Monthly Archives: October 2020

How to be relentless

In this post, we’ll have a quick discussion on how to be relentless.

Life is an ocean filled with highs and lows. Some are blessed with higher highs, but regardless of how fortunate one is, none of us is immune to the disappointments that come when life refuses to give us what we want.
We all go through moments of defeat, and it’s how we handle these moments that dictates how our landscape of accomplishments will look like at the end of a lifetime.

How to be relentless?


When we think about relentlessness, the first picture that usually comes to mind is that of a person gifted with the ability to persevere amidst life’s challenges. They seem to have this inner strength that is able to turn frustrations into motivation, and that motivation into successes over and over again. Like any other kind of gift, most believe this trait is only given to a few people but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, being relentless can be an inborn quality, but it can be as much a gift as it is a skill.

If you’re not a part of the privileged few who have “the gift”, the next step is not to complain but to hone the skill until it’s as if it was inborn all along. This post is an attempt to help you, in case you’re a part of the second group of people.

1.Not all stubbornness is bad


Stubbornness is one of these things about life that happens to have been unfairly vilified. We put the trait in the bag of undesirable traits, and try as best we can to discipline it out of our kids.

Being agreeable is now synonymous with good, and being stubborn with bad. But is stubbornness really that bad? It depends, here is how.

If your stubbornness is a result of a constant need to be a contrarian, then yes it’s a bad thing. Lots of opportunities for growth and improvement can be lost if your ego is so fragile as to not being able to accept any suggestions from other people.

If the stubbornness is with regard to your life goals the story is different. It’s not enough to wish for something to get it. As you know there is a lot that goes into making a reality out of dreams. Life’s default answer for what you ask is “Not now. Maybe later”. The problem is that we confuse it with “never” and stop trying. Stubbornness from this angle is no longer just stubbornness, but relentlessness.

2.Start small


The key to relentlessness is the ability to bring yourself back from the chaos of a defeat. The quicker you can calm your emotions and go back to the drawing board, the quicker you can go back to the fight. The thing is that it’s difficult to realize you’re lost when in the middle of a hurricane. Relentlessness is at the end of the day a muscle. One that can only carry that which it has been previously trained to carry.

So the tip here is to start small. Train yourself to keep going when the consequences of losing are small. Train yourself to keep going when the urge to quit is not that high, and slowly build the muscle so you can take more challenges and tolerate more painful defeats.

3.Develop your ego


The next tip is to build your ego within healthy limits. Like stubbornness, the ego also gets a bad reputation. If you pay attention to the kind of people who seem to be controlled by their ego, chances are that you also see the kind of person who can persevere through adversity.

The problem with the ego is that most people focus on the extremes. The extremes in which the person loses their touch with reality and carry themselves as if they were gods walking on earth.

So don’t focus on extremes. In fact, use the extremes as limits or safeguards on your ego. The thing about the ego is that the more you grow it the more you feel like you can do. Suddenly you’re not so eager to limit yourself. You believe you can do more and as a result, you actually do more. You might think you can do everything, which is not true, but you sure do much more you would if thought otherwise.

4.Commit to relentlessness


The next tip might look simple but trust me, it isn’t. When you commit to never quit on something, especially if the commitment is public you have much greater motivation to keep going when the going gets tough. The embarrassment of being that person who proves their enemies right is often enough to push you to get back up at least one more time.

The beauty of these kinds of commitments comes from the exact same thing society frowns upon, and that’s our old friend: arrogance. For the most part, we tend to think that anyone who makes a public commitment to success is arrogant. We wonder what kind of person they are, and we secretly wish for their downfall. The thing is that on some level the person who makes the commitment, is aware of this since they also happen to be members of the human race.

So the tip is really to make the commitment in proportion to your desire to succeed. The reasoning is that the more you want to succeed, the bolder you should be on your commitments since bolder commitments come with them greater embarrassment if you do fail, which increases the motivation to keep going even after a big failure.

5.Watch your health


The next tip is to pay attention to your health. Often the one thing preventing us from being as relentless as we can is our health situation. Ill health drains resources from the body, the resources that could be used to resist the urge to quit.

The thing about health is that it often takes a while for one to realize that something is wrong, and most of the time it’s possible to get used to low performance to such a degree that one falsely concludes that it’s normal to not perform well.

This is by no means health advice, but there is a reason why we don’t like to feel sick in any way. It’s supposed to be an alarm showing that something needs to be fixed. To believe that not living at your fullest potential is normal is to believe that it’s normal for fire alarms to come off every day.

So if you haven’t felt well for a while, the next step is to consult a medical professional to get things sorted out. Sometimes, however, that won’t be enough. There are countless cases of people who felt unwell even though medical tests returned well. The doctor says you’re healthy, but you don’t feel like a healthy person is supposed to feel. Some of these people chose to take their health to their own hands and through lots of research found that something was in fact wrong and managed to cure it. Later, they are the same people who write best sellers and create popular courses on health, all coming from their personal experience. Never take out of the table the possibility that you can find the answer even if medical professionals can’t and be open to the possibility that you might be the person who can solve a very difficult health problem not just for you, but for countless other people who happen to be going through the same thing as you.

Summary


The ability to be relentless is a skill you can acquire and master. Just like a muscle, the more you exercise it the more you can handle it. Eventually, more and more people start to look up to you because they see something that looks like a gift when you personally know it’s not. The journey to get there is difficult and the most important thing you can do is to take the first step.

Here are a few book recommendations you can read to learn more about the art of relentlessness and to uplift your spirit when you run into difficulties and feel the urge to quit on your goals.
1.Can’t hurt me by David Goggins
2.Relentless by Tim Grover
3.The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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Ways to cultivate stillness

In this post, we’ll have a quick discussion on how to cultivate stillness.

Stillness is one of the most difficult and yet easy things to achieve in life. Like a lot of things, there are lots of so-called “gurus” who will promise to give it to you if you pay them a certain fee. They make it look like it’s this impossible thing to achieve when in truth it’s one of these things that just happen to be in your backyard of reachability.

Ways to cultivate stillness

There are several well-known ways to achieve a still mind. Like Ryan Holiday said in “Stillness is the key“, stillness doesn’t mean the absence of motion. One can be in motion and still have a still mind. This is an attempt to open your mind to everything stillness can be not just what Hollywood movies make us think. Stillness is not just sitting down and meditating for decades without food or water, although it could and could not be. Stillness is deep-down peace.

1.Remove unnecessary stressors


The quickest way to improve stillness is to remove unnecessary stressors from your life. The keyword is “unnecessary”. The reason why I don’t say all stressors is because with stress comes the opportunity to grow, and without it we either remain the same or deteriorate.

But what are unnecessary stressors?
Unnecessary stressors are any kind of stressor that doesn’t contribute positively to your big picture goal. If your goal is to be fit for example, weightlifting can be considered to be a necessary stressor, since it brings you closer to your goal even as it temporarily breaks the body down. Smoking, on the other hand, can be considered to be an unnecessary stressor since it doesn’t contribute to your overall goal of being fit. On the same group of unnecessary stressors, you can include: relationships that take more from you than you put in, the urge to keep up with social media and societal trends, etc. Anything that doesn’t make your big picture goal more likely to happen, while causing some form of mental/physical stress.

Stress is a disruptor of stillness, so it follows that the more unnecessary stressors you remove from your life the more likely you are to achieve a sill mind.

2.Meditate


The next tip is to create a meditation habit. Often we hear that meditating can help you achieve peace, being one with the universe, and a whole range of benefits, but we don’t really get to know why that is the case.

Research has shown that 8-12 weeks of 20-30 min of meditation twice a day can literally cause physical changes in the brain. Put simply, the areas responsible for decision making, self-control, and self-regulation get thicker, which makes it that much easier to perform the actions I just mentioned. Some people call meditation “a gym for the mind”, and that is a fact.

The more you meditate, the more you can self-regulate, and the more you can self-regulate the more you can still the mind.

3.Watch your diet


The next tip is to pay attention to your diet. We live in a time in which food is becoming less and less of a problem. Starvation, like many diseases, is on its way to extinction.

The human condition is one of perpetual unhappiness. Once we get over a problem, a new one comes along as a replacement, and we find ourselves back to square one believing that this is the last thing between us and true happiness.

So as we get over the starvation problem a new one shows itself to be the replacement, and that’s the problem of unhealthy eating. More and more people can afford to get the minimum calories to stay alive, but less and less seem to make the effort to eat in such a way that it makes the body and brain primed to perform.

If you struggle to keep your still mind, it might pay to do some research on nutrition, and to remove the kinds of foods that make you restless, because believe it or not, what you put on your mouth can make it easier or harder to get to your big picture goal.

Some foods are known to make it harder to be disciplined and productive, and the same can be said about the opposite. Sometimes the reason why you can’t stay still is not because of a lack of discipline, but because of the stress, your diet puts on your body. Stress drains energy from the system, and so does discipline. The less energy you have to be disciplined, the less disciplined you are likely to be. The less still you’re likely to be, and yes discipline and stillness tend to be highly correlated.

4.Decide to have a still mind


The next tip might be obvious but it’s worth mentioning. Often we downplay the power that comes from making a decision. When you truly decide to do something or be a certain way, you’re much more likely to get away from the things that move you away from your decision.

If your peers are known for their restlessness and lack of peace, this decision will prone you to ask what about them make them the way they are. If they are really close the first step is to try to help them so you’re both on the same journey. If that doesn’t happen the next and often difficult step to take is to cut those relationships off. The reason for this is that often enough your peers make it more difficult to be the way you want to be, especially when they’re opposed to it.

When you decide to be stiller you begin to watch yourself more frequently. You become your own coach.

5.Dont avoid problems


The last tip is to attack your problems. Often we put our problems aside because we’re afraid to face them. We try to forget about them by pretending they don’t exist. The problem is that somewhere in the back of our minds the problem not only exists but is a source of torture. When you avoid your problems you can’t be happy even when you’re supposed to.

When you find yourself lost in laugher it doesn’t take long for the laugh to turn from joy to dissatisfaction. Eventually, you realize you shouldn’t feel joy because there is something you haven’t dealt with.

When you deal with your problems the opposite happens. When you find yourself in a moment of sadness, the fact that you have all your problems handled can be a source of happiness on its own. In moments of joy, you can truly enjoy it because there is nothing bringing you down.

Summary


Stillness is a practice more than some form of blessing. Any time is an opportunity to improve it. To make it better. There will be moments when being still is the hardest thing in the world. You’ll struggle to keep the mind in one place. Waves of thoughts and feelings will come and go and the urge to succumb to the natural chaos of the mind will be even stronger. The solution for this like any other craving is to practice your will. Each time you can keep being the way you want to makes more likely that the next time will be easier, and the one after that easier still.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to grow your network

In this post, we’ll have a quick discussion on how to grow your personal and professional network.

There are a lot of things that go into making your life your dream life. Your goals and dreams can be achieved in many ways, using different strategies and approaches. If you google it. Whatever it may be, chances are that you can find more than a handful of gurus each with a different and maybe even more excentric approach than the one before. With lots of ways to do anything, it’s very easy to succumb to the confusion and not start anything. There is one thing however that seems to have a positive impact on your life, regardless of the shape or form of your big picture goals, and that is your network.

How to grow your network


Growing your network is one of these things that can have a multitude of benefits, among them: access to opportunities, information, and personal connection. Without a network of any kind be that of friends, acquaintances, or coworkers life is more likely to not be as enjoyable as it could be. Below are a few tips on how to grow your network both on the personal and professional realms.

1.Define the goal


Like with everything in life, it’s important to first decide/define the big picture goal before you even begin. If you go about growing your network aimlessly, you will probably succeed at making more connections but you might realize at the end that you didn’t get to what you want.

Your objective with the network will be the defining factor in a variety of things. The first is the kind of people you bring to your network. Their personality types, their hobbies, as well as the degree of proximity you will cultivate with each. A professional network, for example, will require much less closeness in comparison to a personal network. You naturally share less about yourself and change your behavior to some extent, in order to present the most acceptable version of yourself as possible.

The goal can also help you decide when enough is enough. Research has shown that human beings have a limit on the number of personal connections they can have a realistically maintain, and that number is 150. So for the personal network case, chances are that you will be more satisfied with a smaller network. For the professional case, because you don’t have to actively maintain each connection as much as the personal, you might have the freedom to go well beyond 150. If you can make yourself a valuable asset to each professional connection you make, it might be the case that getting in touch once a year or once every few years is enough to keep the network alive regardless of how large.
The question here is: how large do you need it to be, and why?

2.Pay attention to your personality


Today there are largely two groups of people: introverts and extroverts. The standard definition of an introvert is that who gains energy by staying alone with their thoughts and tends to feel drained when in a group, and the extrovert is that who gains energy by being in a group as opposed to being alone with their thoughts.

The reason why this matters is that your inclinations will make it more or less difficult to build and maintain a network. If you’re an introvert you might have to set a limit on how big the network can be and take the necessary steps to maintain it. If you grow it too much you might find yourself suffocated and the urge to neglect it might just be the thing that brings the whole network down. The problem is that when that happens people’s feelings might be involved and it’s always better to not start a relationship than to end it badly because your natural propensities lead you to neglect it. The question here is how much of an introvert/extrovert are you? Think of it in % terms, not in absolutes. How much of an introvert are you percentage-wise?

3.Become a person of value


The world of today teaches people to think of themselves as deserving of the best. Be that friends, opportunities, relationships, etc. The problem is that the more you focus on having the world meet your criteria, the less you try to make yourself a person of value, and the less you are a person of value the more unattractive you become. Remember that other people have the same standards you do. They will judge you the same way you judge them. If you want great people around you, the easiest way is not hoping or wishing, but to be a great person to be around yourself.

So the way to make your network grow well is to make sure that the people in it want to be a part of the network, and that’s only possible when they have something to gain. That’s where you come in value. The more value you create to other people’s lives, the more likely it will be that they will want to keep and nurture their relationship with you. That’s basic human nature.

The thing about value is that it comes in many different forms. It’s not money or opportunities only. It can be something as simple as the ability to make an event more interesting. We all know the kind of person who makes all of our problems go away even if for just a few hours. We grow addicted to their presence, and we tend to do what we can to make sure that the relationship stays alive and strong.


4.Go to the right places


The next tip is to go to the right places. If you followed the tips before, at this point you probably already have an idea of how big you want your network to be and what kind of people you want in it. The next step is to frequent the kinds of places where the kind of people you want to meet go to. The trick here is to never be forceful. Always start an interaction with the idea that they might not want to start/develop a relationship with you in the first place. That way you avoid the mistake of overcommitting on any one relationship before you’re sure your attention will be reciprocated. So the approach here is to try as many people as you can. Don’t go to only one event. Go to many and each time make the effort to start a conversation with a certain number of people, let’s say 20.

The more people you interact with the greater the chances that you’ll find the select few who you can really connect with. If your goal is career advancement the same idea applies. The more you interact with people the greater the chances that you’ll find that one person who has the power or the connections to completely change your life and career.
Again, never be forceful. Try to enjoy the moment with each interaction. and the more you do that the better you become at connecting with people and as a result the better you become at growing your network.

Summary


At the end of the day growing one’s network is like most things in life a skill. The more you practice interacting with people, and turn strangers into acquaintances or even friends, the better you become at expanding your network. For most people, interacting with strangers can be somewhat uncomfortable, and it’s this discomfort that makes most falsely conclude that they are not born with the gift of connecting with people at will. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not all people with large networks were born with the gift. In fact, some if not most had to go through the moments of doubt and insecurity that come when one tries to turn a stranger into a friend/lover.

The discomfort is a part of all of us. It’s human nature. As life teaches us, not all parts of what we call “human nature” are beneficial to our big picture goals. Just think of substance abuse for example. We accept the fact that our nature makes us all prone to be addicted to powerful substances, and take the necessary steps to not be the victim of this monster with the power to turn a bright future into a dark one. We find a way to get around our nature when our nature gets in the way of our goals. If we can do that why do we struggle to do the same when the reason why we avoid connect with others is our natural fear of rejection?

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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