Always watching the “Clock”

Clock – Daily writing prompt

I remember a story I heard on Tony Robbin’s audio program Time of Your Life (highly recommended).

He recalls when he went to Fiji to buy some land as his own personal getaway. It’s a beautiful place so why not? He remembers being in the water relaxing, when he was startled because he had lost track of time. Being the busy man he is and having several other appointments throughout the day he didn’t want to be late for, he jumped out of the water and ran towards a nearby Fijian man.

He exclaimed, “Sir, do you know what time it is?”

The Fijian man looked at him strangely.

Tony repeated, “Time! Do you know what time it is?”

The man looked up at the sky, then back at Tony and said, “Daytime.”

Isn’t it strange how we’re so worried about being on schedule, on time, getting things done, being so used to our routine, that we cannot stop, slow down, and smell the metaphorical roses?

What is time really? Why is it that time can seem so short, while also feeling so long?

Why is it that when we’re having fun, time seems to just fly by. When we’re in the waiting room of a hospital, time seems to slow down almost to a halt.

Tony Robbins says time is just an emotion.

How we feel affects how time feels to us. So maybe instead of checking the clock all the time, we just enjoy the time we have right in this moment.

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Pick your “Punishment”

Punishment – Daily writing prompt

There’s a famous quote that comes to mind immediately:

There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes. – Jim Rohn

I think the greatest cause of people’s negative results in life is that they are too reactive to life instead of proactive.

Often times we hear about people coming to the end of their life and living with all these regrets. They spent too much time working and other things that didn’t matter, instead of spending time with their family, loved ones, traveling, making great memories, and enjoying the journey.

I think the difference occurs when people take the time to prioritize what they want out of life, plan out how to make it happen, and take ACTION. We all have 24 hours in a day, and yet some people make steady progress towards their goals while others do not.

Is there a difference in time? No. There’s simply a difference in priorities and a willingness to cut out unnecessary activities and fill in the time with the important ones.

Instead of filling your free time with watching Netflix or scrolling endlessly through social media, why not spend an hour learning that language you’ve always wanted. Spend 30 minutes meditating to get your head clear and gain some mental clarity. Call your parents up and tell them how amazing they are and make them laugh.

Putting aside a little bit of time everyday doing daily disciplines (reading 30 minutes a day, exercising for 1 hour, meditating for 10 minutes, etc), can have drastic compounded effects over the long term.

Conversely, being reactive in things like your health will also have compounding negative effects down the road. Drinking 1 can of soda for lunch everyday, for example, or wasting 2 hours a day watching the latest Netflix series. What are you really getting done?

I think the worst pain/punishment is getting to the end and regretting all the time wasted, when just a little bit of discipline could have dramatically created a higher quality and more fulfilling life.

Taking things “slowly”

Slowly – Daily writing prompt

Mostly a reminder to myself, but it’s always a good reminder to take things slowly.

We live in such a fast world, constantly inundated by advertisements, social media notifications, text messages, etc. It’s no wonder why we think our kids are becoming more ADD in today’s world.

Our minds never take a rest. Constantly juggling one task or thought with several others. Like an Internet browser with too many windows open, it’s hard to focus on anything when we’re constantly overwhelmed.

And it’s with this environment that we try to go faster and faster, try to get more stuff done, “multitask,” and find all these productivity hacks.

However, we all know that this isn’t healthy nor sustainable.

In one of my favorite books of all time The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss showcases this amazing poem which I thought would be very appropriate for the my thoughts on this subject:

Slow Dance, by David L. Weatherford
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Live “carefree”

Carefree – Daily writing prompt

Adj. free from anxiety or responsibility

So this past weekend, my family and I went to Miami and had a bunch of fun. We explored South Beach, ate a bunch of food, and went flyboarding!

I learned a funny thing while flyboarding with my sister and mom. Even though both my sister and I are “adults” (25 and 27), our mom still worries about us like we are 5 and 7.

You would think that as we get older and can prove to her we can survive on our own, she would worry less.

Nope. In fact, it almost seems like she worries more, haha.

If my sister was flyboarding and she would fall into the water from about 3 ft in the air, my mom would exclaim, “is your sister alright?”

“Yes mom, if she wasn’t, she would be screaming in pain or something.”

“Baby! (referring to my older sister) Are you alright?!”

“Yes mom, she’s alright…” (lol).

Although I’m not a parent yet, I imagine that you’ll always worry about your kids to some extent. But I thought that all that worrying isn’t healthy and probably causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

I have not read the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, but Dale Carnegie is phenomenal and I’ve gotten many recommendations to read it, so it’s on my to-read list. (This is probably one of the few books I’ll recommend here that I haven’t read myself, as I’ll almost always recommend books I’ve finished.)

I hope I won’t worry too much when I have kids. I know I will to some extent, but feel like there’s a line where it can get a bit excessive. Sometimes you just gotta let them fly and grow on their own. That’s the best way to make sure they’ll be okay and you’ll live carefree 🙂

“Depth” vs Breadth

Depth – Daily writing prompt

It’s interesting how many people, in my generation at least, were given the same advice growing up:

“Get good grades, go to college, and get a good (high paying and/or prestigious) job.”

Continue reading ““Depth” vs Breadth”

Everyone starts off “Frail”

Frail -Daily writing prompt

Adj. easily damaged or broken; fragile or insubstantial

Everyone starts off frail, nobody starts off strong. When we see Olympic athletes, business tycoons, world-famous singers, and other masters in their crafts, we tend to compare ourselves and think we can never be as good.

This makes no sense.

What we see is the product of thousands upon thousands of hours of focused hard work. We see and admire their highlight reel, and then compare to our behind the scenes. What we don’t see is them doing the unspectacular every day in order to achieve the spectacular. Doing the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary.

Its funny how the best athletes, for example, are the hardest workers, putting in the most hours at the gym while their teammates are out partying and relaxing.

Two examples I can think of are Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I’ve read anectdotes of these two putting in a disproportional amount of work when compared to their teammates.

They aren’t hard workers because they’re the best, they’re the best because they’re hard workers.

The Rock always talks about being the hardest worker in the room. I believe that if someone is 10 times more talented than you, all you need to  do is work 10 times as hard to match his level.

Even if you start off “frail,” working hard, constantly improving, and working smart will help you develop the strength.

Celebrating with a “Feast”

Feast – Daily writing prompt

n. a large meal, typically one in celebration of something

When I think of a feast, I picture a huge, candle-lit mess hall filled with dozens of Vikings, singing songs together, music playing in the background, wine spilled all over the tables, and seemingly hundreds of platters of food covering every inch.

This is a celebration!

Celebrations, in my experience, are super integral to a happy and fulfilling life. Tony Robbins says that contribution and celebration are two key components to a happier life.

The most effective way to use celebration in my opinion is to set it as the prize at the end of a challenge. For example, there could be a challenge to work out and eat clean for 6 days straight, and on the 7th day is your celebratory cheat meal where you can eat anything and as much as you want. The reward trains your brain to be more focused on completing the challenge.

Another example could be meditating every day, at least 10 minutes a day, for 30 days. At the end of the challenge, you reward yourself with buying a new suit or outfit.

This oscillation between periods of hard work and celebration is the best way to keep progressing and maintaining those daily disciplines. Without the periods of break, the constant work is not easily sustainable.

It’s like trying to do a crash diet. Gradual change works best, but alternating between periods of rest and work is integral. The effectiveness of interval training is a testament to that.

Work hard, celebrate, repeat. Try it!