So we talked about “Vision for life” in our last blog but what next?
As per definition, vision is long term and overarching purpose in life which one is really passionate about. So next we need to take the vision and break it down to something mid-term and further arrange in sequence or in parallel depending what makes sense and lets call them missions.
Now take these mid-term missions and further break them into immediately action-able goals.
Vision: Retire at age of 60 with financial security, good wealth, with happy and integrated bunch of people called family and friends.
Now this vision is very general and may seems little uninspiring to start with, but it just the beginning and just a statement. We need to work on it to make it more of really vision in life rather then just a statement.
We need to study the gap in realising our vision eventually, using self analysis as well as analysis of circumstance currently we are in. Remember, vision needs to be believed in absolutely and these analysis would help you start believing in your vision since you are acting on your vision firstly, secondly it would show steps to reach your vision at high level and finally makes your subconscious mind aware of something which is important to you and then brain starts its own process of relating things important to vision.
First workout your well-being: Being a 32 year old, most probably one is healthy and free from diseases but whats more important is to work towards a healthier life. Well-being considered here is not just physical but also mental and spiritual.
Second workout Professional Life: Workout the growth in current job, your current skill sets, your organisation’s growth rate, industry you work in currently – all this should give one fair idea for next 5 to 10 years of professional life.
Thirdly workout Relationships: How positive, exciting and joyful your relationships are, consider your relations with your partner, friends and community as all of these would affect you.
Finally workout Financials: Where would your current financial earnings take you, considering standard saving rate, inflation, growth in job and other expenses along the way, just rough estimate (but make these estimate and keep them to compare over period as to compare how accurate you are and adjust future estimates accordingly).
From step 2, something would start getting visible to you like areas you want or need to improve in life like you need to take some courses for professional life or plan to take up studies again part time etc. This would in turn need healthier you so you can work harder which would require you to have a well-being plan. This would also invoke understanding from you relationships, that you would spending time away from them but for better future and its a short term compromise for better long term. So its all related.
Anyways point here to continuously analysis yourself and circumstance and bridge the gap with reasonable action (avoiding analysis paralysis) however small. It might be as small as start reading a book for well-being or related to your professional life or relationships or start saving £10 per week.
Once you have reasonable understanding of yourself and circumstance around you, you start making small project ranging from 6 months to 1 year with multiple task underneath them which are related to each other. May be as simple as have one project for each four vital areas of your life 1. Well-being 2. Relationships 3. Professional life and 4. Financials.
Allocate time to them and divide task as small as weekly tasks and make sure you mark them as complete as you go along every week and make small improvement every time you take incremental action (with each task completed you would build momentum and will to carry on and carry on stronger). It may be as simple as:
First week: 10 mins walk for well-being
Second week: 15 mins walk
Third week: 20 mins walk
Fourth week: 30 mins walk
fifth week: 15 mins jog and 15 mins walk
sixth week: 20 mins jog and 10 mins walk …..
Have tasks which relate to fun and entertainment always as part of over all schema of things so planning is all inclusive like as part of relationship plan holidays together to best places you want to visit and plan them like any other project for example planning for promotion in job or drop 4 kgs of weight. Another example, Make a project like “rejuvenate” under relationships and plan regularly one away weekend each month for 6 next months.
Always check the vision and see if you current action are aligned and leading towards that direction only. Also adjust you actions if the gap seems to be widening or worst case your vision has changed over period but remember vision is purpose of life would not change easily (and you don’t arrive on your vision in one days).
1. Define yourself and your vision
2. Refine yourself towards you vision
3. Align and achieve continuously towards your vision.
A Special Thought:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Other blogs from LAYWi related to this:
Vision is a buzz word these days, not just within corporate world but also in generally life, thanks to all kind talk shows, books, blogs, presentation and so forth. This one word has phenomenal potential to changes lives but still it does not. So lets try to understand it again.
What is Vision?
Vision is long term view of something which has overarching importance in one’s existence. It’s surely not just a dream but persistent dream which grow in relevance to you, find connection to existing element around you. Its when you mind and heart agree on purpose, purpose for your being.
A special thought: The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this you will build your life by, and this you will become. – James Lane Allen
How it can help?
- Vision can inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment when it is strongly believed in. It can solve extremely difficult problem when vision is been lived as part of life.
- Once earnestly believed in vision, it activates subconscious mind which in turn finds unconnected links and innovative approaches.
- Works as navigation tool unconsciously, identifying direction and purpose, keeps you on track.
- Again when earnestly believed in vision, it builds loyalty towards your vision and align your happiness and action.
- When vision is supported by values, it can set standards of excellence that reflect high ideals and a sense of integrity
A special thought: A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. -Denis Waitley
What’s important to remember when it comes to vision?
- Vision has to be believed in absolutely, something you believe in sincerely, which makes you light up on thought of it, helps you go extra mile when you body does not allows you or circumstances block you.
- Vision is not just statement which could not change with experience but purpose for which means can change and end as but for better but purpose remain intact. Purpose is outcome of all results collectively.
- Vision has to be acted upon, breaking into short term goals, mid term goals, all eventually rolling up to long term vision. They all have to be aligned.
- Vision would improve as you go along acting upon it. Initially it might be something which involves to heavily in daydream and planning. It rarely happens as bright idea and it becomes vision, it take time may be year before you arrive upon vision for your life.
A special thought: Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference. -Joel Barker
When vision isn’t a vision?
- Is just a goal or set of goals rather then purpose of one’s existence.
- Is just an ideal scenario, one dreams of and no action is taken to initiate to turn it into reality.
- Is just something which is externally motivating to you but not something which you heart desires.
- is just dream or desire if does not have reasonable dates attached to it.
A special thought: The most pathetic person in the world is some one who has sight but no vision. – Helen Keller
Who should have a vision?
I think everyone should have a vision, vision for their life. Vision which makes them happy, makes them go extra mile, make some sacrifices for great good of there vision. Vision which not just motivates them but also people around them.
There has been misconception around having vision where people believe its a very corporate thing rather then personal. Some also believe one task which leadership should fulfill and not individuals. Part of it turn and part not, part which says its a leadership task is true but incase of individual, one has lead his own life (else someone else would) to live his life in his or her own manner.
A special thought: Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. – Ayn Rand
Where all in life one can have a vision?
One can have vision about:
- Personal life
- Professional Life
A special thought: Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. – Gail Devers
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” ― Edgar Allan Poea
Poets and artists ever since their existence have had only one goal.. to express their inner most feelings, which are so carnal that words can’t lend meaning to them. As human beings we all have those internal urges to be that something that burns the light of our lives. The coinage of the word individual also corresponds to us being separate entities perceiving things differently.
This expression of our individuality has a lot of description in vocabulary. Some call it dreams, goals, yearning, calling etc. Everyone has an idea of how they want to see their lives evolve. Everyone where ever they are, everyone should dare to dream. Have a goal in life that wakes them in the morning, gets them through tough times. Having dreams is like defining your base or your core, everything thenceforth corresponds to it, which is how you live your true self.
We all know what we want and who we are but for some of us the noise of everything around numbs it down. In this case, what you must do is, act on your superficial urges, and as you embark your journey, the compass of your being, also called intuition, will enable you to see what your true desires are. Sounds a bit out there? But let me explain, our perceptions is build on what we already know, for instance if we liked Leonardo di caprio movies there is a bigger chance we’d want to see his new movies, since we’ve formed an opinion that his movies are good. Overtime in life we tend to form fixed pattern of incidence that happen to us and enable us to understand our lives and what works for us. This pattern is called intuition, which is a guide to us capabilities and desires. As you embark on upon achievement of a goal, you will come to evaluate what paths to take. The moral of the story is, cultivate dreams and goals, no matter what they are, you will ultimately get there albeit a little delay.
Dreams are our only connection to the divine.
It is important to stand for something, than to fall for nothing.
Start our journey with http://www.laywi.com, it’s a personal development website, with a penchant for project management, called align and achieve. Register and evaluate your current self and analyze what can be bettered or what would you like to be bettered and create projects to achieve it. The project management tool gives you the option to customize your projects, document every aspect important to you,make lists, create tasks under it. http://www.laywi.com is a skeleton to base your plans on. The first planning is the hardest, but also the one step that helps you gain momentum towards a life that you want.
The dynamics of LAYWi’ project planning are based on renowned theories of motivation and human behaviors which is bound to give you the edge that a plan planner won’t.
So, register today, http://www.laywi.com.
What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. – Thaddeus Golas
Some people make do with nothing and are the happiest people on the planet. Some people have travelled the world and have drunk the most expensive of champagnes and yet live engulfed in complete fear of not having accomplished everything. How is that, what is heaven for someone is a form of hell for another? What causes people to perceive situations as good or bad? Who decides what is good or bad? It is no one but you!
Most people grow up being influenced by the community we stay in, they decide for us what kind of a person you will be and as we grow, we start to question our beliefs to ascertain them or challenge them to form new beliefs. And these beliefs decide what kind of life we will lead as we go through life. And it is an ongoing process; we are forever evolving into something new as required by the phase we are in life. But dealing with changes can bring about lots of confusion and guilt, as most of us preconditioned to maintain status quo which translates in our minds as a trusting situation or more popularly known as comfort zone. So it is very important to learn to deal with changes and how to normalize life along with changes that happen.
Mental well being can be defined as ability to cope with changing needs and recognizing them without feeling too threatened by them. Everyone sometime or the other faces a challenge when charting unknown territories but some of us have built the immunity to not let it affect us on a mental level or shake our very core. To have the ability to keep your core intact and not letting life challenges bother you is what a mentally well being is truly.
Mental well being is a habit or skill that can be developed over time, all of us have that survival gene in us, and it’s just the matter of activating it!
First recognize the signs of a developed mental well-being:-
- Feel relatively confident in yourself – you value and accept yourself and judge yourself on realistic and reasonable standards
- Feel and express a range of emotions
- Feel engaged with the world around you – you can build and maintain positive relationships with other people and feel you can contribute to the community you live in
- Live and work productively
- Cope with the stresses of daily life and manage times of change and uncertainty.
These superfluous signs are of a state of mind which is not threatened by being thrown a curve ball; A person such as feel confident and hence is happy with their efforts.
On the flip side we all have times when we have low mental wellbeing – when we feel sad or stressed, or find it difficult to cope. For example, when we suffer some sort of loss; experience loneliness or relationships problems; or are worried about work or money. Sometimes, there is no clear reason why we experience a period of poor mental health. And sometimes serious issues such as childhood trauma or abuse; PTSD; unemployment etc make you vulnerable to long term state of disturbed mental wellbeing. Most of the temporary states can be overcome with a bit of effort on our part.
How do over come and make mental well being a habit?
One way to mental well being is to lead a healthy life. Eat a balanced diet; go for a walk or workout; go for regular medical checkups; don’t ignore a stressed body’s plea for rest etc. Because by simply ascertain a function body will keep you fatigue at bay and let you concentrate fully on the challenges.
Second pointer for a mental well being is to live a more organized life. Plan your day, meetings; make lists; set reminders for things to do etc. It takes the stress off if you have premeditated your plans. Hence freeing up mental breathing space.
Keep reminding you to not take life too seriously, everything in life is fleeting; life is an experience not a task.
The most important step to a lasting mental well being is to attain the habit of setting goals. Once you know what is important to you and what is that you want, you intrinsic motivation to live life more enthusiastically will go up. The reason for that is we only see what is predominately on our minds, if you have goals, you will see in your surrounding with manifold opportunities to achieve the life you want!
Register on www.laywi.com to use their new age personal development tools, which range from doing a SWOT analysis of your values to the project management tools for any kind of project that you can use to reminders; to-do lists or checklists tools. Everything under one tab to organize and live it the way you want.
Always remember you were born to live your destiny without fear so, always keep a positive attitude and be kind. You are what you are within, and what is without is a manifestation of it!
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. ― Winston Churchill
Change is a very a scary word, it is almost like a less intense cousin of death. And just like death, we all know change exists but don’t think it’s going to affect us anytime soon. And in the process of avoiding the confrontation with change, it’s always almost too late to do anything that we had once dreamt of doing. And its shame too, as most of us has the talents and resources to live our dreams but rarely do our fear of change holds us back.
We have all heard of “Who moved my Cheese”, even if we haven’t read it. It’s a book that tells a story of change. It’s about 4 characters running around in a maze trying to locate their cheese.
Cheese in the book, is a metaphor for what we want in life, it could be anything, more money, social standing or spiritual peace. And we pursue our cheese because we think that it will make us happy and secure. And the maze represents the place where we look for cheese, workplace or community or relationships we have.
The lessons that the author of the book wishes us to acknowledge are:
- Change happens- get used to it
- Anticipate change- look for change, don’t deny it
- Monitor change – always keep your eyes open to newer developments
- Adapt to change quickly – Embrace change, don’t fight it.
- Change – Become the change
- Enjoy change – Live life as an adventure.
- Be ready to change quickly again!
A lot of us have been robbed of our cheese during some point in our lives and it can be traumatizing, it feels likes we have been betrayed, and it’s unfair that it happened to us and no one else.
At this point in life, you must strive to break out of the cheese mentality, learn to become some who can get more cheese or better create your own cheese. Once you start believing the abundance of you ability to create opportunities for yourself, you will never fear change again.
Fear of change is nothing but the lack of your acknowledgement that you have the abundance of talent and resources everywhere waiting to be discovered. Change is scary but stagnation is stopping time, which is not only impossible but a waste of your life.
“What would you do if you were afraid?”-
When I was first asked this question, I had no idea what I wanted to say. There were ideas in my head but not my ideas, these were images from magazines, TV or what others had told me. It turns out I have been guarding my cheese for so long now, that its stink has killed any sense in me.
Adapting to change isn’t any easy process, when you don’t know what you are doing, it can be very frustrating, and you’d be tempted to stay with the old cheese even more. Learning change is a process. Everything requires hard work but once you learn the process, it becomes the simplest thing ever.
Change is happening every second, we are aging as we speak, the earth is revolving, seasons are changing, old leaves are falling, and new ones are growing. Adapt to it, don’t be afraid of it.
Secretly we all want change, but don’t know how to act on it. You can start by signing up on www.laywi.com.
It’s life management website. It has features, such as checklist; SWOT analysis; diary keeping; Project management to name only a few.
You can start by writing down all your aspiration. Setting goal. Projects to achieve these goals. It’s a holistic website that was made to help you live “Life as you want it”.
Habits die hard is a very popular saying, and a very true one too. But what happens if these habits are what are stopping you from being happy, achieving your goal, you know you want it, but are stuck in a cycle of endless disarray. What do you do in that case?
Recently Charles Duhigg wrote a book called “The power of Habits”. He diagnosed Habits, how powerfully they influence our lives, and if and how can they be altered or broken. The book starts out with an examination of habit at an individual level; the minute details from neurology to its psychology are studied here. Second how organization strategized to influence habits of people around the globe to introduce new products. Third part talks about the ethnicity of habits.
How do habits work?
Have you noticed how when you first start out doing something new, its takes a lot of concentration and effort to get it done, like for the first time when you learned to back you car out, it took a lot of concentration to get it done, but after a while, it became so automatic you didn’t even have to think about it twice? That’s because after trying to do it repeatedly you brain stored the pattern and formed a habit!
Take another example, while learning a new language how you can’t form a sentence and you read bit by bit to make sense? And after a few days, suddenly you are making sentences, spotting new patterns in the language? Sound familiar?
That is because brain turns a sequence of actions into automatic routine also called chunking and it’s at the core of a habit. This happens due to an instinct to save effort. Our brain forms habits to conserve effort and become more efficient.
But how does the brain form habits? Why are certain behavior habits and some of them not? Even when some of them started out the same. Let’s try and explore that..
Once a habit is formed, the brain associates certain cues with it, and when encountered with these cue, the brain kicks off the associated habit. It works in a three piece system. The brain spots the “cue”, and signal to produce the automatic behavior, then there is “routine”, which can be emotional, physical or mental and finally in the end of it there is “reward”, which helps brain figure out whether this loop is worth remembering or not.
That’s the loop of habit. CueàRoutineàReward.
With time, these habits become more and more automatic.
The only problem with habits is that, the part of the brain “basal ganglia” that stores habits can’t tell between good and bad, it only thinks about cues and rewards. It doesn’t think long term, only about forming patterns that bring back instant gratification. But now that the habit loop is familiar to you, you can spot it next time you fall into the habit you are trying to kick.
The craving mind
Before one can break into an old habit and create a new one, one must understand why habits die hard!
This is because when the sequence of CueàRoutineàReward is initiated, the routine is usually associated with set of behaviors that produce the reward. Once a habit is formed, the brain automatically anticipates reward, and in absence of it, gets agitated and upset. All this happens at the subconscious level and hard to diagnose as well. But once you recognize a pattern, you can start working on it bit by bit. This is also one of the reason, alcoholics in the AA meeting, repeat they are alcoholics; it is a lot overriding an old habit of denying it.
The golden rule of habit change
The researchers behind this book studied many groups and successful organizations. One of them was AA, it’s a widely popular and successful therapy groups to help people overcome the addiction or habit! The AAs are not a group of professional, but ordinary people, getting together, what makes it so successful? The AAs use the golden rule of habit change. Alcoholics are encouraged to recognize their addiction, with their cues and routines. Once their habit loop is recognized, instead of changing the habit, they override it with a newer routine. For example if one turned to alcoholic to escape emotional distress or boredom, as soon as this person receives the cue to consume alcohol, he can instead turn to his meeting for the respective reward. And slowly, the habit is overridden with newer productive patterns.
The same process can be applied to any habit. Once you have recognized the pattern, just stay aware of the next time it is cued in, and then try to distract yourself with a newer, healthier habit.
Charles Duhigg talks about keystones habit in this book. He has compared the start of a keystones habit to have the same effect as minor victories. Like minor victories can have a big effect on the perception of our abilities. It’s the same as that.
Keystone habits are the ones that cue in most of the actions we take in our life. For example, Steve Jobs’ keystone habit could be his love for design, internal or external, and hence he created apple, lived a certain way. Keystone habit has the ability to inspire others, cue in the same habit in everyone who comes in contact with it.
The one way to change your life for better is to recognize your keystone habit, or call it your outlook on life, figure out why this behavior is being cued in. Override it with a newer routine. Habits do die hard, but believing in your ability to change can help you achieve your desired habits.
When willpower becomes automatic
Have you ever wondered why some days you have energy to go to the gym after work, come back shower, cook a healthy meal at home and then read some before you sleep. And on some days, you don’t even want get out of bed? And you thought you were a disciplined person.
Charles Duhigg explains that willpower is like a muscle, just like any other muscle of your body, one must work it out to get gain strength. On some days, when you have had a tough day at work, you come home, although, you haven’t done any work after that meeting, you still can’t find the willpower to go to the gym or resist that take out. You give in.
The book suggests you work your willpower out. For example, when your alarm goes off in the morning, wake up, don’t hit the snooze button. Don’t skip breakfast. Avoid the urge to eat donuts with your coffee. Don’t surf the net while you should be working. Doing anything you know you should have the will power to avoid. And eventually this will spill over into other areas of your life, where you will have better control over how you react to situations. It will become a habit.
The Power of a crisis
Charles Duhigg has put a positive spin on the situation of crisis in his book. He talks about how good organizations take these moments of crisis and turn them into opportunity to remake organizational habit. Since crisis instills a sense of urgency. Same can be applied to people as well. Have you noticed how lessons during crisis almost always stay with you and change you as a person? So next time if you are ever stuck in a place of crisis, just face it. You will probably come out stronger. Avoiding a crisis will only build up stress?
Don’t let up this opportunity to make fundamental changes in the habits that you have. It’s also an opportunity to build a keystone habit.
Have you noticed our big corporation know exactly the thing we want and what does it have to do with habit? That is because corporation spend large amount of money to study habits all demographics. Say, for example most pregnant women have the similar buying patterns. This science is called statistics; it’s a way of mathematical mind reading. OK, so what does it have to do with habit, well, these corporations have invested in large researched about what people like. And it turns out, people like familiar things. Our brain craves familiarity, because it’s just like a habit, brain has to expend less effort to make sense of the patterns!
So next time if you want to bring about a change in habit, start with familiar territory. For instance, in your pursuance to become fit, you take trial membership at the gym, start with exercises and machines you are familiar with, you brain will have to expend less effort, and slowly you’ll become habituated of coming to the gym.
How movements happen
There is always a person who wakes in the morning and decides to initiate a change. How does it all start? How does this person have the power to influence everyone else in the group? How do these others become a part of the group in the first place? The leader usually has what socialist call strong ties relationship with most people; it’s a brain trigger that influences the people to join in the group. The weak ties usually face peer pressure to comply with the strong ties, or they anticipate being an outcast. These strong ties and weak ties behaviors are automated inside the brain, as we are social creatures, and it’s important for our survival to depend on others.
So, it pays to have stronger ties with people around us, our brain has to perceive less threat, process less information and works more efficiently.
Habits made easy
“All our life so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits –practical, emotional and intellectual – systematically design for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the later maybe”-William James.
Habits are affected by our perception of our world around from early on as toddlers, mostly we pick from our parents, some from friends and tweak these habits on as we grow old and learn some more. According to the Williams James quote our habits are make us what we are on this present day, happy or unhappy, fit or unfit. So a slight shift in a habit can bring about big change in our lives. As small as habit of getting up early in the morning or keeping a vision board can make us think differently thereby affecting our habits.
Now after reading about different aspects of habit according to Charles Duhigg’ book “The Power of Habit”, you should understand the psychology, neurology and sociology behind habits. Once you are aware of the cues, override the routine and reap rewards for a life as you want it.