Nikhil Jois

Experiments, Learnings and Inspiration

Tag: Inspiration

Practical tips on new habits, new year resolutions, and behaviours

follow As someone who was born in January, I have a unique advantage. I get to renegotiate my New Year’s Resolutions with myself in case I fall off the wagon before my birthday (which happens to be the 22nd day of the month). Most people mess up way before that and I did too for a very long time.

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buy Lyrica belfast Another popular trend is to look down upon people who even have new year’s resolutions. I have no respect for those haters either. Everybody deserves a chance to start afresh and make promises to themselves. Some of us do it on Monday mornings. Some on our birthdays. Some on an arbitrarily chosen day of a badly-designed Calendar. To each their own. My goal here is not to argue with the concept of resolutions but to help you form new, good habits and get rid of old ones.

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trading binary italiano demo Aristotle is believed to have said Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

 

We are what we repeatedly do. Let that sink in.

 

trade4 me How to frame resolutions

 

First, let’s talk about framing resolutions the right way. A post I read a long time ago by Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert has had a profound impact on how I think about this subject. Scott talks about the superiority of systems over goals.

 

I don’t want to delve into jargon and confuse you or myself. Let’s take an example both of us understand well. Weight loss.

 

Here’s how a goal would look – I will lose 9 kgs of fat by December 25th 2018 by eating healthy and going to the gym 5 days a week.

 

Here’s how a system would look – From this day onwards:

 

I will eat only when I am hungry

I will stop eating before I feel full

I will eat mostly plant-based food

I will not consume anything with added sugar

I will drink a liter of water every day upon waking up

I will take the stairs when I have the time and option

I will move my body every day at a level that feels comfortable

 

Which of the two approaches do you think will work? A systems approach is a codified set of rules that you will start following without having to exert your willpower at all. To give you another personal example, I’d bring up a stoic principle that plays the role of a system in my life.

 

Every occurrence or event can be divided into two categories. Ones that I have control over and ones that I don’t. I only worry about the things I have control over. The stuff I have no control over doesn’t affect me or my sleep schedule.

 

here Self image and identity

 

The next important part of this equation is self image.

 

“The part of you that knows is not the part that controls your behaviour. Long term habit change is never the result of a strong willpower. Long term results are always, always equal to your self image. ” – Bob Proctor

 

Your self image is what you think of yourself as. Do you think of yourself as rich? Do you think of yourself as fit? If you close your eyes, do you see a version of yourself who has flab around the waistline or a version with a flat tummy or maybe even well-defined abs?

 

Here’s how this bit ties into the equation. If your self-image is a weak one, your mind convinces you to revert to whatever your self image is irrespective of how much progress you make towards your goal image.

 

Let me simplify this by giving you a personal example. The first time I began to get into the “fitness lifestyle” I was not at my most confident self. My self image was that of a weak, fat, broke-ass individual. Let’s stick to the fitness bit – because I thought of myself as a weak and slightly chubby person in my head, my mind started freaking out when I started leaning down. When I went down from 86 kilograms to 74 kilograms, my mind decided that I was headed in the wrong direction. If I slimmed down further, my self image would not match with reality. So, it started speaking to me via the “voice of reason” – “You’re losing muscle mass as well. Start eating more” “You will look super skinny. Is this what you want? Don’t you want to look fit and healthy? Eat that pizza” “What’s the point of working out if you won’t go out and meet friends? Go have those beers.”

 

I caved in and went back up to 78 kilos. Flabby and further away from my goal physique. Why? Because my self image did not match my ideal image. This and the fact that I didn’t have a system to fall back on without having to think or exert my willpower led to my failure.

 

The self image bit about habits can also be simplified by making it a part of your identity. I was raised a vegetarian and always had that tag as part of my identity. Over the course of my life, I’ve been at hundreds of tables and events where meat was served. Did I partake? Nope. Why? Because being vegetarian is part of my identity. I don’t have to think about whether I want to consume meat. I already know that it doesn’t match my identity.

 

Want to eat healthier? Make ‘fitness enthusiast’ part of your identity and not just your Twitter bio. Once you tell enough people that you’re watching what you eat or that your identity is that of a “gym rat” – things just fall in place and become easier.

 

rencontres camping car Mini habits

 

Develop mini habits and pair them with the right triggers. One of the biggest mistakes one can make while trying to change habits or lifestyles can be trying to do too much at once. You’ve been a couch potato all your life and now, suddenly you want to start going to the gym 7 days a week starting on January 1st? How long do you think that is going to last?

 

A more balanced approach is to look for mini habits that are tied to the right anchors. For example, make it a habit to do 3 body-weight squats immediately after you take a leak. Most individuals pee 7 to 10 times a day. Imagine what 21-30 body-weight squats every day will do to your body. There’s an avalanche effect. You don’t have to keep reminders to do this. Your body has to excrete water and toxins. You’ll start eating healthier just so that these squats become easier.

 

Pick mini habits that help you get past the fear of starting something new. A good trick is to tie the new habit to an existing habit that you take for granted.

 

source link Cos è il bonus senza deposito Per bonus senza deposito si intende un bonus che viene erogato dal broker senza My personal list of habits and systems

 

I try to follow most of these on a daily basis. How good my day is depends on how many of these I am able to check off the list.

 

  1. A bottle of water as soon as I brush my teeth in the morning – This one is pretty self-explanatory. I need to flush out a bunch of toxins accumulated overnight. Hydrations helps me think better and stay healthier.
  2. No smartphone allowed while in the loo or at the dining table – Super hard to follow, but the impact is huge. While on the pot, it is very easy to get lost in a rabbit hole. The Internet is filled with temptation and our brains are always hungry for dopamine hits. Be it scrolling down your Twitter or Instagram feed or watching high definition pornography, these are habits that alter the very nature of how your brain works. My attention span is very dear to me and I have no intention of losing it over trivial things. At the dining table, I want to respectful of my family and friends. If I’m talking to you while eating, I want to be able to give you and the the food as much attention as need be.
  3. Mindfulness  – I considered writing ‘meditation’ instead but that wouldn’t be accurate. Meditation is one form of mindfulness training that has helped me and millions of others but that is not the only way. Mindfulness is the practise of being present and being aware. Are you dining? Good. Be aware of what you are putting into your body. Mindfulness is the opposite of being intoxicated. When you’re high or drunk you have no filters. You say what you feel like saying. You do what you feel like doing. You eat whatever is placed in front of you. Practise being the opposite of a drunk person and you’ll become healthier, wealthier, and wiser. I’d highly recommend starting with an app for guided meditation. Anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes a day would be a great start.
  4. Sleep schedule – I attempt to get 8 full hours of sleep a day. Ideally, I’d want to get this at one shot during the night, but I am reading up on the benefits of an afternoon nap and quite frankly, I enjoy them. So I try to incorporate an hour or so when I can. Sleep is never a waste of time if you’re truly getting rest. I keep my phone outside my bedroom or put it in airplane mode while going to bed in case I want to listen to a podcast or meditate.
  5. No social media apps on my phone – This one’s self-explanatory. I must admit that I have an app that helps me publish to multiple social networking sites at once. I do not have any way of accessing my newsfeed/timelines though. No Snapchat, No Instagram, No Twitter, and certainly No Facebook. I also turn off notifications on most apps.
  6. Reward systems and Pomodoro – I know that I have limited willpower and an attention span that is even worse. So I create systems that let me reward myself. I also use a modified Pomodoro technique. A pomodoro system is one where you work for 25 minutes straight and take a 5 minute break. I can’t manage 25 minutes, so I do a 10-3 split. Works beautifully. That’s how I managed to write this super long post.
  7. Predominantly plant-based diet – This is anecdotal in my case but there seems to be a bunch of research as well that shows that a plant-based diet helps with general wellbeing – both mental and physical.
  8. Exercise – I move my body every day. This can be as simple as going for a walk. On the good days, this means lifting heavy weights at the gym. The endorphins and the fitness are rewards by themselves.
  9. What would my future self think of this? – This is a question I’ve learned to ask myself a lot. When you watch or read interviews of successful people, they’re often asked “What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?” or some variant of that question. I like to flip that question around. What would an 80-year-old Nikhil think of or say if he saw what I am about to do? Would he approve of the time I am about to waste by watching cat videos? Would he say “Please go ahead and outrage on Twitter more – it’s helping my health” ? My future self wants me to do things today that will make him healthier, wealthier, and wiser. That’s a true north that helps me adhere to good habits today.
  10. Love and forgive yourself – One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the importance of self love. The world cannot love you if you do not love yourself. There will be errors and you will make mistakes. Do not stop loving yourself. Forgive yourself. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend. We are all broken in different ways and perfect in so many more ways. Nobody has it all figured out and we’re always learning. Encouragement works better than criticism.

 

I hope these musings have helped you in one way or another. If you have a family member or friend who may benefit from reading this, please be sure to pass the lessons on. Like Derek Sivers says “If more information was the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

 

Very often we already know what to do, but we need some motivation to help us get there. I hope this post serves as a nudge towards the right direction. I’m always a ping away if you need any help. If you like the content or my style of writing, you might enjoy ‘Jois of Life’ – my weekly email that contains reading recommendations, podcast suggestions, and commentary on topics such as productivity, leadership, and storytelling. 

 

 

Asking for help – A ‘How to’ guide

If you’re anything like me, the number of things you’re bad at is way greater than the number of things you’re good at. Most of us are like that. We need help. “Man is a social animal” is a lesson engraved into our young minds during primary school and you’d think that these would be signs of a need to learn how to ask for help. Especially since almost all of us have watched Yuval Noah Harari’s now-famous Ted talk.

 

Yet, as adults, we kinda suck at asking for help. This is my humble attempt at helping you ask for help. I know it sounds meta, but trust me – this’ll help you. Here we go:

Do your homework

If you wish to ask for help, you better do your homework. I’ll elaborate.

You’re the one who needs *my* help. Please have the decency to do some basic research before reaching out to me for help. Am I the right person to be asking for help? Are you sure I will not have to put in additional effort to make your life easier? Have you looked for other, easier, options such as …you know… asking Siri, Bixby, Alexa, Google Assistant, or some other sentient being?

You have? Good.  Another important point on the same lines – please don’t assume that I have prior knowledge about the topic you’re referring to. If there’s an explanation I may need, make sure you provide it. Don’t make me spend an hour on Wikipedia just so I can help you.

Listen to the great Dr Perry Cox and remind yourself of his mantra – “Help me to help you. Help me to help you. ”

 

Be specific

Please do not beat around the bush. All of us need help and we have our own problems to deal with. If you need me to introduce you to someone, please don’t hint at the need for an introduction by boring me with a long story. Just ask for it in a succinct and direct manner.

Bonus tips: ‘Yes or no?’ questions are awesome. Get to the ‘ask’ ASAP and save yourself and me time. In other words, let your request be action-oriented. If I read your email or text and still have to put in effort to understand what you’re asking for – sorry buddy, you’re not getting whatever it is that you were looking for.  Spell out exactly what I can do for you. It’ll save both of us time.

Authenticity matters

It is shameful that I even had to mention this point.  It’s a weird world we live in. Please be authentic and ask for help only when you really need it. Don’t do it to test me. Don’t ask for help because you’re lazy…and please don’t ask for help because you need to show off. Your need for validation and ego massages must not affect my life.

Respect the concept of time

This is a huge point. Please be respectful of my time if you’re asking for help. This means that if you can call instead of knocking on my door – you call. If you can text instead of calling – you text. Just in case you can email instead of texting – you get my drift.  Choose your medium based on the level of urgency.

If possible, mention the time frame along with your request. For example, If you send me an article you need edited – let me know if this is something that can be done tomorrow. If it can wait for a week, please make sure I know so that I don’t drop something else that I am working on to do something that is neither urgent nor a priority.

Since we’re on the topic of time, I’d like to mention the concept of ‘follow-up’ as well. If you’ve asked for help and haven’t heard back, it is perfectly ok to want to follow up and check for updates. However, please be realistic and wait for a day or two before you pounce on me to ask if I’ve gotten around to dealing with your request. We all have our own set of problems and tasks to deal with.

Provide a reason

This may sound super obvious but you’d be surprised at the sheer number of people who ask for help without mentioning why they need something done. If you want me to help you, the least you can do is trust me with the reason. Tell me why and include a sentence that looks like this –  “I’d really appreciate your help. I’m asking because…”

If I have a sense of belonging, I’m way more likely to help you.

 

Provide a way out

This sounds counterintuitive especially because several of us are taught to include phrases like “awaiting your positive response” or “thanks in advance” in our emails.

However, the kindest thing you can do is to provide some sort of an escape route. Some examples:

I’d love an introduction to X, but I completely understand if you’re not comfortable with an introduction at this point of time. 

I’d really appreciate it if you took a look at my cover letter before I send it out to a few recruiters. However, if your schedule is too full – I’ll understand. 

I see from your Facebook feed that you’re vacationing. However, if I didn’t ask, I’d feel like I did not even try. I completely understand if you’re not willing to pick up the phone while you’re on vacation. 

Providing a way out eases the pressure on the person you’re asking for help. If you put people in a tough situation where they aren’t comfortable declining help, your relationship may feel some strain because suddenly – the request feels like a command. Trust me – you don’t want that.

This brings me to my final point.

 Be generous and helpful

While I’m a huge proponent of the Karma theory, we live in a world where we pay it forward more often than we pay it back.  All of us get to where we are with help from several people.

The least we can do is pay it forward by helping others out. By becoming a connector of people and a generous helper, your credibility goes up by leaps and bounds.  Reciprocity is a huge motivator. The people who help others most often are the ones who are most comfortable with asking for help.

This is why I have no qualms at all about asking you for help with sharing this article. Do you know someone within your friend circle or family who would benefit from reading this guide? Share it with them. Do you think this would help your Facebook pals or Twitter followers? You know what to do.

One last thing. Every week,  I send out an email to a bunch of my friends. This email contains a summary of my favourite learnings from that week. It may include a quote, a book recommendation, a podcast recommendation, and other such cool resources. Does this sound like something you’d enjoy reading? If so, sign up below.

 

 

 

Why I write and 7 benefits that will convince you to too

On most days, the first piece of information I consume upon waking up is via the written word. Now, on some days this is via a text message, some days it is via a newspaper headline, and on the bad days – it is via a Twitter notification. My point is, that we are all large-scale consumers of information on a daily basis.

Yet, so few of us write. Especially in a country like India where most of us are trained stenographers thanks to our schooling system. I, for one, have been writing for a very long time now.  Some of it, publicly and most of it privately.  I know that I am not very good at it, but I continue to write because of the sheer number of benefits it brings along.

I also know that some of the more-sophisticated readers amongst you dislike listicles, but this is the point where I break into that format. It helps simplify the subject and brings structure to the post. Here are the seven biggest benefits to writing (especially in the form of blogs):

Helps you create a better personal brand

Blogging or writing can help you create and maintain a personal brand.  In a world where Garyvee and Tim Ferriss thrive, a personal brand can go a long way. You’d be surprised at the number of old friends I get back in touch with who start conversations with “Long time no see, but I always read what you write and post.” The fact that they read these posts makes them feel and know that they still know and understand who I am. Your personal brand is what people think of when they first hear your name. Writing allows you more control over that narrative than most other things do.

 Helps you become a better communicator

The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most sought-after skills and has been for a while. People who can convey ideas, rally people, tell stories, and connect with others have an edge over the others. Writing helps you become a better storyteller. I once asked a bunch of people on Twitter what a must-have trait was for a leader. The opninions all revolved around communication skills.

 Helps you inculcate discipline

As someone who used to wear the ability to “multitask” as a badge of honour, I know how effective disciplined, uninterrupted, deep work can be. The practice of writing helps me stay away from distractions. This is an act that requires focus and my undivided attention. It also teaches one to think before committing to an opinion.

Helps you become more interesting

I still remember high school. Slam books were part of the farewell ritual at every stage of school. There was always a question about one’s hobbies there if I remember correctly. The answers to that question would embarrass most of us if we read them today. Writing is a great hobby.  Once you run out of things to write about, you have to learn some more and that very process keeps you on your toes. I’m yet to meet an individual who can write well but isn’t interesting. Then again, I try to avoid meeting boring people.

Helps you achieve catharsis

A lot of writers compare writing to therapy. The beauty of sitting down and pouring your emotions onto paper or… you know, a keyboard can only be appreciated by those who’ve done it.  If you’ve come across advice that revolves around maintaining a diary or journal, this is exactly why. Writing is a way to escape from reality. A way to trap your inner demons on paper. A way to yell into a pillow without waking up the neighbours.

Opens new doors

It is fascinating how many good things can happen via writing. Some of the most meaningful relationships and friendships I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy began thanks to writing. My best mentors agreed to teach me only because I wrote to them. I’ve been invited to dinners, sports matches, and vacations thanks to writing. I’ve gotten chances to speak at organisations I’d only dreamt of entering thanks to the fact that I wrote. One time, I even got to travel to an island nation in Africa with a bunch of models thanks to my writing. True story. Writing leads to opportunities and opens doors.

Helps you be useful at scale

This is probably the most important reason behind why I write. I treat this blog as my personal FAQ section. As a student of life, I attempt to become a better version of myself on a daily basis. One of the approaches that helps me do this requires that I find mentors, peers, as well as students. By writing and keeping a copy of writing accessible via a book or blog, I find it easy to redirect people to my writing instead of risking repeating myself and sounding boring. If someone asks me what my thoughts are on the benefits of writing, I’ll redirect them to this blog post

The best part? It is never too late to start writing. We live in a world where it is so easy to get started. The number of tools and platforms we have at our disposal would have made some of our idols swoon. I’m sure Ernest Hemingway would have gone bonkers had he known that such a time would come to exist. We live in a world where one doesn’t have to pay to get started. You just have to decide to start.

I also write a weekly email on Saturdays. The email usually contains a small list of things I learnt that week and the sources. It can range from book recommendations to podcast recommendations. I also include quotes I find interesting and a story or two. Does that sound like something you’d enjoy? Sign up below:

You already know how to transform your life

Most us walk around waiting for special occasions to transform our lives. We rely on the perfection of a moment or its timing to assure ourselves that a miracle is, all of a sudden, a viable outcome. These inner monologues can come in several forms – “I’ll start working out on the first of January” “I’ll stop drinking after my birthday” “I’ll start blogging after I’m done with this project” or “I’ll start spending more time with my family after my job appraisal” among other similar-sounding sentences.

One of my tweets hit a note with several people who privately reached out and thanked me for triggering action.  Derek Sivers said something that has stuck with me – “If more information was the answer we’d all be Billionaires with a perfect set of abs.” The problem is almost never that we don’t know how to do something. We know exactly what to do and how to do it. We don’t do it right away because we tell ourselves one convenient line “I don’t feel like it.” In her famous TEDx Talk, Mel Robbins talks about how we are experts at succumbing to our inner snooze alarm. On a  daily basis, we postpone the things we know we ought to be doing.

There is a rational voice inside our heads that tells us to get shit done.  Listening to it may just allow you to transform your life today. Unfortunately, there is a much louder voice that tempts us to go get a shot of dopamine instead. This shot comes in various forms. Distractions lead to instant gratification and this can come in the guise of a video game or a YouTube binge-watching session.  The fact that most of us have access to every bit of gossip, negativity, pornography, and other means of abusing oneself at arm’s length doesn’t help.

There can be absolutely no change in the status quo if we train ourselves to settle.  As cliched as it may sound, ideas are a dime-a-dozen. It is execution that matters more than anything else. This does not mean you take hasty calls that risk everything all at once.  A sensible path is one where you are aware of your goal and do something to move towards it every single day.

Transforming your life can be done by doing something to be a better version of yourself in at least one department.

 

The aspects of my life I attempt to focus on:

  1. Physical Health – Staying healthy is an important aspect of reinvention. If you’ve ever felt depressed  – you know that this is a period during which you let go of your physical wellbeing. Bounce back and transform your life by eating a wee bit healthier. Cut those dirty carbohydrates. Stop yourself from eating that piece of candy that you know isn’t good for you. Move a little. Go out for a walk. Lift some damn weights. Drink more water.  Do something today that improves your physical health.
  2. get link Mental health – Mental wellbeing isn’t a topic that is as taboo as it used to. Thank god for that. Seek help if need be and if not, daily practices such as guided meditation or an occasional social media detox can help keep your mind sharp, focused, and healthy. A lot of successful people also use journalling as a way to maintain their mental health and it is certainly worth a try.
  3. automatische binäre optionen software Spiritual health – This may seem iffy to several of you and it is a very personal aspect. However, I have found that staying away from negativity is easier said than done. I  surround myself with people who love me , trust me, and cherish my company has done wonders to my life.  This holds good for your online personas as well, by the way.  You cannot complain and be grateful at the same time. I find myself making a conscious choice to find things and people to be grateful for in any scenario. This helps in unimaginably amazing ways.

 

If you go through each day taking care of these little aspects and improving by even 1% on a daily basis, you can reinvent yourself and transform your life.

 

What next?

I will certainly write in-depth posts about each of these aspects in the future. Do you have any suggestions for topics I ought to be writing about? Do you have tips that fellow readers can use to become better versions of themselves? Leave a comment.

 

I’m also starting a newsletter. I’m yet to decide upon the frequency, but the emails will contain blog updates and other doses of inspiration that can help you become a better version of yourself.  This can be via favourite quotes I come across, links to podcasts or YouTube videos I found fascinating. Do subscribe if you feel that is something you’d like to read more about.

 

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