Habits Are the Building Blocks of Your Life

Building blocks © by DBduo Photography

Imagine you are building a house of bricks. The first thing you do is to make sure that your house has a solid foundation to stand on. If you build your house directly on the ground you risk that your house will give in time an eventually fall apart. The ground upon which you build your house has to be dry and stable; it is almost impossible to build a house on wet and unstable ground. Well, there are ways to build the house on piles but even then the piles have to form the stable foundation.

Apart from stable and dry ground your house needs a solid foundation made of concrete. Depending on the size of your house the foundation may even have been strengthened with steel. Upon your solid foundation you build your carcass of the house; the carcass is the core that makes your house stand in the worst hurricanes; if the carcass is strong enough it will stand for hundreds of years.

Around the carcass you stack the bricks that form the appearance of your house; they give your house personality. Finally you lay the roof; the roof is often the weak point of a building; the roof is often the first to give in when nature rage. You have to make sure that your roof is laid on a strong structure of rafts and made of tiles that are fastened tight.

Your life is just like the house you build. Your life needs a solid foundation and a strong core that will withstand the trials of life. The ground you build upon has to be stable; the ground of your life is your network, your environment and your culture. You need a solid foundation for your life; that foundation fulfils your basic need for shelter, food and income. These basic things are very solid and should not change much during life.

The carcass of you life is a bit more flexible. You can change career, move to another city etc. Big changes in life will change the core of your life. The roof of your house is like your mind, it is the weak spot of the construction and it tends to fly off when nature rage. Keep peace of mind and a cool head. Do not get stressed! The bricks of the walls are all the extra things that make your life what it is and you should be ready to enhance, rebuild and change that appearance at all times in order to improve your life.

Every single part of your life is like the building blocks of the house. They are traditions of culture, network and environment – very stable. They are routines and habits that make up the foundation, core, roof and walls of your life. Some of them are solid and changeless and others are brief and flexible.

Who Is in Charge of Your Life?

© by _sarchi

“Who am I?” gave 45 million results on Google and the term “Who are you?” gave 74 million results. It seems like 45 million people do not know who they are and about 74 million people want to tell you who you really are.

Well, I know that conclusion is a bit off, but it is thought provoking that 45 million people question themselves. They must be somebody and if they do not know who they are, then who does? Do you know who you are? Are you in charge of your own life?

You should spend time every day of your life to discover yourself and develop yourself. Take charge of your life and do not let other people tell you who you are and what you should do. The only way you will be happy is by being yourself and living your life.

Everything you are and everything you want to become is inside yourself just waiting to be discovered. Most people do not realise how much influence they have on their own destiny. Some people are unhappy and discontent with who they are and what they have become and if I ask them to do something about it they reply – I cannot change who I am, or – this is my destiny.

You know what? – They are right about the fact that they cannot change who they are, so why do they keep trying? Without knowing they are trying to be what they are expected to be by their friends, family, colleagues, fellow students etc. These people think that this is who they are and they just have to settle with that. But that is not how it is.

Did you know that you can see yourself reflected in other people? Your mood will be adapted by people around you and if they like you the will mimic you. You do this as well; it is something you do unconsciously. If you do not take charge of these reflections then your social circle will define you.

I suggest that you spend some time alone with yourself every day. Discover what your needs are, what your dreams are, what you feelings are, how you would like to be. Then start communicating what you discover, start being with people that reflect your values and your dreams.

Take charge of your destiny!

The Secret of Achievement: Recovery!

PhoTones Works #624 © by PhoTones_TAKUMA

Do you want to be excellent at running and win competitions? Let us say that you are a runner or any other athlete of a discipline you want to achieve mastery in. You decide to practice running every day and sometimes twice a day. You push yourself to the limit every time you run, but no matter how much you practice your results seem to get worse. Why?

The answer is quite simple; all training is degradation of the body. It is simple logic; if you use something it will degrade. If you use the same shirt every day for one year then it will be worn out; the shirt will degrade. So will you if you keep training twice a day. The difference between you and your shirt is that you can regenerate and the shirt cannot.

How do you increase the service life of your shirt? You take care of it by cleaning it, repairing it and most importantly, you wear other shirts. You do not have just one shirt you have several shirts in different colours and designs. The same goes for your body. You have to give your body rest to regenerate; it is called the recovery phase and is a very important part of all training.

When you give your shirt a rest you wear another shirt because you cannot run around half-naked. If you want to achieve running then you have to practice something else while recovering from running. That is why you need to plan training carefully to optimise training.

The principle applies in all aspects of your life!

Okay, you do not want to be a world champion in some athletic discipline, but the principle applies anyway. In every aspect of your life you have to remember the recovery phase! If you want to achieve anything today, tomorrow, next week and in your life then you have to optimise your tasks and incorporate rest to recover.

If you do not make time for recovery you will get stressed and worn out; you will feel tired and it will be difficult for you to focus. The meaning of life will seem difficult to find. You do not have to sit and do nothing to recover. Variation in you routines is enough. Of course, you have to fulfil some basic needs like sleep, diet and exercise, but variation is a very important part of development. When you work on your development in all aspects of your life then you will achieve more.

I found an interesting article on the net about mastery and relaxation that I recommend reading.

How to Be Successful: Network!

Collaboration © by stoneysteiner

To get what you want you need other people to give it to you. Do not think you can do everything yourself because if you do, then you will never get the acknowledgement of success. You need people to help you, to teach you, to support you, to acknowledge you and to work for you. In other words, you need people to give in order to receive.

But why would people want to give anything to you? Would you like to give to people you do not know? – No, of course not! When you feel like giving it is because you have a relation to the person you want to give something. You feel something for this person. Thus, you have to make people want to give you what you need.

That is why networking is important. You need to make relations to people and better yet, you need to connect these relations. Listen to people around you and you will discover what resources they have; discover what their needs are and give it to them and interact in social activities where you can tell your positive stories and listen to other people’s stories.

If you are currently without a network then start working on getting one. Maybe you want to consult my series about self-esteem first. Your network is just waiting for you to take action and the first place to start is your family. Listen to them and find out whom they know and what those people do. Maybe your sister has a good friend that needs something you have; give it to this friend and she will remember you and recommend you to other people.

Building a strong network is an ongoing process and it is never too late to start. This is how you get started:

  1. Listen to people.
  2. Give value to your network. Sometimes the most valuable you can give is you.
  3. Connect people. Be the one to recommend your friends to other friends.

Trust me, if you do this long enough, then people will start listening to you, and you will tell the positive stories about your projects and goals and successes and they will offer value. When your network wants to give, then be ready to receive! Receiving is just as important as giving.

If you would like to know more about success and giving, then I will recommend reading “Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and David Mann.

How to Be Successful: Willpower

Focus © by toolstop

My last post covered persistence and being persistent takes a good deal of willpower. Sometimes you have to do things you do not want to do in order to reach a long-term goal. E.g. read a certain book to get that university degree. You can postpone the reading again and again, but you now that you have to read it eventually. This is where you need willpower and just do what needs to be done without getting distracted.

Willpower is about focus; if you get distracted you need to exercise willpower to stay on the track. E.g. if you want to fit your bikini next summer then do not get distracted by that chocolate bar. Bring focus back on your long-term goal.

Worrying is one of the worst distractions you can have. E.g. you are reading a book and while reading your mind is constantly thinking about the birthday present you forgot to buy or if you forgot to turn of the oven or if you have enough money etc. It is impossible to focus on what you are doing if you worry. You have to be present here and now; nothing else is more important than what you are doing now.

There are many ways to practice being present and shut out distractions; you can meditate; you can do physical exercising; you can read literature like Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” or you can study a raisin. Just practice your willpower and ability to focus every day.

3 tips to refocus and exercise willpower:

  1. Write your distractions down. If your are working on something and distracting thoughts are popping up, then write them down on a piece of paper and deal with them later.
  2. Make a deal with your distraction. E.g. a friend calls you to chat while you are studying, tell her that you are studying but that you will call back in an hour.
  3. Eat. Make sure that your blood sugar level is high or you will loose concentration.