When everything is said and done, everyone dies. Our time here on earth is limited, as most of us find out very late. We live our lives like we would get as old as Methuselah; we delay living our lives to the utmost by living in someday isle and we lead an autopilot life in quiet desperation tiptoeing towards our grave. We don’t make waves because we fear the ripple effects and what other people would say or feel. But the reality of life is that we only have this one shot to make an impact and lead a life of adventure and purpose. Every action we take in life has consequences; our input determines our output, cause and effect, reap and sow.
How you live your life daily, through your choices and priorities, has long-lasting consequences on how your life will eventually turn out. At least in advanced economies, the average human life expectancy is around 80 years old. For an 80-year life, one-third of that will be spent sleeping, and another will be used for work, commuting and preparing to work. If we put this in perspective, we have less than 30 years to live a life of consequence. The more one realizes they don’t have much time, the more it becomes crucial to re-order priorities and things that would matter.
“What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trusting your guts means trusting the instinctive feeling/signal your body sends you when you are making a wrong or right decision. You can call it intuition, instinct, hunch, gut feeling, deeper knowing or sixth sense; no matter what it is called, you know it when you feel it. Our gut feeling is buried deep in our minds, and hearing it will be hard for most of us. We are surrounded by noise, distracted by drama; we are not paying attention; hence, we can’t distinguish between signals and bandwidth. Oprah Winfrey once observed, “When the universe compels me toward the best path to take, it never leaves me with ‘Maybe,’ ‘Should I?’ or even ‘Perhaps.’ I always know for sure when it’s telling me to proceed—because everything inside me rises up to reverberate ‘Yes!’.
We often don’t realize how far our random act of kindness can go to lifting up or making someone else’s day. The little smile, that show of concern, that nudge or push to let others see the greatness in them could light a fire. Many of us are so focused on our lives and responsibilities that we forget to see the constant opportunities around us to be kind. We may not always go outside of our way for others because we don’t feel connected to them. Perhaps we are caught in a mind of scarcity or too busy to notice those around us. There are always opportunities to be kind, and it is essential to remember that the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone else.
British naval historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson is famous for the eponymous law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” He wrote about Parkinson’s Law in a 1955 “The Economist” Essay 1 and also in his 1957 book Parkinson’s Law and Other Studies in Administration.
Convention is based on or following what is generally done or believed. Convention relates to what is generally accepted or traditional ways of doing something. 1 As the German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein famously quipped, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ‘ To get exceptional results, one must do the exceptional by going the extra mile and avoiding the conventional. Conventional means to do what everyone is doing. You will get the same result if you do what everyone is doing. To get unconventional results requires doing unconventional things, disrespecting the status quo and becoming somewhat unreasonable and obsessed.
Anytime I hear someone say I don’t have time for that or I am too busy, they are advertising their priorities. If you don’t have time to read or exercise, it is a testament that those activities are not pain points for you. Most of the time, we are not as busy as we think. We live in an age where busyness is a badge of honour. Henry David Thoreau once said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
In her soon-to-be-released book, Worthy: How to Believe You Are Enough and Transform Your Life, co-founder of IT Cosmetics and the first female chief executive officer of a L’Oréal brand, Jamie Kern Lima, writes about self-worth and strategies for dealing with and overcoming self-doubt. She has been on Forbes’ list of America’s wealthiest self-made women for six years, started “IT Cosmetics” in her living room with her husband, Paulo, and eventually sold it to L’Oreal for $1.2 Billion.
The average person watches about 141 hours of TV per month, or 1,692 hours per year. Assuming you reach the average U.S. life expectancy of 78, that’s about 15 years of your life. 1 American subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, Netflix has around 260 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the fourth quarter of 2023. 2 According to the What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report, users viewed over 100 billion hours in the first six months of 2023 alone. 3 We spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on our smartphones, and the top 20% of smartphone users have daily screen time of over 4.5 hours. 4 According to the Digital 2024 Global Overview Report 5, at an average of 400 minutes per user per day, the world will spend a combined total of 780 trillion minutes using the internet this year, which equates to almost 1.5 billion years of collective human existence.
We are getting inundated and overwhelmed with data to consume and fill out every little space of boredom. Our smartphones have become an external limb that we can’t do without. Social Media and the internet are some of the most fascinating and pivotal innovations in the past three decades. They have made our lives easier and will probably be one of the tools that could end our present civilization. We are glued to our smartphones, but we rarely listen to each other as we are engrossed in our echo chamber of narcissism and self-absorption. We have all the resources for life-long learning but are becoming less educated. We have all the productivity tools, but we are short of time.
As the saying goes: “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to start to get great.” One of the toughest parts of achieving a goal is getting started in the first place. We don’t get started due to many factors, such as procrastination, uncertainty, inertia, fear, and believing that we have more time. One principle that can help get things done is the five-minute rule. The Five Minute Rule involves committing to a task or goal for at least five minutes. The five-minute rule aims to get you started on a task, and if you don’t find the task enjoyable after five minutes, you can take a break.
Everyone has an opinion, and it is often cheap. Everyone has the right to their opinion but not the facts. An opinion could be that you would not amount to anything, but the fact is that you are a kind/queen put here to do epic things. You might not be maximizing your potential right now but you have limitless opportunities to become who you are put here on earth to become. It is never too late to be who you might become. You are not too old, young, inexperienced, or experienced to effect change.
You will come across naysayers, doubters and critics on your path to achieving your goals. You have to be mindful of whose opinion, advice or criticism you pay attention to. It is okay to be misunderstood, as the more prominent your vision is, the more people will not understand what you are trying to achieve. It is not what you hear; it is what you listen to. As American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson quipped in Self-Reliance and Other Essays: Emerson’s Essays, “To be great is to be misunderstood.”
I was a Manchester United Football Club fanatic and saw almost all their games live. I have supported the club since the 1998/1999 season after the team won the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League continental treble. I paid attention to almost everything about the club: new signings, the latest news, and merchandise purchases, among others. But in 2018, all that started to change as I was re-prioritizing my values and goals in life. I realized I spent at least 4-6 hours every weekend watching the Premier League, la Liga and other sporting events. Five hours every weekend equals 250 hours per year just watching soccer events; that is 1,000 hours in four years. If I keep up at that pace, every 32 years would have involved a year of my life watching soccer events. Like most humans, I was already going to sleep 1/3rd of my life; add soccer match viewing and other entertainment activities to the mix, and time became scarce.
Obsession is a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently, especially in a way that is not normal. The word obsession comes from latin obsidere “to besiege”, the transferred sense of “action of anything which engrosses the mind”. Developing a healthy obsession to achieve your goal is what is required to bring your vision to life.
You must develop an obsession to go from where you are to where you want to be. One of the hallmarks of the highly successful people in the world is that they chose a craft and became laser-focused on it for a very long time. As the saying goes, “We get rewarded in public for what we deliberately practice in private.” They deliberately practiced for a long time. Overnight success usually takes ten years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in a particular field or endeavour.
Implementation Intentions is a self-regulatory strategy popularized by psychologist Peter Gollwitzer in his 1999 research paper: Implementation intentions: Strong effects of Simple Plans 1 Gollwitzer observed when that people encounter problems in translating their goals into action (e.g., failing to get started, becoming distracted, or falling into bad habits), they may strategically call on automatic processes in an attempt to secure goal attainment. This can be achieved by plans in the form of implementation intentions that link anticipated critical situations to goal-directed responses (“Whenever situation x arises, I will initiate the goal-directed response y!”). Implementation intentions delegate the control of goal-directed responses to anticipated situational cues, which (when actually encountered) elicit these responses automatically.
According to Domo’s Data Never Sleeps 10.0 infographic1, a visual representation of the amount of data we generate every waking minute. The data we are generating and consuming is becoming increasingly considerable, and there is no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Here are some of the statistics on the amount of data we generate every minute on the internet:
The Fear of Other People’s Opinions (FOPO) is the fear, worry, and anxiety that result from overthinking what others think or say about us. FOPO is one of those fears that stops many of us from moving toward our goals, dreams and aspirations. We make every move based on the perception of how others would perceive or receive it. FOPO can be crippling, and in the age of social media, the fear of being cancelled by the mob makes this fear more debilitating. The reality is that no one is thinking about you, as everyone is also trying to figure it out. As the saying goes, “In your 20s, you care what everyone thinks about you; in your 40s, you stop giving a shit what anyone thinks, and in your 60s, you realize that no one was thinking about you in the first place.”