Category: Productivity

Eliminating the Non-Essentials in Life

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” – Lin Yutang

There are many ways in which we can discover waste in our lives. The first most obvious way of seeking waste is through our material possessions. Often times, people hold onto tons of junk or clutter that end up consuming so much space. When you hold onto clutter, your mind can also be filled with clutter, having to take extra inventory of what is in front of you. So the best thing to do is to find a way to eliminate material possessions that we no longer use or desire to use.

Another example of a non-essential is a time-wasting activity. For example, smoking can be considered a time-waster, and a health hazard as well. Why waste your time smoking a cigarette when you could be doing something more fun or more productive? It’s a no-brainer to eliminate such habits and to replace them with more worthy time-consumers.

Just imagine how much extra mental clarity you would have if you lived in a clutter-free home. You would feel more relaxed and more at ease. Your eyes would have an easier time taking in the environment that you’ve created for yourself. A daily 5-minute clean up habit might be a good way to kickstart creating your clutter-free space.

One way to identify non-essentials is to track your time throughout the day. Keep note of everything you do in a single day (or even a single week if you’re that dedicated). Start off by writing the time, then how many minutes you spent on a certain activity and write that activity down. For example, you may spend 15 minutes in the bathroom, 12 minutes of which were actually you on your smartphone watching a YouTube video. Or you might spend 1 hour on Facebook at another time. It’s a good way of tracking non-essential tasks and trying to find more ways to make that time more meaningful throughout the day.

Reclaim your precious time and space! Let’s not live another life of waste.

Concentration

“The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business– or almost anywhere else for that matter.” – Lee Iacocca

Concentration is key in making progress. It’s not always easy to concentrate due to our circumstances. Therefore, we must make an effort to create an environment that allows us to concentrate deeply in whatever it is that we are doing and wanting to progress in.

For a blogger such as myself, it may require a clean workspace, free from distractions. It might in some cases also be beneficial to write in an area that is on airplane mode, meaning that your phone is shut off or on silent, or that your laptop is off from wifi. That way, you won’t be distracted by text messages or emails. You may benefit from simply writing on a word document and transferring it to your website later.

You want to have an environment that fuels your or inspires you to concentrate on a daily basis. This goes for any talent or skill, whether it’s music or math, science or astrology. Whatever captures your interest, make sure that your environment is cohesive to that. An organized space always helps, keeping your mind healthy too.

If you want to succeed in achieving any goal, concentration is important. You have to set your eyes upon that goal and make sure you are progressing every day. Even if you have some setbacks, you want to keep going at it, creating the habit for success. The more persistent and concentrated you are, the better.

How to Start Your Day

A good way to start your day is to instill habits that form a morning routine. That way, you can start the day fresh and awake. There are many habits that you can include in your daily routine (in no particular order):

– Listen to uplifting music
– Follow a guided meditation
– Do some light stretching
– Practice some yoga
– Shower
– Brush your teeth
– Change into daytime clothes
– Wear makeup
– Wear jewelry or other accessories
– Check off your MITs (most important tasks)
– Come up with a gratitude list
– Drink water
– Enjoy sipping hot tea or hot cocoa
– Read a book
– Wash your face
– Apply toner or moisturizer to your face
– Apply lotion or oil on your body
– Massage your hands or anywhere you feel discomfort
– Go for a morning walk
– Enjoy the sunlight (being careful not to look at it directly if it is beaming bright)
– Enjoy breakfast
– Wash the dishes
– Apply perfume, cologne, or body mist
– Comb your hair
– Brush your hair

These are just a few ideas out of many to start your morning routine. For everyone, it may look different. For example, some people (including myself) prefer taking showers in the evening. Other people do not drink anything with caffeine in it.

If you’re not used to having a morning routine, you may want to start with just a few habits at a time. Then, you can gradually build up to instilling more good habits. Eventually, you’ll be on a roll, tackling each habit one at a time and starting your day just right.

If you have a chaotic schedule, you may want to just make sure that you instill a few good habits. Then, let the rest resolve itself based on what you have to get accomplished for that day. For example, if you have to head off somewhere different from usual at an early time, you might cut off going for a morning walk. Or, you can alternatively wake up a little earlier than usual to get your whole morning routine in.

Personally, I try to get my whole morning routine down. If I don’t, I succumb to being lazy and doing nothing. On days when I follow my morning routine, I feel more productive and in balance.

Nighttime routines are also helpful for ending your day. It can put you into a relaxing mood to get some much needed rest. Again, you can apply some of the habits I’ve listed above to get yourself started with a good nighttime routine (e.g. listening to a guided meditation to help your mind relax).

Like I said, if you’re completely out of it with no set schedule for your morning routine, you might want to start with simple habits such as brushing your teeth or drinking water. You can make it a goal for a week to brush your teeth every day for seven days. Then once you get past that, you can add in the habit of drinking water for seven days along with brushing your teeth. Then after that, you can throw something in such as listening to a guided meditation. Go with what feels best or natural to you.

Consumption vs. Creation

Are you or someone else you know a couch potato? There isn’t anything wrong with being a couch potato per se as a few of us enjoy that kind of lifestyle or just need some time to recover. However, if you want to change your lifestyle, there are a few approaches to break the habit of being a couch potato. It can take some willpower, dedication, and time to change yourself. That’s okay, so long as you make a conscious decision to change.

A couch potato is defined as someone who watches TV (or YouTube, or games a lot) and is lazy to get any form of physical activity. Personally, I do not watch much TV, though I do watch YouTube videos. However, I do not let YouTube consume my life. If you watch a fair amount of TV, YouTube, or engage a lot in video gaming, you may want to take a step back and examine what it is that you’re really doing.

Consumption vs. Creation

There are two approaches in life: consume or create. Examples of consuming include shopping and reading. Creating means you’re actively expressing your ideas such as through YouTube or through a blog. The more you create, the more you receive back. But some people get caught up in only consuming. They consume as much as they can, and they might have the luxury or comfort of doing that. But if you go overboard and do not take care of yourself, only consuming as much as you can (such as eating too much), you’ll have trouble reaching your highest potential.

Many people choose the consumption lifestyle because it is comfortable. Especially nowadays with the advancement of our technology, it can be easy to get caught up in materialism.

Creators know that by creating some form of value, they will receive something in return. And those who are masters at creating can make lots of money such as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and so on.

Is Consumption Really Bad?

Consumption is not necessarily bad. It just means that you are used to relying on other people for something in return. Creators know how to provide value.

Capitalism allows us to know who the true consumers and creators are. Consumers can sometimes drive themselves into debt. Creators know how to create positive cashflow.

If you’re interested in shifting your mindset into being a creator, you can check out my blog post on passive income. You can also try removing limiting beliefs through REBT (rational-emotive behavioral therapy).

How to Be a True Hustler

Hustling takes hard work and dedication, but it can be achieved. It’s easy to get caught up in distractions, but you have to learn how to ignore the distractions and to focus. It takes time to learn how to focus too. Focus can be hard to some people, but for me, it now becomes natural.

My schooling experience has been a little weird. I love learning. However, I enjoy having the freedom to learn things at my own pace. That is how I learned about programming, mathematics, music, and so forth and so on. I have many subjects that I am interested in learning about. So I just try learning everything one day at a time.

I used to have trouble concentrating on my life, but I know how to do it very well now. And I know how to take care of myself in a proper way. It takes practice, but it’s possible to be balanced and to learn how to achieve your dreams.

Hustling takes hard work. You have to practice good self-care, which means you have to be hygienic and take care of your immediate needs first (such as water, food, clothes, and shelter). And on top of that, you have to work in a calm and relaxed manner so that you can manifest good things into your life.

You can start slowly by goal-setting first. Identify a goal for each day one at a time, and then go week by week, and then by month to month and so forth. Or if that is too hard, go at it one second or minute at a time. Start from where you are. Go at your own pace. And learn how to get along with other people by using your communication skills.

Goal-setting is a little difficult for some people, so I will briefly explain how you can set goals. First, start with a journal or a planner. Journal out your thoughts to figure out what’s most important to you. And use a planner to jot down quick checklists for what you want to accomplish during the day. This is how you start small.

Then after that, you can move on to higher forms of planning such as mapping out your future plans (week by week, month by month, year by year, and possibly even further than that). Try imagining talking to a younger version of yourself first to figure out what needs to be accomplished.

I hope that this article was helpful. And if you’re still interested in figuring out how to live as a hustler, try checking out my other articles such as How to Surround Yourself with A Players and The People You Surround Yourself With.

What Karma Teaches Us About People

Karma is a confusing subject for many people. I believe in karma, because whatever you give does eventually come back. Good things happen all the time to both “good” people and “bad” people. But what makes a person “bad” or “good”?

I believe that karma works with law of attraction. Good karma always get rewarded. However, you may have to face some difficult obstacles in order to receive rewards. It’s not necessarily bad karma. It just depends on whether you faced it or not.

The same goes for people. We label people as being different categories: black, white, hispanic, Puerto Rican, Latino, Indian, poor, rich, bad, good, wealthy, and so forth. But we have to learn how to get along with each other, because what comes around goes and around. And the quicker you catch onto those lessons, the faster you become rewarded.

It also depends on the person. Some people are only able to tolerate a little bit of hard work and dedication, while others learn how to excel and move as fast as lightning or thunder.

Nowadays, I consider myself an A player at resolving my own karma. I learned how to get along better with my family and how to trust my instincts more. A players are able to balance their lives very carefully as to not work with the wrong kinds of people. A players are always on a mission to better their lives in the right kinds of ways. The interesting thing about this is that anyone can call themselves an A player, so long as they have that kind of confidence in themselves.

What karma can teach us about people is that we have to be careful about the types of people we surround ourselves with. And, we must learn how to keep our minds at a calm and relaxed state at all times. We have to learn how to be balanced. There are some things in this world that are dangerous, and some things that are not. But we do not need to give into the fear. We can learn how to resonate at a higher frequency by believing in ourselves first. Take the lessons one by one and learn how to resolve them on your own.

Hungry for Success

These days, I feel like I put myself on an intense supertrial. I went from being 131 lbs to around 122 lbs, waking up at 6:30AM on weekdays, reading a book every day, blogging 2 times daily, exercising 2-4 times a week, shaving almost daily, dressing up fashionably daily, cooking daily, and praying daily. Part of the reason for this is because I developed an A player mindset. I’ve set reasonable goals that are challenging, yet within my limits. I push myself a little farther, but without the rubber band effect. And part of it is that I also ensure getting adequate amounts of rest at night, totaling 9.5 hours of sleep per night. It’s more than the average person, and I’m slowly but surely trying to get back to 8 hours of sleep per night. But overall, I’ve been feeling productive most days, so I don’t mind the little extra sleep.

Success looks different depending on the person. We all have ideas of what success means. For one person, it could mean owning a single home. For another person, it could mean a 6-figure income. For me, it looks like the following:

1) $1000 or more in passive income monthly
2) A published book
3) A comfortable living space
4) High quality technology (smartphone and computer)

It’s a simple list, but that’s what success means to me right now. Nothing too fancy or crazy. Just enough to keep my life going, but a little extra for fun. To some people though, the $1000 or more in passive income goal might seem a little ambitious. For someone who has just dabbled here and there in passive income, it is an ambitious goal. But, I know that I will succeed in attaining that goal.

How to Set Goals

The best way to set goals is to start medium. If you set your standards too low, too small, you might sidetrack due to boredom. You want to challenge yourself without burning yourself out. You don’t want to start lifting 300 lbs if you never lifted before. But, you don’t want to settle for 1 lb dumbbells either. Go within your limits, but push yourself a little. That’s what smart ambitious people do.

Make sure that the goals are measurable. Give the goal a numeric value such as $100 in passive income per month, or losing 5 lbs of weight within 2 weeks. That way, you can say for sure whether or not you’ve succeeded in reaching your goal.

You can set short-term and long-term goals. I set daily and weekly goals. But, I also have yearly and even longer-term goals. Some daily goals include hitting the gym and showering. Some weekly goals are grocery shopping or going to a new place. And yearly goals including moving to a new location. A longer-term goal of mine is to become a millionaire. I don’t anticipate reaching that goal this year, but hey, who knows depending on how it goes with passive income.

Whatever you do though, make sure to practice enough self-care so that you don’t burn yourself out. Highly effective ambitious people succeed because they know their limits well, but learn how to work within those limits and expand those limits over time. You can do the same too through careful goal-setting and planning.

How to Surround Yourself with “A” Players

“It is always good to know, if only in passing, charming human beings. It refreshes one like flowers and woods and clear brooks.”

George Eliot

An A player is someone who excels at life. It is someone who conquers most or all areas of their life, from health to finances to relationships to spirituality. Such people that I would define as A players are Ramit Sethi, Steve Pavlina, Leo Babauta, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Kim Yugyeom. 😀 I am always looking to surround myself with A players because as they say, you become the people you surround yourself with.
How can you find ways to surround yourself with A players? The first is just to engage yourself in activities that you enjoy and that you would look for in people who you would consider A players. You don’t necessarily have to engage with these people directly. For example, I go to the gym to get a workout and see people there who are motivated, pumped, and athletic. I don’t converse with these people aside from maybe the instructor and maybe someone taking the same class if the opportunity presents itself. But still, I am motivated to work out because I see other people doing the same. And in my mind, an A player consists of someone who cares about their wellbeing and health. So in my mind, anyone who hits the gym regularly is an A player in health.

Another way that I plan to surround myself with A players is to attend a dance class. I love dancers because they are very expressive with their moves and they also tend to care about health, appearance, and hygiene. So one way I can surround myself with these people is to attend a local dance meetup such as through Meetup or EventBrite. Or I can take dance classes through an academy and search for it on Yelp or Yellow Pages. I’m planning to attend these classes sometime in the beginning of March. It should be fun!

I also find entrepreneurs and business-minded people to be A players. I want to pursue passive income and have dabbled a bit here and there, and it’s motivating to be in connection with people who have succeeded in generating a significant amount of passive income such as thousands of dollars per month. There are some meetup groups as well, but I’m planning to start with Toastmasters to connect with these people. Toastmasters draws in people of all sorts of backgrounds and statuses, but I’m planning to connect with those business-oriented people who also enjoy life and like to socialize. It’s also a great way to practice public speaking. And someday, it’s my goal to give a Ted Talk. That takes A player motivation and drive to do.

How can you develop an A player mindset?

The first step is to be ruthless about what you want. Sometimes, developing an A player mindset requires you to cut out certain friendships and social connections. This can be because certain friendships and acquaintances can drain your energy and bring you to a lower mind of awareness. For example, if you want to quit smoking, it’s counter-intuitive to hang out with people who smoke a lot. You’re just going to be tempted to smoke again. And sometimes, it can seem cruel to cut off or wean off from these friendships. But if you really want to succeed at life, you sometimes have to burn the ships and be selfish about what you want. There’s nothing wrong with change. It’s just in your mind as mild discomfort. Sometimes, you can naturally stop hanging around average people by just hanging around A players some more. And the more you expose yourself to A players, the more your mindset improves, and the more you naturally drift to these A players and stop hanging around average people.

A simple exercise you can do in order to figure out what an A player means to you is to list the qualities of your ideal type or of what you want to be. Here is a sample list of qualities that I personally seek for in an A player:

– Vegan
– Six figures or more
– Clean shaven and fashionable appearance
– Artistically talented
– Confident at giving speeches
– Good at cooking vegan
– Fit or athletic
– Leader

Note that you don’t need to find all the qualities in a person. It’s possible to find someone who only have a few of these qualities and is still an A player. But the more qualities a person has close to your ideal type, the better it is. And of course, the more naturally drawn you will be to that person. Plus looking at your list, you will feel more compelled to cut off draining friendships and relationships.

The Courage to Be an A Player

Becoming an A player takes courage. It means destroying old habits and replacing them with healthier and more fulfilling habits. It means eliminating old baggage. It means reinventing yourself. It means dedicating every single day to bettering yourself and becoming your highest potential.

It can be hard at first to become an A player because we can get stuck in old routines and rely on what’s comfortable. A players are A players because they know how to conquer life and how to lean into discomfort. The majority of people avoid discomfort and soak in short-term pleasures of life. But A players delay gratification and shoot for the stars. It’s not an easy task to be an A player when you’re shooting so high every day, but that’s what makes them exceptional. And you are also exceptional. You also have untapped potential. And if you want to be a superstar, you can be that superstar. All you have to do is believe in yourself and to lean into that discomfort and give it a try.

For me, it’s going to be uncomfortable attending my first Toastmasters session. However, I know that I will benefit from it in the long run. I will become a better public speaker and I will socialize more with people I want to surround myself with, which are leaders. One way in which I will prepare myself to go is to practice self-care (my appearance) and to prepare business cards to introduce myself. The business cards give a simple introduction of myself being vegan and into personal growth, being a voice talent and songwriter, and my blog, Instagram and Youtube links. It’s a good way for me to ease my nerves just in case I’m at a loss for words and want to introduce myself in a more relaxed manner. Plus, it’s more professional.

If you want to learn how to overcome your fear in order to become an A player, you have to either remove limiting beliefs of yourself or learn how to lean into the fear. You have to get used to your heart racing at times, and you have to learn how to not avoid it. It’s okay to be afraid to connect with someone new. It’s okay to be nervous about attending your first dance class. But, realize that it’s not going to kill you to try something new. It’s part of the excitement. This is what A players do every day. They venture off into new directions, tackling their fears and accomplishing new feats. And this can be you too. Why settle for comfort when you can lead a exceptional life?

My Morning and Nighttime Routines

My morning routine looks something like this:

1) Say out loud the things that I’m grateful
2) Wash my face and apply toner
3) Make my bed
4) Change clothes
5) Make breakfast and eat it
6) Drink coconut water
7) Prepare lunch
8) Brush my teeth
9) Write a blog post
10) Read Psalms 27

I’m thinking about getting up a little earlier so that I can get some reading done. I’ve been getting adequate amounts of sleep, so I think that it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to wake up earlier.

This is my current nighttime routine:

1) Take a shower
2) Shave or wash my hair
3) Apply body oil
4) Change clothes
5) Set clothes for next day
6) Brush my teeth
7) Apply toner to face
8) Comb, style, or straighten hair
9) Pray

I want to add organization to my nighttime routine. I could use a little cleaning and organization before bedtime. Also, I want to add writing another blog post to my nighttime routine. It’s one of my goals to write 2x a day for the rest of the month of February. Other than that, my morning and nighttime routines have been working for me well.

Rest and Relaxation

Rest and relaxation are vital components of life. Without it, we would disintegrate into nothingness. Okay, not really. But stress would take a toll on us and we would break down and possibly catastrophize.

There are several ways to rest and relax:

– Meditation
– Read a book
– Listen to music
– Lie down
– Sit on a couch
– Watch TV
– Watch a movie
– Watch YouTube videos
– Sip on some tea
– Take a bath
– Take a warm shower
– Get a massage
– Sing at karaoke

These are just a few ideas. I find that the more time I spend for rest and relaxation, the more productive I am when I have to focus on actual work or running everyday errands. How about you?