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Productivity and Momentum | KSi

The Productivity Momentum project

Motivation: It’s not what you think it is

Just like the misunderstood “inspiration” and “passion”, motivation has been an overused excuse as part of the waiting game before productivity.

But here’s the thing: It doesn’t come by out of the blue. It’s not an asteroid that’s just going to hit you and you’re going to suddenly become bursting with energy. Motivation is something you work with, it’s a momentum and you need to fight the inertia first to find it.

This post was inspired by the book “The Motivation Myth” by Jeff Haden

We all think motivation is what gets us from 0 to 1, but it’s not. Depending on your environment you’re looking to be productive at, the results will differ: If you’re looking to work on a conference full of people with same interest as you, that’s definitely fodder for your inspiration, passion and motivation. You can work then and there as a huge ignition for whatever you desire and set on a momentum forward but let’s face it, rarely is there a time where you work in a conference because you’re definitely there to listen or network rather than to make something. On the other hand, if you’re in a spot that your body is familiar to be slouching off, you will never get that boost. Your comfort zone will keep dragging you backwards to the good things in life like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

So where do you get it?

From progress. Progress that let’s you reach milestones, milestones that gives you a sense of achievement, and achievement that makes you feel great. Motivation is a wheel, and you need to roll it first before anything happens, but when you do, it gets moving for a while. It’s not an infinite source, or a wildfire, it’s an empty battery you charge, use and charge once again.

So, how do I become motivated?

Do.

Everything is a hindrance in this world from making you want to do what matters to you: the wifi, the refrigerator, your phone, your imagination, your worries, your dog, you right hand and etc. What separates you from being able to achieve what you want is to go full “fuck it” and do it. Use the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins and count backwards from 5 and as soon as you reach 1, just do what you sought out to do. Don’t think about the consequences anymore, the effort or the time, if it’s something you came this far to perform it must be something worth doing and by worth doing I mean if you don’t do it you’re going to be left with a big “What if”

Don’t live a life of “What ifs”, live a lot of “Why didn’t I”, learn and lessen your “Whys” instead.

Life will not serve you matters on a platter, rarely does it happen. If you’re reading this, it must be because you’re not one of those picked by chances. Less passivity and more activity, less begging more grabbing opportunities. Your life is yours, don’t let trendy words and sweet notions make you perform any less. Hard work, discipline and grit has always been present in the stories successful people. Your goals, dreams and focus is yours not life’s. If you’re going to own it, you better do something about it. Great people don’t wait for opportunities, they make it.

So, when was the last time you were motivated?

 

Empathy is a Skill not a Talent

I was once talking with a friend about a conflict, for awhile, he was very empathic and at the same time inquisitive. After discussing much and entering into delicate matters he touched on a subject I was not very comfortable on and asked why he seemed very interested. After clarifying his stance, he sensed an underlying tone about the question and proceeded to apologize.

I don’t want this to turn into a misunderstanding between us. I overstepped and I’m sorry.

That was the exact phrase that melted my guard. No matter how much fumes I was exhuming, there was no way to go on the offense with someone that can bow down to an argument that well. I stepped back, reviewed the whole thing and understood his motives, it was clearer he was not against me but for me.

People with empathy are worth keeping

Because they know what to do when they have wronged you in whichever part of the process it may be. It helps you both grow as they admit fault, you see yours as well and you learn from it even in silence or space. Saying sorry is a skill that doesn’t lower your stance, value, honor or dignity but something that conveys the message that this relationship holds more value than my individuality. Of course, this has done be done in a transparent execution rather than offensive or defensive. It does wonders and rather than arguing why I’m right or why you’re wrong, it brings more amicable resolution between both parties because there’s a clear line between personal attack and personal improvement.

Proud people will put the blame on you

No matter if their actions were the cause of the problem, they would see your confrontation as the cause, and the conflict as the effect. When their happiness is far more important than your relationship, you know which category to place them on. Happiness should be shared in the context of a relationship, not kept for one. When someone chases for happiness on the expense of others, it is the formula for a lot of problems. You will spiral down to a loss of yourself in a life full of conflict.

So, pay attention of what has been done if it is a response or a decision. If it is caused by human intention for themselves, it is a decision, if you were affected by the action it is a response. Response are worth discussing because there’s a trigger than can be either improved or avoided. Working towards a common goal has always been one of the greatest achievement factor of humanity. It can be done when people agree on striving for the same goal.

People that sees change as an offensive process are left behind in maturity. While there can be charming attributes that goes with the lack of it, there are worse for ones when you find it necessary. You can choose to stay and guide them, some will bloom with gratitude, some wouldn’t. It’s your risk, sometimes the soil they have to grow on is not on your life, if so set them free. Easier said than done but they have to grow.

Empathy is not something that’s bestowed by birth, or found in genes. It is a skill that can be learned, you only have to see the world through the eyes of the other person. It’s not always easy but it’s always achievable to those who seek out to be one. Rely less on emotions, assess the argument with a sound mind and understand what the other person is going through. If it is irrational, just calm them down based on their fears. If it is with a point, affirm, apologize and proceed to discuss with pursuing resolution to solve it.

To empathize is not just to understand the effect but to find out the cause and provide a solution. It’s to find the root and make things right.

Like every skill, it’s not a supernatural blessing that you have to wait to be bestowed. It gets better with practice and preparation. The best execution is when you’re prepared for the inevitable and confrontations in life will always happen. Make the right mindset, choose to be humble.

Grow and be better each passing day.

 

Take the Cold Shower

I’ve never loved that chilling feeling that makes your skin crawl and your spine tingle, the way it wakes you up harshly like thousands of tiny needles puncturing your flesh but hey, it has it’s benefits.

Going to the shower is a staple in the schedule of a regular person. Although there’s a night shower cult, I will be talking to those that do it at the morning and are probably interested to do so after waking up in the morning.

To start, I’m a guy that loves hot showers: the steam, the warmth and the way it relaxes and makes me think is the perfect setting for me. I could stay in that kind of moment for an hour and never realize it. Meanwhile in a cold shower, I could only stand it till my lowest standards for feeling clean are met and I’m off that space.

So why am I asking you to take a cold shower?

Of course this may not be applicable for everyone especially for the soulless people that do cold showers as their staple. But here’s the thing: If you feel like you’re about to go against a giant in your life: a hard task, a strenuous day or a big huddle, you need to have that ball rolling, you need to feel like you can do it. Not all people have that strength to face big problems head on right away, but all people can face it once they have prepared for it.

Before you say “That’s it?”, here are scientific benefits of choosing the cold shower:

  • Improve Alertness
  • Relieves Depression
  • Healthier Skin and Hair
  • Better Blood Circulation

But beyond the benefits it gives to your body, the biggest one is the one it does to the way you think:

It gives you a sense of achievement that you’ve beaten yourself and that you are a winner.

There’s a high probability that if you’re into hot/warm temperatures that you will be giving yourself the best pep talk of your life before getting yourself wet. While most part of it is “You can do this” or “You’ll get through it” what’s important is that sense of encouragement that you believe in yourself. Because once you enter in that state of hell, you’re going to either have two moments: You’d have the epiphany of it isn’t so bad and you’ve managed to conquer your fears, or you’re going to have incoherent thoughts other than getting out of your misery. Regardless of the experience, what’s important is in the end. You won against you, and you have that first win of the day, all you need now is to make it count.

 

Don’t let your Environment Define you

Living in a very comfortable life with fast internet and the AC turned on almost every other day, I have lived thinking that is how life is supposed to be like and what I deserved for serving loyally. But this week is different: Today, as I guard the house of the successful man who has built that business, I live here living like he did: sweating in the Philippine heat while trying to find inspiration and motivation to work hard regardless of the noise and distractions. It wasn’t imposed by anyone that I should but it’s a matter of asking “How is it like to live like this entrepreneur?”

And I can after much exertion of active effort to concentrate, here I am writing this article to remind us all:

Your environment is not an excuse to not perform.

Let alone any external factors in fact. The only reason not to perform is because you don’t want to. Anyone who wants to make ways to do something can, if they want it. All it takes, while easier said than done, is desire and courage. I’m not a successful guy, but I try to be. I learn what it’s like to be and “comfort” doesn’t seem like anywhere in that path based on observations.

I used to believe I deserve a great life just because I’m good and I perform well. But did you ever realize that probably most if not all of your co-workers think they perform well on their own standards? If we all deserve great for doing good, you’re using unjust scales. Successful people don’t become who they are by doing what everyone else does, they do things differently and risk. While all variables remain the same, it’s their mindset and actions that makes them skyrocket above the population.

Success is different to everyone: the goals they set and the standards they place. To the poor man, having a standard recurring income can already be a criteria for success. To the employee having a business could be the definition of success. To the entrepreneur creating 5 successful startups could be the definition of success. Regardless, to each one their own, but no one achieves it just because all the domino was just in place, someone needs to have the courage to see above the risk and push the first block.

It’s not about how shitty your workplace is, how poor you are or how much bad events are entering your life, yes it sucks there will be lows but it’s the way you perceive matters that matters. You can rise above all only if you strike up the courage to do so. Failure is not the absence of success but of effort.

I believe one of the enemies of productivity is fear: fear of sending the wrong message, making the wrong solution or answer or finding more problems about work. To those seeking for success or a breakthrough, I know you’re itching for something but it’s not that you’re too lazy to get it but you’re too scared to go beyond your means. I say go do it, the fingers aligning the dominoes isn’t anyone else’s but yours.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela