Archive - November, 2013

Focus on Focus

Lately I’ve been experimenting with a bit of a mind-fuck – Focusing on my focus.

What Does That Even Mean?

Sounds crazy, this focusing on focus business, right? But hear me out – I noticed that this slight mental shift has really made a difference in my work. Indeed I’d go as far to say that it is the key thing to focus on if you have problems with your concentration.

But what does focusing on focus mean anyway?  Well what I do is simply shift my awareness from the task I’m doing to what I’m focused on. I get into a state of mind where I notice when my focus shift and my concentration breaks. When you notice it right away, you can immediately correct it. Which leads to improved focus, naturally, since you simply shift back into focused state as soon as you lose it. Eventually you just get used to being focused. That being said, I just presume it goes like that, I’m definitely not there yet.

However the immediate effect is already some improvement to how well you stay focused – that’s the beauty of it. You aren’t directly focused on work, instead you are focused on how well you are focused on your work – as a side effect you stay very focused on work. In the end it is the old lifting the awareness into a higher level kind of thing.

It’s All So Tollesque

I know that’s not a word. But in many ways this is the same stuff that Eckhart Tolle teaches, just in a more actionable and practical format. Tolle, if you are not familiar with his stuff, always talks about being present to the moment, aware, and “watching the watcher” so to speak. Focusing on focus is exactly that – watching the watcher, just expressed in different words.

So besides just making you focus better, the whole concept makes you more present to the moment as well.

Can Anyone Do This?

I wish I knew – like most of my blog posts, this is just one of those half-baked, mostly untested ideas that I’ve not really shared with anyone – even if, in many ways, it is just a rewording of Tolle’s more refined idea. I always try to approach my posts from the paradigm “would my 20-year-old self get anything out of this?” and I would be inclined to say that my 20-year-old self would definitely try this one out.

That’s what I suggest you do too. It might be hard to grasp what I exactly even mean with this whole thing – as the difference between just focusing and focusing on the focus is very subtle – but if you can grasp it go for it. You might be surprised with the results.

Does it sound like I’ve gone off the deep end? Or does it make sense? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Staying on the Narrow Path to Success

Staying on the narrow path to success is one of the hardest things there is – it is so easy to veer away and it happens to everybody. That’s really the key skill in life in the end – just learning to avoid diverging off the path. In the end, the more you stay on the path, the longer way you are going to make on it.

Let’s face it – success is very, very simple. Deceptively simple, in fact. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure it all out and often I’ve noticed when studying very successful people is that they aren’t necessarily remarkably smart people. Sometimes they are, but high intellect is definitely not a requirement for success. What these people had going their way though was that they stayed on their paths like motherfuckers. Just full-on tunnel vision to their goal, not stopping moving until they reach that goal.

There might be a million different guides online on how to make it in this and that, but universally success in anything  really is all about effort and consistency – staying on the path. But as said, it’s so easy to drop off that path. So easy to eat that junk food. So easy to spend that afternoon just playing games. So easy to not write a blog post, rather just do something easier than try to figure out something remotely insightful to tell other people.

Every time you do something that doesn’t take you closer to your goals, you go off the path. Sure, it might be just a small detour, but over the time it really adds up. That’s why the skill is to snap out of it.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with playing games, eating junk food, spending a night drinking beer, whatever it might be that is your vice. I’m all for going for it. As long as it happens with the full knowledge and acute consciousness of the fact that every time you do it, you are sacrificing your progress on the path. That in the end, this moment wasted will see you not make it as far on the path as you could have made. Just a little bit more of your potential won’t be reached. You leave some success on the table that you could have otherwise had.

What’s success anyway? For me it’s getting the things you want out of your life. You might want different things than me. If for you its all about hammering chips to your mouth and playing World of Warcraft, more power to you, you will get a lot of success in your life. If that’s really what you want, then you are better off already than 90 % of the people – you at least know what you really want. For me the goal is to “become awesome”, that might be just the overlaying idea that points to everything in my mind, but in the end that’s what I’m going for.

No one ever became awesome from eating garbage, getting wasted and destructive habits like that. Except Charlie Sheen. You become awesome by putting yourself to the test. By stepping up to the plate each and every day. Each and every hour. Each and every minute. Is that possible? Of course not. But the more you can avoid that reaction of stepping off the path, the longer way you are going to make in the end. To get ahead of most of the pack it doesn’t even take that much. The further along the path you get the lonelier it gets. “Come on, come check out these bushes” the other’s will say along the path, but you keep treading along. Only at times you will come across an another walker of the path. But it’s worth it just to see the new landscapes.

So resist that temptation. Leave your phone alone for a moment. Don’t read yet another blog post. Don’t watch any more videos. Get back moving. Get to work.

So yeah, that’s my today’s post, better give it a rest before I get too metaphorical. I hope reading this post helps you stay on your path instead of having just been another detour on it. Stay focused and keep at it! See you next week.

Liked the post? Tickled your mind? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Starting A Yet Another Challenge

I know, it’s getting boring, but that’s what happens…

I’ve been super busy working lately, so again you will have to settle for not so carefully crafted out message. My goal for this week is to re-evaluate my life after the pretty sobering realization last week that I’m not really knowing what I’m doing.

The challenge this time around will be very, very simple and to an extent somewhat easy as well. We could dub it the Consistency Challenge since I’ve been insisting on giving silly titles to all of my challenges.

The Consistency Challenge

I’m tired of constantly forcing myself into complicated schedules and stuff like that, so this time the challenge is really easy – just score at least 30 points in Universal Awesomeness Score every day. During the days that I work I always score that easily – what I’m looking for here is to maintain a level of doing useful stuff during those off days. Thus the name consistency challenge. Scoring 30 points in my system is nothing insane, it’s just decent, but I don’t need to go insane all the time.

Especially at this point of my life. In a month, my GF is going to come to Finland to visit me, and I definitely don’t want to be working brutally hard during that time. Besides, my move away to Malaysia is finally finalized. I will leave my home behind on January 7th. It took me almost two years to achieve, but I’m finally at a place financially and in terms of my capabilities, that I can make the move happen.

What happens now is just enjoying the final few weeks at home. I’m excited for the move cause that will be a total life transition, but I already know it won’t be easy either. That’s why this challenge will run until January 7th. Once that day rolls around, there will be challenge enough in my life without anything self-inflicted.

As for the reward for my challenge… I can’t really think of any. I hope a challenge this easy will be weathered through with just the intrinsic motivation of completing it.

Planning for the Future

As said, I’m choosing to use the time that I have to weigh the options for the future. To think what exactly I’m striving for in the long-term, and what will be my focus on the short-term, what piece of the jigsaw I choose to concentrate for now. I have a general idea of course in my head already, now I need to flesh it out and clarify.

I’m not sure whether I should write out my plans to my blog publicly, whether it would be an useful exercise or not, so let me know what you think.

Throw the comment below!

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

Let’s be honest here. You put on a brave face, talk with conviction, remind yourself of your purpose… but in the end, I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

Let me elaborate. I’m not saying I’m being insincere when I’m talking about being on a path and whatnot, or that I don’t believe in my own words when I write about “Becoming Awesome”, as I so eloquently have put it in the past. Or something. But really, do I know what I’m talking about? Does anyone know?

I was just on a walk/workout. I sometimes do these when I feel I don’t have the energy for a proper workout – I just go for a mix of jogging, running hard and walking around the village I live in, stop by at the school playground to do a few pull-ups etc. Just enough to break a sweat and get some work for my muscles, but nothing that really gets you jacked.

During my way back, I have a lot of time to think in tranquility. Today I knew I still have a blog post to write, and I kept trying to think of what to write about. Yet my mind would veer into the higher level all the time. Why the fuck am I doing this in the first place. Now let me interfere here, it wasn’t a resentful “why the fuck?” I love my blog. In fact, many of the thoughts I had were of starting to write much more. Which just made me ask, is writing fiction and stories really what I want to be, as I call it, my path? If it’s not that, then what it is?

So you can probably guess I wasn’t really able to put my finger on any good ideas for blog post topics. Not that I’m short of ideas. As said, I want to start writing for this blog much more – but for tonight I needed something I could write quickly. That brings me to writing about how I have no fucking clue about anything. Cause I don’t. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where I’m going. Sometimes I just feel like my life is just a succession of short-term projects and challenges with barely any overarching goals.

But bro, isn’t your goal to “Become Awesome” anyway?

Sure, but what does that even mean? All I have in my mind is a vague idea of myself in the future that I’m unlikely to ever achieve.

Of course, none of this is news. I admitted kind of just floating around without a clear sense of where I’m going in this video I made in Japan:

The challenges I’ve made in the past have given me a sense of purpose. I wake up every day to complete every point on the challenge. The challenge keeps changing often enough for me to not start to question what I’m doing. Is that good or bad? I’ve said many times I think my challenges are a positive thing. I’m totally not stopping doing them. But there comes a time where you should know the bigger picture that the challenges are building towards.

Or should you? In this famous speech, Steve Jobs tells us to trust that at some point the dots will start to connect.

I find the message inspiring, but in the end it just leaves me thinking that I’ve barely started to see the dots that I’m supposed to start connecting. 

In the end, we are all lost, no one really has a clue where he is going, and the only purpose you have on this Earth is the one you construct for yourself.

I don’t know if this post made any sense, just like I don’t really know anything else, but perhaps your comment might enlighten me. Drop it below.