while at it.

Despite the opportunity cost, I believe a lot in overlapping several activities. Through habits we do not need to have any excuses not to do things. Instead we should find creative ways to get the decisions done no matter what.

Decision and commitment to that decision means using the limited time to come up with the results. Ex nihilo, from nothing everything has been made

Time matters time and time again

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Time is human concept, that there are sequences of time. We cannot time travel, we can attempt to remember based on our sense of reality how things were.

Crazy thing about this concept of time and especially history is that because of our limited capabilities, our understanding is severely limited especially about the facts. We are severely limited.

Despite the facts being limited, it doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Quite the opposite in fact, that’s one of the wonderful things in life: striving to become a little bit better.

Therefore we should get better at using each moment we have, each present moment at a time a little bit more skillfully. Present is all that we have and time is the stack of those present moments that end up.

Do you feel like you would like to have some more time? Great, so does everyone else, yet no-one can make that decision for themselves. We cannot make the decision, however we can improve our odds at it.

You may think each decision during the either adding to your life or taking away from it. Think carefully which kind of decision you want to add there? This is a humbling exercise that helped me to realize what and who really matters in life. Not all time spent is equal. Some time can have tremendous impact in short time, while other time feel like a blackhole that is draining you even after the time.

Do not hide behind the excuse: I do not have time. You have time, it’s your decision how do you use it and what do you put in that time.

“It’s not how many hours you put in, it’s what you put in the hours.” – Sam Ewin

What can you produce in 15 minutes?

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Production under time pressure is what matters.

What can you produce in 5 seconds?

What can you produce in 5 minutes?

What can you produce in 15 minutes?

 

These are thoughts to contemplate and to try on.

Leaders should respond to the critical questions in under than 5 seconds.  Why is this, because it’s their job to be aware what is going on. If a leader does not know her / his numbers, s/he is not qualified to be in charge, it’s as simple as that.

What I find to be able to produce in 5 seconds – 5minutes is more than I can expect. After that certain kind of slowness of thought takes over to ever more contemplate on.

Did you know that the more you know, the slower you get, because more you have to ponder in between thoughts?

Regardless of the speed, what matters is what you’ve produced in the short time. That takes a lot of preparation or should I even say, lifelong preparation 😀

Have a great evening!

Janne

Finding What’s Really Important

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Past is past, we should accept that and move on.

Future has yet to come, we shouldn’t worry about it too much.

What we are left with is the present. Using the present moment in smart ways to do important things is the one key skill that we need in life. We need to have the capacity i.e. courage and social skills to have the difficult discussions for example.

Time flows. Experience is of the time is relative. We if we feel pleasure our focus is in that and the flow of time seems quicker. If we feel pain the experience of time slows down.

It’s our abilities to identify the critically important things, in smaller and smaller chunks and then do that which is most important and get that done that makes our time spent feel very meaningful.

In fact it doesn’t involve a lot of work, but a lot of prioritization skill. Also with prioritization it’s very easy to think that doing this or that. However, have you ever considered are these the actual tasks that need to be done? Skillful people learn to recognize and break down the tasks that actually need to be done, instead of just looking and retaining the status quo, they challenge it completely.

Often the tasks that are at hand can be broken down into further tasks that are actually important.

Be Like a Storm!

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You are a force, like a storm.

For you get everything done in time,

Do not focus on what others whine,

Instead let the successes chime,

And all the good find!

 

To change the world, we just need to change one dark corner of it. And often that tiny dark corner is ourselves. It’s enough to change ourselves for the better. We do not need to worry or think about anyone else but ourselves.

How simple is that?

It’s simple, yet not easy. Who said it would be easy. It’s simple and doable, not easy.

What is in your control, what do you get to decide? Start with your attitude, how do you choose to react to what happens in your life? How do you respond to challenges?

Stop wishing for easy life, start getting smarter, stronger faster. It’s all in your power.

Start smiling for what you have!

Start focusing on what is right in the world, instead of finding the faults.

Start celebrating the small successes in bigger ways!

You have all the time what you need to do what is important, just cut the unimportant out of your life.

Be like a storm, make yourself known, make a name for yourself!

 

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Janne

Self-Discovery in Order to Benefit Others

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Yesterday I had an epiphany that only person who really has a chance to get to know myself is myself. To truly know oneself, is a long process which we usually do not spend enough time with.

Not enough time? We are actually also the source of our time, we can create more of it and as plenty as we wish.

Once we know ourselves, we are able to give more of ourselves to others as well.

We should begin by stopping and knowing ourselves, since it’s really our privilege to know ourselves. If the senses are a channel to get to know others and that channel is a bit limited – with ourselves we do not have that problem.

Discover yourself, start to create your own time and benefit others.

Full Ownership

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Ownership.

Responsibility.

The more of these two we have in our lives, the better our life starts to get. Especially if the ownership is paired with action to improve the thing. If the thing cannot be improved, then there is nothing much to worry about.

Today I made interesting association with the ownership. Taking ownership of the time: not complaining about the time, accepting and prioritizing based on that. It feels powerful. The idea once again comes from The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, where he explains the idea of Einstein time. Belief that we are the creators of our time and if we focus to that we will have more time in our hands.

As Seneca put it, we never have time for everything, yet we have time for the important things. This seems to be the golden rule in thinking about the time: what is important and what is not.

Ownership of the thoughts and the words that we let out transforms everything. It’s not irrelevant what we say or how we say it: because that does not only reinforce our own thinking but affects others as well.

Full ownership means having all the control we can have and it is the key in mastering the one time where we can affect things: present.

Quiet Contemplation on Decisions

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On occasion it’s good to have no structure and enjoy the chaotic connections and insights that arise. In order to prioritize we must determine and decide what is important. For that the time to reflect and weigh different options is necessary.

It seems I need to spend at least a day of a week in this kind of quiet and reflective in order to stay operational and to be able to function.

Life is rather easy if we think about it: we just need to prioritize spiritual, social and physical wellbeing and then when the time to do something comes, we are able.

Yet a life of growth is a bit different, because we are not facing the same challenges every day, instead we are facing progressively more difficult challenges.

Stress challenges our mind, body and spirit, and with rest all these grow stronger. Rest is much more than sleep: in physical terms it’s also everything that maintains our body. Our mind also needs healing: thinking practices, social bonding and emotional intimacy. Our spirit needs also nourishing: from social life and spiritual practices.

If we each day and week face increasingly more difficult challenges, how come we spend so little time to prepare for such?

I feel that we have plenty of time to prepare if we do it economically, each day a little bit. To do it economically only thing we really need to do is to keep doing the practices and reinforce the decisions we have made for example to exercise, meditate and socialize with friends and loved ones. Quiet contemplation lets us to appreciate and feel grateful for everything good we have in our lives and to work for those most important things even harder.

Now is the Time to Be What You Can Be

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In short I’ve fallen for stoicism. During the January I’ve re-read two books on stoicism: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday. Also currently I am reading Ego is the Enemy and I will read the Daily Stoic.

Stoicism is a practical and applied philosophy of a virtuous life. If you cannot practice the thought or virtue, it’s not stoicism. Being a stoic means having inner dialogue, finding what you are in control of and then living the best life you can from there with no complaints about the circumstances or about results. Stoicism is about action, not about attaching to the rewards.

Living the best you can in the present, because stoic recognizes life is only in the present. Nobody can change the past, however with the action in the present we create future. Nor does stoic gets attached to the future – everything goes to the plan because we are creating the plan every moment as we go. Stoic cannot be thus harmed by ill will, because stoic turns any obstacle into opportunity or dies trying.

Literally stoic recognizes the shortness of life: memento mori – remember you are mortal.

It’s only now time to be what you can be. It’s now when you should start not only being, but start the doing. Be the doing you can be!

I decided to modify the words of Gandhi: Do the change you want to see in the world. Doing is being, do not just talk, start doing something about what you want! In the end we never cannot be still to long, we are never complete, perfection is just a day dream. Excellence is what we should pursue. Excellence means the best we are capable of with the given time and resources. We do not need to commit overly too much resources, that would be foolish, yet we need just enough to create excellence, the best possible solution.

Excellence requires letting go and yet finding ways to fulfill the need completely. Excellence is the practice of virtues. Every day we become what we can be if we practice excellence. The time to practice excellence is now!