Day #335:”In magic – and in life – there is only the present moment, the now…”

“In magic – and in life – there is only the present moment, the now. You can’t measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. ‘Time’ doesn’t pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”

― Paulo CoelhoAleph

Day #333:Overcoming the urge to conform!

Our society thrives on conformity, norms, accepted ways of doing things, etc .A group of people do something, buy a particular product,listen to one song, follow a style of dressing, etc, it spreads to the larger population and suddenly it becomes the norm, it become hip and popular. Most of the things we have come to accept as ‘way of life’  today were started by people just like us. They have remained so because no one has had the audacity to challenge them.

The tragedy is that we have come to accept those things as the way things ought to be and anyone who challenges those rules is considered an outcast, a rebel and labelled as insane. The kid who tries the new dance steps, the lady experimenting with a new fashion design, the company with the weird work environment. These people become a challenge to the status quo. To what we know as normal. ‘Here’s to the crazy ones,the misfits, the rebels…. goes the lines in the famous Apple ‘Think Different’ ad.

The truth remains, the people for whom the old system favour hate to see someone challenge it with some new ‘weird’ things. But society depends on this ‘weird’ people to move forward and we must all refuse, reject the urge to always conform.

Day #329:Henry David Thoreau: “I went to the woods….”

I left the wood……

“I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct.

I learned this ….

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

From the conclusion of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

Day #328:”If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

When I first read in Charles Duhhig’s Power of Habit that a study showed correlation between people who make their bed in the morning and how well they managed their finances, I dismissed it as one of those frivolous,good for humour studies. Not until recently watching a video of a commencement address by US Naval Adm. William McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University of Texas at Austin  did I pay serious attention to it.

He mentions in the video (watch below) how the habit of laying your bed was instilled into Navy SEALs.

Here’s what he says:

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrowwill be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

Day #326: If You Knew This Would Be Your Last Day

“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” ~Leo Tolstoy

If you knew this would be your last day, would you waste time worrying about everything you might not finish on your to-do list?

Would you spend today dwelling on that minor disappointment?

Would you hold a grudge about that fight or misunderstanding?

Would you hesitate to tell the people you love just how much you care?

Would you be hard on yourself for your mistakes, imperfections, or struggles?

If you knew this would be your last day, would you make amends, or make a change, or make a point, or make a difference? Would you do something, or say something, that you’ve been waiting to do or say?

Would you look at something you always see with a new sense of appreciation?

Would you listen to people with a stronger focus, taking in every last word?

Would you say yes to what you really want and no to what you don’t?

Would you give yourself every opportunity to enjoy the people and things you love?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and then see this day anew. Wipe the slate clean. Take the pressure off. Put a smile on. Today is a new opportunity to be who you want to be and do what you want to do.

Day #322:The proven way to add value

My today’s post is taken from Seth’s blog. Short and straight to the point.

Do extremely difficult work.

That seems obvious, right? If you do something that’s valued but scarce because it’s difficult, you’re more likely to be in demand and to be compensated fairly for what you do.

The implication is stunning, though: When designing a project or developing a skill, seek out the most difficult parts to master and contribute. If it’s easy, it’s not for you.