How to Commit

Commit to what? To your life! if you’re meandering in life, constantly procrastinating and not knowing what you should be doing, then you’re not committed. The same is true if you know what you should be doing, but find yourself not doing it, or not doing it enough.

In this post, my intention is to teach you how to become fully committed to your life. If, after reading this post – you become a teeny bit more committed then I’ve done my job.

 

Let’s start by defining commitment: “to devote oneself unreservedly” this means holding absolutely nothing back, giving 100% of everything you’ve got to achieve your goal. It means being willing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. This is the warrior’s way.

Obviously, very few individuals reach this level of commitment, and to be honest, you usually don’t have to be THIS committed for you to succeed, but the more you are, the faster and/or better your results usually are.

There are levels to commitment

Level 1: Wanting: if wanting was all it took, then everyone would be a billionaire with a six-pack. With this level of commitment, you’ll take what you want, as long as it falls on your lap.

Level 2: Choosing: At this level, you’re willing to expend some effort, but you’ll probably quit at the first signs of difficulty.

Level 3: Commitment.

 

 

What stops one from committing?

There are many possible factors, such as not knowing your purpose or health factors that can contribute to your ability to commit, but at the end of the day, it boils down to two reasons.

  1. You don’t really want to OR
  2. You don’t think you can get it

 

Allow me to provide a concrete example…

If you were offered £1 Million and all you had to do was run a marathon, would you do it?

What about if you were offered £10, would you still do it?

What about if you were offered £10 to stroll around the park?

In this example, the money represents PERCEIVED value. The perceive cost is – the effort required, (the running) represents the cost of acquiring that value.

 

Now, how about if there was only a 10% chance you’d get that £1 million, would you still do it? You’d probably give it a go, but if it got really hard – you might convince yourself to give up under the guise of “I probably wouldn’t have won anyway”

The % odds of success here represents your perceived odds of success (your doubt, or lack thereof)

Moral of the story is this: you’ll only commit to something if the perceived value and your perceived odds of acquiring it EXCEEDS the costs of acquiring. Notice I didn’t say actual value or odds, that’s because they’re subjective.

As for perceived odds of success, if you believe in yourself, you’ll go for it, even if you suck. However, if you’re amazing at something but you have no belief in yourself you’ll remain on the sidelines, forever. (until you muster up the sustained courage to start and continue).

THEREFORE, to increase your capacity to commit you need to:

  1. Increase your perceived value of your goal.
  2. Increase your perceived odds of achieving goal.
  3. Decrease your perceived cost of achieving goal.

 

 

 

HOW TO INCREASE PERCEIVED VALUE (& actual):

Which of these sounds more valuable? more compelling?

  1. Go to school so you can get a job!  OR
  2. Go to school so you can learn about how the world works, so you can be empowered enough to change it for the better etc. etc.

This is all about how you frame your goal to yourself. Unconsciously, we know all the benefits of acquiring our goal but we need to make them conscious since we’ll be consciously acting them out.

So whatever your goal is, make the benefits extremely vivid. Why do you wanna achieve it? what will you able to do once you achieve it? why’s that important? why? why? exactly how will your life change for the better? etc. etc. Also, equally important is to remind yourself of these benefits regularly – it stokes the fire!

 

HOW TO INCREASE PERCEIVED ODDS (& actual):

  1. Decrease Doubt

It’s very hard to doubt yourself when you’re doing the work day in and day out.  Likewise, it’s very easy to doubt yourself if you’re inconsistent or worse not doing what you know you should be doing. Therefore: action is the antidote to doubt.  Over time you’ll build momentum, making things progressively easier as you move closer to your goal. Once you start getting positive feedback and hitting milestones towards your goal, doubt will become a thing of the past – so just hang in there for the initial phase of your goal.

Side note on momentum: It’s incredibly powerful. Let’s say you get on your bike and you input 10 bits of energy to reach cruising speed, once you get going, it becomes effortless.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Let’s say you now have momentum, if you input the same amount of energy (10 bits) as you did at the beginning, you’ll get a disproportional increase in speed, meaning even though you’ve put in 10 bits of energy, it will be as if you’ve put in 30 bits.

This, of course, would be a useless analogy if it only applied to riding bikes, fortunately, it applies to EVERYTHING.

Once you get the ball rolling, whether it be writing that first sentence, dialling that number, signing that first client or whatever – momentum is now in your favour and with the same amount of effort, you’ll get more bang for your buck.

 

2. Increase Belief

Assuming you truly desire the outcome, you’ll be enthusiastic during the pursuit relative to how likely you think your actions will be rewarded.

Like I said earlier, If you think there is a 20% chance of finishing the marathon, you’re probably gonna quit when it starts to get difficult – so increasing your perceived odds is critical if you are to succeed, another way to do this is by changing your beliefs.

how to:

  • Affirmations & Visualise – These reprogramme your mind/body/emotions in the direction of what you affirm or visualise. If you affirm that you can and visualise yourself finishing marathons, your mind starts to believe that it’s really possible and gradually that lack of self-belief is no longer a problem, thus the lack of or the timidity of action this caused slowly but surely evaporates.

 

  • Find Role models – It’s much easier to see yourself being able to run that marathon when you’ve seen many others who’ve done it, especially if they’re similar to you in some way e.g. upbringing, culture, appearance etc. etc. This helps you rid yourself of the excuse that you can’t do it because you’re too white/black/short/tall etc. etc.

 

3. Increase willpower:

Carrying on with our analogy, if you perceive yourself as someone who can overcome discomfort and challenges then naturally, your perceived odds of success will go up since you’re better able to cope with the thing that’s most likely going to cause you to quit.

Even if you love what you do, there are going to be things that suck about it, yet you still have to do them if you are to succeed. A scientist who loves researching and conducting experiments, not only has to be good at these things but also at administrative work, applying for grants, writing papers etc. etc. If she (you pictured a he, didn’t you 😉 did only what she ‘loved’, she wouldn’t be a successful scientist.

Another reason you need willpower – to succeed, you need to stay on the narrow path. If you want a specific outcome, there is a specific route to get there, therefore most things are simply a distraction. To resist the many, exciting, pleasurable and tempting distractions requires you develop a strong will power.

Which is actually very simple, but of course, not easy –  but that’s the point.

A misconception about developing will power is that it’s done by doing typically ‘hard’ things – while there is some truth to that, the key thing is that you DON’T want to do them, not that they’re hard.

After all, the whole point is to practice your ability to force yourself to do what you don’t feel like doing, not just what’s hard.

For e.g. working out is ‘hard’ but not when you’re motivated. If all you did was a hard workout but you felt like doing it, then you’ve not exercised the capacity to force yourself to do what you don’t feel like doing, only your muscles.

In short, to develop will power – there are essentially two ways:

  • DO what you DON’T feel like doing
  • DON’T do what you feel like doing

Every day aim to practice at least one of these. The more emotional resistance there is, the better the training will be. Careful not to break yourself though.

Will Training Exercises:

  1. Resist itching – when you get an itch, instead of rushing to soothe it, wait! Just experience the sensation and see how long you can just observe the sensation. It’s a simple and potent exercise. It teaches you to respond to your feelings rather than reacting from them. This also teaches you to be comfortable with those urges so you don’t seek to run away from them at the first opportunity, thus reducing their power over you.  Try observing the itch until it goes away. (the more intense the itch the better)
  2. Fasting – self-explanatory. Try just skipping one of your meals and learn to feel hungry without acting on it.
  3. Cold showers – If you can deliberately put yourself in this environment, it makes everything else you have to do that’s ‘hard’ look pale in comparison.
  4. Wake up half an hour earlier than you normally would – this is good practice for leaving the comfort zone, your number 1 enemy towards progress.

If you can do these will training exercises, or other similar ones, consistently (apart from number 4 as it’s unsustainable) and not just when you’re ‘in the mood’ you will develop all the willpower you need in order to be wildly successful in your chosen endeavours.

 

 

HOW TO DECREASE PERCEIVED COST:

Increase familiarity/skill:

Back to our marathon example, if you were really good at running – say you had already run a few marathons in the past, would you perceive it as costly? Obviously not!

The same principle applies to any goal you want to achieve. practice. practice. practice. and practice some mo.

how to:

  1. Identify the key skills/knowledge/habits that will enable you to be successful in your goal.
  2. Then form a daily habit of practising the above, relentlessly.

It’s simple but very hard (at first, till it gets easy – remember, walking was once the hardest thing you ever had to do!)

let’s say you wanted to be a famous musician, a generic example would be something like this.

the key skills would be:

1. Instrument and/voice mastery

2. Songwriting

3. Marketing/promotion

If you mastered these skills, then the results will be inevitable.

 

 

How to be effortlessly committed:

Have you ever promised yourself that you’ll study for x hours and managed to show up to your desk, but could only do a fraction of what you set out to do because you were constantly distracted or generally procrastinating and meandering.

Even though your body showed up, you didn’t emotionally/mentally show up because you weren’t emotionally committed. This brings me to the key term, alignment.

How easy is it to do anything when you’re ‘motivated’ or ‘inspired’? It’s basically effortless, right?  This is what it feels like to be in alignment.

It may seem like you ‘get’ motivated or inspired as if it’s something that happens to you, but what you may not realise is that you have a much larger role in this process than you give yourself credit for.

As a general rule, the more in alignment you are, the less discipline you require. The reverse is also true, if you constantly feel the need to force yourself to do stuff, you’re out of alignment.

What do I mean by alignment?

Desire or intent >Thought>Emotion>Action = Result. Let’s call this the chain of creation.

Desire is what you want to do, the mind creates thoughts and emotions, the body acts these out in order to manifest that desire to produce your result.

A sign of lacking alignment is when your thoughts (including beliefs) are against your desire, such is thinking they can’t be done, consequently, your emotions will follow suit,  thus pushing you in the other direction to your goal – thus manifesting that desire has just become harder.

Another way this could manifest is when your mind wants to do something, but it’s not in alignment with your true desires, so again, it requires a lot more effort.

If you’re in complete alignment, your thoughts, emotions and body all support your true desire and there is no conflict between different parts of you.

 

The key to manifesting anything is consistency. If you cannot keep the chain of creation still, as in your desires/thoughts/emotions/actions change all the time – then you won’t manifest your intent.

This is how the majority of people live, they’re constantly misaligned by external things such as the weather/news/other people’s opinion etc, which alters their emotional state to the degree that they’re no longer in alignment with their original intent, which obviously means its a lot harder to act out their original intent.

This is compounded by the fact that so many external things can alter your internal state, if you let it. From sleep, nutrition to being triggered by people/events.

To make matters worse, your very own mind can cause a misalignment within you based on the way it interprets reality by creating negative thought patterns which emotionally trigger you (and drain) and once again, making acting your intent that much harder.  It’s therefore crucial, on your quest to becoming committed, that you learn how to reduce this tendency, if not stop it altogether.

 

How to maintain a consistent chain of creation:

  1. Filter out negative external environmental influences

The world is full of negativity (and a lot of positivity too) but if you go on the news or social media, it tends to have a bias towards negativity, so you can easily trip yourself up if you’re not careful. To combat this, avoid social media unless you’re a creator on there or it’s part of your job etc.

The same goes with the news, you’ll be fine going days without checking the news and you definitely don’t need the sensationalistic reports designed to attract the most attention (Ads $$$)

If you must be informed – you can simply look at the summarised bullet points – otherwise your energy and time is being harvested.

Before corona, when was the last time you learnt something from the news that actually made a difference in your life? I’m a big proponent of being informed, but about the stuff that I can implement that actually impacts my day to day life  – like what’s happening in my industry etc. not about the 100’s of people that died today or the war going on in Iraq. Watching this stuff poisons your mind and misaligns your emotions. AND wastes your time.

 

2. Becoming detached from your thoughts/emotions

If you can do this, you can learn to observe the drama of your mind/emotions/body without being shaken by it. Practicing mindfulness meditation cultivates this perception.

 

3. Train your mind so it’s able to follow your will.

Imagine if your mouse cursor, the pointy thingy you use to click things, imagine that had a different will to you? how hard would it be to complete a task? The same principle applies to your mind. Learning to control it (which is the natural step from learning to just observe it) will prevent all the negative actions of a chaotic mind such as the emotional turbulence, amongst other benefits of course. Practice Samantha meditation to cultivate this skill. Or just some general concentration exercises.

 

How to maintain chain of creation:

For your thoughts, since the barrier here is limiting beliefs – I’ve already addressed how to change those. The same goes for emotions, making the benefits of your goal extremely vivid to your conscious mind will help align your emotions to your goal.

This leaves two parts of the equation. desires/intent and the body itself.

It’s easier to commit to your true desires, rather than the desires you think you should have or expectations from your culture/parents/friends etc. etc.

So knowing your true desires is critical. I wish there was a magic pill, maybe there is. But for me, it was soul searching, spending a lot of time with myself, journaling and of course,  trial and error! This has also worked for many others, I’m sure it will also work for you.

As for the body, the key thing is that it does not become a barrier, if it’s tired/hungry/weak/malnourished etc. it definitely becomes a barrier to your intent/desire. Make sure it gets adequate amounts of what it needs: rest, relaxation, nutrition and some love!

The better these are, the less of a barrier your body will become to your intent/desire and the more of an ally it will become.

 

How to do what you know you should do.

We all know what we should be doing, if not, we know what we SHOULDN’T be doing, which is essentially knowing what you should do, so yeah – we all know what we should be doing!

So then how come very few people actually do it? lol I don’t know!

BUT – I think it’s at least partly because of this concept below.

Whatever you do – whether you think it good or bad – you find it valuable, otherwise you wouldn’t do it!

Saying to yourself, “I must stop doing x (/Netflix/smoking etc.)  is essentially threatening to steal a child’s favourite toy.

Obviously, he’s going to resist this and if he sees it coming, he’s going to try and sabotage your attempts at stealing his toy. This child, of course, is your mind.

If you are to successfully and permanently entice a child to let go of his favourite toy, you have to either:

  1. Wait till he gets bored
  2. Cleverly make his toy as off-putting as possible, 
  3. Trade a toy of similar value OR
  4. Entice him with a newer and bigger toy – I’ve already covered how to do this, make the benefits of the goal extremely vivid.

In terms of replacing a toy of equal value. Let me give one last example,

Say you’re addicted to Netflix, you may be doing so because you’re feeling lonely and you’re seeking a connection.

A healthier alternative may be to join some kind of club, say – fitness. Which satisfies both your yearning for connection while also simultaneously getting healthier.

Another example (okay, promise this is the last one) –  say you smoke to decrease stress/feel better, you could try replacing it with mindfulness meditation or breathing exercises, which have the same reward without the negative side effects.

The point is – there is always a healthier and better alternative that is at least equally rewarding, if not more so, than your current maladaptive habit. The key to finding these solutions is to know the real reason you do these ‘bad’ habits and the value you derive from them.

To sum it up, if you seek to remove your bad habits, you either have to ensure your new habit will still provide the same value or GREATER value.

This is why I think people don’t do what they know they should do, they fail to satisfy their needs in the new form of bahaviour/habit – thus they just revert back to old patterns over and over again.

 

 

how to be unstoppable.

At the very core, you suffer because you grasp at emotions by identifying with them – you seek the positive ones which are triggered through various activities e.g. ‘achievement’ ‘compliments’ etc.  the problem is, when you don’t get enough of these positive doses, you suffer – you’ve become addicted to them. so not only do you need them to feel good, a lack of them makes you feel bad!

Solution:

disidentify from your emotions  – i.e. know they’re NOT you, you merely have them, or more accurately, witness their processes.

how to do this?

by understanding this: the object is always separate from the subject. When you observe something, you’re not that thing. when you observe your body, you’re not your body, the same is true for your mind/emotions.

the more you do this, the better you’ll get at it and less you’ll become affected by the ups and downs of your mind/emotions – you’ll simply watch the storm as it occurs, you learn to respond rather than react.

Why this is game-changing?

this may at first sound ‘woo woo’ or just a bit far out and impractical, but this is the most practical thing there is.

what’s stopping you, in almost any endeavour you seek to progress in – is your attachment or aversion to certain emotions – usually referred to as ‘comfort zone’ – if you detach this attachment, there will be nothing to stop you. Whether it be fear, guilt, shame, anxiety etc. that’s the real impediment towards your goals.

Say, when you’re feeling fear – if you identify with it, you’re carrying it with you and it becomes very heavy. But if you watch it, you notice the ‘gap’ where you don’t have to act AS it, but act as YOU (the observer) choose.

that’s it

Are you an introvert? You’re the master artist

Before we begin, what are introverts? Introverts are people that recharge when they are alone. They essentially thrive on their own, as opposed to their counterparts: extroverts.

The key thing here for introverts is their ability to be comfortable AND thrive in their own company.

Secondly, what’s an artist? An artist is a creator! whether it be a painting or a business or a scientific theory. An artist is original in their thinking.

The benefits of being an introvert lie in their comfort being in solitude.

Benefits of solitude 

1.Increased efficiency: When you’re an introvert, you recharge by yourself. You’re like a car that doesn’t need to spend fuel in order to gain fuel. This makes you effectively more efficient than your counterparts and this helps you create because you will have more energy and time because you don’t need to go out to get your ‘fix’. This freed time and energy can be utilised for creating something!

2. less interfering energies. Energetically, everyone has an aura, a bubble of energy around them that interacts with everyone and everything in their proximity. (this is why nature is so therapeutic) When surrounded by lots of people, usually with incompatible/conflicting aura’s this can cause confusion in the aura. This confusion requires cleansing to return to homeostasis. When in homeostasis, you feel better and when you feel better, you’ll create better work.aura

Also, as an artist, there are only certain thoughts you can attract only if your energy is right. Thoughts are ideas. You can see why this is important for an artist.

3. As an introvert, since you’re alone quite a lot, you tend to be more unique, this is due to the fact that the more people that you hang around, the bigger the influence they will have on you. These relationships affect your opinions on matters too, so if you have less interfering influence, you’re more likely to have an original perspective! which is the currency of creativity.

The greatest spurts of creativity tend to be anti-cultural, perhaps even ahead of their time. These tend to come from an outsiders perspective, which is usually an introvert.

4.  The final reason is solitude itself! Sometimes you need to be alone to be inspired, some of my best ideas have come from journaling. That eureka! moment tends to come while on your own when distractions, energetically and otherwise, are as few as possible.

I’m not the only one who thinks this, Csikszentmihalyi, the author of flow, suggested that creative individuals tend to be strong on certain traits, such as introversion.

I’ll end this post with a few quotes on solitude.

“Isolation offers its own form of companionship”

“Children love to be alone because alone is where they know themselves, and where they dream”

“Isolation offers its own form of companionship”

“Solitude is the mother of creativity”

P.S some of humanity’s greatest artists have been serial introverts: Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Charles Dicken, the list could go on…

Anyway, if you’re an introvert, utilise your advantage and create!

LESSONS LEARNED FROM SKATEBOARDING

Firstly, I’ll start off by saying I’m no expert at skating, not even close. I’m just a guy who’s been skating for nearly 3 years (at the time of this writing) I’ve learned a lot and through observation, I’ve noticed lessons that apply outside of skating too.

Some of these lessons can be obtained through other sports/hobbies. Some may be obvious, others not so. The key thing here is experience, I probably had an intellectual understanding of these lessons but: you can know something but until you experience it for yourself, you’ll laugh at the fact that you ever thought you knew it

Anyway, here’s the list:

1.Discipline: I skate when I’m tired, when it’s cold, when it’s raining, when I really don’t want to, when I’m injured, when I have a busy day, I skate every day because I find having discipline in one area leads to discipline in all areas. Discipline helps me to achieve my goals, not just in skating but in life too. Here’s a quick video on the importance of a hobby.

2.Patience: Sometimes it takes me months to learn a new trick, even if I practice every day. Sometimes it takes a few hours. I’ve realised as long as I keep practising, I’ll eventually learn that trick, no matter how terrible I may be at the start.

This applies to life, sometimes what you want takes longer than you thought it would, having patience allows you to wait without stressing out about it, thus your experience while waiting can be positive instead of stressful.

3.Mastery: Again, I’m not even remotely close to mastering skateboarding, but I know enough about the process of getting good at something. I know what it takes and I now have a huge respect for anyone that’s mastered anything. I’ve experienced first hand that mastery of anything does not come easy. But at the same time, I’ve realised it’s just practice and consistency. With enough of this, I believe I can master anything.

4. You Reap what you sow: The more I practice, the better I get, it’s really that simple. The more effort I put in, the bigger the reward. In life, whether it be studying or a task you need to learn, effort is usually correlated with progress. If you want to maximise your results, maximise your effort.

5. My work ethic:  The thing with skating, there’s no one telling you what to do. There’s no boss or teacher ordering you around. It’s all on you. I’ve learned when I commit I just don’t stop. I’ve had to start taking breaks when I skate to prevent injuries. I now know what commitment for me looks like, Therefore I can use this to gauge my level of commitment outside of skating.

6. How to learn faster: If you’re learning anything, it’s best to have as little distractions as possible. I used to wear headphones when I started skating but that only slowed down my progress. I’ve noticed focus is the best tool when learning. You may get away with a wayward attention if you’ve mastered the skill because your body can be on autopilot, but if you’re learning, it’s a recipe for disaster, believe me, I have the scars to prove it.

7. Persistence: Skating is 99% failing and 1% success. But I like to think each failure is just a redirection, each failure is actually a success when looked at this way. I’m no longer deterred by failure in anything, I know failing is just an indicator of what not to do. I now know if I keep pivoting and trying, I will eventually hit the jackpot.

8. To get better, level UP: I used to think if you want to get better at something, you have to keep repeating it until you master it. Wrong! From skating I’ve realised this is a slow way to learn. If you want to get better at level 3, practice level 5. It will force you to use the resources you didn’t even know you had and it will make level 3 look like a piece of cake. If you have 1 hour to do something, try and do it in 30 minutes. If you’re shy then go speak in front of large crowds. If you want to get better at lifting 30kg, lift 50kg, I think you get the idea.

9. Pivot: Stagnation is the opposite of happiness. If I carry on doing the same thing for too long, I start to hate skating and no I’m not exaggerating. So I’m usually learning a few tricks at a time, if I get bored of one then I just switch it up. This keeps things fresh and interesting in my mind and prevents me from burning out. This is true in life too, if you’re feeling burnt out, just do something else for a little while, when you come back you’ll be refreshed and more focussed than before.

10. My method: I’m not like most people who want to learn the flashiest tricks straight away. There’s nothing wrong with that but I have the opposite mindset. I like to build on the basics first, get a nice solid foundation if you will. I do this intuitively, I have a keen sense of knowing that your ability to do the complex rests on your ability to do the basics. This is true in life: have a solid foundation in anything that you start, whether it be a skill or relationships; without it, the structure won’t get very high or it will fall, if it tries.

11. My Personality: Skateboarding for me has been a tool for self-discovery. I’ve learned that I’m achievement oriented. My best moments when I skate are when I’m giving my all and when I learn something new. I quickly get bored if I stay at the same level for too long.

Skating for me is also an outlet; It’s a thing where I’m in total control of; no one slows me down or vice-versa. It’s all on me. I love the sense of freedom and independence skating grants me, but most of all, I love the unlimited growth it has. There is always something new to learn.

Learning about myself allows me to know what I like so I can make better choices. Now that I know my drug of choice, perhaps once this phase is over, I’ll pick a less painful way to get my fix. Which leads me to…

12. Pain tolerance: If I had to sum up skating in one word: pain. These days I’m usually rocking multiple forms of injuries from skating. Although I experience a lot of pain, I never suffer.

Life can be painful but suffering is a choice. I’ve experienced this first hand. When I experience acute pain, I just focus on it, I watch it in the third person. I notice the pain is there, but I notice I’m the noticer of the pain, not the pain itself; I’m separate from it. With this knowledge, I don’t become the pain, so I don’t suffer.

I know that I am awareness, and so are you.

In a way, I learn to enjoy it, it’s very stimulating and energising, although, I certainly won’t be inviting it to my party.

Knowing that you are not the pain but the watcher of it is life changing. In life, carrying this perspective all-ways can be difficult but it’s incredibly freeing and with practice, it’s certainly achievable.

13. Use it or lose it: If I don’t practice a trick, I get worse and worse at it. This gets less pronounced the more I’ve mastered the trick but If I’ve just learnt a trick and I don’t practice it enough; I will have to learn it again. This is true in life also, if you neglect things you will lose them; whether it be a skill or relationships, you have to nurture things in order to keep them.

14. Letting go: I used to have goals to learn x trick in x weeks. I noticed sometimes I would go waaaay over. I wanted to learn the kickflip in 3 weeks, it took me closer to 3 months;  sometimes it’s the opposite. I’ve realised it’s best to just let go of expectations and just do your best each session.

In life, you’re not really in control of your progress, but you are in control of your process.  Don’t focus on the goal, focus on your actions. If you do this, even if you fail, you won’t have regrets because you know you did your best.

Thenks 4 reeding bitchez, peace out xox

 

How Reading Makes you Smarter

I’ll define ‘smart’ in this context as the ability to comprehend incoming information.

There are 3 main ways I believe reading makes you smarter.

  1. Attaining new information
  2. Practising visualisation
  3. Stretching of the mind

#1 is quite obvious. If you have knowledge on the subject then you are more likely to understand something i.e you have knowledge of how to read English, hence why you can comprehend this sentence.

#2 is a bit more complicated. Visualisation is often the key to understanding concepts. Often you seem to finally understand something when you just ‘see’ it in your mind’s eye. This is a muscle that can be trained and it was used by Nikola Tesla to great effect.

Reading allows you to train this muscle, particularly if it’s a ‘story-type-book‘ where you can imagine the characters coming to life in your mind’s eye.

#3 is a little harder to explain. Basically, you have certain ways of thinking, a set system of how you articulate your thoughts and process information. This includes all your false knowings too which are not to be confused with beliefs.

Belief = I believe X will win.

Knowing = X won.

When you confront new sentence structures while reading, it literally trains your mind to process information in a new way.

It’s impossible to understand what you read while simultaneously carrying a false knowing. Either you aren’t going to understand or you’re going to let go of your false knowing and open your mind.

If you pick the latter, that false knowing is gone forever, meaning when you confront new information, that lie will no longer prevent you from understanding. Thereby making smarter.

Example of a false knowing:

Being told blue is red. See how this makes no sense? You can’t see or understand how this could be true. Because you know blue is blue. This knowing prevents you from seeing that blue is actually red.

Whether what you know is true or not is irrelevant. As long as you believe it, it’s your experience.

Letting go of the mind’s false knowings is the muscle’s equivalent of becoming more flexible.

Uncomfortable/hard poses, stretch the body. Uncomfortable/hard information stretches the mind.

The more you do this, the less rigid your mind becomes thus becoming more flexible, therefore the easier it will be to understand new information.

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading is key to this because the more you read, the more chances you get to expose your false knowings. Therefore the more chances you have to remove them.

 

The more different the material you’re reading is to your default thought pattern/vocabulary, the more of a stretch reading will be for you. The more you stretch the mind, the smarter you will get.

Read unfamiliar books/subjects/authors to achieve this.

Reading isn’t the only way to get smarter of course. If you don’t like reading but still want to get smarter then I’m sure you can come up with creative ways to gain new information, visualise and to stretch your mind!

I’ll finish this article with this reminder:

“Learning never exhausts the mind” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Thank you for reading!

Peace X

 

 

Stay in your Locus.

 

Things inside your locus are:

beliefs

 

thoughts

behaviour

interpretations

emotions

what you consume

how you react

 

 

Things outside your locus:

Weather

government

laws

other people

amongst many others

Yes, you could argue you have some modicum of control in the things I’ve placed outside your locus, but it’s exactly that, a modicum. It’s unreliable at best and at worst emotionally expensive on your part to try and control it.

How you react is by far the most powerful tool at your disposal. You have autonomy in how you choose to react to all the things I’ve placed outside your locus.

“No one can make you feel anything without your permission”

Choose to react in a way that serves you best. Hint: Complaining is the worst option (if peace/happiness is your goal that is)

If you focus on things you can control and let go of those you cannot, then you will be free from chronic negative emotions.

 

thank you for reading 🙂 x

Why not choose it? You chose this

You are a playing a character in your own movie. The script you’re going off is based on your beliefs as well as your desires.

Your current beliefs are based on the choices you made in the past, many of them before you could speak or rationalise while your brain was still in its early development.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty on the topic, here’s the gist:

During childhood, you have an egocentric point of view, you think your point of view is THE point of view and you think now means always thus you form a faulty template of how you expect others to treat you. For example, if you were stigmatised for speaking up, you may grow up to be shy about expressing yourself.

Furthermore, as your cognitive abilities were also in their early developmental phase, they were far from accurate. Coupled with the egocentric point of view, you often had skewed thoughts stemming from this. For example, say one of your parents was always working, you were more likely to interpret this as somehow your fault, thinking they don’t love you enough and thus grow up to have low self-esteem/worthiness issues.

The good news is you can change this. You can re-write your script.

The script (your beliefs) is a programme on your computer (body-mind) just like on a computer, a programme can be altered/deleted, the same is true for your body-mind.

To change your beliefs you have to change your behaviour. “It easier to act your way into a new type of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting”

So you have to change your behaviour consciously in order to match the belief you’d like to have. Whatever you’d like to be… confident/rich/kind etc, imagine how that version of you would behave, then act it out!

This will be uncomfortable of course. The priority for you brain is to keep you safe, rather than to thrive. To your brain, anything familiar is the default setting for ‘safe’, no matter how maladaptive it may be because as long as you’re alive, its all good.

Therefore, any changes in behaviour introduces new and unfamiliar risks so your brain will initially reject it. However, life itself is risky, to be alive is to expose yourself to risk so do it anyway.

Actors do this, they embrace a new character with ease through tools such as method acting.

So can you!

If you behave and think in accordance to a certain belief for long enough, that will become your new belief. This is because thought pattern and behaviour are the only things that sustain a belief.

Before you say it’s being “fake” it’s no more fake than you’re being right now, the only difference is the length of time you’ve been doing it for.

If you had your current world view while in your childhood, you’d understand that how you were treated is not an indicator of your worth or how you will be treated in the future. You can choose that perspective now and stop behaving from your childhood perspective.

So whatever you’ve been putting off, the kind of person you’d like to be, don’t wait Start Now! Although it may be painful to change, regret is worse “if pain is acute, then regret is chronic”

You can choose to be the best version of yourself.

So why not choose it? You chose this.