“FOCUS!” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Ever look at someone who’s been able to do so much with their lives and wonder, ‘how did they do it?’. Have you ever tried breaking down someone’s day into an hour-by-hour memo of doings and feel completely incompetent for not having to be able to do the same?

We’ve all done it- even if you disagree to it. Our very own character seeks approval and justification from the world outside for having to do anything that involves achievement tied to the same.

Instead of beginning to answer the ‘why’ I’m going to first fuel your questions by answering the ‘how’.

HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED?

And to do so, will be the most important critical thing you will have ever done in your lifetime, period. And so I hope, it becomes an absolute priority for when you decide to channel your focus as it will help you achieve everything that you’ve ever wanted.

Please note- saying ‘yes’ to everything; listening to everybody on their account of what you should be doing; distracting yourself with new and upcoming content and videos on social media; note- you will lose your life and your sense of self! Don’t take this lightly- as contentment which in simple terms could be termed as happiness, will start to fade away, leading you down a very, very dark path. One day, you- dear reader- are going to wake up and say, ‘I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished what’s worth meaning to me; I don’t feel like I’m in a job that I enjoy; I don’t feel like I have a connection with my family and my friends.” It’s because your FOCUS drives EVERYTHING.

Focus doesn’t mean ‘being productive’, it means experiencing the best quality of life no matter what the circumstances! 

You hear this new movement called the mindfulness movement- about the new popularity of these conversations/ meditation/ activities that the motivation industry has been peaking on for decades. If you drill it down to the lowest level- it’s nothing more than a series of steps on how to get your focus back!

Right, let’s get to it.

MAKE FEWER DECISIONS

Let’s learn from neuroscience, and we know from productivity studies, the more decisions we make, the more our brains become fatigued as we utilize glucose in our systems that fuels our will power ergo, affecting the decisions we would make moving forward. Glucose has a direct relation to our energy levels- where once depleted, we are exhausted, beat down and out of fuel. Though that doesn’t mean that I want you- reader- to be indecisivebut instead, I’d like for you to minimize the amount of decisions you’re making.

How do you do that? Easy.

Stop browsing: media content is the biggest distraction we’ve created for us, that stops us from engaging with the things that matter to us the most! The less you browse, the fewer decisions you have to make regarding what you want to watch next and what picture you’d want to like. Traditionally speaking, when you stop browsing and move back you move back to things that you’re focused on- guess what? You’re distracted! You start multitasking and can’t focus on the task at hand, you take frequent breaks while albeit at your desk- you become a slave to content on your phone. This is because your brain’s fatigued- and you cannot focus on the one thing at a time. Simply solution- stop browsing so much! Why? Because when you do, your brain makes so many mini decisions while still dealing with the release of dopamine, serotonin in unequal bouts, it thinks it’s rewarding itself for liking a video on child poverty or sharing something pertaining to sexual harassment and that you’re part of a global movement that stands against it. It’s a frenzy of emotions which is what makes it so addictive, and yet so fatiguing. Here’s a tip- if you want to do something about it that sees an impact- put down the phone, and actually create awareness engaging in the thing itself.

 

DEFINE YOUR MISSIONS

Nothing in the world has ever been accomplished without intention. It is the sole soul driver of everything we’ve ever done in existence, period! Ergo, you need to have a mission out for yourself. When a person doesn’t have a mission, that person shows up and starts doing too much! Guess what that does? BURN OUT. You burn the hell out- so quickly and so badly, that getting back up at that pedestal isn’t going to be easy, nor time efficient. How do you set that up? Easy, I’m going to let my friend Ryan Gosling spell it out for you-

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Simple right? Bullshit. Here’s Ryan explaining why:

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Exactly. Thank you, Ryan.

It’s not going be easy. You’re going to have to work at it everyday. But note, it’s going to be rewarding. And you’re going to fly the moment you know what you want to do that makes you the most content- as I believe, it is our very right to do the things that make us happy! Here’s what’s amazing about it- you get to decide the quality of life you want to live, the quantity of contentment you’d like to have and the kind of goals that you want to achieve! A plus is if you could get paid for it, well then even better!

“It’s easy to take your eye of the ball, especially if you don’t know what the ball is.”

– Original

GET MORE PROGRESS

This one’s a kicker, especially tied in to the points listed above. If you don’t progress, you start to lose focus. It’s a dead-end. Don’t make that mistake of having to do something that you thought you could do without having the goals defined beforehand. Because ultimately, you’re doing nothing but tending to someone else’s goals and desires- by answering emails, writing back on comments, and even posting more content! Here’s your chance to stop it all and define exactly what you want from this life, and how you’re going to make the steps to get there; while never forgetting to acknowledge how far you’ve come. By the way, progress isn’t a comparison of apples to apples if you’re comparing yourself to someone else’s achievements. You don’t know how much or how little they’ve worked to get there. Start with yourself; draw a timeline of the milestones that engaged you in life, and see how far you’ve come from each said milestone. This helps build self expectations, self worth, humility and motivation.

The funny thing is, you’ve had it in you all along. Maybe, just maybe, you had to hear it from someone else before realizing that yourself.

Right, what’re you waiting for?

 

#6SM

 

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” -Unknown

Since my last write up, I’ve dived deep within the realms of intrinsic psychology to study happiness. Why? It’s quite simple- for one, I’ve been in and out of circumstantial depression throughout my adolescence and immediate adulthood. I also happen to be someone who doesn’t shy away from the effort to make a change- as it’s helped me cope with life’s largest obstacles thrown my way so far; and they’ve been plenty. Molding one’s effort to make an effort helps fortify a persons resilience and adaptability to life’s greatest constant- change. There is no alternative argument to the same.

So, at the tender and not-so-young-anymore age of twenty-six, it’s taken years of patience, hurt, learning, compassion and understanding to build a dynamic equation to activate happiness at will.

THAT’S RIGHT! YOU READ IT CORRECTLY- ACTIVATE HAPPINESS! 

We’ve all heard the saying by Croseus in 6 century B.C., “No one who lives is happy.” Well, no one at the time, nor had at the time falling beyond this philosophical metric. While historical evidence suggests that times were rough and that our ancestors lived through an era of plague, disease and death- natural or otherwise- it’s important for us to understand that we’ve come a long way since 6 century B.C.- nearly two millennia! And yet, the tangent of evolutionary development of human beings has not changed much since we evolved into Homo sapiens due to constant distractions permeating areas of early personal development through all forms of media.

When something’s off about a situation, we know it is- but we rarely know the root cause. We devise our own justifications around circumstantial elements that contribute to hindering the equilibrium of a situation otherwise sensed- because that’s how it helps us understand it- and cope. This slippery concept is used as a proxy for all sorts of other concepts, from pleasure and joy to plenitude and contentment- to help us move through the entirety of our lives.

Being happy in the moment, Samuel Johnson said, could be achieved only when drunk. For Jean-Jacques Rousseau, happiness was to lie in a boat, drifting aimlessly, feeling like a God (not exactly the picture of productivity). There are other definitions of happiness, too, but they are neither less nor more plausible but those of Rousseau or Johnson.

But what if we knew the chemical makeup of happiness? Fortunately, we do. And I’ll be happy to share it with you (see what I did there?).

D-O-S-E

There are four major chemicals in the brain that influence our happiness (DOSE):

  1. Dopamine
  2. Oxytocin
  3. Serotonin
  4. Endorphins.

And like working within a team, each one has a specific role to play in happiness. Before moving to the recipe to activate them, let’s take a minute to understand what each one does.

Dopamine is usually described at THE happiness drug. However, this is a huge misconception devised by malformed clerics who preach the same message to the world over endless repetitions. Dopamine is actually a chemical that is activate in ‘anticipation’ of happiness- like a good trailer before the beginning of a great movie. Know the difference.

Oxytocin is known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ and is activated naturally in the body as a stimulus when close to another person. When there’s a chemical bond established between two people, oxytocin is activated wherein expressive emotions (millennial translation- PDA) begin to arise. It can also be triggered through social bonding, like eye contact and attentiveness. This helps strengthen existing bonds and relationships.

Serotonin which is widely understood to control your greater mood. If you’re in a good mood, you’ve got serotonin to thank. And if you’re in a bad mood, you’ve got serotonin to blame. And while you may think that the temperamental flux of this chemical is caused due to external factors, you’re not entirely right, as more than 80 per cent of serotonin exists in your stomach. This, dear reader, is the pure definition of being ‘hangry‘; and while the opposite requires you to relentlessly eat, also explains the unfathomable weight gain most corporate mavericks experience throughout their days in the cubicle.

Lastly, endorphins- the last dose of the DOSE hormones. They’ve responsible for masking pain or discomfort, which explains they’re association with the “fight or flight” mechanic. When it comes to designing happiness, endorphins help you “power through.” What else helps you make it through that last leg of a marathon, or the few concluding pages of your dissertation that you’ve been working on, or even that presentation that you’ve been working on all weekend for Monday (Sunday for some of us) morning?

ACTIVATION

A healthy mix of the DOSE chemicals help you maintain happiness that further aids insatiable productivity getting you even closer to success than you’ve ever been. We have the ability to control how we feel and what we do during the day. Most of us are employed under the devise of corporate sustenance, educational commitment or entrepreneurship that will take an average of 10 hours of your activate day. But what about the rest? It’s entirely up to us as to how we choose to spend the next 6 hours awake while maintaining a healthy sleep cycle of 8 hours.

By designing daily experiences that activate these chemicals, you can increase your happiness, productivity and unparalleled personal growth.

WAKE UP EARLY

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While this seems like an easy one, it’s not. For all you smart-asses out there, I don’t mean waking up 15 minutes before you actually do (though, if need be, start with that). Wake up early in the morning- preferably before sunrise. Waking up early does three things for you- firstly, it gives you more time in the day. Isn’t that amazing? You have a whole new amount of time to do whatever you want to do. Initially, I used waking up early to rack up my score on FIFA (LOL). I actually woke up early every day to play on my playstation before work. This was amazing! And yet, slightly short-lived as I soon came to the realization that I could so much more with this time. Secondly, it helps you clear your gut- true story. It easily helps you go to the loo immediate and without any external factors required to propagate the same (coffee?). Thirdly, absolute and complete mindfulness; you are in control. You- dear reader- get to decide how you choose to use this time that you have, and however you choose to use it, it will define your pace for the rest of the day as it activates positive serotonin that you need to take heed of your day’s tasks ahead.

EXERCISE

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#triathleteinmotion everyone. Just saying. If you haven’t looked me up on Instagram as yet, do it. I wake up early every morning to meditate and well, sweat it out. I believe that my morning psyche is fine-tuned when I exercise. My body is so adept to this beautiful metric that if I don’t, I fall short of energy that I need to get through the day. A healthy dose of exercise gets my heart rate running and further helps me activate dopamine- a healthy requirement to look forward to the day (for those of you who complain about long days at the office, you need this to do your tasks faster, and more accurately; ergo helping you get out of the office earlier than said time). Go for a walk, skip, run, box, or simply go lift that goddamn iron- lord knows you need it!

EAT WHOLE FOODS

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More than a healthy body, you need a healthy mind. And while most of us running between tasks and meetings, it’s important that you fuel yourself correctly. An unleaded car engine won’t work on diesel- you’ll kill it. The same goes with your brain. If you think French fries and avocado on toast aren’t as damaging to your body ergo you blissfully consume the same, it is not good for your mind. Your neural receptors hit a dead end when you do the same. You miss that spark- that utterly beautiful idea that sets things in motion, or even the clarity of thought to fly through your work goes missing, as eating unhealthily f**ks up your levels of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Be careful, and take heed of these words.

REFLECT ON EVENTS OF THE DAY, EVERYDAY

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A consumerist society has taught us how to scrutinize relentlessly through our days alive. Find a bad service at a restaurant? Write about it on Yelp/ Zomato. A company just sold you a shitty product? Take to a social platform and complain away. Your associate just gave you a piece of work, throw them under the bus as far as their evening plans are concerned and ask for a re-work on the same.

WE’RE MADE TO COMPLAIN ALL THE TIME.

And it doesn’t stop there. We constantly judge the way others do things as we have a better idea of how to go about the same. There’s really no surprise why lawyers are paid so much to do what they do- it’s because their entire professional lives revolve around scrutinizing work, processes, documents at hand! And while most of us can’t quite help this adjunct stimulus, there are ways to work around it. At the end of every day, try going over the good things that happened to you through the course of the same. Why? You trick your brain to scanning for the positives- which is a healthy change from what it’s usually used to doing. This creates an element of appreciation and contentment that certain tasks were completed, successfully (or are in the interim- and moving forward). You need not thank me, thank oxytocin and endorphins. 

STICK BY YOUR DECISIONS

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Decide people, decide. The small things in life such as making a decision on things is really not as easy as we make it to be. And for that, we have no one but ourselves to blame. It is but hypocritical of us to move through life making decisions but not standing by them. If you need help making decisions, be a sport and scan through this article that I wrote not too long ago-

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Decisions help us stay committed. And commitment is an anchor. Anchors help us work well in a schedule. When there’s no anchor to anything that we do, we lose focus- the primary cause to feeling defeated and thus intimidated by not-so-magnanimous external focus that shift as away from the path to process we so desire. In conclusion, decision-making factors ALL of the D-O-S-E chemicals required to maintaining a sustainable state of happiness (and eventually, contentment).

 

TMI? I’m glad. It’s about time we moved away from blurting out small blabs to define complex processes. Take heed of the information above, as it’s critical that you understand the same, to find absolute happiness in whatever you sought to do.

 

Thanks for reading my blog! See you later on another episode of #60SECONDMOTIVATION

#6SM

 

References:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3048751/happy-employees-are-12-more-productive-at-work

https://jeevsahni.com/2017/06/12/first-blog-post/

 

 

 

 

“I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” -Walt Whitman

 

It’s incredible what the mind can do- human or otherwise.

We’ve gone from mapping the stars to discovering them; where once we thought we were the center of the universe, we’re now readying up for interplanetary voyages. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES…

…and yet, here lies the problem.

Whatever we’ve wished to gain, we do so by sacrificing a part of who we are- be that happiness, time, people and relationships. So based on the above, and the very little life experience that I’ve had, I’ve decided to write about how each on of us could do better to turn our lives around!

1. Detach yourself from the negative

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Didn’t grasp that? I’m happy to break it down for you:

We’re afraid of detachment. 

The term ‘detachment’ here cannot be used lightly; it refers to animate,inaminate and psychological objects within a lifetime. Some examples to the same are old watches given to you by someone from your family, your first currency note, a watch, memories, etc. However, the thing that differentiates how we treat each one of these objects is how much value  we associate with it. This value stems from an emotional construct- one that is felt every time there’s a concourse of actions made to/towards the object.

Growing up, I was taught by my parents, who learned from their parents, to never let go of the things that have ‘value’. But what they failed to mention was that there’s always a condition- more items, more value; more value, more clutter. And I don’t mean just things lying around, I mean mental clutter. it’s when these things start to hold negative connotations- run, Forest, run!

2. Establish a difference between regret and patience

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For those of you new to the concept of intrinsic psychology, there’s a very fine line between success and un-success (because failure is when you’ve give up). That thin line is merely the difference between regret and patience. The moment you start to question why you’re doing something, remember why you started in the first place. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It’s a cliché because it’s true.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Eric Thomas

In the plethora of motivational speakers out there, I find that Eric Thomas is whom I connect with the most. He’s language is street, and his epithets are a work of art. In one of his talks, he defines pain as a temporary feeling; that it doesn’t matter how much it hurts, except to remind of you how much more it would hurt if you were to give up now. Why stop now, when you’ve put in all this effort?

3. Always solve for one variable at a time

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During my GMAT study, I learned an incredulous life lesson- when you’re reading a wordy, complex question, solve for one variable at a time. Forget how good you are at multitasking, because frankly you’re not.  All you’re doing is focusing on one variable in shorter spurts of time. Take the time that you need to work on that one area.

“When climbing up the highest mountain, remember to smell the flowers on your way up.  -unknown

So here they are! These points are the visors to your life, and are extremely valuable when it comes to pushing yourself through the hardest of times. Remember-don’t let it go, and keep on keeping on.

 

#6SM 

#triathleteinmotion

We’ve been there, we’ve all been there; pick up your phone to watch a video on youtube, and suddenly you realize that you’ve been doing it for over an hour; like that picture on Instagram? You’ve spent two hours just scrolling through your feed; find that meme funny? it’s 3 am now, you’ve got to be at work by 9.

Stop murdering your time alive! 

For most of us on the planet (unless you’re meta-human in which case, carry on being badass), this is our only factually known time alive. Every second we lose is time that we are never going to get back.

TIME = CURRENCY 

where  TIME = n( MONEY)

 

Use your time wisely, because either way, it’s not coming back.

5 TRICKS TO BE BETTER AT TIME MANAGEMENT:

  1. Schedule your happiness: don’t let this go! If being a beach bum makes you happy (I know it does me!) then do it. Without fail- at least once a week, make sure you visit your happy place! And make sure you absorb it all
  2. Keep a journal: What? Paper? No, thank you. It’s not convenient. This is 2017 and with Trump using his veto power (read: executive order) to slap down all of Obama’s previously initiated environmental policy (read: Executive Order 13653), saving the environment has not been more important than now. Keep notes on your phone. List three things that make you happy! (read about it here: https://jeevsahni.com/2017/06/12/first-blog-post/)
  3. Exercise: I cannot stress on this point enough- EXERCISE. Even if it’s for 10 minutes a day (you’re welcome, smokers!) do it. And do more of it. Coming from a former fat kid and chain smoker myself, this is a picker upper.
  4. Meditate: Now, while twin-heart meditation and tantric yoga are actually incredible, I’m not going to ask you to do the same. Start with breathing. Focus on your breath for 5 minutes a day. That is all. Notice the effect it has on your thought patterns.
  5. Call, don’t text: It’s really quite simple. You miss someone? Call them, don’t text them! Who’s asking you to spend money? Download Imo, Viber, Skype or WhatsApp- or simply Facebook video or FaceTime them, Emotions are felt, not read.

If you’re going to watch videos or write memes, learn something from them. Remember, that while money can be multiplied many many times over, we only have this one life to do what we want to. So use it well!

Thank you for checking out the post!

See you here again tomorrow.