Today Is Tomorrow

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson

One day at a time, you can achieve incredible results. What’s your goal? Your bigger picture? What steps would it take you there? Then focus on the tasks. A six month project might look scary or unachievable if you are focusing on just how scary it is. Keep your mind in check and do the work. You will soon see that your efforts are paying off.

Push Forward

Photo by Abbie Bernet

If you open your eyes in the morning thinking that today won’t matter you’re wrong. Every day in the right direction, being kind, supportive and genuinely helpful matters, even when you think that nothing is changing. There are the life’s events that make us think that when we can’t see activity nothing is happening. Progress happens even when you don’t receive appreciation. Those are the critical moments when you need to push forward, work harder and make all the invisible steps manifest into the results you are after.

You Really Don’t Have to Be Like Everyone Else

Photo by Daniel Öberg

Many people are exposing themselves as being different at the expense of being treated differently when society encourages the idea of a common identity. In the millennium of extensive travel and migration, of shifting social status, with gender identity and sexuality complexities being recognized, it’s time to stop hiding behind preset ideas of ourselves that family, employers and work colleagues, fellow students and lecturers are projecting on us.

As humans we can only project our most evolved form of self on other people. Anything beyond or below our direction of growth is therefor different. Imagine your feet trying to fit into different size shoes for different events – for work you need to match people’s ego, for family you need to match their perception of you and for fun you need to match people’s perception of themselves in order to maintain the association. Before you know it, you went from a UK size 12 to a 4 and them a 8 and a half. Turns out you’re a size 9. You are different and for anyone to acknowledge that, you need to come to peace with yourself.

Do We Get Better Through Feedback or Do We Stay the Same

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny

Feedback should not be about measuring our capabilities in order to fit into a category, but often enough this is what the traditional educational system enables. Getting straight A’s then becomes the goal.

I’ve recently started attending some workshops where the whole point is to learn. It’s not about who knows more or who has more to show off for. It’s simply a learning experience. And it took me a while to get here, in a place where I see self-growth as a priority rather than how others perceive me.

Learning to develop skills is extremely empowering. It changes how I perceive the environment and how I perceive myself in relation to other students. It reminds me that it is easier to point out what goes wrong and is outside of my control, rather than focus on what I have and how to make the most out of it. The educational system is flawed, but the irony is that we need to cultivate smartness to fix it and we have to start learning somewhere.

Why Working Hard Isn’t Enough

Photo by Dino Reichmuth

We often feel entitled to receive recognition. Putting in an effort and hoping to be appreciated for it is natural, but expecting the feedback is detrimental. Effort leads to growth – we grow in understanding, mental performance, endurance, it helps our synapses link stronger bonds and it trains us for a longer active life.

What doesn’t happen as often is putting in a bit of extra effort as a one-off and expect a bucket of money to be poured over you. But we sure hope so. We ask for a 0.01% raise, put in some extra hours for extra pennies, get excited at the annual raise of 0.005% in recognition of our value. We allow what we don’t have to control our life and the way businesses are built, they take control over our needs by meeting them just enough to make it through the year.

Working hard and being delusional that you will get financial compensation in an industry or company that is not known for fair treatment is like getting into a relationship with a infertile partner and expecting children. It would take a miracle. Do you really have your whole life to wait for one? If you don’t, start working hard and smart and make your own miracle happen.

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.