Time is Against You

Did you ever notice it’s half of the 2018 already? Have you bothered to ask what have you accomplished in your annual goals?

I did, and it’s not so near from what I want to be in terms of progress by this year.

Time is never for us, it is created to be against us, as a temporary duration to achieve success, reach enlightenment or acquire contentment. A lot of things are temporary and short in terms of satisfaction, quite worth if you want that sudden euphoria, but all of us has to remember that what’s worth more is what’s in it for the tomorrow, not today, things you can reap not in the present but for the far future. Everything you do that satisfies you now will be only but tales tomorrow.

What are you doing and where are your goals? If you’re lacking any initiative for your future, well, that might me a time where you can consider time as a “friend” instead. Live each day as a day of it’s own while exciting poses a lot of risk, if you’re willing to take it proceed. If you’re building a life for retirement start seeing with your mind’s eye rather than all things physical.

Time is a depleting resource. Each moment that passes, you can’t take it back, you can only make it count. There are a lot of matters in this world, matters that can be differentiated by two factors: appreciation and depreciation. Make sure what you’re investing on is worth more than becoming less as each second that passes is 1 second closer to us being just a memory.

What’s your Priority?

“I will restart my  podcast today.” is what I told myself 5 days ago. I still haven’t published one even up to this day.

It’s never about what you wanted, but how much you wanted it. It’s never enough to have a dream, an idea or a goal. It’s a matter of your discipline and progress on how you’re achieving it, and getting closer into accomplishing your vision.

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. -Friedrich Nietzsch

A lot of people have ideas, great ideas, ideas that made people into billionaires and successful individuals to the general public. A lot of those ideas have also crossed the mind of different people, the notion of “I thought of that too.” is not an uncommon claim, what’s uncommon is the hard work, courage and focus placed into a concept that makes it work and unique.

I’ve promised myself a lot of things this year: A running podcast, a weekly 360 words blog and a 6 digit savings in my bank. It’s almost half of the year and I haven’t achieved or handled a good habit matching those three. Do they sound good? Yes. Do I want them? Yes. Do I enjoy the process of achieving them? Maybe. But most of the time, as much as I say they are my priority, my time goes elsewhere. After work, I take time to play a video game first and using my leftover minutes to improve my progress on them, is leftover time enough? Absolutely not.

Did I ever think gaming is my priority? Nope. But do my action say otherwise? Yes.

Follow your breadcrumbs, words are not enough, intention is not enough. What’s most important is your action and how you advance. If you can’t manage a ten, give yourself a one and a pat on the shoulder. Something is better than nothing. I don’t intend to stay this unproductive but without pro-active effort, I’d be burried this way. Ask yourself how much you want it, if it’s not enough to sacrifice your pleasures, don’t lie to yourself. They are not your priority.

 

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.

 

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