The Direction of Your Life is Determined by Your Thoughts

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You might have the intention to either step into the day with purpose or to live a life that is intentional but…

Great phrases and deep down that’s exactly what we have in mind for our lives.  I bet, there is no one who intentionally plans to have a bad life.  No one intentionally wakes up to be the worst employee of the day.  I would wager that for most people, we wake up and want to be the best, to achieve the best and to live out the best life not just for today but every day.

However, the reality may not be the case.  In fact, I think the best time of the day is when I am in still bed, planning the day with the intention for it to be the best day ever.  Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but not too far from the truth.

At any point of your life, if you were to just stop and reflect and think about what and where you are today, what would you think?  Would you think that your life is exactly where you had planned and thought off?  Would you say that you are living the dream now?

If you are somewhere along your life journey and pretty much what you thought you would be, then well done.  If you are somewhere that is not where you had thought you would be, then is this something that you might want to change?  The key here is what you think, your thoughts and how your thoughts will impact and determine your actions and outcomes.

Hence the phrase, “The direction of your life is determined by your strongest thoughts” and or in other words, it is your strongest thoughts that determines the direction of your life.

For example, if you think your life is miserable, your life is most probably miserable, and the direction of your life is most probably heading in a more miserable direction.  Your thoughts will determine how you perceive the world around you.  Your thoughts will determine how you interpret what happens to you, and if your thoughts are negative or pessimistic in nature, then you will interpret the situation negatively.  However, if you view the world positively, you will perceive the situation very differently.

That is what differentiates a person living a life heading in the right direction.  The mindsets, thoughts and responses to what life throws at you determines how you live your life.

The direction of your life is determined by your thoughts.  In fact, it is determined by your strongest and loudest thoughts.

To change the course of your life, you will need to change your mindset.  It is your mindset that will determine how you perceive information, determine your thoughts and determine your actions or responses.

Example, boat or ship.  To change the direction or course of where a ship is sailing, it is the rudder which will determine the direction of the ship.  The rudder, by comparison to the size of the ship is very small and yet the impact is huge.  Therefore, our thoughts, no matter the size of the shift or change, can create a huge impact in the outcome or the direction of your life.

3 keys to changing your thought life and they are:

1.  Mindset change. 

2.  Persistent feeding of renewed thoughts. 

3.  Be kind to yourself. 

Mindset Change.

The starting point of any change to your thought pattern comes from mindset changes or shifts.   What is mindset?  To put it simply, mindset is a set of beliefs or values that shape how you interpret the world around you.  It is a series of beliefs that you hold about yourself and of others.  Your mindset will determine your outlook, behaviour and mental attitude.

According to Carol Dweck, the author of the book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, there are essentially 2 Mindsets, and they are Growth and Fixed.  The key differences between the mindsets are how individuals view themselves in terms of their learning abilities, how to respond and react to challenges, difficulties, and criticism, how they view failure, effort, and how success is defined and shared.

The critical thing to note is that regardless of which mindset you are currently in, you have the power and the ability to change your mindset.  Why?  Your mindset is not set in stone.  Your mindset is determined by what you choose to set your mind on.  As the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way.  We have the great ability to make dramatic changes when we decide to do it.

What is your current mindset?  Growth or Fixed?  How can you tell? 

 Here are some simple questions to get you started:

1.  What is your view around your intelligence or learning abilities?  Is it fixed or can be constantly developed? 

2.  How do you view challenges?  Do you embrace or avoid challenges?

3.  How do you view failures?  Is it the end of the world or it is an opportunity to learn?

4.  How do you view feedback or criticism?  Do you avoid or ignore negative feedback and only want to hear good and positive feedback?  Do you view criticism or negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve from?

5.  How do you view others especially their success?  Do you feel threatened?  Do you find it as an opportunity to learn from them?

The key is to know that mindsets can be changed.  To change your mindset is to essentially reprogram your mindset.  Mindset change is possible by focusing your thoughts on the new or desired one.  For example, if you want to change from a fixed to growth mindset, you will now focus on growth mindset attributes such as a learner mindset.  You will now consciously reprogram your thoughts to those such as:

  • “I am a learner and therefore this is an opportunity to learn.” 
  • “This did not work but I have now learned what does not work so that I can try something else to learn what does work.”

Persistent feeding of renewed thoughts. 

Once you have determined your current mindset, you now have the power to change your thoughts.  If there is only one thing that you will get out of this episode, it is this… you will need to feed your new thoughts.  Creating a change in your mindset, would mean nothing if you are not feeding your new thoughts.  What do I mean by that?  A thought is like a seed.  It starts out as a seed; it needs to be watered and cared for in order for it to grow and then to ultimately bloom.  Your new budding thoughts needs to be carefully cared for.  The best way to feed these new thoughts and cement the mindset change is to put it into practice.

Just like any new habit that you want to develop, you will need to put it into action and do so consistently.  Yes, at the start, it will be hard because it would seem very uncomfortable and unnatural for you.  With time and constant application, the new thoughts will eventually take hold and become second nature to you.

There is no running away from effort and energy that you will need to put in place.  You will need to put in the effort to refocus or replace old mindsets with the new.  Whatever thoughts you feed the most, that is what will grow.  Whatever thoughts you starve, that is what will die.  Therefore, to create new thought patterns, you will need to starve the old and feed the new.

To further help you along, you might want to learn more and the 2 best books that I have read around this topic is:

1.  Carol Dweck on Mindset

2.  Jim Kwik, Limitless.

Be Kind to Yourself.

Be kind to yourself.  That is probably the best self-care advice you could get and apply.  No one learns anything perfectly at the first time.  In fact, for most of us, it takes many hours of making mistakes and failing before you are able to learn any skill or perform anything to a level of satisfaction.  That’s part of the exciting journey of learning and development.  The good news is that you are not the only one to have failed or made a mistake.  Therefore, the best way to pick yourself up and to try again is to be kind to yourself.

It is quite amazing if you were to think about all the skills that you have picked over the years.  If you were to look back at the first time when you were learning to do anything, you will remember just how awkward or difficult it was.  However, after many hours of practice, you can now see the progress and in some cases just how easy something is now.  For example, the ability to write.  I am sure that for most of us we have forgotten just how difficult it was.  Just watch any child learning to write and you will see just how difficult it is.  Just writing a letter is a struggle.  The good news is that with practice and persistence, a child is able to write.  How do we treat a child when he is learning how to write?  We encourage them and are kind to their effort.  We need to do the same to ourselves too.

Be kind to yourself.  Change does not happen overnight.  Because some of our toxic mindset and thoughts have been developed and nurtured over years, it will take time for you to change it.  Therefore, it is important that you are kind to yourself.  Be kind to yourself when you fall back into those old thought patterns.  However, as soon as you realise it or am aware, change or replace your old thought patterns with the new.  Mindset changes will happen, and it takes time.  Expect setbacks but do not let the setbacks set you back.  Do not let the setbacks keep you hostage.  You have the power to change and to overcome because the same source of the toxic or destructive mindset comes from the same source that is able to create the fresh and forward moving thoughts.  That power lies in you.

Let me summarise what has been covered:

The direction of your life is determined by your thoughts and therefore to change the direction of your life, you will need to:

1.  Change your mindset.

2.  Be persistent in feeding the new mindset and thoughts.

3.  Be Kind to yourself.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

Make Time Your Friend and NOT your Enemy

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Why are we not able to help others even though we have the desire to? One of the questions that I have been pondering over the last few weeks is this statement that a friend made. I want to help others, but I can’t seem to be able to because I just don’t have time.  I thought that was interesting because it struck me on two fronts. One, the desire to help others and two, time was the reason for not being able to do so. Is time really the enemy? Is time really the barrier for us not being able to do what we want to do? Is time just the simplest and laziest excuse that we can come up with?

I feel sorry for time. Afterall, it is blamed for most things in life. I can’t do this because of time.  I feel stressed because of not enough time. I am stretched and burned out because of time. If time was a person, I sure do pity her. However, if we were to really think about it, is time really the enemy of us all? I am sure that you have encountered people who seem to be best friends with time.  Managing and manipulating time in such a way that they seem to glide through the time barrier and get so much done and be completely content and satisfied with the outcome.

Time is a resource that is equally and fairly distributed to all. No one gets more or less time. How we use time is both the challenge and the answer. The challenge with time ultimately lies in how we use it.  Hence lies the answer. How do you use time in a way that gets things done and still be satisfied with the outcome of what you use the time for?

Let’s break it down.

How do you use time to get what you want done? For most people there is usually around 12 to 16 hours of time that you are able to use, taking into account sleep time.  How we therefore use that amount time is where we have to build a healthy relationship with time.

Make time your friend by doing these 3 things and they are: 

1.   Create margins in your day.

2.  Do what’s important first

3.  Improve your performance speed.

Create margins in your day.

Going back to my friend’s statement “I can’t help because I just don’t have the time.” This struck me not because it is the first time I am hearing it but because it is one of the most common reason I hear.  It is sad because clearly there is a conflict of wanting to help and yet feeling helpless. The main cause of this lies in the fact that we do not have any margins or buffer in our day. We have not allowed ourselves to have the buffer of time.

Margins just like on paper gives you some room to breathe and to write notes or highlight key areas and not to mention just makes the page more readable. Margins in your day gives you room to breathe, time to reflect and access to make changes, flexibility, and availability to manage emergencies or crisis or to answer a call for help. Creating margins in a day is not hard. It is simply by setting aside some blocks of time for it. If you use the Pomodoro Technique, you have created margins in your day by having intervals or blocks set aside. If you do not, just leave 15mins – 30 mins in between the next meeting or the next activity. In fact, you will be surprised with just how much you are able to achieve in the 15 mins – 30 mins that you have set aside.

Do what’s important first.

We all make time for the things that are important for us.  Therefore, the “I don’t have time” phrase and what it is really saying is “It is not important enough for me to put the time to do it.”  Yes, sounds brutal when it is put that way. However, it is true. Yes the truth hurts especially if you are at the end of the “I don’t have time to do this.”  If it is important, you will make the time to do it. What you prioritise you will get done. Time is the not the enemy. Even if you had more time, if it is something that you don’t want to do or is low on your priorities list, it will still not get done.

However, there are also situations where you must decide on which to do or spend time on because you can’t do everything.  For example, when both choices are good, you want to do them and are equally meaningful for you. How would you then decide? Tossing a coin is one option. However, learning how to prioritise is a great skill to learn. There are various methods and the one that I fall back on all the time is 10-10-10.

Suzy Welch in her book 10-10-10 is a great simple technique to help you prioritise. It simply goes like this… What would happen if you did or don’t do this in the next 10 mins, 10 months and 10 years?  In order words, what is the impact in the short, mid, and long term.

There will never be simple priority choices. However, you can still make the best decision considering the constraints.

Improve your performance speed.

The ability to for you to perform a task and how fast you can do it, will have an impact in how time is used and its outcome. 

Have you noticed how 2 people can perform the same job in varying degrees of effectiveness and efficiency?  For example, a simple task like washing dishes, one person could take just 10 minutes whilst another person might take 30 mins. Take another example, writing a report, a person might take 30 mins whilst another a full day of work.  The speed of a person’s ability to complete and perform a task is vastly different and variable. A person who can work faster clearly has an advantage here. I was watching MasterChef and one of the observations is just how fast a professional chef can get a dish completed vs. an amateur. The same set of skills are required, but the speed is vastly different. Maybe there is something to be learned here… speed does matter, and speed is dependent on practice.  Take knife skills as an example. The ability for you to chop, cut, slice and dice or your knife skill is determined by how many hours of usage or practice. Therefore, the more you use a certain skill, the faster or more efficient you will be in that area.

My nephew latest interest is around the Rubik’s cube. He can solve it very quickly after learning the various algorithms and more importantly the practice hours that he has put into it. It is extremely cute to watch his little fingers move so quickly and dextrously to move the cube around and to solve the puzzle.

The good news is that yes, you can improve your performance speed.

Let’s summarise…

Time is neutral. Time can be your friend or enemy and it all depends on how you view and make use of it. Time in fact is one of God’s most valuable gifts because it allows you the opportunities to create work, consume content and connect with people. It also gives you the rest that you need for you to continue to create, consume and connect.  Make time your friend by prioritising what is important, creating margins in your day and improving your performance speed.

Hurry is the Enemy of a Satisfied Life

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Slow down, take a breather and smell the roses.  I am sure that you have heard all these phrases.  In fact, one of the upsides of lockdowns and restrictions is in the fact that we are forced to slow down and, in some cases, stop.  So much of our lives are filled with busyness, rushing from here to there and just trying to hurry through life so that we can end the day completing a check list of things that seems to never end.  Every day, the list starts again, and the hurried busy life starts again.  Pretty much like a mouse running on a never ending, never stopping wheel.  It just keeps going but not going anywhere.

On the one hand we want to live a life that is meaningful and purposeful while trying to survive the never-ending list of things to do.  To get the things that we want and need to be completed within the hours that we have in a day, there might seem to be no choice but to just hurry through it all.  After all, if we can finish something faster then we can get on to the next thing.  However, the next thing never really stops or ends. 

The downside of hurry is that you have now failed to enjoy the life’s journey that is, the moment that you are in.  By failing to appreciate and make the most of every moment, you have in essence missed out on precious moments that you are never going to be able to get back.  A well lived life is one that is filled with these moments, small and big, that you are able to enjoy and make the impact that makes its meaningful and satisfying.    No one can live a well lived life by hurrying through it. 

For example, when you are on a holiday, you have a great list of things to see and to do.  However, based on my experience, the best moments of any holiday is just to enjoy the moment.  The best moments are seldom the place itself, but it is the time that you take to appreciate everything around you, the sights and sounds, the people, the laughter and the breathtaking views and so on.  It is the journey that makes the holiday amazing and not necessarily the location itself.

When you are rushing around and hurrying through the day, you are short-changing yourself from enjoying the moment because we all know that when the moment passes by, it is gone, you cannot get it back again.

Hurry is the enemy of happy and satisfied life because it robs you of:

  • Appreciating the moment.  You miss the moment because you are not paying attention to the present.  You are focus on hurrying through that your focus is not on the things that matter, but on the things that passes by.
  • Appreciating the people around you.  You will miss the time and joy of spending focused and quality time with the people around you.  How many of us spend “physical time” with people around us and yet not know any more about the person.  Spending time is not just being physically present.  It is communicating and connecting with the person in a meaningful way.
  • Appreciating the journey of life.  Life is about the journey and not the destination.  Destination helps us to know where you are going but life is made up of the journey to the destination.  In fact, at every different season of your life, the destination is different and will continue to change.  However, the life what we live is the journey.  The journey shapes your experience, growth and maturity.  The journey shapes the world around you.  The journey shapes the perception and mindset that shapes how you will live. 

What can you do to reduce or eliminate the rushing around and hurried life?  I think there are 3 guidelines that we can follow, and they are:

  1. Create margins in your day and in your life.
  2. Focus on the important and impactful.
  3. Walk and Not Run

Let’s break them down.

Create Margins in your day, in your life

We need margins in our day.  Margins in your day is pretty much like margins on a piece of paper.  On a piece paper, margins allow you to “add notes”, gives you the ability to make highlights and pointers and provides you with visual clarity.  When you see a page with nicely spaced words and margin, you will automatically perceive it to be a readable piece of work.  On the other hand, if you see a page that is cluttered with words crammed into a page, you will perceive it to be a sloppy work.  Our eyes, what we see, provides visual cues to our mind which will in turn either focus or distracts us.  Giving yourself that extra space or margin in the day, provides you with the opportunity to not hurry or rush through the day.

Margin gives you the required space and an opportunity to take a little time to slow down, to recharge, to reflect and to make small but necessary changes along the way.  Create margins in your day and in each week, in each month and so on.  Ultimately these margins will give you the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the moment. 

How would go about building in margins in your day?

Just like on a piece of paper, you set up the margins up front.  Once the margins are set up, the rest will flow accordingly.  Just like on paper, when you have set up the margins, the number of words on a page is determined.  In the same way with your day or schedule, set up the margins first.  The first margin item on your calendar should be time for yourself.  Whether that is at the start of the day with exercise or mindfulness activities and or at the end of the day with reflection and grateful sessions, block that into your calendar first.  After which, you will prioritise the important and must do items.  Look through what you need to do that will give you the most impact and satisfaction.  Then, the nice to do’s and so on. 

Another option is that you build in margins in each activity or after a block of sessions that you have scheduled.  For example, if you are someone who has back-to-back meetings scheduled, you would certainly have experienced running late for meetings and if you start the day running late, then it is safe to say that you would probably be in a hurried, rushed and distracted mindset in and for every meeting.  That will hardly produce the best outcomes.  Create and give yourself margins even if the margin just looks like a 15 min break for coffee and toilet breaks.  You can also create margins at different check points throughout the day so that even if you do start running late, you will be able to “catch up” at the next point of your schedule.  No one wants to be in a hurried mode for the whole day.

Focus on the Important and Impactful.

Focus allows you to know what to eliminate and what to say no to.  The truth is that time is not the problem, the problem is what you do with your time.  How you use the time that you do have is where most people find challenging.  The only way to manage your time is for you to develop your skills to prioritise, the discipline to stay focus and to be comfortable with saying No

The ability to prioritise will help you know what you need to schedule into your day.  When you are clear on your priorities, you will then be able to focus and allocate the appropriate energy resources on getting the job done.  Focus on the important and impactful.  We have the natural tendencies to do what we like and sometimes what we like and enjoy is not necessarily what will give you the impact that you desire.  For example, I enjoy binge watching Netflix but that is not going to give me the impact that I want to accomplish for my day. 

For me to do the things that I need to do, I need to be discipline.  Discipline to stick to my commitment and to carry it through.  Discipline is critical in any execution of task especially the ones that you might not like.  Let’s be honest, there are things on our to-do list that we don’t like nor enjoy but it must be done.

Lastly, in order for you to stay focus on the important and impactful, you will need to stop being a people pleaser and learn to be comfortable with saying No.  Say No to other people’s expectations or their ad-hoc request.  Time is our friend and enemy and it is the same for everyone.  No one has more or less time than you.  Everyone is given the same number of hours.  We have enough to do on our own, we don’t have to add other people’s expectations to it.  One of the many reasons why we need to hurry is because our list of things to do does not just consist of our list but other people’s list as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying don’t help or to be selfish and self-centred.  In fact, on the contrary.  I am suggesting that if you can build margins in your day, you will have the opportunity to help people when required.  Why?  You have built in the margin to do so.  You can help because you have built in the margin to do that.  If you have not built in the margin in your day, your ability to help is limited.

Walk and Not Run.

To stop the hurry, it is by doing the opposite.  Stop running.  Start walking.  You will still arrive at the destination, maybe taking a little longer but you will certainly reach the destination without the pain of running to the destination.  Pain is not gain when it is not required.  I think that it’s foolish to want pain when you don’t have to.

Slow down and walk to your destination.  This allows you to observe and appreciate everything along the way.  You can smell the roses, see the beauty of flowers, the amazing changes in the seasons and the colours that follow the change of the season.  Enjoy the journey.  One of the certainties of life is that there will be challenges and situations that are tough and hard.  When you are able to slow down and not be hurried, you are also able to perceive and respond to situations differently.  The “Walk” will allow you to have clarity in your thoughts, to make decisions in a calm and measured approach, and to make changes along the way. 

For example, the path that you are taking is filled with pit holes, some smooth and rocky or bumpy roads and barriers in between, leading to where you want to go.  When you are running, the chances of you falling, tripping, and hurting yourself is much higher as compared to when you are walking the path.  It is the same with how you live your life.  A hurried life where you are always running, you are faced with a higher chance of hurting yourself.  Slow down and walk because ultimately you will arrive at your destination.  The difference is how bruised and battered do you want to be.

Life is hard enough, don’t add to it by hurrying through it.  Do the opposite and walk to your destination, all the while enjoying each moment.  Appreciating the journey, how you managed to avoid falling into a pit hole or tripping over a barrier and experience the journey for what it is. 

Let me summarise how you can eliminate or reduce the hurry in your life in order for your have a happy and satisfied life.  One, create and build margins into your day and life.  Two, focus on the important and impactful.  Third, walk and not run.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.   I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

3 Ways to Achieve Your Intentions

Everything we do starts with an intent.  An intent is a purpose or a goal that you want to achieve.  Think of even the most mundane action that you take such as brushing your teeth.  There is an intent behind it.  The intent is to have clean teeth which will hopefully lead to less painful visits at the dentist.  Everything that we do whether big or small starts with an intention. 

More often than not, intentions are biased towards good or positive outcomes.  For example, no one intents to fail at an exam or at work.  No one intents to be the worst employee of an organisation.  Intentions are usually aimed at achieving good results, being the best, you can be and living out a life of impact. 

However, intention in itself is not enough.  For example, I intent to be fit and to run 5k.  If I never action on that intent, no number of intentions will help me to achieve the goal of being fit and to be able to run 5k.  Intention needs to be coupled with actions. 

The other way intent is received is how it is perceived.  How does someone else perceive or receive your intentions.  For example, you might intent to give someone positive feedback.  However, the delivery or the how you communicate the feedback is harsh and direct which leaves the person hurt and confused with your intentions.   This is a simple example of how an intention does not line up with the outcome.  I am sure that you have had experienced this before whether you are the person having the good intention but somehow misses the mark with the execution or you have been on the receiving end of a badly delivered but well-intentioned person.

What can we do to help us minimise the gap between intentions and outcomes?

I think that there are 3 ways that can help you minimise the gap and they are:

1.  Start with Clear and Simple Intent.

2.  Prepare how you would action and communicate your intent.

3.  Be alert and watch for response.

Start with Clear and Simple Intent.

This might seem like an obvious first step, however, because it is so obvious, we often miss or skip it.  Be clear with yourself first as to your intent.  Be honest with yourself on your intention.  You can’t fake intention; you might fool some people some of the time but not all people all the time.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my intention?
  • What is the outcome that I am hoping for?
  • Why am I doing this?  Is there any other reason?

Clarity and honesty around your intent is critical because that is what people will perceive.  Don’t forget, we all have a spidey sense that is able to sense danger or when someone is not being honest. 

For example, when you congratulate someone for a job well done, you could use the most encouraging praiseworthy words but if your intention is not sincere, the tone and manner of your delivery will let on your intention.  However, if your intention is sincere, even with the least number of words, you might be able to communicate and achieve the outcome that you had planned.  I am sure that we have all experienced that when someone tells you good job, but you don’t think much of it because either you weren’t sure of their intentions or because of how it was delivered.

Therefore, start with clear and simple intentions.  Be honest about your intention.  State your intentions upfront.

Prepare the action and communication plan.

During more formal settings such as a feedback session, being prepared is critical.  Just having great intentions will not help you get the outcome that you want.  This step is the most critical in ensuring that the gap between your intention and the outcome is at its minimum.

For example, if you are going to have a tough feedback session with an employee because of performance gaps, you will need to be clear on your intention and then prepare a plan to communicate that in the most respectful, clear and supportive manner.  If your intention is to help the employee close the performance gap, then you will need to clearly communicate the gaps while providing guidelines or support framework to help the person develop or build up skills that are required to perform well.  How you communicate the intent is crucial. 

This is usually the area where intention to help is usually received negatively.  The execution or the delivery is where we usually fall short.  Either it’s the words that are used or the tone and manner in the delivery.  However, I think that most of the communication shortfall can be overcome if we have built enough trust in the relationship.  For most of us, we know that no one is perfect and communication gaps exist and therefore we know to automatically compensate accordingly, knowing and trusting the person because people will know your intention if you have been authentic consistently.  For example, if it is someone that you do not trust, no amount of great delivery or right words would give the person 100% confidence that the intent and execution lines up.

Be alert and just listen.

Just like any communication, be alert or watchful for responses and then you will have to be flexible and adapt accordingly.  The reality is that you will never know how you actions are being perceived and the only ways are to listen and observe.  Pay full attention and focus on listening to what is being said, do not be distracted by thinking about your response but give it all your focus to listen.  You will be surprised just how difficult “real listening” is.  I remember when I was going through a coaching course, the hardest skill that I had to learn was listening.  To listen with no other intent but to seek to learn and understand.  You will be surprised to what you might learn when you are able to learn without being distracted by your thoughts on how to counter what the person is saying.

You will be able to then gauge whether you are achieving the outcome that you had intended by now taking your time to listen to the person’s response and observe their reaction.  Ask them follow-up questions if you want to seek clarification or to further understand their perspective.  Do not leave a conversation hanging or without seeking their feedback.  You will only truly know if your intentions are communicated accurately through the person’s response and feedback.  So, take the time to listen.

Let’s summarise:

Intentions only are not enough to give you the outcome that you want.  The gap between intention and outcome lies in the execution.  Be clear and simple with your intentions.  What and how you execute on your intention will determine the outcome.  Take your time to prepare how you would execute your intention.  Take time to listen to the response.  Be intentional and you will be able to minimise the gap between intentions and outcomes.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.  Let’s step into the everyday with purpose.  As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

Value the Journey and NOT the Destination

Value the Journey and NOT the destination

Life is a journey.  That’s the popular phrase and it is absolutely true.  However, in our goal-oriented culture, we have become obsessed with achieving goals whilst ignoring and not appreciating the experiences, lessons, joys, and the impact of the journey as you achieve your goals or reach your destination.

We have for the most part ignored what is the essence of life.  Life is not a measure of what we have achieved in terms of goals or targets or even the destination.  Life is an accumulation of learnings, experiences and relationships and the impact that you have made. 

The starting point of any journey would be where you want to go or the destination.  Yes, a goal is important as that will set the course for the journey.  Once you have set a goal and when you do achieve the goal, you will naturally feel great. And after that, what’s next?  That’s right, the next step is to find or create a new goal.  This will be a non-stop activity.  We will have goals upon goals, and we will achieve some and not others but it never ends.  Setting and achieving goals is part and parcel of our journey that never ends.  However, if you now recognise the importance is not the destination or the goal, but the journey, you will fundamentally shift the way you view your life and the impact that you are able to create along the way.

To enable you to experience the journey, you will need to shift your mindset in 3 ways.  The 3 mindsets shifts are:   

1.  Journey is about consumption, creation and connection.

2.  You don’t need to be a “rocket scientist” to get things done.

3.  Bring people along the journey.

I am Lisa Lam and my goal is to help you discover new ways to develop your skills by challenging perceptions and sharing experiences that you can learn to enhance your everyday. 

Let’s break it down.

Journey is about consumption, creation and connection.

When we have decided on the goal or the destination, we will then go about the journey.  Just like any road trip that you want to take, the first step is to figure out what, where, and how.  You will want to learn about the destination, the things to look out for, the must do and how you would go about doing it or achieving the goal.  This step is consumption.  You are consuming information in order to learn and prepare yourself for the journey ahead.  You can learn either through your own experiences or by reading books from experts or people who have gone through similar experiences or have been to the destination.  You will need to spend time initially to learn so that you can avoid common mistakes or just for you to be aware of things to watch out for and equip yourself with what you need to have in order to do the How when required.

Once you have consumed, you are now on the next part of the journey which is about creation.  Creating your path and what you need to do.  Charting the journey out.  Just like taking a road trip or a holiday, you will create a plan, a timetable, etc.  you will need to create the schedule, content and so on.  This step will enable you to start the journey with a plan and milestones to help you along the way.

As we go along the journey, one of the key enhancers of our experiences will be the impact that we are able to create or make along the way.  That impact is meaningful and worthwhile for most of us is the connection that we build, nurture and grow along the way.  It would not be an impactful or fun journey if there was no connection or relationships that you have along the way.  We love connections and therefore the journey becomes meaningful when there is these connection. 

You don’t need to be a “rocket scientist” to get things done.

Once of the most common barriers that prevents people from living life to the fullest is the fear that they are not good enough or that they can’t do it.  The fear that some how only geniuses or rocket scientists are able to figure out or solve a problem and achieve great goals.

The simple mindset of “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out 99% of what you want to do” is the starting point of that.  For example, changing a light bulb might seem difficult but in reality, it is really simple so long as you know how and turn off the electricity before you start.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to change a light bulb.  You just need to learn how to change a light bulb.  I have used this mindset for most of my life and the result is that I am able to perform most handy work around the house.  Not because I am a genius but because I have this mindset that I don’t need to be rocket scientist and that most things are easy once you learn how to.  This mindset will open a whole new world of possibilities for you.

The journey is not meant to be complicated.  It will be filled with problems and challenges, and you will need to overcome and find solutions to them but with this mindset, you will view challenges as something that you are able to overcome because the solution is either available or is not difficult when you view things in its basic simple form.

The next time you are faced with a problem, change your mindset and you will be surprised with its outcome.

Bring people along the journey.

Arriving at your destination and not having people to meet you or have them come along the journey is rather lonely.  As humans, we need people along the way.  As with the first mindset change that I had talked about, the journey is about the consumption, creation and connection, you will need to bring people along the journey with you.

Building connections is just one part.  The real value and joy of any connection is when you bring those people or connections with you.  The challenges, joys and sadness, the highs and the lows are all better experienced as part of the journey.  It does not reduce or change the problems or situations, but it will certainly make the journey either more enjoyable or bearable.  Do not take for granted the relationships that you have but appreciate and cherish them along the way.  Do not let the busyness of getting to your destination blind the value and impact of the journey.

Let’s summarise.

Value the journey and not just the destination and to do so, there are 3 mindsets shift that need to take place. 

1.  Journey is about consumption, creation and connectionConsumption is all about the continuous journey of learnings and experiencing new adventures along the way.  Never stop learning because the destination will change, the learning mindset will be key for not just reaching the destination but the growth and maturity that you will gain over the journey.  Once you have learned or consumed, you will be creating along the way, content, plans, routines and so on.  We are designed to create and produce.  We create experiences and learnings all the time.  And the journey is never complete without connections that you create, establish, nurture, build and grow along the way.

2.  You don’t need to be “rocket scientist” to get things done.  Don’t let the myth that you need to be a genius or a rocket scientist to be able to achieve goals.  99% of the things can be figured out if we have the mindset that it is solvable and not to make anything complex and complicated.  Break it down to its simplest form and that’s usually where the answer lies.

3.  Lastly, don’t forget to bring people along the journey with you.  Life is so much better when we have people by our side, ahead of us whom we can learn from and behind us to make sure that we are constantly on the right path.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose.