Revisiting your roots

It’s always good to revisit the places which made you. Just now I’m sitting in Banska Bystrica, the town where I spent 3 years of my life studying.

It felt really special driving towards the town. It’s the place where I started discovering my personality and my dreams. It’s where I met my first love. It’s where I started my journey of an “adult” and I formed my most important attitudes.

That’s why it’s special for me.

What can you get from revisiting the special places of your past:

  • refreshing the old emotions
  • remembering past ambitions
  • remembering great moments
  • rediscovering your thoughts

Most important:

I get the chance to look at my present self through eyes of my past self and see whether I am becoming who I wanted to become.

The most important opinion is our own opinion of us. Revisiting our past gives us the chance to think: “Am I happy with who I have become? Would the myself of the past approve of me today?”

When was the last time you revisited your roots? How was it?

A Closer Look At Your Own Words

Words are powerful. Wary of the words you use and hear from others. They form your actions just like your thinking forms the words.

I have couple of special phrases that I watch out – either in my speech or when talking to others.

I’ll do my best – that actually doesn’t mean it will be done. It means you will try, but maybe if something comes up, you won’t. Have you heard that from any of your colleagues / partners recently? I wonder how much of “I’ll do my best” actually translates into “It’s done”.

Replace with: “I’ll get it done and I’ll do it the best way I can.”

I have to – there’s really little things we “have to do”. Most of the things we chose to do, i.e. we want to do them. Either directly, or as a follow-up choice on a previous one. “I have to” puts us into passive mode: “It’s not my choice, it was chosen for me.” Watch out!

Replace with: “I want to. I chose to.”

I wish I could, but – well, this is old news: YOU CAN. It will take time, effort and pain to do, but you can. It’s just like with “I have to” – the sentence after “I wish I could, but…” is an excuse, by which we vindicate our inaction and try to make ourselves feel better by showing some effort (I wish).

Replace with: “I chose to do other things, which matter to me.” or “I won’t do it now, because I have some skill to acquire. Then I’ll do it.” or “I am afraid to do it.”

I can do it tomorrow as well – yes, you can. But too many times it means you can do it today as well, but you are just pushing it off.

Replace with: “I could do it tomorrow, but I will do it today. I will not procrastinate!”

Wary of the words which you use, because they form your thinking just as your thinking forms the words. And beware of what words you hear from others.

A suggestion: listen more carefully to your speech for next couple of days and find out the phrases that you should be vary of.

What phrases do you watch out in your talk / self-talk?

It Ain’t About How Hard You Hit

Sometimes I wonder why we talk so much about persistance and not giving up. I have made couple of posts about this topic here as well.

I guess we need to consciously remind ourselves that it makes sense to go on when going gets tough.

So as a reminder, a quote from Rocky Balboa, which I already used in the poem Fall and rise (you can watch the clip here):

But it ain’t about how hard you hit;
it’s about how hard you can get hit,
and keep moving forward. .
It’s how much you can take,
and keep moving forward.
That’s how winning is done.

We are tempted everyday to quit: “Stop being different. Stop pushing for something “unrealistic”. Stay realistic, keep your head down, join the crowd, accept the majority.”

When you challenge the status quo, everyday is a struggle. Whether it’s change of your habits or change of your company, or changing the world. There will always be push-back. And doubts. And prophets envisioning your fail. And those I-TOLD-YOU-SOs, when you stumble.

Persisting when punches land down on you is what will make you succeed. No matter how hard you will hit, there will almost always be a counter-strike. Question is:

Will you get up and go for another round?

 (PS: this post is inspired by Daily Prompt: Silver Screen)

Six Questions To Help You Close The Chapter

Whether it’s the end of the day, end of the week, closing of the month, finishing current job or finish of a life phase; it’s important to close the chapter.

In the beginning of 2013 I wrote about my experience with year-end review. And I also started doing regular weekly and monthly reviews. I consider it important, because this moments offer me the chance to actually learn from the past.

People don’t learn from experience. They learn from reflecting on their experience.

When you revisit and think through what happened, you have the chance to learn and apply the findings in the future. And you can start the next chapter fresh.

Today I was studying some of our company training material on how to debrief the group after situational exercise. I found steps which you could use to guide your closings.

IT’S SIX SIMPLE QUESTIONS:

How do you feel?

An important opening question. It gives the chance to express emotion connected with the experience. It opens you for more factual analysis further on.

What happened?

What are the facts? What did you do? What did others do? No conclusions, just plain facts. Start broad, then go into more details. Stay factual.

What did you learn?

Draw conclusions. What do you learn from particular events and actions? What do they mean?

How does it relate to “actual world”?

This question is specific for training situations. When you debrief your real-life experience, I would just skip it.

What if?

Go and speculate. Question yourself on what would you do differently. What if you would act in another way? To what areas can you transfer the learning?

What next?

Time to follow-up. What will you do in the future? How will you change the behaviour based on your learning? Plan clear actions.

(originally published here)

I hope this will help you close your chapters properly. If you don’t debrief your experiences, start doing so. Give yourself the the chance to learn and start fresh. And let me know, how you’re doing 😉

One hundred and a question for you

This is my one-hundredth post on this blog. So how was the road until now? For me this blog has been a place to pour out my thoughts, ideas, bad and good moments. I have tried to be inspiring.

Now I think it is time for some summary, and then there’s the question for you in the end of the post. Check it out 😉

TOP 5 POSTS (according to views):

13 gifts to myself
Could you run marathon barefoot OR Are running shoes the worst to wear for running?
#Trust30 | Stop being realistic
All it takes is to stop dreaming
Why I have to refuse kisses so many times in Egypt

INTERESTING SERIES TO CHECK:

#Trust30 – posts inspired by writing challenge at ralphwaldoemerson.me
Daily Good Question – questions I was asking myself in the mornings in Egypt.

WHAT I’VE LEARNT:

I used to hunt for stats. I learnt I don’t need that. The more readers the better, but I’ll keep writing even if it’s only me reading.
I used to write in a complicated way. I learnt (and continue) to simplify.
Over the two years that I run this blog I’ve changed the design 3 times. I like change more than I thought.

A QUESTION FOR YOU:

If you are reading regularly or not, I would be glad to know, what would be the 3 words to characterise your experience with this blog until now?

Let The Small Victories Rain

It would be great to have success everyday. Big success. Something noteworthy. Something extraordinary. Something that makes you feel the most awesome.

But this doesn’t happen that often. Big success takes time. It takes effort and perseverance. It takes time.

We need to give ourselves small victories. Win small battles with ourselves, our job, our other duties. Just to get the feeling of winning and keep on going.

Sometimes, when work just doesn’t feel like coming to any good results, what helps me is victory in other fields. I usually go run. It releases the endorphins and it is a victory over myself (though I’ve been running for couple of months, it still is a fight to get out of that door and start).

Or like today morning: Yesterday I had a shit day. No particular reason, just it didn’t feel right, nothing big came in, no particular success that I would be proud of.

So I decided to start today with couple of small victories:

  1. I woke up earlier = victory #1
  2. I exercised = victory #2
  3. I write this post = victory #3

The next thing I’m going to do is to write down 3 top things I want to get done today. After I finish any of them, I’ll take a break and celebrate the victory.

If you’re feeling down and that big success seems to be thousand miles away, grant yourself the small victory. Appreciate it. And keep on going.

Who do you give permission to slap you?

People say we should not look for external approval for our actions. True. Still, we need people people who we let into our “circle of judges”, or rather “board of advisors”, whose opinion about us we value for a reason and who we give the permission to give us those looks and slap us when we screw-up.

It happened to me couple of times in my life – I did something I knew I shouldn’t have done, or should have done differently. But I still did and I quietened the inner voice which told me that.

I needed one of my judges (and advisors) to kind of slap me and tell me

“Hey man! This is wrong and you should know better!”

What is important do t is to know who your board of advisors is and why is that. Why do you let some people have say on what is right or wrong of you?

Some people kind of appoint themselves without your consent to this position. They start giving you advice, play your “big brothers” and so on. Make sure to let them know, whether they actually have the seat in your BoA or not.

Those who you let in your board have that place for a reason. Remember that once they come and start tapping you on your shoulder and say: “You should think about that and this.” Make sure not to wave them off.

For me those are people who know my values, who know me to the deep core and who have stood by me in good and bad times. They have had the chance to slap me already couple of times and I will be always grateful to them.

I think I made my point. So I leave you today with one simple question:

Who is your Board of Advisors?

Technocrati stuff: Z9AX8FHPQ8VD

You Only Have Three Options

There’s another topic that came out of my lunch with Jaja & Lukas recently and is connected with the sacrifices I talked about yesterday:

There are 3 productive choices in any situation – take it, change it or leave it. After you’ve chosen, live with your decision.

There’s plenty of non-productive things you can do – complain, whine, blame others, blame everyone, sabotage the efforts of others, back-talk, pity yourself… I guess you could go on for quite a while here.

Only 3 productive and healthy choices stand out:

TAKE IT

Take the situation and decide to accept it as is. Sometimes when some things don’t seem bright and shiny, this option might be necessary. Considering priorities, sacrifices you are willing to make and your options, you might decide, that taking the things as they are, accepting the status quo is the best possible way to handle it. Just make sure you are able to bear the consequences – take it with all there is, it’s your choice.

CHANGE IT

Do you feel you can do something about the situation, that would improve it? Do it. Consider your options, consider what you can do. If you cannot take the situation as is, and you are willing and able to change it, then do it. It’s going to hurt, but it’s your decision.

LEAVE IT

If you cannot take it and you cannot (or don’t want to) change it, you can still leave it. Sometimes saying “that’s enough” is the best. Quitting in right time doesn’t mean you are giving up or losing. It means you have the guts and will to state clearly you want something else and you are not afraid to face the consequences. It’s your decision, so don’t look back.

Sounds simplified? Ridiculous? Not taking into consideration all the aspects? Might be. But it also is true.

Whenever faced with the situation that you don’t feel comfortable in, you can chose one of those. You can take it as it is and endure. You can change it. Or you can leave with your head up.

Millenia Old Wisdom Which We Still Keep Forgetting

Every time I see a runner on the street I have to think, how many kilometers there’s already behind him or her. It can be one. Or twenty. I will never know for sure. But one thing I do know. He sacrificed his free time, comfort of sitting at home, of doing something else to run. To get something that he wants.

Today I had lunch with two of my good friends – Jaja & Lukas. They were discussing about how much many people envy and complain about good fortunes of the others. And hardly any of them realize there’s much of sacrifice and hard work behind the success of those people. And if they do, they are not willing to make the same sacrifices to get the results.

Many of us seek to find the easy way. The shortcut. The miraculous solution, that will make us rich, famous, successful, get us better job, better status, anything. If we don’t find it, we blame fate, government, the neighbour… Anyone, but ourselves.

There’s a trade off in anything we want to achieve. There’s always something we need to give up to gain something else – current spending for long term financial stability; free time for work achievement; junk food for good health…

What separates the successful from unsuccessful is the willingness to make sacrifices and ownership of own fate. Nothing comes free. No success is made without sacrifice.

I am right now thinking, what all do I need to sacrifice to achieve my goals. I set high targets for myself and I want to see them hit. And it has and will cost me a lot of sacrifice in the coming months and years. Even more than I have made until now, because I realize I have been lazy in some ways, unwilling to change some things, that I have to in order to achieve.

Have you thought of what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you want?

 

UPDATE 2015:

Most recent top focus personal priority for me has become the “Sixpack Adventure” – my journey to achieve top fitness condition (Healthy, functional & good-looking body). And that is one of the greatest learning about sacrifice and gain that I could ever have.

Fall and rise

Today I have another “poetic” post for you. It was one morning thought, after a long week when I woke up and thought how great the day will be.

FALL AND RISE

When I fall
I will rise
and rise again.

There will be days
weeks and even months
when nothing will seem
to go the way I want.

With every move
I will make mistakes
I will be in mess
all the light vanishes.

I’ll lose all the strength
will be thrown around
in the wind
tearing me apart.

I’ll have my face
buried in the mud,
have walkers by
point fingers.

But I will look up
to see the blue skies
one day.

And I will rise
and rise again.

No matter what hits me,
no matter how hard,
I will rise
and rise again.

And as an addition, one of my favorite scenes from Rocky series: