Selfishness

It’s always good to strive for excellence. To be better. To advance yourself. To do good for yourself. After all there’s so much to learn and so many things you have to master.
This pursuit hides a black hole behind it.

Look at your mindset and the things you do daily. Deeply. If they are concerned with you learning something new, getting your work done, getting your body in shape ,etc… then you have a problem.
All of that will make you feel like you’re advancing and that you’re doing very well. It might as well feel like you’re getting closer to your goal day by day.

You’ve to be careful. Behind all those well meant actions is something that will destroy you. When everything you do is all about YOU, then selfishness will kick in. Selfishness can easily consume you. There will always be something you need to do, something you need to learn, something you need to catch up with or check out. The list is endless, isn’t it!

If you delve into this endless circle where everything is about you, nobody will be there to pick you up when you fall.

It’s good to strive for excellence. It’s really bad to only see yourself.

The power of observing

In AIESEC we have this tradition of “Check-In” that we do before we start a meeting. You simply state what you have done today so you can put it aside and focus on what is about to happen in the meeting.

Loving the concept so much, I started to “Check-In” to my bed every night.
Because I believe in watching myself not asking it, I wanted to separate me from myself as much as I can.
Just like as if someone else is asking me one simple question: “How many productive tasks have you done today?” I would answer only in numbers. No emotions, no criticism, no frustration. Just a number. I would keep track of this number in my mind for days.

I did this for a week. What I found shook me and shocked me.
I wonder what will you find out?

Discipline.

Of discipline I speak; for it’s mandatory for success.

Here’s what I learned of it so far:

  • I lack discipline.
    It’s true. I was never forced to do anything I hated for all my life. I’m passion driven not discipline driven.
  • Discipline is paramount.
    Rome wasn’t built in one day nor anything else worth building (your dream). You ARE to do things that you don’t want to!
  • Discipline is about saying NO.
    Saying no to things you like, to people you love and to things you want to do.
  • Discipline is about FOCUS.
    The more focused you’re the easier it is to say no.
  • Discipline is simple, yet HARD!
    Get focused and consistently say NO!

The Impossible Dream!

The road is undefined and hard. Guidance is scarce since it’s your quest. You might get lost. You might even forget who you are, who you want to become. Your goals might become vague. Changing the world is an overwhelming task. Having a myriad of options, getting lost is eminent.

I’d say go back to basics. Go back to certain principles that you know about how the world works. Go back to those things about you that you love, appreciate and think that they define who you are the most.

Most importantly, have the courage to work up from there and commit yourself to certain actions and decisions that you feel come out from who you really are.

To start with…

To start with, you get a life.

To start with, you get a soul. Hopes. Dreams. Passion. Love. Compassion.
To start with, you get a body. Muscles. Neurons. Arms. Legs. A heart.

You might be thinking “Well then what?! Everybody has these.” But you’d be missing the point.

The point is what you can do out of what YOU have?!

Einstein changed the way we see the world.
Malcolm Gladwell changed how we think about thinking.
Abraham Lincoln freed millions from slavery.
Steve Jobs changed the way we listen to music.
Seth Godin changed how we see the new economy.
Clayton Christensen changed how we see startups.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi changed how we see the things we enjoy.
Elon Musk is changing the way we drive cars.
Bill Gates is changing facts about third world countries.

To start with, they all got a life.

The point is “What are YOU going to change?”

Seducing mediocrity

How long are u going to avoid the quest?
In our societies where mediocrity is near, it’s easy to forget your quest for an extraordinary (worthy) life.
Hard as it is, you ignore it as it brings more entropy than harmony to your mind. You try to forget.
You try to get involved In the pre-drawn map. Eventually finding anguish, you wonder why.

Avoiding your quest will not make it disappear. It is already embarked on your soul. Think of it as a curse (gift). Think of it as an itchy spot on your skin. It will always be there asking you to pursue it. Attending to it (no matter how hard) will get in the FLOW!

Indeed you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it all mattered.

Jim Collins – Good To Great

Standards

Your standards are the things that get done no matter what happens.

If your standard is to be on the Dean’s list every semester, you’ll figure it out.

If your standard is to pay the bills every month, you will find a stable way to do it. (don’t most of us do?)

Here is what’s interesting about standards:

  • Standards are habitual in nature:
    After a while of keeping your standard at a level, it becomes a second nature. Pushing further your standards is the challenge. Like is saving 1K per month AND paying the bills as well.
  • Standards serve as level zero:
    If everything goes wrong, your standards gets done! Standards depend heavily on our definition of who we are. We have that urge to fulfill our own mental image.
  • Standards rely a lot on Social Proof:
    We have the tendency to think we are OKAY as long as our standards meet the standards of those around us. If most of your peers earn 2K and you earn a half, you’ll be pushed to earn more because you will feel diminished.
  • We all have standards whether we know them or not:
    Look hard into your daily activities. Try to figure our what gets done daily and what doesn’t. What’s is a MUST to do? What’s is OKAY to slip past?

Raise the bar. Make new habits. Raise the bar again. Repeat.