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10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

Knowledge is the basis of everything in existence. Without knowledge nothing would exist as we perceive it to be. It is imperative and indispensable. Knowledge is the building blocks of any foundation. Knowledge is the key to opening doors that would otherwise be locked. Commodities are only sought after due to knowledge and awareness.

1) Research Meticulously

Being immersed in this world of information can be a daunting task to handle and comprehend. Ensuring proper research is completed has been proven to be conducive to fact finding. The truth is what holds value when researching a particular topic. Try your best not to let emotions play a role in how you perceive what’s being explained. The Internet is a wonderful place to start, and it can end there as well. However, the addition of reading books is a surefire methodology to enhancing your research. Having clarity and precision is the difference between gaining knowledge or becoming bamboozled.

2) Read Books

The level of convenience is unmatched when reading a book, whether it is electronic or physical. This process can be done anywhere you decide to go, and has zero limitations. The Internet cannot always be accessed, and cannot be relied upon to broaden your horizons. The information provided in books is direct, as opposed to reading published articles online.

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Reading stimulates the brain to focus solely on each word written down in the text, and expands the lens of imagination. The cognitive function changes direction when reading digitally. Shortcuts are taken, keywords are searched for, and the page disappears once its finished, making it impossible to turn back to the page for a review. That said, this doesn’t mean one method is better than the other. Balance is what matters. Don’t neglect the power of books.

3) Operate Consciously

Many people get caught up in the routine of doing what they need to survive, which can cause their actions to be mechanically inclined. Actions are then executed without thinking, while the procedure can be affected negatively. Sit back, clear your mind, and contemplate deeply on every move you make. Setting yourself into a trap is the most deadly decision you can make. Ameliorating circumstances are part of living a happy life. Remaining consciously aware of your surroundings and environment can prevent horrendous problems from occurring. Understand that your actions affect those who are around you, as well as people you may never meet. Push forward with firmness of purpose and constancy.

4) Develop Good Habits

We are all plagued with having bad habits. They are the flaws we all possess, but don’t settle for letting your bad habits outweigh the good. Every day is new and different; however, there are still responsibilities, duties, and tasks we are held accountable for. We have to do similar things everyday to survive, which are the habits we choose to develop. Replacing bad habits with good habits can take months, and it isn’t an easy feat. When you are locked in on something that isn’t improving your circumstances, it constitutes a bad habit.

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Whatever the habit may be, acknowledge you’re wasting time doing so, and replace it with a passion that will benefit you. These habits can range from something as simple as cooking more, to setting a deadline for a project you’re creating.

5) Harness Productivity

Work ethic goes a long way in this life. There are times for playfulness and relaxation, but you must devote the entirety of your day to the grind. Everyday you must work towards something better. Apart from your job, you must work on something new that will stimulate your mind. There’s always work to be done. It could be working on yourself, helping others, growing a business, finding another job, or even something simple like cleaning and organizing your residence. Boredom is a result of being uninspired and not challenging yourself to become better.

6) Set Obtainable Goals

Create realistic deadlines for the goals you want to accomplish. Don’t fool yourself by trying to complete what you’re working towards too quickly. Moving hastily is a dangerous sojourn to embark on, and it must be regulated. Try to set a date that suits your schedule, and then push it ahead a few days. This way you may be able to complete the goal before the deadline. If you are focused on completing a goal too soon, and don’t meet the deadline, you will only get discouraged and possibly give up. Goals are like anchors; once they are set they will stay in alignment.

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7) Encourage Others

Support people’s visions, and give them positive feedback on what they’re trying to accomplish. Let them know what they’re striving for is larger than them. Show up to their events. Constructive criticism is only warranted if you’re a genuine individual, and should only be expressed if there’s a personal relationship involved in the matter.

8) Believe In Yourself

Having faith in what you do is a tremendously insatiable power. It forces you to grow, helps you love yourself more, and constantly pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Understand the vast reality of what it takes to be what you want to become. If anyone doubts you, don’t bother listening to them, because if you indulge their negativity you’ll waste your time and energy. Definitely take what they say into consideration, but never let it diminish the vision you have been blessed with.

9) Embrace Pain

History has taught us that those who experience the most pain are the successful ones. Nothing will be given to you in this life; pain is an inevitable emotional state. You must learn how to enjoy the shackles of pain, push through it, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Darkness is only the absence of light. We all have the ability to shed our own light.

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10) Learn From Your Mistakes

Failure is a part of life. Without failure none of us would be able to learn. Your best teacher is the last mistake you made, and nothing can trump the consolidation of experience. Think critically about why you failed at particular actions, then make adjustments, strategize, and try again. The process of learning is a cyclical process like the Earth spinning on its axis.

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Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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