Learning to let go.

We’ve all heard it before, we may even have done it ourselves: “It’s all because of x” or “If only I had done x instead…” hindsight has a way of playing with us that is neither constructive nor positive. It can drag us into a mire of regret and essentially confirm a narrative in our mind that reinforces the fixed mindset, rather than allowing us to move on and develop a growth mindset. Continue reading

The Art of Finishing what you Start.

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When you start down a path, making sure you reach the end is a sign of self-respect.

“Never leave a job half done.” My grandfather told me that as a boy. I haven’t forgotten those words, even if at times I have failed to act on them. He had been sitting, watching me finish a simple drawing one afternoon before I had decided to wander off before it was complete. In his way, he didn’t say anything at the time, but waited instead until I came back to sit down with him for lunch.

“You know that drawing you were doing before?” In my mind I was anticipating some sort of compliment or critique.

“You didn’t finish it…” He stated objectively. “Never leave a job half done.”

As a boy I didn’t think much about it until after his passing. Today, the more I reflect on the sentiment of his words, the more profoundly his advice affects me.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like everything he said to me had some intentionally deeper meaning he had planned and percolated on before he brought his words, or actions, into the world.

We, as individuals, are not just responsible for our choices or the paths we decide to walk down, but also for making sure we finish what we start.

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Listening: Your greatest tool for learning

 

This week I have been thinking a lot about how we learn. Often we leave school or formal education thinking that we already know everything we will need to get by. The reality of things is so far from this. My greatest experiences of learning have mainly occurred in the years since I left formal education.

More specifically, most of my learning experiences have involved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; through that lens I have learnt more about myself, others and the nature of the world. I am mainly a kinesthetic learner: meaning I learn in a tactile way, by doing and physically working on something rather than listening. I can work out details, understand techniques and grasp concepts far quicker by doing them or have them done to me. I have tried to extend my ability to learn in other ways, as it is sometimes not enough just to rely on the one dimension of learning to carry me through (especially if mastery of the art is the goal). I have focused on developing my ability to Listen. Continue reading

Why do we fail?

20170718_110105There are an infinite amount of bite sized inspirational quotes about failure that are recycled in the void of the internet and meeting room posters around the world. Regardless of how we experience or perceive failure, it’s never any easier. The adversity and obstacles we face on our journey is what makes the journey what it is, but we cannot deny the soul crushing weight of failure. So why do we fail? Here are 3 reasons why. Continue reading

Presence of mind: Being a conscientious learner

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Your mind is like a garden and how it grows is up to you.

Most of the time we don’t reflect on the learning process; we physically arrive for a class or seminar, workshop or tutorial and then try to focus mentally on what is being taught in that session. As a teacher (and a student), one thing I have realized is that the learning process is far more complex than this. Successful learners are not simply those that show up regularly, or even those who work the hardest. It seems to be the case that the most successful learner is the one who is most present in their moments of learning.

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Developing healthy habits: The foundation of success

In any endeavor, be it mental or physical, we are ruled by the semi automatic responses we have developed to certain situation; subconscious responses that we have either allowed to develop innately or developed intentionally. These are what we call habits. Habits, whether they are constructive or destructive, will undoubtedly shape you and your journey on the path to success.  Continue reading

Effort vs Efficiency

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Sometimes it’s better to choose the hammock over the hammer.

“I don’t understand… I gave it everything I had. I guess it wasn’t enough.” Have you ever had this conversation with yourself? Has someone ever had it with you?

I’m my biggest critic. The amount of times I have run this narrative through my mind is more than I’d care to admit. “Why didn’t I give that more effort? Why was all your effort not enough?” Recently I’ve been thinking: what if it was less a question of Effort and more a question of efficiency? Continue reading

Thoughts on Ego: The quiet hero (and villain) in your own life story.

20151218_104127Like it or not, your identity (the way you view yourself, others and the world around you) and your ego are unmistakably connected. We all perceive ourselves in a certain way, we adopt a narrative in our minds about the kind of people we are. This can be extremely powerful, empowering us to reach our full potential as balanced human beings. However, it can also be an anchor dragging us into the abyss of ignorance and failure. Continue reading