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If You Follow These 3 Rules To Live Your Life, You Can Get Everything You Want

If You Follow These 3 Rules To Live Your Life, You Can Get Everything You Want

There are certain principles, universal laws and undeniable fundamental truths that underpin the existence of all mankind and govern our lives. The truth is, you are not in control of your life’s outcomes. We can and do, however, affect and contribute to our outcomes. Our actions increase the likelihood of certain outcomes although there are no guarantees.

Recognize, understand and flow with the universe’s governing principles

Being cognizant of natural laws and then aligning your actions to flow in tandem with these laws gives you a better chance of achieving a desired end. Our bodies are a system that operates under a series of principles. If you fail to exercise, eat healthy, and visit the doctor regularly, you increase the probability that you will die relatively young. Add smoking to the mix, and you more than double the odds of sickness and an early death. Understanding life’s principles allows you to choose actions that are slanted toward a particular outcome and empowers you to stick with a course of action long term.

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Here are 3 principles that drive success

1. Seed time and harvest

This principle encapsulates and runs so much deeper than the “you reap what you sow” cliche. While that is a big part of this principle, it is missing two fundamental keys. The first key is about timing and the second is about work. A 20-year-old college student can procrastinate and put off completing a project until the night before it is due. Then he or she can pull an all nighter and ace the class. They planted seeds by doing the work and reaped the benefit— a good grade. But what about a farmer? It’s the same principle but a farmer has to factor in time and energy. You don’t plant today and reap tomorrow. The procrastinating college student will learn this soon enough.

The second facet of this principle is the issue of expended energy. Herein lies the true fallacy and pitfall of this principle. The college student worked all night and received a benefit. However, this flow is the exception, not the rule. Consider the farmer. He plants seeds, waits and then he receives his crop. However, to truly reap the harvest, the farmer is required to perform additional work. He must go out and physically harvest the crop or it will rot in the field. The same is true for most things in life. You must work and plant the right things but you must also work to enjoy your harvest.

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2. Input and outputs coincide but don’t always equal

If you have been alive any length of time, you are painfully aware that the effort you put into something does not always equal the output. Life is not an even exchange and input and outputs are rarely proportional. In the beginning of any new endeavor, input far exceeds output. And then slowly, the inverse begins to happen. Outputs or harvests begin to catch up and then far outpace your input and you don’t have to work as hard as you did initially.

The most important thing to understand about this principle is that input— similar to interest in the financial world— over time, compounds. You must understand that just as it is with financial investments so it is in every other arena. What you invest in matters because it directly affects the type and size of your outcomes. You must invest in things with potential and a high probability of yielding a substantial return on your investment. Input must be targeted, purposeful and consistent.  Eventually, your small investments begin slowly growing and then they multiply.

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3. Consistency Counts

Your ability to be consistent and to stay on course is critical to delivering positive outcomes. Far too often people get tired and give up too soon. You have to learn to stick with it. You have to be consistent.

Consistency is more important than methodology and trumps occasional sacrifices. Short bursts of effort followed by long periods of rest impede your progress. Be consistent. Consistently keep good company, consistently save, consistently spend wisely, consistently eat healthy, consistently exercise, consistently study and consistently put time, energy and resources into the things you want to grow. Be consistent.

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In life, there are no guarantees but you can swing the odds in your favor.

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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