Browsed by
Category: Life

Small Actions, Big Results

Small Actions, Big Results

When it comes to success, a lot of people have the idea of the big break. That all we have to do is wait patiently, do what we are doing, and then one day, success will arrive. This is why lottery tickets are so popular, in general people like the idea of getting to a place they want to be in quickly.

The truth is that even though that view of the world is very attractive, it’s not realistic. Of course, some people were lucky and got rich, but the number of them is low compared to the amount people who were in that position and didn’t achieve what they wanted to.

I first understood this when preparing for my Leaving Cert (exams before college). About three months before the exams, I realised that the better approach to achieving something is focusing on the small things that on their own don’t change much but accumulated over time, produce great results.

So in the months leading up to the exams, I would, among other things, get up early in the morning to spend half hour on revising all of my subjects. Of course, half an hour spent on this on its own didn’t make a huge difference, but the impact of this relatively simple habit was immense over time. For example, I found that just by repeating definitions every day, I was able to memorise over one hundred Physics definitions in about four weeks. And this is coming from a person who has a pretty bad memory and was never good at memorising things.

In the end, I ended up improving my results from Ds and low Cs to high Bs and As in the space of three months. This is the power of small actions done consistently over a period of time!

Overcoming the routine

Overcoming the routine

When routine takes over, days all look the same. Life becomes dull and flies by. At some point, you can’t even remember what happened two or three weekends ago. You start making excuses that you will do something exciting, travel somewhere, one day because now is not a good time. This day often doesn’t come because as you’re stuck in this dullness of repetition, curiosity slowly dies and eventually, you lose motivation to do exciting and new things.

I think the above scenario is something that everyone experiences to some extent, I know that I have, quite recently. This is what helped me to get over it.

The important realisation for me was that if I’m saying that I will do something tomorrow, I practice that way of thinking. Then tomorrow, I’m likely to say the same thing, and the day after, and the day after. By realising that if I put something off, I’m probably not going to do it, I am motivating myself to take action today.

The next challenge is knowing what to do. What helped me is just setting a time for myself where I sit down and write down things to do that pop into my head, sky being the limit. Here are some examples:
– Driving to a lake for a breakfast-picnic
– Going to an abandoned city (Pstraze, Poland) and surviving a night there
– Finding a roof of a tall building which is open and having wine there

I’m always surprised at the number of things I can come up with. I found that it’s good to pick things which don’t require a lot of time as it’s easier to do them on weekdays and weekends and keep the excitement in life!

From Chaos to Order

From Chaos to Order

How easy is it to get lost? How easy is it for the order of our lives to turn to chaos?

Extremely easy. We might think that we sorted, that our life is sorted but something can easily come up which will shake this “truth”.

That happened to me a couple of months ago, I had a bad day, I had another bad day, and then another and I found myself forgetting all the good things that I learned that have kept my life in order and kept me heading in the right direction.

Value of being honest with myself, the value of passion, the value of goals, all gone. After that, I lived day to day just fine, went to a job that I enjoyed and for which I got paid, I travelled to some places, I met up with friends and things were grand. However, underneath that, there was a feeling of being lost, a feeling of lack of direction. There was no more doing extra, no more going beyond the minimum effort necessary, no more pursuit of passions and improvement.

Eventually, after a few months, I realised this. At that time, when I looked back on things I’ve written a few months back, I wondered “how can I go from having life sorted to the opposite in a space of a few weeks?”. It doesn’t make sense. I worked hard on figuring my life out and I got quite far but then just stopped?

Eventually, I got it!

It’s not about how good or “sorted” you feel at a given time. And it’s definitely not about how much cash you have, or friends or travel destinations under your belt.

It’s about knowing the process and having things in place that, even when you get lost, will guide you back on track and set you your way towards self-improvement and life becoming better.

These things are unique for every person. For me, these include, writing in a journal every day, daily affirmations, going to the gym regularly, and spending a few hours each week on a personal project which will benefit me in the future. All these things don’t take long, an average of an hour to two hours each day, but it’s enough to keep me going in the right direction.

The Most Important Thing

The Most Important Thing

The last few weeks have been very eye-opening for me.

I think it’s like that with every period of intense changes. When we are stuck in the comfort of routines and things are not changing, it’s difficult to get a good perspective on our lives.

In the last weeks, I got out of my comfort zone and rediscovered something that I have forgotten in the last year. The power of progress and growth.

When studying for the most important exams in my life (those before college) in the first half of 2015, I was very much focused on growth. Learning and improving everyday was my life purpose. I even reminded myself of that every morning through affirmations. “I will no longer settle for less than the levels of success and fulfillment that I am truly capable of and deserve”.

Then as I finished my exams, I felt I can relax during the summer. I moved away from progress and growth and focused more on short term pleasures. This continued through the summer, first semester, Christmas, second semester and yet another summer. Of course, I was doing great things and having a great time in that year! However, it wasn’t the same as before, progress and growth was not my purpose in life.

The changed in the last few weeks and subsequent loss of comfort have showed me that progress is the most important thing. Main reason for this is that outside circumstances could always change for the worse, you might loose some things in life but the one thing you can’t loose is what you learned through progressing. Really, the thing that’s more important than outside circumstances is the person you are because you attract the outside circumstances by who you are.

In addition, if a person is not progressing, he is stuck in one place or even worse, he is degenerating. I choose the path of progress and growth. I will not settle for less than I’m capable of.