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Thought Dumping For Mental Clarity

Less than three years ago, I had determined to be the best Javascript developer in Nigeria! Yes, I was legit planning...

How falling in love helped me be a better person Building keystone habits

I fell in love! And it was a beautiful thing. I was now partly responsible for another person. Now, I wanted...

Why you should finally ditch Microsoft Word for Google Docs A biased note

When I see people buy CDs for music in 2017, I want to grab the CD and fling it so my...

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November 24, 2017 in Life Hacks

Thought Dumping For Mental Clarity

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November 23, 2017 in Life Hacks

How falling in love helped me be a better person Building keystone habits

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October 21, 2017 in Productivity Hacks

Why you should finally ditch Microsoft Word for Google Docs A biased note

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Less than three years ago, I had determined to be the best Javascript developer in Nigeria! Yes, I was legit planning to crown myself the best person in one of the most difficult programming languages to learn. And so, I ‘carried shoulder up’ after understanding just a few complex subjects in Javascript. I wanted to keep improving myself.

Months later, I had to spend days working together with the Zenith Bank app development team. I saw a bunch of developers working and I could see what they were doing. Bruh! I had to tuck my tail between my legs and respect myself. “How can I possibly beat these guys to be the best developer Nigeria has “, I asked myself.

Comparison! Discouragement! And my will become weaker and weaker each day. One type of personal problem!

Second Type of Personal Problem:

If you’ve known me long enough, you’d know I am bad with returning phone calls, making phone calls, sometimes following up on passive issues. I don’t do this to hurt anyone. I just procrastinate on those things a lot. I am sure it’s not the best way to deal. But I am also happy that I can at least admit that it’s a nasty personality flaw.

A few days ago, I read a quote by James Allen, “A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” And that got me researching how best I can overcome this problem.

The Whys.

It turns out finding the answer to the ‘Why?’ question in these scenarios would take me closer to resolution. Why do I want to be the best Javascript developer in Nigeria? Why is it important that I quit the laziness and just return calls? Why is it important to say NO to that meeting request rather than accept and chicken out at the last moment?

Thought Dumping

In his interview with Tim Ferris, Josh Waitzkin, explains that his morning routine includes going to a quiet place where he does some meditating and grabs his journal. In the journal, he thought-dumps for a few minutes.

Thought dumping has immense benefits. You see, Josh Waitzkin wasn’t focusing on input, he was focusing on output. Instead of focusing on ‘let me write a nice piece about my life and how I feel right now’, he was focusing on ‘let me pour out the rawest thoughts from my mind right now’.

I would easily recommend Thought Dumping if you suffer from ‘ailments’ such as the ones I do(did). And  here are steps you can take:

  1. Get a dedicated journal. I would recommend dedicating a book for this. I have heard about other people using their computers for this. I just think writing is better!
  2. Type anything that comes to mind. Like ANYTHING!!!! Sometimes when I do, I realize how random and unattractive some of the things that come out of me are. No, don’t overthink things. Just pour them out on paper.
  3. Do this for about 15 minutes. Or at least try to hit the 15minutes mark- until your mind clears up. It may take longer on days when you have ‘plenty problems’.

In my practice, I notice how returning calls, updating clients on projects, interrogation of my career goals are popular thought outflow. This eventually leads me to carry out actionable plans.

Thought Dumping produces amazing results when it comes to mental clarity. Don’t take my word for it. Try this technique out and let me know your experience by dropping it in the comments section below.

I fell in love!

And it was a beautiful thing. I was now partly responsible for another person. Now, I wanted to be more responsible as a person. So, I started dressing well. Started learning to talk better. I started trying to work on my carriage.  Flirt with girls? No, not me! I wanted to read more books and be smarter than her…or appear to be smarter than her. But what must have made me this way?  To be very honest, I don’t really know. It could have been the effects of finding new love.

It could have also been the effect of something Charles Duhigg calls the ‘keystone habits’. In his book The Power of Habit, Duhigg  describes keystone habits as habits that can spark a chain reaction that helps other good habits take hold.

For example, regular exercise often goes hand-in-hand with better eating habits.

I don’t know if it was because we started dating, I know though that she started working out and then soon enough she had created some meal plans, ’fitfaming’.

What must have happened to me? Was laying my bed in the morning reason enough for this new-improved version of Seye Kuyinu? Was the conscious effort to create a day-planning routine directly related to this?

Here are a few keystone habits that create new habits that create better versions of ourselves.

Reading:

Ah! That’s the first one that comes to mind. So let’s say you create a habit of reading, you start reading books on interpersonal skills, you now start learning to read body language, it improves your relationship with people, you read about finance, your finance and your approach to finance improves; there! A keystone habit(KH) of reading!

Meditation:

You create the KH of meditation. Good habit. It comes with the side effect of: more in control of emotions, you get to focus longer, your willpower increases and now you are determined to read ‘a book a day’, then your  sense of general well being improves.

Fitness:

I am sure a lot of people can relate to this. One thing that helped me with my Coca-cola addiction was working out. I started jogging after work(no, I didn’t jog on the Lekki bridge) and sometimes in the morning just after work. I joined a gym and so it was easy for me to choose water or energy-boosting drinks over soda. Ever picked up fitness and you’re now more conscious of taking in the right diet?

Image courtesy: thelmathinks.com

Making your bed:

Yes, this is an identified keystone habit. It’s proven that those who lay their beds every morning achieve increased productivity, greater sense of well being , better budgeting skills. They are more likely to like their jobs, own a home and exercise better. That’s what they said o.

Planning your day:

Actually, those who have the habit of sitting down before the day starts to plan their day easily identify the important tasks and can easily focus on those. In fact, when you are a planner-of-your-day you realize you can easily slot in other habits- eg going to the gym, visiting family etc.

Having a daily routine:

Duhigg says, “The way we organize our thoughts and work routines has enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness”. This is why I would admire those successful entrepreneurs who would wake at a certain time, take a particular drink at a particular time, maybe have a fixed breakfast, leave at the exact same time every day etc. What this does is it creates a routine that makes it easy to embrace each day with a greater sense of purpose.

 


Which of these keystone habits do you think you would build? I would suggest picking one at a time. Often times picking one of these keystone habits help to develop other key stone habits.

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