This is my first article on this blog for the year 2016. I sincerely feel it is just a beginning of many such articles you will see here soon.
Just like most of you, I am a simple guy from an urban city. My life involves a day job, a family to support and many other responsibilities to shoulder. As a result, I am on constant look out for more time for myself, my family and my passions : Meditation, Reading and Writing etc. This results in my constant search for finding productivity hacks, software and inspirational articles to make my life a little bit easier and comfortable.
Therefore, today, I am going to share with you three lessons I learned recently, which I feel can be of immense benefit to you also, for the remaining part of 2016 and beyond. Let us start:-
Lesson 1 : The most powerful productivity (& confidence) hack of all time
We create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003
– Eric Schmidt (See source)
In this huge ocean of content, very rarely we came across an article which has its worth in pure Gold. Today, I found one such article. If I had my way, I would make every youth in every university of the world to read it as a pre-requisite before getting his/her degree. This article is about the most powerful productivity (& confidence) hack of all time. Before, I tell you about the guy who wrote this article or the website where you can read this article, let me tell you in brief what it is about.
I have lifted heavily from the original source to save time. Please read carefully as you are going to learn the most powerful productivity hack of all time.
The productivity secret of Richard Branson
One day a hand full of people were on a small boat with Richard Branson heading out to his private island, Necker Island, for a few days . During the journey, one of the guys on the boat asked something along the lines of “Richard, how can I be more productive?”
Keep in mind, Richard is the founder and operator of a 400-company conglomerate. He also has dyslexia and a pretty piss poor academic track record.
Yet somehow, from space travel to deep sea exploration, to music and cell phones, this guy has literally been able to accomplish a bazillion times more than the average Joe. And he’s still only 61.
Hence, the crowd of boat passengers hung on the edge of their seat cushions in anticipation of what turned out to be an unbelievably simple answer…
Richard responded: “Work out.”
That was it.
And that has turned out to be the answer to so many seemingly ‘hard’ to solve problems:
- How do I get more energy? Work out.
- How do I get more confidence? Work out.
- How do I keep from getting sick? Work out.
- How do I find more time? Work out.
- How do I stay focused? Work out.
And of course the obvious…
How do I look and feel better?
I’ll let you answer that one.
Believe me. Daily work out in a gym or even at your home has the potential to do miracle. It can do wonder for you in every sphere of your life. The reason being the fact that when we work out, we start shaping our body in a better way. There may be zillions of thing we want to control but unfortunately there are again zillions of reasons which will stop us from controlling them. However, we all have full control over our body. Therefore, it is the closest thing over which we can exert our control. And here lies the magic. Once you start making it better-physically and mentally, an inner confidence starts developing inside you. This confidence is the real thing. It can, then be molded into whichever direction we want our life to proceed.
A work out does not necessarily means pumping iron at the local gym. It means any physical activity like running, aerobic, yoga, weight lifting, walking etc.
Though I can tell you so many things about this tip regarding ‘Work Out’, I will be doing a huge disservice to the guy who actually wrote the original article. So let me introduce him to you.
This article on ‘Work out’ was written by Scott Dinsmore from Liveyourlegend.net.
Unfortunately, Scott is no more. He died last year after being hit by falling rocks while climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanjania. This expedition was a part of his tour to travel the world and live his life to fullest.
Scott was a fitness fanatic. He was into extreme sports, marathon, running and challenging his body to achieve new targets. Apart from being a fitness geek, he was a prolific blogger, an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker and a visionary. His TED talk on How to Find & Do Work You Love is one of the most popular TED talk ever and has been seen by more than 1.8 millions times at the last count. It is rather unfortunate that he died at such a young age of 33 !
However, just like the name of his website, his legacy lives on.
Read Scott’s full article on the ultimate productivity hack of all time :
I am sure that after reading this article, you will not be the same person as you are right now. Go ahead and read it now.
Lesson 2 : The ultimate trick to remove writer’s block and awaken the muse of inspiration within you.
If you are into any kind of creative activity, be it blogging, writing, designing, singing, dancing, painting, acting or a research work of any kind then you must be aware of the fact that the inspiration does not come easily. We often find ourselves blank with nothing to say about our work or art. It is so paralyzing and devastating yet almost all of us – the creative artists – suffer from it. In the world of authors, this problem is known as ‘Writer’s Block’. It is something so powerful that we all feel helpless about it.
So what is the ultimate way to remove the Writer’s Block ? Is there a sure shot solution that helps us break the mold of inaction and start our creative juice with full steam?
Yes. There is one.
It is called : Everyday Grinding.
In simplest terms, it is nothing but sitting daily and working on your art work (in whichever field you are) without fail and consistently working on it irrespective of the quality of your output. Slowly slowly as you keep working in a consistent manner, you will start encountering various spark of brilliance in your art that will come from an unknown source. The muse of inspiration will start helping you in your creative pursuit.
Perhaps, I am sounding too simplistic. However, it is nothing but truth. It has been the secret of success of some of the most brilliant authors of all time.
Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is known as one of the most prolific writers of 20th Century. Someone once asked him if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.
Everyday grinding is the key to awaken the inspiration within. Every thing which has some value in art arises from a different realm altogether. An artist does not create it. It comes through him but not from him. The most important thing to understand is that it does not come by the mere wish of the artist. It arises on its own in the fertile ground of consistent hard work.
The most important book on this topic is the ‘The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It is a masterpiece on the subject of overcoming the ‘Writer’s block’ and everyday grinding is the key message.
Here are some useful straight lifts from ‘The War of Art’
The writer is an infantryman. He knows that progress is measured in yards of dirt extracted from the enemy one day, one hour, one minute at a time and paid for in blood. The artist wears combat boots.
The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that any job, whether it’s a novel or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality. The professional steels himself at the start of a project, reminding himself it is the Iditarod, not the sixty-yard dash.
He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the long haul. He sustains himself with the knowledge that if he can just keep those huskies mushing, sooner or later the sled will pull in to Nome.
(On a side note, you will not found the words ‘everyday grinding’ in the book despite the fact that the entire book revolves around them. I took the concept of everyday grind from another book –Content Warfare by Ryan Haley. Ryan is a living example of the message from the War of Art. Here is what he says about the grind at one place in his book: “Working to attract eyeballs and ears is a grind, so prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.” )
Lesson 3 : Before giving up, ask yourself : Whether I have given my 100% to this task or not. If the answer is ‘No’, don’t give up.
Whenever you are faced with a task that seems impossible, don’t be judgmental and make any opinion about it in haste. See it and analyze it from all angle. Then, before going with the opinions of others that it indeed is impossible, ask yourself this question :
Have I given 100 % of my physical and mental effort into solving this problem ?.
This is a very powerful statement. Be truthful to yourself. If the answer that comes from the core of your heart is that yes you have given your 100% in solving this problem and based on present facts and circumstances, it is not practically possible solve this problem, then and only then accept it as impossible.
Listen to your inner voice closely. Because if you have not given your 100% to the problem at hand, then somewhere in your heart, a whispering voice will emerge that will confirm this fact. In an unambiguous way, this sound will tell you about your lack of efforts and that there is still something that can be done about the problem.
There is this wonderful story in the book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, by John C. Maxwell .
In one cold evening during winter, a salesman looked out from a restaurant window and noticed a snowstorm brewing. He asked his waiter, “Do you think the roads will be clear enough in the morning to travel?” The waiter replied, “Depends if you’re on salary, or commission.”
The point of the story is that if you’re on a set salary, you’ll likely phone your boss and tell him the roads are too bad to travel. If you’re on commission, you’ve got to go and make the sale. Otherwise, you don’t eat.
The guy on salary can give up in the morning. Given the fact that he is going to get his salary at the end of the month, he will find many excuses about the weather for not going outside. The guy on commission, however, can’t do so. Full aware of the fact that his earning for the day will be decided only if he turns up for the job, he will find the courage and means to go outside even in a stormy weather. He will explore all the possibility of going outside in whichever way he can. He knows that if he gives his 100%, he can go outside by beating the cold wave.
Think about it.
If you are contemplating of giving up a particular pursuit due to harsh circumstances then before you take your final call, ask your conscience: Have I given my 100% to it ?.
Then listen the whispers of your heart.
You will find the answer.
Here is a summary of the 3 key tips I shared with you above :
(1) To increase productivity : Work out.
(2) To remove creativity block : Do the daily grind.
(3) Before giving up: Ask yourself if you have given your 100%.
These three hacks are not new. They are available to everybody since the time immemorial. I have discussed them here with the intention to help you as much as I want to help myself.
I am too a human – full of weakness and shortcomings. But just like you, I am also learning and improving every day.
I hope you too will find these hacks useful. Feel free to share your views on above by commenting below: