On confusion

I meet two kinds of people:

  1. Clear ones
  2. Confused ones

Clear ones are those who exactly know what it is and what they need. They are the ones who believe their perceptions to be right and are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that they are right.

Clear ones are anyways in minority, whereas you will find the confused ones, the majority, everywhere.

Now, there are different kinds of confused people:

  1. Confused ones who perceive that they are not confused
  2. Confused ones who know that they are confused
  3. Confused ones who are in continuous process of getting clear and confused and clear and confused again…by choice

So if I classify, there are two kinds of confused people:

  1. Confused ones who stupidly conclude
  2. Confused ones who keep the possibilities open

Confused ones who keep the possibilities open are actually better off compared to the clear ones or confused ones who stupidly conclude.

Why is it so?

Simple – confused ones who keep the possibilities open are in continuous process of getting clear about some things and getting confused about the next things; that is also, by choice.

Confused ones who keep the possibilities, stay hungry and stay foolish. Some people call this process learning, unlearning and relearning but the point is: they’re an active seeker.

If you really seek something and you persevere till whatever it takes, you find it one day.

Key here is to keep moving on. Problem is never with the confusion but the problem is with standing still.

The world is changing and new dimensions of almost everything are discovered faster than ever. So, match the pace with the changing world and keep seeking what you feel you should be seeking.

So here’s to the confused ones:

Don’t get confused about your confusion. Be clear that you are confused at the moment. First, be okay with it and then do something about it.

That’s what continuous learners do, why couldn’t you?

Give your 100 percent: a short guide

Who does not want to be proud of what they do?

Everyone wants to. Still, we are not always proud of what we do. Why?

The reason is simple – we don’t always give our 100 percent all the time.

Don’t you feel sometimes that you should be doing the exercise but you are watching a TV show instead?

Do you feel sometimes that you want to get rid of your smoking habit but you are buying more cigarettes?

In your heart, you know that you should be doing X but instead, you are doing Y.

We all do that. We don’t give our 100% all the time to the right thing our heart knows.

Often, we do not get the importance of giving our 100% – let us get some clarity on that.

Give Your 100 Percent: A Short Guide

Why Giving Your 100 Percent is Important?

It is important because when you give your 100 percent, you increase the chances of being successful in what you do. Also, you won’t have any regrets even if you fail.

Failing or succeeding is not in anyone’s hands but giving 100 percent is.

The problem with not giving your 100 percent is that you curse yourself for not accomplishing the things although you feel you could.

When you curse yourself, you don’t feel happy, do you?

And, the first duty every human being has is to ensure that his or her soul is happy. Happy souls make the world a happier place.

Giving your 100 percent is important so that the world becomes (or stays) happy.

What is Preventing You From Giving Your 100 Percent?

When we were born, we inherently knew how to give our 100 percent. If we needed something, we just asked. For example, when we needed a toy we liked, we used to do everything and anything possible to get the attention of our parents and get what we wanted.

Our prime task was to obtain the toy and nothing else. We were giving our 100 percent to accomplish the highest priority task, which we had on our hand.

Then we were taught to be reasonable human beings who understand and practice rules of the society such that the function of society remains smooth.

We developed an understanding of right and wrong, moral and immoral, practical and impractical, what will look good or bad and more of such.

We were taught to judge things. Like conclusions, judgments also kill if they are not the right kind.

When we judge the things by comparing and doing various kinds of situational analysis, we invite one or the other kind of fears to take over our actions.

When fears take over our actions, we fail to give our best. The existence of fear itself creates a kind of energy, which takes away our attention that could be put in the work we do.

Reflect on what Napoleon Bonaparte said,

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

How true …

If we allow fear to take our over our actions then obviously, more of our actions will be powered by fear. When our actions are powered by fears, scared we, won’t be able to give our 100 percent.

When to give your 100 Percent?

It depends upon how intentional you want to live your life. There are people who do not even know what an intentional life is.

Intentional life is the kind of life that is meaningful in all ways. Sure, you know that life is empty and meaningless but you create the meaning for the intention of creating the meaning in all that you do.

Given you know what an intentional life is, you should give your 100 percent in the tasks that are most important to you.

Imagine one thing that you will regret if you don’t do it now. That particular thing is an ideal candidate for giving your 100 percent.

Reflect on the following quote from Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von:

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

You should give your 100 percent to the things that matter most to you, as simple as that.

Where (and Where Not) to Give Your 100 Percent?

“This is a weird question,” you might think.

No, it is not. It is an important one. You cannot give your 100 percent to everyone’s requests. You have to have your tasks written down and prioritize them based on their importance.

Once prioritized, you should give your 100 percent to the most important task.

Imagine you have seven tasks in your list. And currently, you are working on your third task. All you have to do is to complete the third task with your best ability. You cannot think about the task list, four more tasks that you have to accomplish or the past two tasks that you accomplished.

You be in the present moment and give your 100 percent energy to the task you’re working on.

For example, while writing this blog post, I focus on writing the best that I can write at this moment. I don’t think about how it will be perceived, whether people will like it or not or whether I’ll receive criticism on some of the thoughts that I have written.

But when this post is over, I will focus on all these things and revise it. While making revisions, I will think about how can I choose more effective words to convey the same thought.

So coming back to the “Where” questions, you should give your 100 percent to the task that is of highest priority based on the importance. It is okay not to give even your 1 percent to other things.

If I talk about my other interest – Software Development – which might be yours too, in that, there is a thinking paradigm called “Agile”.

When you develop software using Agile,  you essentially give your 100 percent to the present, most important task. How you do that? By taking actions that conform to certain principles of developing software using agile. One such principle is about simplicity. It goes like this:

“Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.”

We can leverage the same principle in achieving our non-software-development tasks as well.  We learn to simplify the things, eliminate what is not important and give our 100% to what is important.

How to Give Your 100 Percent Anyways?

If you believe that the ones who give their 100 percent don’t have fears, you’re wrong.

They do have their part of fears but the thing is: they know how to execute anyways.

You might be wondering how to do that. Here’s one way: Susan Jeffers has written a fantastic book called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, which provides you with the tools to face the fears that are stopping you from giving your 100 percent.

You will learn about how to weed negatives out of your thoughts and words, develop goals that help extend your self-imposed limitations and don’t let your insecurities ruin your present life.

Essentially, this book will help you develop a state of mind that will enable you to give your 100 percent.

To give your 100 percent anyway, you need to absolutely get clear about your priorities, eliminate what is not important, and invest all of your energies in the most important task.

In closing, I’d invite you to give your 100 percent to the most important things and live an intentional, regretless life. You don’t need an invitation to do that, do you?

Photo Credits: Johan Larsson/Flickr

On possibility and action

Imagine if the possibility and action are living beings and having the following dialog:

“You came to my life and inspired me to transform into you…but now I got that you’re not mine. Fear can influence you as well.  I wanted you to be mine only but you cannot even though it seems you want to. I must get back to who I was…pure form of possibility,” Possibility said to Action.

“I know that you, the possibility and the fear – both want to conquer me. But why you’re giving up?”

“I’m the possibility. I don’t have a good relationship with the fear.  I want to have you on my side, I want to live for the sole purpose of transforming myself into you but you don’t get it… you get influenced by the fear as well…”

“I know I can get influenced by the fear or by you but do you know that without you, I will remain just a meaningless form of mine… I was expecting you to take over me and leave no room for the fear to even interact with me…”

“No. I don’t have those abilities. I’m just a possibility.  I can’t influence you. You have to figure out a way to influence yourself and be with me forever…”

In fight between possibility and action, both lose. Action wants to be led by the possibility but he cannot. Possibility wants to transform herself into actions but she cannot.

The problem is not with the possibility or the action. The problem is with us. We don’t let the possibility transform into action. We let our fears take the better of us.

We are afraid of so many things that might never happen.

We disserve ourselves by keeping the possibility and actions away.

The devils of fears are eager to conquer the world of action and make the world a place worth not living.

It is up to us. Let’s allow the possibility, not the fear, to lead our lives and empower them by active actions and make the world a better place.

Needs Vs. Wants

Needs Vs. Wants – At any given time, you serve one or the other.

When you feel like needing something (or someone), first, you miss it and then you do something about it. It’s a different thing whether you get it or not.

If you haven’t got it and you still feel the need, you’ll not give up and keep searching for a breakthrough, much like a research lab, and figure out different ways to achieve what you need.

No hard feelings if you haven’t got it yet. Like research labs, you know that failures are part of your life. All you care is about doing your best and then don’t worry too much about the results.

Now, it is easier said than done but that’s what.

Wants, on the other hand, work differently with you. They have a habit to take you over. They have a habit to make you crave about the results.

If you get positive results, you feel happy. And if you get negative results, you feel sad.

Wants have the power to control your happiness at a minimum and quality of life at large.

When you let your wants take over yourself, although unknowingly, you start living passive life.

If you live an active life, you fill it with meaning. Meaning gives you a sense of fulfillment.

Some of you are smart and would say, “We know how to maintain the balance between active life and passive life.”

Hats off to you if you can do it but in practice, it is very difficult. You have to have a binary answer (Yes or No) about whom you want to be the leader of your life. You or your wants?

If you use your wants as your “servants”, they’re good. If you let them lead your life, you’re gone.

Question – What do you do with your wants? You let them lead your life or you lead your life and allow some space to them?

Stay hungry 7

  1. Ask Why and why and why again till you got your answer. Related Read: Five Why Technique by Tanmay Vora.
  2. Radiate energy. Keep moving. Act Now. Get Results. Retrospect. Radiate energy and keep moving.
  3. When you fail, get back to climbing your apex as soon as you can. Try once more. Keep burning desire to reach your apex. Related Read: Keep Delivering.
  4. Enjoy the present moment. It is not good. It is not bad. It is the present moment and whatever is happening to you is for good. Enjoy that. Related Read: Savor the Surprise.
  5. Start each new day with a new energy that energizes others. New day, a new beginning. A new beginning, new life. What is past is history which doesn’t matter. Well, today it doesn’t. Related Read: Right Now.
  6. Express yourself in whatever way you could. Draw. Sing. Speak. Write. Take photos. Whatever.
  7. Ask yourself every day – Am I living my primary aim? If not, then it’s never too late to change. Related Read: Your Fundamental Goal.

Sharpen the saw

Do you ever feel you should be keeping yourself on top of the things?

Actively or passively, you keep experiencing life every single moment. Better if you experience it actively as you get an opportunity to be on top of the things and live an intentional life.

The roots of an intentional life are in the principles that you surround your life actions around. Those principles in life stay with you; become a foundation of behind what you think, do and live. When you are clear about your guiding principles, you get a better sense of concluding what’s right and what’s not.

When you know what’s right, you’re all set to execute whatever is needed and get things done.

When you know what’s right, you’d naturally be on top of the things. The reason is simple – you want to do more of the right things.

When you do more of the right things (and some wrong things too), you keep sharpening your saw.

And, in today’s world, whether you like it or not, not sharpening the saw is not an option.

Sun Tzu, author of the famed ‘Art of War’ famously said,

“Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.”

If the finest sword cannot handle it, how would you?

Sharpen your saw.

If you don’t have cultivated the habit of sharpening your saw, start today. It is the seventh one from the famous book by Stephen Covey: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

We all are born with an innate ability, quality or gift.

But what separates the sheep from the goats is the time invested in sharpening the saw. It is the time invested in taking your abilities to the next level.

If you have ever tried to cut fruit with an edgeless knife, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.

Don’t be like an edgeless knife. When edgelessness enters, people start questioning the essence of a knife.

By challenging ourselves and continuously investing in sharpening our saw, we ensure that we, the knife, have an edge.

No edge, no knife; isn’t it?

Here’re three habits that will help you keep your saw sharpened:

1. The habit of sharp observation

Why would sharp observation help you to be on top? The reason is simple. Observation expands your perspectives; Sharp observation adds an edge of clarity while expanding your perspectives.

In order to be on top of the things, you need to be knowing exactly what you’re doing. Observation is the most powerful tool for that.

Observe. Observe sharply. Be on top of the things with laser-like clarity.

2. The habit of executing even on the face of uncertainties

Get clear on this. People who are always on top of the things are not the ones have everything specified or have 100% certainty. They also have partial clarity and their share of fears because of partial clarity.

The differentiator is this: they still execute. They don’t know whether they will be successful or not. All they know is: if they don’t execute, they’ll not be successful. When they execute things that others do not, others presume whatever they are doing may be right and they follow them. While this is not necessarily true, but it works more often than not.

The habit of executing even on the face of uncertainties makes you apart from others. It gives a natural boost of your ability to be on top of the things. This is one state where you will always find less competition, too!

3. The habit of being comfortable with uncomfortable situations

Now, this is related to the habit of executing even on the face of uncertainties.

Uncomfortable situations breed inaction. People do not want to be in uncomfortable situations and they try to find an escape route. Escaping from something doesn’t solve problems; it allows problems to get stronger.

When you learn to be comfortable with uncomfortable situations, the first thing you’d do is to learn to control your negative emotions. The negative self-talk that invites you to escape from an uncomfortable situation loses its value when you learn to control your negative emotions.

Now, what does that mean?

It simply means that you will not be derived from uncomfortable situations and do something reactively. You will learn to deal proactively with your situations, regardless of their kind, and still execute.

And here comes my favorite quote:

“No actions; no results. Everything else is a commentary!”

All these habits help you unblock the situations that don’t allow you to take actions.

Actions, not mere talks, will keep you on the top.

You don’t need an invitation to sharpen your saw, take actions and make a difference. Don’t wait for one.

Question: How do you sharpen your saw? Feel free to share your experiences.