The first one hour in the morning

The first one hour in the morning is a must for all those who wish to be the best version of themselves. In this essay, you will learn guidelines for how I design an ideal and positive day and be able to conquer anything that may stand in the way. From staying focused and being productive, to tackling your own mental health concerns, this essay has something for everyone.

When you wake up, the first thing you must do is go to the bathroom. After you have relieved yourself of all your morning fluids, make sure to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with water.

The first one hour of your morning is the most important part. If you conquer the first hour with a positive attitude, you will have a great day. If you don’t, then nothing else will matter.

Never start your day by checking email or notifications or even worst, social media. This will only stress you out and give you a feeling of being behind.

Start your day with a stretch. Stretch every muscle in your body. Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds. Make sure to be conscious of your breathing while you are stretching.

Start your morning with positive books that will motivate you. Try to read at least one page in the morning, no matter how early in the day it is. This will set the tone for the rest of your day. Read biographies of people you respect and admire, or inspirational stories about their success in life, if it is written well you can extract some valuable information from it that can be applied to your own life.

For me, I start my day with a morning page (also known as morning pages) and my most important task of the day. Morning page is a mental exercise where you write three pages of anything and everything you want, without stopping for at least 15 minutes. Some people find it helpful to use a timer or alarm to remind them that they shouldn’t stop writing until the time has passed.

I put three things in this exercise: what I plan for the day, things I am grateful for and things that I forgive or I want to let go of. I do this exercise almost every day (sone exception for the day I had crazy deadlines or my sleep pattern went south). I use the time to clear my head, plan for the rest of my day and reflect on what I want to achieve.

I don’t really have a rule for this. But some people that I know do the 5-5-5 rule for this exercise. Every morning, set aside 15 minutes to think about ourselves and what you want to do to accomplish that day.

Mental exercise such as morning pages has been proven by science to improve mental health and relieve stress. Some individuals find it to be addictive. But I don’t think it really matters if you do this a few times a week or every day. What is important is that you do something for yourself and your mind.

The last thing I do in the morning is to meditate for five minutes. This helps me clear my head and relax my muscles especially after a full night of sleep. While I don’t always do this every day but I try to consistently do it almost every morning. If I am on a tight schedule or a full day ahead, I skip this step.

Praying also is a good form of meditation and reflection. Setting up a morning ritual for yourself is a powerful thing. If you have little time to do this in the morning, then try to squeeze this in your lunch break or even during your commute to work (I’ll share this at another time). Also, there are products available like Headspace that help you meditate for 15 minutes.

If you struggle with meditation or don’t have a routine that helps you to relax, then try the following breathing exercises:

Breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds. Hold it for four seconds. Exhale through your mouth slowly for eight seconds. Hold it for eight seconds. Repeat this cycle six times. You can repeat this cycle twice more if needed or do additional cycles to get the desired effect.

Avoid screen time in the first one hour if you can. If you decide to go on social media, do it in the last hour of your day and don’t allow yourself to check-in.

A productive morning begins with a good attitude. If you are consistent with these simple things, you will be able to face any day with confidence and success.


Mindfulness

I considered myself spiritual enough.

My thought process had not changed until I learned how to meditate and manage distractions. I had been practising for years, without any real substance or progress, but after the onset of a few days of daily meditation, I realized that I was at least doing something.

Mindfulness can be a very effective way of dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also a great way to improve your physical health through nutrition and exercise. In layman’s terms, mindfulness is the intentional act of paying attention to what is happening at the moment without judgment.

Mindfulness can take in many forms, such as :

  • Meditation (the act of de-stressing through paying attention to your breathing)
  • Exercise (focus on your body moving, rather than thinking negative thoughts)
  • Nutrition (paying attention to what you are eating, how your body feels afterwards)
  • Wander (being conscious of your surroundings, rather than rushing to get places)
  • Conversation (having an effective conversation with someone requires mindfulness so you are not thinking about the million other things going on in your head)

There are many more forms of mindfulness, I am simply stating a few. Mindfulness is the art of managing distractions that clog our path to happiness, while also improving our physical well-being.

The act of non-thinking is mindfulness in action. It is a conscious observing, noticing, non-judging, patient, curious, accepting, trusting, non-striving and detached style of being with our unfolding mental and physical experience. As the result, deeper awareness and understanding can emerge.

Based on Mindful Walking, the seven principles that the author taught are:

  • Non-judging (being aware of thought without letting it affect your emotional state)
  • Patience (confidence in yourself, your value, and your potential)
  • Beginner’s mind (being humble and able to see the world as if you were experiencing it for the first time)
  • Trust (believing that everything will be okay)
  • Non-striving (not setting any goal for yourself, except to be the best you can be)
  • Acceptance (letting a thought or emotion be there, without trying to force it away)
  • Letting go of your pain (resentment, anger, sadness, or anxiety)

What I have learned from my own experience is that you cannot live a life without distractions. Thoughts and feelings come and go, but the only constant is the awareness of them. My biggest obstacle to practising mindfulness was letting my mind wander too often.

I would add a few things on top of the list above;

  • Gratitude (count your blessings and take note of all the things you are grateful for)
  • Forgiveness (letting go of anger and resentment, as those emotions do not serve your well-being)
  • Self-compassion (accepting unpleasant emotions without judgment when they arise in yourself)
  • Focus (our minds wander all the time, paying attention to your surroundings will help you get back to your task)

My spiritual journey began back in 2011. When Irwan and Ajmal introduced me to Mindvalley and some personal growth culture. Vishen taught me the state of bliss, a state of mind that does not judge but simply accepts. I learned to let go of things that were out of my control, and most importantly that I could be happy at this moment if I was conscious of it.

Am forever grateful. Thank you, everyone. That’s my daily 500 words of Zen. Love yall.


Moonshot Thinking

I think that was where the moonshot originated whenever I think about it. The 1960s were marked by social unrest, most notably the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. The U.S. and Russia had a space race in the 1960s. The race was marked by two collectives of patriots striving towards the impossible.

A moonshot is unimaginable. it was an impossibility. We can’t even imagine what we will be able to do if we don’t try our best. We must keep moving forward no matter how difficult or impossible it may seem at first. It is for this reason that Moonshot Thinking is so important for us as individuals and as a society.

Moonshot Thinking, what is it?

Moonshot thinking is an approach to innovation where you target solutions that are 10X or 10 times better than what’s existed so far. It calls on teams of people to look for unconventional solutions. This 10x mindset means challenging the idea that progress can be made in linear steps.

Google X was meant to be a research lab that doesn’t work on anything related to Google’s core business. It’s a sort of anti-corporate research lab. The job was to solve big challenges and find innovative solutions. High-altitude connectivity, Project Loon, and the self-driving car were among the first moonshots that they took.

Each X project is hand-picked and works in tandem with the company’s core strategy. Each of the projects was meant to act like startups within Google. They were given enough time and resources to develop breakthrough technologies in specific areas. The Google Loon project is trying to build cheaper access to the internet in remote areas.

Astro Teller, the founders had the 10X, moonshot mindset of thinking big. The mindset means that they wanted to take big risks on technologies that would help them reach their goals of growing the company. They constantly investigate and prototyping new technologies.

Why does moonshot thinking matter for growth?

Moonshot Thinking empowers people to imagine the future. It’s about their willingness to see possibilities that are not visible at first sight. It can be used to identify opportunities that other people don’t see yet. Moonshot thinking makes people think creatively and alone.

Moonshot thinking encourages people to question their assumptions. It challenges people to create things that are different from what is commonly seen elsewhere.

It helps us plan, fail, and learn through iteration. Fail is a good thing. It means learning. There is no big success without big failures. It’s a way of gaining knowledge and experience in the long run.

How should businesses approach this concept?

Moonshot thinking involves taking risks and trying new things. It is about experimenting and failing fast. Failing forward, some say. Even though mistakes are essential for Moonshot Thinking, they can’t be avoided. It is important that your team recovers quickly from them.

Other than experimentation, a business could do this by creating a culture of learning and transparency. They should find ways to connect their team so that they could facilitate each other. Collaboration is key for success in Moonshot Thinking. We can inspire each other by learning from each other’s experiences.

Moonshot Thinking is a way of thinking that we use to overcome difficulties and obstacles, while we search for new solutions or ways of innovating. It’s about putting yourself out there and making new things happen.

Failure is inevitable, but you must accept it as an opportunity to learn.

How can we apply moonshot thinking to ourselves?

In the book The 10X Rule, Carolyne advises setting yourself targets that are ten times greater than what you think you can achieve and taking actions that are ten times greater than what you think you need to reach them. Setting goals too low is one of the most common mistakes most people make. The only way to reach your full potential is to take massive action.

Many believe that 10X thinking is expensive and requires a lot of resources. Instead, 10X thinking is just the opposite. It is about finding inexpensive, creative solutions to hard questions.

While it is important to imagine the future, it is also important to use your imagination in the right way. Don’t be a prisoner of your own imagination. Moonshot is about knowing when not to imagine or reinvent the wheel.

When JFK delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history, in front of forty thousand crowds, he said:

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills”

-JFK

I believe this speech is a true representation of Moonshot thinking. It was not about the destination but about the journey itself. Moonshot Thinking is about working with an audacious goal and taking massive action to achieve it.


Hundred-days writing challenge

I’m going to try the 100-day writing challenge (thank you Khalil Nooh for the inspiration to publish and push. Every. Single. Day. – you are the best dude!). I’m trying to write at least 500 words a day for 100 days straight. It’s the challenge I set for myself, and I hope others do the same!

The 100-day challenge keeps momentum and builds confidence. I hope in just over three months I’ll see significant improvement in my writing, my vocabulary and my confidence to keep writing.

By participating in this challenge, I commit to publishing every single day. Writing is an act of vulnerability; it’s exposing your deepest selves on the internet (if you post it on your blog or something like that). This exercise will help you gain courage, improve clarity, and write more clearly. And more aware of errors such as passive voice.

I love that the 100-day challenge isn’t a lot of work! It’s okay to take a day off between challenges is totally fine, or you can keep on with regular life while dabbling in some writing.

To keep this accountable, I will post using the hashtag #100daysofzen and publish it on various platforms.

– It could be journaling, blogging, article or even sending wishes to friends.
– Writing full sentences (and not just bullet points).
– Minimum 500 words with no limit.
– No GPT-3 nonsense. Just zen writing and headspace. Mindfulness and contentment.

Zen can be such an exhilarating and rewarding experience. It may seem like nothing is happening, but it’s right there in front of us.

Starting tomorrow. Let’s go.


Unpredictability

An unpredictable event is one that cannot be calculated in advance. It could be good or bad, but without knowing whether it will be good or bad, it is considered unpredictable. A once-in-a-lifetime event cannot be accurately predicted because it is unique to that one occurrence.

“You can’t improve something if you can’t measure it.”

– Peter Drucker

Drucker’s principle is especially pertinent in today’s world. The only true measure of good or bad is the outcome.

If you can’t predict the outcome, the only thing you can do is prepare for unexpected events, which is not easy to do.

In business or baseball, for example, if you have data on what your competitors are doing, you can anticipate the future and make plans for it. The risk of having information is that your competitors will know what you are thinking and will respond accordingly.

If we cannot measure something we cannot improve it; therefore, we should not improve what we cannot measure. Never take any risk if not able to read the room. However, in some cases, we innovate and improve based on our intuition, which is the result of making numerous observations and learning from them, but this is likely insufficient to predict the outcome of an event with reasonable accuracy. Humanity survived thousands of years because of our instinct.

To measure, we need something quantitative in value. That is how we improve. Because measurability is synonymous with predictability. To improve something, we must first understand what is good and what is bad. We can’t improve it if we don’t know what it is.

What are the threat matrices? Is there one? Why have we lost over a dozen customers in the last 24 hours? Is it a technical issue we can’t fix? Can we reverse an unpopular decision? Is it because our business model is unsustainable and we need to change?

These are critical questions to ask in order to measure and improve. The significance of asking probing questions cannot be overstated.

In practice, measuring things entails gathering data. When we have a problem, we gather data from various sources and search for patterns in the data. When the pattern is clear, we can analyse it to determine what caused the problem.

Chaos is a natural phenomenon that can be seen in many fields of science and business. Sometimes we see a situation unfold in a particular way and believe it is the result of our observations. But if we make another observation, the same thing will happen. This phenomenon can be observed by looking at an ant colony or a meteor shower, for example.

Chaos is a good thing. Ones can be unpredictable because of chaos. I shall set aside this part for another time.

The good part is that unpredictability can be weaponised and strategised to defeat the competition. While the other party is making plans, we could be dealing with the unexpected and unplanned. We can produce an impact equivalent to a large shock by first getting into motion.

“If something can go wrong, it will go wrong,” as the saying goes. This statement is typically used to scare others into not doing what they are suggesting.

To hell with Murphy – if anything can go wrong, well, fix It!