Shift your focus – fulfillment through work

It is easy to fall in trap of sitting down and resting. True, we need rest. But often rest turns from minutes into days. Thoughts are constantly harping on us to slow down and take time… as if there is nothing better to do then interrupt the progress we are making.

Why do we program ourselves to demand stillness? Why – when doing nothing always turns into doing something completely draining and unrelated that gets us nowhere. Nobody really finds pleasure in mindless browsing, half-focused watching of videos or checking news feeds. Yet that is what so many of us associate with rest.

So, let’s shift it – think of your life’s work when resting. Do not think of peace in the world, how others wronged you or what would be the best comment on whatever topic is actual. Think about challenges ahead of you and how you will be tackling them today. Push your focus toward work that brings you closer to your goals with the same zeal you previously pushed yourself toward stopping.

Do this, and soon enough you will see that the same power holding you back is now propelling you forward. We all become what we focus on and think about. All you need to do in order to live fulfilled life is to stick to the plans you made for yourself and think of them. Do not allow false promises to creep up on you – if laying down and doing nothing could make you happy, you would already be the happiest person in the world. You’ve tried it thousands of times already. You know it doesn’t work. So, try with opposite – try with not giving in and actually doing what needs to be done.

I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours -Jerome K. Jerome

I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours -Jerome K. Jerome

To be motivated you need solid foundation. Otherwise, impulsiveness will destroy you.

Impulsiveness is good, when practiced in moderation. You need to give randomness a chance to drive you toward unexpected and unplanned pleasures. Sometimes impulsiveness will reward you, sometimes it will not – as with any gamble you never know. And that’s the exactly the thrill of it. The moment you try to seize control and create a winning streak, you are no longer enjoying… you are laboring.

Most importantly – know where impulsiveness begins and know where it ends. Because if you don’t, you’ll fall into same trap so many of us fall – giving impulsiveness free reign.

You need set boundaries to encompass what you represent. You must know the foundation of your character and what you stand for. You can’t make up rules and assign arbitrary meaning as you go or as it aligns with whatever you decided in certain moment. Life of abrupt changes can’t be led if you want to build. Anything non-trivial requires foundation so it can stand and function.

So define your foundation – what you consistently do for betterment of yourself and those around you. Split your day into part dictated by planning and part dictated by impulsiveness; and above all, stick with it. By all means, let there be expiry date after which you will reflect on your foundation and whether it is guiding your forward the way you expected. But in the meantime – do not improvise. Do not rationalize. Do not think.

Simply – do. Do what you are supposed to without doubts and questions. Lean on your foundation and follow your plan. You made them both for a reason.

 So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now! -Viktor E. Frankl

So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now! -Viktor E. Frankl

Keep perspective and you’ll keep being motivated

Everyone experienced a moment of revelation. Here you are at certain point of time completely understanding what you need to do. You see your goal with clarity and with determination you start going. You are prepared to do whatever it takes and the obstacles you are removing from your path show that you are serious about it.

Then you wake up next day, and suddenly realize that the spark is gone. That you no longer feel like doing what seemed so right and easy only yesterday. You tell to yourself that it is a fleeting feeling and that you only need to take a little break – you’ll get back to doing what needs to be done in few hours.

Suddenly, hours become days. Days become weeks. Weeks become months – and before you know it, it’s another year of your life gone by. By now you are also well entrenched in habit of doing things “tomorrow”. Why bother? You know you will do it eventually. Might as well wait for that time when you feel right.

The only problem is – you will not feel right. How can you feel right when you are giving away control? It is your brain and your habits. They shouldn’t control you, you should be controlling them. And only when you take control, the way you do when your perspective is clear, you will feel right.

Motivation is easy when you know exactly where you should be going. So, cling to your perspective for sake of your own sanity and good of yourself. Because if you don’t – circumstances, habits and others will choose for you. They will take over and tell you what is it that you should be doing. Do not let that happen, because nobody knows your dreams as well as you do. Keep your perspective, always and forever.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be -Lao Tzu

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be -Lao Tzu

There’s a hole in my soul, I can’t fill it

We are all in the constant search for meaning. It’s part of human spirit – the need to matter and contribute something meaningful. Some of us are aware of it, some are not. But all of us feel it – that nagging feeling of emptiness inside.

Sure, we can try to numb it – but eventually it’ll always resurface in one way or the other. Defeats are temporary. Whether you’ll allow them to hold you down for a day, month, year… or a decade – in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter. You’ll only negatively impact yourself and people around you. Someone else from the global pool of talent will do what you were supposed to. And he will reap the benefits.

Understand that hole in you is there to stay. With every backward step you take – it will grow. With every step forward – it will shrink. You are built that way. You need to be part of something greater to function. Struggle in itself is irrelevant – whether you are fulfilling your meaning is the only thing you should worry about. And this is something you cannot fake. You can lie to yourself that you don’t care. You can allow laziness to destroy your dreams. But you can’t fill the void in yourself without honest and meaningful effort.

Hole will always be your sole responsibility. Others can try to help. You can try to help others. But in the end, fulfillment is a solo mission. Be grateful for that – majority is often a hindrance, not help. It’s OK. They are not against you – they are just trying to do what’s best for them. Help them if you can. Leave them if you can’t. But don’t dwell, don’t yell and certainly don’t start conflicts. It serves no-one and destroys you.

Focus on the hole in your soul. And work on filling it the best you can.

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett hole in the soul

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett

Stop distracting yourself

It is stunning to witness the impact of distractions in the world today. When you look at dynamics of everyday life you’ll see that most of us are not bound by hard limitations. Sure, we will complain that we don’t have enough smarts, resources or time. But closer inspection will almost always show that none of that is the real issue. The real issue is focus.

The biggest challenge is to actually allow ourselves to do what needs to be done. As soon as that hurdle is passed, everything becomes easier. Center yourself and start – and most often you’ll just keep going.

If you made commitment, honor it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve promised something small or something big. What matters is that you stop allowing yourself to stress daily about things you’ve thought through multiple times. Understand that your brain wants to protect you – we are wired to always look for easy way out. But you should be responsible enough to recognize when easy way is not the right way.

Sure, rethink your decisions once a week. Set a time, sit down and see what you can improve. What is missing from your routine? What are the results of your work so far? Can you do something better – eliminate unnecessary tasks? Try out something new you haven’t so far? Ask and answer all the questions that popped in your head when you were about to perform work.

But in the meantime keep doing what you decided to do. Do not challenge. Do not procrastinate. Do not think.

Do.

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do -Henry Ford

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do -Henry Ford

You already have it in you. Turn tomorrow into now.

Tomorrow is the new day. It is a clean slate, a second chance. It doesn’t matter what happened today, yesterday or whenever in the past. Tomorrow is the new day that you can use to start fresh and do whatever you need to do so you can fill your life with happiness.

The only problem is that power of tomorrow is so big and tempting that many of us live in constant anticipation of it. There are few hours left in today’s day, there is energy in us, yet out of laziness we allow ourselves to say – tomorrow. Like dozen of hours will make a difference. Like we will magically wake up feeling ready to do everything we were supposed to be doing for the past year.

You already know that’s not going to happen. Learn from the past and dream about the future. But do your work right now. The only time you can influence is the present. You know you are already equipped to do what you are supposed to do. Stop blocking and lying yourself that you will feel better tomorrow. The only thing that will make you feel better is the sense of accomplishment. Knowledge that you gave your 100 percent, and not some meager output circumstances and excuses allowed you to give.

Tune out the distractions, close your eyes and remember. Remember the plans that you made, the path you are supposed to follow and the goals that are yours to conquer. Understand and accept that you can get anywhere you want but that you must start from your present point. No amount of resting, procrastinating or fooling yourself will move your from where you are. Only good, old, hard work and willingness to stick to it will.

So – do your work. That way when tomorrow comes, you truly will feel better. Not because you magically woke up in a better state, but because you can remember previous day and see that instead of giving up, you conquered the day. And that you are ready to do it again.

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you -Thomas Jefferson

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you -Thomas Jefferson

The Star Blogger Award nominations for July 2017

Another week of me writing about blogs I enjoy reading. So far it’s been a great ride. I especially enjoyed last week when Crystal took part in nomination process. I am truly excited for the future and can’t wait to announce the winner next week.

For those that are new to my blog, here is quick recap. Each week I write about 3 blogs I enjoy visiting and present those to my audience. Additionally, anyone is free to nominate their own blog or blog someone they know. That is as long as that nomination follows the process of:

  1. Create a post that includes The Star Blogger Award in the title. Post must contain:
    • Paragraph that presents the blog in at least 100 words
    • Links each instance of The Star Blogger Award text back to this page
    • Nominates another 3 bloggers and links to their blog
  2. Notify nominees about The Star Blogger Award nomination through comments on their blog
  3. Leave comment here and link to created nomination post. I will then verify that 1 & 2 are completed and confirm nomination

If you have any question, feel free to ask in comment section. And now, without further ado, the nominees for this week!

The Star Blogger Award by HowToAddict.com

Let the best blogger win!

Brilliant Viewpoint

This blog is a poster child of how good personal blog should look like. Design is minimalistic yet eye catching. Same for tagline: Discover, Motivate, Inspire is short yet communicative. As for the content – Moni has been writing for past 2+ years and produced steady stream of intriguing content. Visit every week and chances are you’ll find new post that’s well written and includes nice media.

I simply love it. And you’ll likely too. Now, when someone is starting a blog and asking you for advice, it’s easy for me. I just point him to Brilliant Viewpoint and say “emulate this”. Posts I’ve enjoyed the most are:

Just Mr Johnson

Blogging opens up world of opportunity to meet new people and read their thoughts. I’ve visited JKJ’s blog after he commented on one of my previous posts. And immediately I was blown away by the amount of content he has produced with almost no recognition. That’s the thing with blogging: you could be awesome writer, yet you’ll likely be overlooked in the sea of everything that’s posted nowadays. I hope to change with The Star Blogger Award – link as many overlooked gem blogs as possible. JKJ’s blog is definitely one of them.

Daily Flabbergast

Another blog that I’ve visited after owner commented on my post. Daily Flabbergast is one of the blogs that I read when I need change of pace. Most of the content that you’ll find on WordPress is very politically correct. It’s kinda complete opposite of Tumblr – which is madness incarnate. And while I don’t seek controversy for it’s own sake, I do enjoy entertaining unpopular opinions. In that sense I highly recommend visiting Daily Flabbergast. Just before clicking the link be sure that you are not easily offended and are willing to consider floatinggold’s point of view.

Special nominee… Daisy Mae

Hopefully every new edition of The Star Blogger series will increase clarity on nomination process. But Crystal shows that it’s already easy-peasy to include your blog if you want. Sure, there are few kinks to iron out… like linking The Star Blogger Award text back to this post and not nominating multiple blogs you own.

But for start: it’s pretty good. So, good luck Crystal and I’ll be voting for Daisy Mae blog! Love what you are doing, and I’ve already promoted everyone else much more than you.

Goodbye Yoly

Not necessarily related to The Star Blogger Award, but Yoly has been behind my first Thursday post. And she would likely be a nominee, but for better or worse she decided to stop blogging. I won’t get into guessing reasons behind her decision – it’s her life and her choice to make. All I want is to say is: thanks for all your contributions Yoly. I hope you’ll at least keep visiting and commenting here on HowToAddict.com.

It’s time to vote and pick The Star Award Blogger winner

The poll below includes all nominees from this and previous two posts. Voting will be open until Thursday next week and limited to one vote per WordPress account. While you are welcome to invite your friends to vote for you, please no voting with duplicate accounts or through proxies. You don’t want me using my awesome programming skills.

Looking forward to reading your comments and seeing who gets the most votes. And of course, I am especially excited for winner announcement and prize giveaway next week.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 08-08-2017 00:00:00
End date 17-08-2017 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Who should win The Star Blogger Award for July 2017?

Let the voting begin!

Let focus and persistence guide you toward your goals

It’s incredible how much human beings can achieve when they have a clear plan that they relentlessly follow. When you look at any great achievement there is always sense of awe when you consider the time and effort. It is easy to think that you would never be able to do that. Yet, people whose work you admire are not much unlike you.

We often fool ourselves by saying that we are not good enough. The problem is that we focus too much on the result and not on the process. Nobody is a genius all the time. It is the daily grind over years, millions of seconds spent focusing and doing the work… that results in something that someone at some time may look up to.

And I get it – it is scary to acknowledge the amount of work ahead of you. But you know what is scarier? The possibility that you’ll end up not even trying. That you’ll spend lifetime hiding from everything you should be facing head on. That you’ll be left in a cloud of misery simply because you decided to do what needs to be done – tomorrow.

The best lives belong to those who take challenge head on, the first time it comes. By each action train yourself to perform, the same way someone else trains themselves to procrastinate. Bring habit and momentum on your side by making the right choices.

Embrace your focus and hold it against all doubts. Persistently and relentlessly attack. And stop only once you see that your goal is lying ahead of you, ready for the taking.

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. -Abraham Joshua Heschel focus

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. -Abraham Joshua Heschel

Highlighting blogs worth following – The Star Blogger Award nominations

Here we are for week 2 of highlighting under-appreciated blogs. Comments last week have been overwhelmingly positive, and I can only hope that trend will continue.

To make things more interesting I’ve decided to institute an Award. And unlike others “Awards” that you saw going around in blogsphere recently this one will have a real prize attached. Symbolic, but prize still.

First of all – contention. Any blogs that are linked in this weekly post will be eligible for prize. If your blog is not linked in the article (since we are only doing 3 per week), you can participate by creating a post on your blog with title “The Star Blogger Award“. In that post you need to:

  • Present your blog in at least 100 words
  • Nominate 3 other bloggers of your choice
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination
  • Link to this post as a source and comment link to your article

Then, every few weeks we’ll organize a poll that includes all nominees. The one with most votes will be declared the winner of The Start Blogger Award and given a prize. I plan on increasing pool prize as often as possible. If you have suggestion on what would be a good prize – let me know.

My mother used to bake cookies with me... but now she blogs and I pretty much raise myself.

Well, someone certainly deserves prize…

And now, to this week’s blogs I enjoy and The Star Blogger Award nominees.

The Loyal Brit Wit

I am in awe of daily schedule The Loyal Brit Wit is sustaining so far. Premise is simple: each post introduces “British English” word and builds around it. For example “loo” in England generally means “bathroom” – and sure enough, BritWit has a Loo post.

Here is the list of few posts I’ve particularly enjoyed:

All I can say – keep it up BritWit. And if you ever decide to write in detail on how you manage to keep up daily writing schedule – let me know; I’ll be ecstatic to read that one.

Project Believe In Yourself by Benjamin Ngiam

What sets Benjamin and his blog apart is how much video content he produces. That’s how we’ve met – he participated in Community Pool and reviewed other people’s blog. I’ve found idea great… aside of promoting his own OC he truly adds value by providing other people with in-depth feedback. I really hope he manages to get in rhythm and do video blog reviews every week.

With PBIY I recommend going to YouTube, specifically watching:

Touched2MySoul

As I often say: interacting with community is one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging. Being able to talk with people from all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs is powerful. Addicting even. Thus I am truly thankful for Community Pool and interaction I had there with Touched2MySoul that got me to visit her blog.

To me, reading posts Touched2MySoul is writing provides all the inspiration I need to write my own. These I would especially recommend:

Nominate your blog and blogs you like

Same as the last week – when you have visited linked blogs, feel free to comment and share your impressions. And also, do nominate yours or worthy blog of someone you know that’s not getting enough recognition.

We will be having “The Star Blogger Award” poll in next week’s post, so be sure to comment and link your blog in order to be in contention.

Until next week!

Give in and surrender, so you can focus on things that matter

In today’s opinionated world the worst thing one can do is get lost in countless battles that are around us. Who would be the best president? Which sports team deserves most attention and recognition? What is the ideal form of government? Why is group A attacking group B and who is right there?

Those who managed to educate themselves and focus their brain understand that most of the questions most of the people ask themselves most of the day are completely irrelevant. Yet, those questions are the ones people answer every day in their heads over and over. Until they are lost and drained of willpower.

Consciously decide what topics interest you. Do not let advertisements, TV or yet another yelling idiot take you off your path. Do not let someone else decide what you will be thinking about during your day. Reign in your brain and focus it on topics that interest you.

Be especially careful about giving your time and interest to other people. One of the easiest ways to drain your willpower is to get involved in confrontations with others over trivial things. Integrate others into your plans but don’t depend on them. Focus on your production and things you can do, not others.

When you know what is important for you – follow the advice – give in and surrender. Everything that you decided not to be worth of your time, simply fold and surrender. Do what needs to be done, so you can take a loss and move on. Only then will you be able to double down on things that lead you ahead. Only then will you be free to embrace the grind that leads you to toward path of happiness, secluded from pointless arguments. Only when you surrender what you don’t care about can you fight for what you do care about.

Featured comment of the week: Luck is when opportunity meets preparation by brilliantviewpoint

Surrender: Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days -Zig Ziglar

Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days -Zig Ziglar