Whether it is studying, working on your side hustle or writing. There should be no zero days. Zero days means you did not do anything. Regardless of whether you are busy or caught up by life’s commitment. Do at least one activity before going to bed.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you achieve your dreams? One step at a time. By having the discipline of no zero days, you have made sure you work on your side project on a daily basis. Through this discipline, you are able to achieve far more than someone who waits for inspiration.
I read and write every day. If I know I have a full day ahead. I would read and write in the morning. Doing it all just before going to bed is probably the least effective to improve. I find myself feeling tired and difficult to get into the flow. As such, try not to leave creative work to the end of the day. And I am guilty of this most of the time.
Nevertheless, there is no excuse for not doing. Saying “I do not have time to do it”, is equivalent to “my dog eat my homework”. Most of my writings are no good. It is only through bad writing, I can find my good writing.
No one is pushing you. No one is holding you accountable except yourself. You just have to do it. Do it every day, there are no zero days.
Many say they love life. But do they love death? Probably not. But to love life, we must also love death. Without death, there is no life. Without sadness, we will not appreciate the moments of happiness.
We have to embrace what life throws at us. Accept things that we cannot change. And change things that we can change. The only things that we can change are ourselves.
Life will sting and it will kick you in the gut when you least expected. The universe is not against you. Life is not against you. Things just happen. Both good and bad. Appreciate the moments that things are going well. Appreciate the moments that things are going bad. Nothing last forever. Happiness does not last. Sadness does not last.
This is not about giving up. It is about accepting that bad thing will happen and doing something that is within our power to make a change.
Imagine someone offers you your dream job to you and you can start immediately. You must be excited. But are you ready for your dream job?
If you are ready for your dream job. Do this exercise. Get a piece of paper and start writing down, exactly how ready you are for the job. Be honest!
When you are done with the exercise, go through the list. Realistically are you ready?
If you are not ready. Do you know your gaps? Do what is necessary to breach the gap. Read books. Take courses. To test your understanding, imagine you need to teach the knowledge to a group of newbies. If you are stumped in any of the topics. It is probably wise to revisit the topic again.
If you are ready. What are you waiting for? The masses want you to stay where you are. They tell you stories about gatekeepers who will stop you from pursuing your dreams. They may be gatekeepers, but there are also other platforms for you to shine. Write on LinkedIn. Write on Medium. Start your own blog or YouTube channel. None of it requires the gatekeeper’s approval. The only thing is you need to create quality content.
The prison that you created is all in the mind. There no locks. You are free to leave, but you must be ready. Know yourself and take what life has to offer to you.
Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 2. Leading a country that is at war against evil and sending young people to their death for a greater cause is a job that not everyone can shoulder.
How did he manage the stress without breaking down? Besides cigar and whiskey. Winston Churchill is also a self-taught painter. During World War 2, he has only known to paint one painting. Nevertheless, it does tell us that despite the chaos and stress, Winston Churchill would still find ways to decompress. When is the last time we have anything that is creative? Doing something without worrying about comments and expectations?
Yes. We are constantly battling something. Be it our inner demons of addiction. It could be a side hustle which you hope it can replace your full-time job.
Learn to take breaks. It is okay to tell yourself that you will take it slow for the next couple of hours. In life, there is no finishing line. As you pause, you can recalibrate, reload and engage.
Nike says it well, “Just Do It”. By doing it, you gain experience. By doing it, you know where is your shortfall and learn from it. By doing it, you know whether you like it.
It is easy to dismiss yourself to be too old, too inexperienced, too rich, too poor to do anything. Many times, the things that you wanted is always on the side of what you fear most. Instead of faking it till you make it. You have to face it till you make it. Face the challenge. Face the doubtful. Face the negativity.
I started this blog is to inspire those who felt trapped in their 9 to 5 jobs and dream of something more. I too am trapped. I am not able to offer you a silver bullet. What I can offer is something that has worked for me. Which in turn, I hope it can work for you too.
I believe in taking action. Taking action to do what you want to do. Taking action to learn what you need to learn. There is no such thing as too late. Do it today. Do it now.
Have I succeeded? Have I gotten myself out from the 9 to 5 grind? No. Not yet. At least I can tell myself – “I am doing it”. So take action now.
I am a dumb person. When I was studying in Australia, someone remarked that I am so stupid, it takes me two hours to watch Sixty Minutes. The person is right! The incident has also strengthened my passion to learn and to grind.
I have also learned that I cannot be the smartest person in the room. If I am, I am probably in the wrong room.
Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, rule number 9 says it well — Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t. There is always something that you can learn from the person sitting next to you. The only thing that you need to do is to remove your ego and open your ears.
Removing the ego is probably the most difficult thing. Being the dumbest means you will get feedback that puts your down. You will feel lost and frustrated. For every two steps that you take, there is one step back. Or you may not even go anywhere.
I am learning Python to expand my knowledge into Data Science. I would spend hours reading and coding that results to nowhere. Every time I struggle to urge to quit. I am too old to learn a new programming language. It is just too difficult without a coach to help me. I am too tired from work and family. My computer is not good enough. I have excuses and more excuses. Nevertheless, I power through with the discomfort.
A lot of people have the wrong impression that being the dumbest person is a long term thing. It is okay to be dumb, but what are you going to do about it? The only constant in life is change. You can change from being dumb to being smart. To be smart, you need to feel uncomfortable and embrace your ignorance. Knowing your ignorance will set you free.
I am still trapped in my old perception of the world. I know I am dumb, and it also hurts when someone says I am dumb. I learn. I do my best. I put down my ego. Today, I am better than yesterday.
Theoretical physicist Elbert Einstein actually spent nine years working in the patent office (1900-1909). Working in the patent office is probably not many would think an intellectually stimulating place for a genius like Einstein.
If you desire to take up more responsibilities and be more productive. No one is stopping you. The only person stopping you is yourself.
Self-study. Improve your skills and knowledge. You do not need 10,000 hours to master a skill. You probably just need 100 hours of dedicated study. If you dedicate 100 hours to studying Excel, you probably know more about Excel than anyone else in your office. Stack up your learning with other skills. You would be someone to watch out for in the office.
Have initiative and take action. The days of gatekeepers are long gone. You do not need an agent to get the world to see your work. The internet is your stage. If you want to write, there are Quora, Medium and other platforms. If you want to perform, there is YouTube. Say yes to yourself. Take action and put your work out there. If you are good enough, people will soon take notice.
Prepare for failure. Failure is part of life. You will first fail and fail until you succeed. At first, no one will take notice. No one will pay any attention to you. You just have to keep going. Nothing is easy. You have to prepare for success but be prepared to fail. Gary Vaynerchuck‘s Wine TV has no audience during the first 18 months. Gary kept going until he grows his family wine business from 3 million to 60 million.
I have been a fan of Tim Ferris Podcast for a couple of years. Lately, he has been releasing some YouTube videos.
I find this video useful and informative. Especially for those who are thinking about starting a business or a blog. It is worth spending 18 minutes of your time. If you like Tim’s video. Click subscribe for his latest updates.
The video is packed with information. The ones that I find useful are:
Create your own category. It is difficult to get into a category that is already saturated with players.
Scratch your own itch. Create a product or service that you cannot find on the market.
Track your performance and do the important thing first.
Do NOT get busy for the sake of being busy. Follow the 80/20 rules.
My kids grow up watching the children program – Bob The Builder. The kids and I would sit in front the of the TV singing the show’s theme song as soon as the show comes on.
Can we fix it? Yes! We can!
That was our favourite part of the song.
In the show, Bob has all kind of tools and friends to help him out. No job is too small or too big. He always fixes it. This show teaches kids about family value, moral, courage, and honesty.
Adults too can learn something from Bob the Builder. I find the question and answer positive affirmation more effective than just a simple statement of positive affirmation.
Try the following.
1. Ask yourself whether something can be done.
2. Answer it with a yes.
3. Explain it with a why and how it can be done.
The answer does not need to be complex. Just enough to give yourself the motivation and tasks to get start working. The simple three questions should lay down the first few steps that you need for the journey ahead.