Found this powerful advice at Medium. I feel the need to re-post it here is a must. This post is credit to Dan Pedersen.
You cannot concentrate more, you can only concentrate less. You cannot try harder, you can only try less.
What does this mean?
It means that if you stop thinking about concentrating more, if you stop thinking about trying harder, you’ll do it automatically.
When we set up two targets – the thing we want to do, and the thing we are trying to do to make it happen, we lose focus and become distracted.
In other words, trying to concentrate more, or “trying harder,” actually distracts us from our natural ability to simply be in the moment and do it. In this sense, concentrating more equates to concentrating less and trying harder is equivalent to trying to try.
The Need To Win
When an archer is shooting for nothing he has all his skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold he goes blind or sees two targets— he is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting— and the need to win drains him of power.
~Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu
This piece is my commit to the practice of writing without thinking.
Since the past three or so, I’d found one small area that hasn’t been uncovered. It’s called small data or personal knowledge. I have the gut this one is imperative, and it generally appears people is joining into big data hordes. There are misconceptions of how big is big data is. The notion to grasp this is; big data is for machines, while small data is for human. One company is called Digi.me, has been a player year in this area. The company is focusing on archiving all personal user information into your own keeping. It might be similar to what I’m looking into, but the domain is relatively different.
It was an epiphany.
According to Forbes, small data is the genuine revolution. Forget about big data, because the real opportunity is the decentralised data wrangling. This area isn’t about large organisations running parallel software on thousand of thousands of servers, but about more people than ever being to ever collaborate effectively around a distributed system of information, which is a system of small beta.
Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss is among of my fave productive people out there. They’re smart and productive. It made me think how high achieving individuals like them keeping everything productive and hit their goals every year.
What is actually they do differently from rest of us? What’s the most essential and practical thing they do that keeping their momentum up?
— They journal, daily.
Reflect on the wins
The first thing to keep feel fulfilled is to have a routine to record your little winnings every day. You’d finished summarising that 20 pages long research paper? Record that. You completed 5 miles jog today? Make it into an accomplished list. Small winnings psychologically keep you happy. It is also the act of gratitude. Tony Robbins call this as the magic moments. Journalling helps to capture accomplishments and magic moments.
At the end of the year, you could reflect on what you have done and accomplish from the past, that usually we might be forgotten what we have done in the past. Journal is a practical tool to reconnect to the right track if found yourself lousy and lost. Many high achievers that I knew recommends doing this. It is an efficient system to help them to track accomplishments. This small hack helps to be more appreciative of what you have done.
Keep small winnings recorded also helps you to consistently stick with big goals. Many times, I found keeping to one goal is very hard to do. I regularly change my goal frequently once my priority or schedule change. #IFailed
Why? I easily excited (distracted) whenever I saw bright objects. This bright object syndrome happens all the time because I failed to track my own goal and stick to it. I easily lost focuses on what I should do, rather than I want to do. I also found that I didn’t appreciate little things even though I knew that one way to feel wealthy is enjoy small things around you logically, emotionally and spiritually. This need has daily deposit that means, you need a ritual or time to make this happen and reflect.
Though I’ve been making my list, still failed and undoubtedly unfound. Why? Because I don’t have one particular place that collects all those. It was because the chain is broken. Usually, I excited about one thing, and it won’t last as it should be. Now, I’ve started to record what I have done into a list using an app called iDoneThis as part to help my five minutes daily ritual. It’s still not perfect, but at least this is one channel that helps me to overview by accomplishments.
High achievers keep tracks almost everything to maintain the goal accountable.
High achiever like Jeff Walker told he does this by “reviewing all the wins for the prior year. Too often we don’t recognise all the progress we have made and all the great stuff we have to accomplish”. By focusing on the wins, it puts us in a positive state of mine forward and plans next year.
Schedule the year ahead
Seeing the big picture in advance allow work with more purpose throughout the year. A year worth of plan. Last year, one important lesson that I’ve learnt was that; to counter the fear of imperfection. At this stage, we shouldn’t worry about perfection. At least, I know where I am going/need to do. The plan always changing along the progress making process. That’s normal. Planning ahead will spare me time on the things I should spending/focusing with.
Failed to plan is plan to fail.
I learnt from the past. I’d be on many, many projects before. However, the number of done are lesser than the number of completion. I couldn’t hit my bigger goals as I planned because of the bright light syndrome. I failed to meet my datelines because of endless of new things coming.
Limit only three big goals per year. Break it down into four quarter goals – which are good-sized wins on their own! And break it down into monthly goals. This enables me to focus on the long-term goals, while at the same time enjoying being in the moment of achieving my short term, monthly goals.
Translating goal in reversal is practical. Map out of the entire year and work backwards from the end goal. Let’s be backwards, asks this question: what do the most I want to be thankful for one year from now? Pen that down and it becomes a focus for at the new year.
While reverse-engineering end goals is a very practical and tactical advice; another reasonable goal has to be a specific and measurable goal. The XPrize founder, Peter Diamandis echoed, “you can’t improve anything if unmeasurable”. This will help to begin the year with purpose and clear direction by providing specific outcomes and timeline to achieve it. Outlines those what that means on a quarterly basis, monthly basis and weekly basis.
Trim that fat!
I need to refrain myself from getting into the new project. Starting new projects is fun, but could poisonous to productivity. I need to eliminate the excess, so could focus the things that give the bigger turnaround, and better in beneficial. Maybe shortly, I should start a “no-list” for 2017. I need to block out calendar time for my most important outcomes; e.g. vacations, fun and time of major business and creative projects.
So the game for this year is to record and track. I will start fresh – to journal my progress. This is the way that would help me to have the sense of fulfilling even more in the shorter term, in which, contribute to pushing to longer term goals. This journalling practice brings positivity to what I do and elevates the stamina and momentum to keep going. Journaling allows me to express gratitude and being thankful.
That’s another way to say, practice makes perfect.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, it took 10,000 hours to be great at something. To some people like me, such amount of time are a luxury and just couldn’t afford it. 10,000 hours is equivalent of 5 years of full-time job. People like you and me don’t have time that much. Perhaps often, we sometimes want to get stuff works and be, rather than being an expert.
At first, for 10,000 hours, I think I would never be good at anything. Josh Kaufman preach it took only 20 hours of deliberate practice to good at something. By the mean by good is efficient, not expert.
You just want to be good at it. You just want to be effective. Just enough to to get something going, either to kick off, or start a new hobby.
Take writing for example; writing is not the result of our clear ideas. Our clear ideas often emerge in the process of our writing. This is a case of a dialectic. Philosopher Georg Hegel described a dialectic as a three-fold process. There is a thesis that gives rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis. The tension between the thesis and the antithesis is resolved in the form of a synthesis. A blog post or casual Facebook status is a combination of your thoughts and the process of putting them onto your computer screen.
This video showed examples to be good at drawing by repetition and reiteration. It’s shown precursory information you need to know before begin any 20 hours of deliberate practice.
Warning, it’s an hour long. So you might suit and make yourself comfortable.
Deliberate practice is the key is to build up your mileage. By trying the same thing and in different variables to produce a different result. Identify what you have done differently and what you’ve learned previously. Then, reiterate and learn from the past mistake to form a new analytical assumption or a stronger muscle memory. Naturally, you’ll became fluent at it.
At first, you probably not confident how to do it correctly or done it nicely. Keep repeating the same practice, and eventually, it will become a new set of knowledge to you. Later stage, it will be made more analytical and logical to you. If you had repeat enough, it would become a skill.
I always look back at myself; storytelling is not something I am good at (need to pay attention to this one more often), To me, the ability to convey a message in the clear picture or layman idea or in the language that everybody could understand is a skill. For this year, this is one of the parts that I would like to improve and learn for my personal development.
Dopamine is the motivation chemical. It increases engagement, excitement, creativity and the desire to reach out and make meaning out of the world.
This dope chemical accelerates exploration. When crossed anything refreshing and unusual, we get excited and immediate response comes out; that’s dope yaw! That’s similar with Dopamine. When the brain secretes an optimum amount of dopiness, it accelerates pattern recognition (data processing) to able to absorb information faster.
Norepinephrine is the organic agent that secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands to develops attention, neural efficiency and emotional adjustment. This flow agent is tightening focus (data acquisition) and good for productivity. It also referred as the stress hormone.
Intense emotions such as fear or anger cause epinephrine to be released into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and glucose metabolism.
Endorphin ignites determination. It also opiates relieves pain and produce pleasure, like heroin. The most natural endorphin amount is one hundred times stronger than clinical morphine.
Endorphin also evolved during survival. The same chemical switch on-off so we don’t ended up walking on the broken leg. Also promoting wellbeing and emotion; happiness and sadness.
Anandamide in the other hand; elevates mood, relieve pain, dilates blood vessels and amplifies our lateral thinking. More critically, it also inhibits our ability to feel fear, facilitates the extinction of long-term fear memories. An optimal body and mind have the right amount of anandamide; makes memory retrieval faster by widens the database search.
Serotonin is the safety and respect chemical. This agent accommodating people to cope with adversity. In productivity and intense focus, this element comes later after the flow state. It delivers an after-glow effect and give a feel good sensation after coming to end, and not at the beginning.
In a mammal, serotonin is discharged when it recognizes it’s bigger or stronger than another; having the edge creates a sense of security.
Oxytocin is the bonding chemical. It promotes trust and sense of belonging. In made in the hypothalamus, of the brain.
It has been named as the hug hormone, cuddle chemical, moral molecule, and the bliss hormone due to its effects on behavior, incorporating its character in admiration as well as affection, and has prominent reproductive biological functions in reproduction.
Micro Origami, Sushi and Insects. That is an insane way to test preseverance and steady hand. Only in Japan.
The only reason why I’d drill into this book was because of critics of this biography, not because Elon Musk himself. This biography has in-depth self-centered insights and viewfinder by the author, Ashlee Vance. I kept my prejudice move along as I seek what was not right with the subject. I put the little interest of his back stories since I read/watch plenty of number about Musk somewhere else.
Through author’s extensive conversations with Musk himself, his close associates, opponents and others who have personally worked encompassing him, the author constructs a never seen before look at how Musk operates. The theme, however, is lacking authority, it is unlikely to tell what’s genuine and what is merely the author’s opinion.
Elon Musk is a highly dedicated entrepreneur. This biography, however, seems will be a backfired by Pro-Musk. It is latter to know from another perspective. I walked out with lesser respect for Musk. However, I keep that hang for awhile and wait for the autobiography of himself.
In today modern society, almost everyone talks about ideas. These ideas could be silly or can be great depending on our own personal considerations, but I believe any ideas can be beneficial to one another.
In some cases however, not everyone is at the same height as the idea-teller do, hence making the message delivery difficult.
Let alone if the idea-teller has lesser schemes/knowledge or the difference point of views on the subject. Also, put aside the story of factuality and realisticity. Far away. I am stressing about the importance how to create a compelling message and get the idea delivered. That’s all. The gist is to put it into perspective to tell the why, what is the takeaway and why we should care. I am talking about the being a character with the ability to deliver what we think that matters out from the mind. Frequently, good ideas come together with the right message, but it unable to go far because the teller fails to put into the right context to the receiver/audience.
Compelling story telling is an essential skill. Persuasion is always important – be it in advertising, politics, to succeed in job interviews and other many areas. Like it or not, today careers always fallen into this category. Most of the work requires good skill at selling. This demand affects to many aspects in today society.
The bold statement is, everyone should be able to present our ideas effectively. A good message is snap and sticky (graspable).
A sticky (great) idea must be simple to understand. A good idea sticks the best when they’re conveyed narratively. Like telling as a story. Einstein once described; how a person only really understood something if he could explain it to his grandmother.
Let’s follow this snip;
A few years ago in America, certain health groups wanted to raise awareness of the fact that movie popcorn – at the time prepared with coconut oil – contained extraordinarily high amounts of saturated fat, making it extremely unhealthy.
Simply telling consumers that a bag of popcorn contained 37g of saturated fat proved ineffective – the number was too dry and academic to stick in people’s minds.
So they tried something stickier:
“A medium-sized ‘butter’ popcorn at a typical neighborhood movie theatre contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings – combined!”
This vivid message stuck, spread, and eventually led to the replacement of coconut oil with healthier alternatives by all major American cinema chains.
What we can learn from the story above, the content delivered are both the same, but it only snapped the right spot when it compelled correctly and reflectable to the audience’s experience. People only will start to pay attention when they care, and that will make it efficient.
Let us see what make a message, effective.
#1. Short, clear, easy to chew and digest.
An effective message means it is simple enough. It is understandable the temptation to explain an idea as thoroughly as possible. But when it comes to stickiness, too much detail can be counterproductive. It’s all okay if we know that the audience has the same degree of complication e.g. presenting at academic conference. But what about to who aren’t? If the message was unable to deliver to that people, we’re done.
Rather, strip down what is the matter the most, and keep it in a simple statement. It is easier to understand and grasp the big idea. When delivering a message to masses, it is important to make the message easy as possible regardless any nuances. If it takes long to someone to get the superficial ideas on what you are going telling them; you probably lost their interest. Think about compelling tweets that caught us to click their links.
Opera soup performers are a good example at this. Even the show have not started yet, but they have the audience attention by making an opening stunt that gave heart pounding percussions of ‘this is going to be a good show, now pay us attention’. Before performer reveal it’s content (the show), they gave a subtle motion to their audience to give their attention first and pour the mood and theme.
#2. Feed curious, surprise and unexpected element.
In screenwriting, the plot is always a good tool in what make a good story, buying one’s interest.
When delivering a longer idea, always throw provoking curiosity. Surprises making recipient wanted to hear more and stick. Apparently, science told us that our brain turned on unpredictable pleasant things. The brain is love to hear more about the element of struggles, pain and drama more compared when fallen in love. Subconsciously it permits surprised desire experience.
Either you agreed or not, these elements are making people wanted to hear more and more. Make them curious enough, and feed with surprises.
#3. A compelling message must be credible, snappy real and complete.
Be genuine. Good stories are first-hand happenings the teller actually experienced. Yet if it’s a story that’s passed on another after another, an effective presentation still has an element of how that story relates directly to the teller, told in the teller’s own words. The recipe works best with the right amount. Do not over do it.
Regardless of the audience size or background, good stories should work for any audience. It is not how many people can hear what we concern, but just that someone, somewhere stick is listening to it.
When delivering ideas, always keep the first person perspective in mind, because it will give more credibility and original. Incomplete information often makes it difficult or even impossible for the recipient to carry out an appropriate action.
#4. Emotional appeals inspire people to action.
Ideas stick best when they’re told as stories.
Introverts probably struggles compelling idea rightly and that usually make us uncomfortable. Usually, when I able to sold stories, those story usually contain the emotional component. Most of the memorable ones have humour, pain or joy (sometimes all or any combination of three). If every story were simply facts stated, one after another, most of us wouldn’t listen or remember any of it.
To stick a story right, knock the spot with emotions to appeals inspire people to action/respond.
TLDR; Every idea can be presented so that it sticks. Successful stories, advertising campaigns, and ideas that hold generally share recognizable characteristics. The Heath brothers; summed up this straight mnemonic SUCCESs;
Simple – pull the nucleus of the idea
Unexpected – grab people’s attention by surprising them
Concrete – make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later.
Credible – give an idea believability
Emotional – help people see the importance of an idea
Story – empower people to use an idea through narrative
Any talks at TED are a good example; of every presentation perhaps buried a higher degree of abstraction or technicalities behind it. But the way it delivers is what makes anyone able to understand the message.
So you probably think you think had groundbreaking ideas and billion dollar business ideas (yes I can hear you) that will disrupt this planet badly. You gotta sell that to people with your idea and get it loud. But if you are not convincing or persuasive enough, you will never get the idea sold. Think about this the next time you want to tell someone something (or whether it’s to sell a product/service, make a point or give a speech).
If you want people starts to pay attention to you, be good at storytelling.
To me, right now – the life does not feel like something that has to be balanced, but rather like a tension that has to be managed.
I no longer believe life-work balance. I open-heartedly accept and feel the great pleasure of doing many things.
This awakening of life mostly is figuring out now to create a midst of chaos and make it meaningful out of them. Fondness.
Let say, you would like to make back up code to multiple repositories. For the example; one is Github and another is self hosted Gitlab.
git remote set-url --add --push origin firstname.lastname@example.org:rained23/yosh.git
git remote set-url --add --push origin email@example.com:invoture/yosh.git
So when you push to origin, it will push to both repositories.
A git remote -v should reveal the actual URLs for all remotes.
git remote set-url --add --push all git://another/repo.git