What Do We Tell Ourselves in Bed at Night?

Photo by Kevin Escate

You are getting all cozed-up after a long day of work and growth, with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Or maybe you just went straight to bed, fallen flat on your tummy and let sleep take over. Either way, we are about to get our system rebooted. But the data that we input last will be picked up first in the morning. A bit of an irony when you think about an orderly lineup in processing information.

We can give ourselves the opportunity to be bright and excited next day by introducing three simple practices in our evening routine:

  1. Detach from work through a buffer activity – yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music or a nice bath
  2. Be thankful for what you’ve achieved, kindness, love and health
  3. Visualize yourself succeeding, being accomplished, making the difference you want to make into the world and add some descriptions of who you want to become – powerful, in control, creative, committed

Paying attention for ten minutes to our thoughts today and stirring them into the direction we want to go to will have a great impact on the next day and the next day and the next day. Our future is now.

Am I Worthy?

Photo by Joe Pregadio

For generations we were made to feel less of a person for wanting more. Aspirations that our inner circle couldn’t achieve were buried alive. Overgrowing those around us led to negative projections from the community and the verdict was most of the times the same: they’ve achieved this much because of unethical work or privileged upbringing.

With all this luggage to carry we unconsciously limit ourselves and put a cap on our dreams. If despite all odds we’re on our way to success, all that negativity might lead to us questioning not only our ability, but our merit and eligibility in achieving success.

Things to remember:

  1. Success is a reflection of work, failure, learning and growth
  2. We are all worthy of success. Saying the opposite is like saying ‘We don’t deserve to work, fail, learn and grow’
  3. Being worthy might not be a characteristic that everyone agrees with, but success cannot be contested.

Success: the Everyday Decision

Photo by Adi Goldstein

How often do you review your goals? Are your everyday actions in line with what you want to achieve?

While we allow our brain to go on autopilot, it doesn’t always choose to create positive, empowering thoughts. It takes daily reminders to think forward and not to get stuck in a loop of randomly picked memories that don’t serve our purpose.

Make it a habit to plan your time in chunks rather than indigestible one year timeline. Don’t wait for a new year to think about what you can achieve and how. Life is now, live with pride and joy.

Fact: Imposed Deadlines Do Work

Photo by Nik Shuliahin 

We don’t give nearly enough credit to our brains as we should do. Progress is caused by necessity and needing something is not a stroll in the park – it is often urgent! So why do we trick ourselves into thinking that having time = success?

Deadlines have a bad reputation mainly because of the emotions associated with them. If we wipe out our feelings we might surprise ourselves into being incredibly productive and reaching peak levels of performance. The Pomodoro technique is based on the principle that you will take as long of a time to complete a task as you give yourself and the quality of the end result is not dictated by the time invested in the task.

What’s next?

Give yourself the chance to work intentional. Structure your tasks into smaller bits and allocate chunks of time with small breaks in-between to complete the project.

Let’s say you need to write an essay or a dissertation. Give yourself two chunks of 25 minutes for the introduction. Even if it’s a voluminous piece of work write as much as you can in the given time. You’ve got more ideas and not enough time to cover them? Write them down with bullet points. To complete a project you need to complete the small structures of it. It takes fewer Pomodoros than days to complete tasks which you perceive as mountains.

Small Successes Compounding ‘the’ Ultimate Success

The phenomenon of ‘overnight successes’ was something I was willing to believe in, not so long ago. This was giving me a strong excuse not the pursue my dreams because I could not imagine a road from where I was to where I wanted to be. So then magic or unexplained occurrences in patterns of life fit in perfectly with my then-idea of success.

After reading self-help books on learning and exposing myself to ideas of growth, I now understand that success is the reflection of years of work on ourselves. We might not get a pat on the back every time we make progress, but every additional income, every walk with confidence, business idea, feeling of self-appreciation in the present moment took years to be built.

Overnight success? Sure! Overnight unrecognized small successes that rolled over into the perception of one great achievement.

Identity #1

There is great value in differentiating between who we are and what we do. ‘Sure, that’s obvious’ you might think.

First example that pops into my mind is:

‘I failed, therefor I’m a failure.’

Is that identity likely to come in handy at anytime in life? Is there a time when the world might run a Mx Failure Universe competition where we can attempt to drag ourselves out there, or even better, not show up at all and win?

And yet, we run this competition everyday. We hear one negative point about any aspect in life and we come up with two or three examples of the time when a car splashed us right before an important event. We add the empathetic ‘I know’ or ‘I understand’ or ‘This happens to me all the time’. Except that it doesn’t. For it to happen all the time we should have the ability not only to dry our clothes in less than a second, but to undo the initial experience so we can relive it. Otherwise it cannot happen more than once.

‘I failed, therefor I need to try harder. I’m an achiever’ – sets the trajectory straight.