Thursday, April 10, 2008

Small is beautiful

If you want to do something, anything, but find it hard to do it,
here is the solution for you:

Start small.

That's it. Don't try to do it all at once.
Take a piece and start somewhere.

If you find the piece is too large, take a piece of that piece.

This is related to the concept "divide and conquer."

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The 1% goal

This is about goal setting.
You want to pursue your goal but then you don't want to be too inflexible not to change it
(see don't sweat the small stuff).
So, there is a solution (by me): It is called "The 1% goal."
You set a goal and then you make subgoals and plans accordingly.
The 1% goal is the 1% of all that structure you created. You are fine
as long as you keep the 1% most important part of your goal unchanged.
As long as that remains, change the rest in however way it fits
and you will be good to get your 1% goal.

So, for example, if you want to write your dissertation by the deadline,
that should be your 1% goal. Then you set other goals such as
this chapter by this day, and then I will work for 2 hours today
4-6pm and again 8-10pm later on, etc. If you can't make 4-6, big deal.
Move that to tomorrow and you are fine.

You are allowed to make mistakes with the 99% of your goal structure. If you get some of that 99% correct, consider that as your bonus.
As long as your 1% goal is there, you can make all the mistakes with the 99% of your goal
and still you will be able to achieve that 1%.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eliminating Envy

See also previous post on eliminating jelousy.

Here is a simple and effective formula to eliminate envy.

Observe that envy is due to two facts:
1) You want to have X.
2) You think you cannot have X.

Analysis:
1 is good. 2 is bad.
Change 2 to this good alternative and solve the problem:
2) Think you can have X.

Everything starts with a thought. Belief will follow, then action
and everything that will make it become true will follow.
The same way all the self-fulfilling prophecies work.
And, if it is not something you should want (1), you will discover
it on the way, in which case the problem will be solved in another way.
In all cases, you will have your problem solved.
Therefore, this is a complete and sound solution.

Note how simple this solution is.
Simplicity is powerful.
No wonder that Leonardo Da Vinci, the #1 genious of all times,
(according to Tony Buzan's research) said:
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

When you achieve your success, if somebody asks you
how you did it, you have the right to say "Because I said so."
And note that this will be right, i.e. the very truth!

The path to excellence

The path to excellence is sub-excellent. The path to excellent food is no exception.Only wise men (and women) who understand and apply this principle will attain excellence.

If the path were excellent, it would not be a path to excellence. If there was no path to excellence,either all would be excellent or none, both of which are equivalent. Assuming the existence of excellence, the path must be sub-excellent and, therefore, there is no other option.
Q.E.D.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

just enough and not too much

I discovered an incredibly surprising fact today (when I was waking up).
I did not realize before.

It is this:

"You do not want to know and think too much."

But just enough.

Because it is the optimal way. What will you do when you know too much?
It is not gonna do any good. You will not be able to handle it. You will forget it.

You want to think, get to know, or learn incrementally so that it sticks.
Therefore, gratitude is such a virtue.

Be thankful for what you have for when you are at the point of wanting too much,
want to know more, or think more. Be mindful of the point that it becomes greedy. Greed creates unbalance. You have one of the things too much and won't be able to utilize it. Therefore, we shall not be greedy on the ground of the rote knowledge that it is not ethical or moral. We shall understand why greed is bad, instead. (Then it will stick.) See that greed is not optimal. It wastes time and effort! You want to be balanced. Because that is optimal. Balance in everything looks non-perfect but actually it is. It is perfect given your situation. Because it is the best you can do. There is no better. So, be happy and thankful. And you will arrive at perfection (if you do in your lifetime) at the fastest speed.

Do not want to know more when you have enough.
Utilize what you already know. When you need to know more, think more,
you will know it and you will be able to want it and get it.

The same principle that applies to stuff at your home applies to knowledge, concepts, and thoughts, as well. You don't want to have too much stuff in your room. It is so distracting. So, you do not want to have too much in your mind, too (not beyond what you can handle with good control except the transition (learning) periods).

There was a children's book that made a point of this principle very well.
I was impressed with it. Its title is "just enough and not too much."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why is enjoying the process better than focusing on the outcome?

There is this concept that says "dissociate yourself from the outcome and enjoy the process" that I encountered in several different places. I was thinking why and found a good explanation for it, especially that will help outcome oriented people.

The outcome provides some value and therefore the people who behave outcome oriented behave outcome oriented. In circumstances that the outcome is to be achieved at the end of a long period of time, focusing on the outcome leads to frustration, boredom and many other negative feelings.

The situation is that the outcome is at the end and although we can imagine it, it is not here yet. What to do until we get to the end? If you focus on the outcome, you are waiting and missing all the "good" things along the way. You are doing stuff as if you are trying to avoiding them by getting them done quickly. That is sub-optimal and therefore it leads to boredom, etc. Wanting the outcome badly, you can do the things in-between haphazardly or in a hurry. You can try to do them quick. All this is a waste of time and feels like a high burden, which is very normal. Because you are doing "stuff" that you do not enjoy and get value out of.

Why shall you enjoy the process and how? Think in terms of outcome. There are many little things on the way to your original big outcome and all these little things have their own small outcomes. If you are outcome oriented, think about them as small outcomes.
If you slow down enough and perceive them, you will see them. If you hurry, you will miss them because "hurry" is too fast a pace to perceive them. Therefore, you need to slow down and be aware of the small outcomes on the way. The small outcomes are the result of small and short processes with small values. However, those small values are still values and they accumulate.

If you enjoy the process toward the journey to the outcome, you actually will have many small outcomes and many small values that you will taste and enjoy. In fact, the process IS another outcome. If this process you are doing has an end to it, then when you get to the end, you will have the outcome (the large value you were expecting to have) PLUS all the little outcomes long the way. That is more and much more than if you hurried and got just the outcome by missing all the small ones.

This is what looks like a paradox. Slower is actually faster in terms of value / time it takes to get that value. You make the time longer but the value has become much more, and therefore you have been faster in terms of this dimension.

Therefore, to be fast (in value / time), you need to slow down (pace).
Interesting, isn't it?

Enjoy the process becuase the process is part of the total outcome.

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What if you just want to have the outcome but not the all little outcomes of the process. Well, that is the way it is. Probably you have no control over many things there, which is fine.
However, it is important to be aware and realize the deal you are getting into. Think of it as a business deal. You give your time and effort and you get some value. The value includes the value of the process. Ignoring that value is equivalent to be under-informed. Be informed when you decide to take a path. If this is what you want, get into it. If not, maybe search for another. If you are unsure, try it anyway and you will eventually either enjoy the process as you learn how it is or that will lead you to a better path, which is the process of the larger outcome of finding your path.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Correct type of acceptance

Acceptance is the key to live.
However, there is a correct type of acceptance.

The correct type of acceptance is to accept whatever happened in the past and also whatever is happening in the present but not what will happen in the future.

We do not know what will happen in the future. Therefore, we cannot accept what will happen in the future. We can accept it once it happens, that is, it comes to the present
or will be left in the past.

Generalizing from the past to the future and accepting it is futile. It is fallible. It happens sometimes and it doesn't at other times. The only thing we can do for the future is to hope and to believe. We can want what will happen in the future. Accepting what will
happen in the future is too much. Being ready to accept is ok.

There is no danger with accepting what happened in the past unless it leads to the acceptance of the future. For the future, there is a danger with accepting. If we accept negative things in the future, we may actually facilitate them to happen. If we accept positive things in the future,
this is a too strong of an expectance. When they do not happen, we will feel disappointed. That is negative by itself and will bring no good or good less than optimal.

Believing is different than acceptance and it is a tricky subject. It is out of scope of this article.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

When you cannot do something, what should you say to yourself?

When you cannot do something, you may have a default negative thought about it.
You may say: "I couldn't get it right, how unable I am" or something like that and get disappointed and frustrated. The disappointment and frustration is due to your perception.
To feel good, you need to change it.

What should you say then?
The key: Always focus on the positive. In the current and in the future.
Precaution: Do not compare yourself to others.

For example, if you are writing a paper and wrote a paragraph instead of two in half an hour, instead of saying "jeez, I only wrote 1 instead of 2". Say instead "hey, I wrote 1 paragraph, how cool is that!"

The thing is you can always find negatives and positives. Since negatives lead to bad feelings, why not focus on the positive? You have to focus on something and you need to choose. So, choose positive.

The fact is that this thought changing process is itself an exercise and you may fail in it, too.
It is recursive but it is not enough to stop you from changing it.

The key of the key: You could always, ALWAYS, find something positive about the situation. ALWAYS. Believe this and prove it to yourself (i.e. find evidence).
That will create a source of unfinishable energy of positivity.

There is a positive aspect common to all situations. If you don't find a positive aspect on your own, use this common one by default. It is as follows: Suppose you tried everything you could and it didn't work. Then, the fact is this: You are so good at disappointing yourself. Actually, this is an amazing ability.
It takes time and practice for someone to learn how to disappoint themselves. In fact, you add to your practice every time you do it! But, focus on the positive. You are so able. You are able to "disappoint". However negative the outcome, you couldn't get it without the skill. So, since you got the skill, you are able to be skilled.

You can use this as follows. So, when you cannot do something and you have negative thoughts to disappoint yourself, think:
"Hey, I am so good at disappointing myself with my negative thinking.
I am so good that I can do it instantly. Wow! Amazing ability! I'm so able and practice it often.
I cannot imagine what success I would have if I could use this ability to benefit myself.
If I could make myself happy, persistent, confident, wise, etc. by using this ability of doing it over and over (persistence) and practice it, I could proceed so much into the things I want."

Stop here. You have already accomplished something!! You already did something good to solve the problem, a step toward what you want! Recognize that and appreciate it:
"Wow! I can't believe but I did it. I recognized the negative thought and recognized my ability to persist and practice. And I know this is a step towards getting what I want. I already did a step. That's wonderful."

However small, you always, ALWAYS have the RIGHT to appreciate it. Use it! Go ahead and appreciate everything you do good. There is nothing you could do that is all bad. So, you are actually safe. This method works in all circumstances because you can always find something positive; ALWAYS.

An icing on the cake is downward comparison with yourself.
Sometimes you can do this and sometimes not. It's ok. Use it whenever appropriate.
For example, if you write 1 paragraph instead of 2 in half an hour, say:
"Hey I wrote 1 paragraph. It is better than 0. I could have written nothing. But I didn't. I actually wrote 1 (stress it here), 1 paragraph. Amazing."

Does it sound silly? Then, the more you should do. You can also say then:
"Wow. How silly this is. I am so able that I can do it even if it sounds silly. And, it works!!!" And it does, doesn't it? If it doesn't, it will. Keep doing it.

When should you start incorporating negative aspects into your thoughts (to make the learning process faster by using it as feedback)?
Only when you have enough energy, i.e. high self-esteem.
Until you get there, ignore negative things. They won't benefit you.

Monday, July 16, 2007

how to eliminate jelaousy

You have your best ability to do things where you have your most motivation.
You will have your most motivation where your most needs and/or abilities are.

If looking at somebody's success makes you feel bad about yourself,
either of the two is possible:
1) You are working on wrong things.
2) Your thinking is wrong.

1) Ask yourself. Are you working on the things that you are supposed to work on?
Those things are the things that you are committed (and hopefully are in your best interest; for, if not, you shall finish or terminate that commitment gracefully as soon as possible and move on the right track.) or the things that you would love to work, or the things that will lead you to the things you would love to work.
If the answer is NO, you found your answer for your jealousy. You are not getting the success you deserve and therefore you are jelaous. Understand it and your jelaousy will diminish.
Then, work on the things you are supposed to work on and understand that you are on your way, and your jealousy will evaporate completely.
If it doesn't, the reasons are a combination of the following:
a) You are still not working on the things you are supposed to.
b) The next reason.

2) Your thinking is wrong.
Ask yourself. Are you doing your best?
Doing your best is less than or equal to doing your max. Doing your best is doing whatever you could do optimally, not more, and not less. If you are doing your best, you are doing optimal. How can you be jelaous? Don't worry about things that you don't have control over. Work on things that you have control over.

If you are still jelaous, then:
a) You are assuming something that is not true.
Maybe you think this person got this success with less effort than is the reality. (If s/he is lying to you, by the way, that's his problem. Don't take it personally.) Consider such possibilities. It can be a combination of things. It could be that he has a special ability. So what? You have other special abilities, too. If you don't know them, find them and work them. Then the issue becomes item (1). If you want somebody's special ability, that's a wrong wish. You really don't want that special ability; you want the results; isn't that true? If it is true, this is the way to get it. Work your special abilities. The other way of wishing or trying somebody else's special abilities is either near to impossible in your lifetime, or very costly. Whatever ability it is, if it is so costly, not near optimal, it won't serve you well; for, you deserve to be successful, happy, etc.

b) You are still thinking wrong.
Sometimes, thoughts become automatic. When the wrong ones are like this, it will also take some time to catch them and change them. It will take time. Understand this and this will help you be patient, for there is no more optimal way than this. In other words, this is the best way.
The main guideline to eliminate automatic negative thoughts is this:
Every time you have the jelaous feeling, be prepared to know that you probably just had an automatic thought. Focus on this idea, find the thought and challenge it. It will dematerialize every time. After a while, either this dematerialization will become automatic and cancel out the prior one, or the prior thought will not come any more. In both cases, you win.