Creating Good Content

Content is everywhere, and most probably, majority part of your day, you’re consuming it.

I’ve made it a goal ever since to create good content — and by good content I meant not just telling about my days or epiphanies but something that I will be proud of to go back and encouraged even just 1 person to be better. Though lately, I couldn’t bring myself to make a good one, I wondered: why?

August was an extremely weird month for me because it’s a month where I broke my habits for the worse. I stopped reading, taking cold showers and indulged on mindless entertainment. It felt good, but it felt surviving with just the face above water.

Getting back to Audible and holding a book feels like waking up from a good dream, a dream but an escape. I shifted back into a world where who I am matters, and what I am determines who I will be. That’s when I realized, I was going nowhere on the rate on what I was doing. I got back into reading books, books that interested me rather than just for the sake of finishing, and lo and behold, I got an idea what to write.

I guess this post is just to remind all of us: What we put it in is what we get out. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, maybe you’re consuming waste of people. Comedy might be entertaining once in awhile but if you treat it like a drug it will dumb you down. I’ve been back to reading published and recommended books about marketing, self-help and leadership. Goes to say I once again been energized to go into the world a better man each day.

To create good content, you need to consume good content. In the end, you will always mix all the wisdom you learn with your words and experiences, and that is what will tailor a message to a different audience. That is what will give you a fresh advocacy to work with in each project.

The Cure to Fear

When we hear the word fear, most of the time it may trigger the idea of speaking to a crowd, being one step away from the edge of a cliff or being chased by someone with malicious intent. While those are things that do inflict fear, they are the type of fear that happens a few times in a lifetime. Meanwhile, I’d like to address the ones that haunt us consistently throughout our lives.

There is a fear we rarely address, the ones we are gotten so used to, we frame it as if it’s because of our inability to focus. While seeking escape might be the end result, the ones that trigger procrastination just might be fear of subduing what seems to be daunting task.

Procrastination.

There’s lots of cases wherein we don’t finish a job not because we can’t but because we dread what comes in doing it and after it.

It comes to no surprise that I am a victim of this paralyzing emotion. Examples in my situation are:

  • Talk to a client with a bad temper
  • Finding more bugs on the code
  • Innovating an application
  • Tampering with money for payments

Some can definitely be accomplished, some even in the span of 5 minutes or less if given enough attention. The capability to solve it is present and lingering, what’s not is the courage to do so and accomplish it till the end. So, how can we cure this inability? The paralyzing fear of the unknown?

Act.

There’s no better way to overcome fear than doing something about it. A lot of people fail because of too much thinking how to not fail. The best way to solve a task when you have no idea how to, is to do it, or in a more Millenial term: Google for it.

The mind is like a puppy training for tricks. Don’t expect it to be as driven or wise as you think. Just because it thinks something is important doesn’t mean it will do it. All it knows is how to stay happy, entertained and comfortable. Heck you can even expect it to forget what it doesn’t find important but others do. (That’s the worst) 

So, this is definitely why you have to learn to tame that cute thing. While it might bring you so much joy and good times, it’s only for the temporary and present. You have the capacity to do what you can think of if you act on it. The greatest difference between the genius and the successful is not what they’ve thought about, but how they fulfilled their plans in making it come true.

The root of being able to act against your interest depends on these two factors:

Triggers

Don’t expect your body to just move just because it should do so, especially if you’re not interested in the task at hand like a chore or work. You can on the other hand, expect it to be delayed till kingdom come and shit is about to go down.

So give yourself a trigger that will ignite your brain. You’d be surprised to find that just like a command that signals the puppy that to do what, the mind also works the same way. You already have the gasoline, all you need is a spark. Everyone has a different trigger that’s most effective for them. No one solution for all. As for me, setting up alarms and writing them down on a list works best.

There are a lot of ways to do this, but this is what works for me and I hope it becomes a starting template for you to create something efficient in your productivity:

  • Separate different aspects of your life: For now I only have 2 lists: Personal and Work
  • Be sure to bullet form an actionable step not a category of a job
  • Don’t list down an item such a “Create a Website” which seems like a daunting task with subtasks waiting. Instead write “Create Design Proposals.” which is immediately actionable and achievable fast without being too easy. 
  • Make a balance between things you can schedule and items you can do indefinitely. Don’t be too obsessed with format, have the right balance for what’s just needed. Focus on being informed and now how to be informed

While I hate being swarmed with items on lists, I love seeing them clear up. That’s the trigger I work with. I make sure to keep the list very visible in my life, and have atleast 3 scheduled within the day. This way, I’m always asking myself to keep working, way beyond just brain power. Something concrete rather than just my thoughts is a stronger motivator.

Reward

While not failing seems like a good reward, it isn’t. The clear reason behind this is not seeing the lack of success as a failure. In matters that you find trivial you won’t seek a reward at all, instead you seek where a bad performance gets least penalty. Don’t see lukewarm as a neutral identity, neutrality is a failure to move towards progress.

In my story, I believe my reward is clear, I love keeping my list to a minimum. The act of deleting or completing an item on my list is one of the most satisfying acts I look forward to, and to see my list at the end of day to a manageable size helps me sleep soundly at night.

What I’ve written here is not an end-all, it is only a thought or a bridge to get you from where you are to somewhere. Each of us has different seasons and different tastes to keep us motivated. Never stop trying and experimenting to understand yourself. Because in the end, we never die the same way we’re born or when we passed through puberty or our first heartbreak.

We do exceptionally greater things when we respect our fears and it respects us back. Our legacy is not defined about what we’ve avoided but what we’ve done and overcome. Take courage, act.

Skills, Structures and Habits

One of the trending ideals in this extreme liberal ideology era is to “find yourself.” While I’m not going to discredit being unique, there is a study that it’s rarely because you’re born as one.

It’s not bad at all to make yourself to be one, that is of course one of the highest aspirations worth pursuing. The greatest threat to that goal is to consider yourself one while half-baked. Just because all baked breads are golden on top and you’re not doesn’t require acknowledgement. Do not flaunt a point wherein everybody passed to but never stopped to bask in.

Stagnation in this life is a weakness.

A great heartbreak in this age of technology is not not knowing how, but being mediocre on skills you’re interested on that some have mastered. Being highly skilled becomes a puzzle in which when people couldn’t figure out how, they excuse it as talent for birth to adulthood. While talent does boost interest, it is practice that makes the expert.

If you’re wondering why you’re not up there, maybe you’re stayed too long in being just good. Comfort after all is the greatest enemy of mastery and the highway to comfort is removing structure and taking pleasure everything you desire as possible.

The excuse of “This is me” is the common mistake against growth and expertise. No one likes to hear that excuse in any context. If you want it, you will strive for it. If you see it as important, you will integrate it into you’re life.

This is why habits are key and necessary. It’s easy to indulge yourself, it’s our instinct to do so. Waking up and opening Facebook or Instagram is being done by millions of individuals with a smartphone. What’s not natural is to go against your urges and fulfill goals first.

What Goals?

Well there should be small and big ones. Small ones entail improving discipline with tasks that could be done in a few minutes such as fixing the bed, drinking vitamins and being thankful. And big ones are most probably composed of stepping stones for your dreams or skills that could stretch for months and even years. While the big ones are what’s going to determine your future, the small ones are what’s going to make you achieve it. Never discredit one over the other.

The habitual goals can be something you enjoy but must always benefit you with repeated performance. Eating ice cream for dinner every week is a bad example for one. Studying experts and asking mentors is one of the best ways to go about it, remember it’s not what the champion does in the ring that makes him win, it’s the things he did before entering that determines it. Appreciate the process more than the result.

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.