Ferocity – 2

Habits, problem solving, Questions

In the last post on this topic I had pointed out how Steven Kotler talks about Ferocity , in his book The Art of the Impossible, to be able to achieve impossible dreams. The basic premise is that if you make a habit of going after big problems and solving them , then you can achieve Impossible dreams.

Having worked on this aspect I think it is also important to ensure that we learn to anticipate the small problems that can come our way while attempting to handle the bigger ones.

Otherwise the small problems act as a diversion of your energy and resources. You end up trying to manage the small things and the bigger prize gets away. There’s a phrase in English about missing the forest for the trees which would be apt for this.

So while you go with a ferocity to making a habit to solve bigger and bigger problems, you also need to make a habit of diagnosing the roadblocks.

Just yesterday while we were at a customer location to handle some complex issue, just the fact that we did not have an adequate answer to a minor question derailed our discussion. I had warned my colleague, who was accompanying me , and whose line of work we were talking about, this question was coming up for sure, but he didn’t take it seriously and our sign-off discussion got derailed.

Especially when you are targeting a problem which has a human element , then knowing about the nuances of the people involved and how they could derail a process has to be planned out well in advance.

Till next time then….

Carpe Diem!!!

Utilising thinking time – with structure

creativity, Flow, Focus, Habits, Human Brain, Thinking

In my posts earlier, I have shared with you some of the good tools I have found for focusing our time. I have especially liked the Dean Jackson video on Focus Finder. The methods he uses are simple yet profound. The key thing is that you have to ensure you are able to ensure you are able to pull out time for thinking activities.

Since we have so many things prompting us and drawing attention to them, getting dedicated thinking time is almost a rarity even for me. The challenge is that the brain has got so used to the idea of getting disturbed, that if you keep your phone away to concentrate on some activity, you actually feel guilty and end up seeing the phone just to ensure that you have not received an urgent call. The next off course is email. You dig into one and by the time you finish that there’s another one demanding your attention.

So inspite of so called success with some of the tools which have helped me, I have not yet been able to take maximum benefit out of the thinking process.

So I am working out to see how I can make thinking time a habit using the process suggested by B.J.Fogg in his book Tiny Habits. To make it useful I have also tried to incorporate a system of identifying the next problem to be solved in advance so that when I do get time to think, my brain is not going helper skelter, trying to figure out what needs to be done.

So yesterday when I tried solving one problem, I identified problems which are two layered below it. Meaning if don’t solve those problems, the problem I was trying to solve yesterday will not get solved. Therefore even though I did not solve the problem completely, the ideas that came to me during the thinking time, gave me some items to focus on to solve, before coming back to that problem.

Today since I did not have to think in terms of the problem to be solved, the moment I focused on the problem, my mind went into flow quickly before the door bell rang and disturbed me. But in that short time, with the problem to be solved, defined in advance, my brain was getting into action faster and came up with ideas much faster. If this can work, then I may not have the most elegant solutions immediately but would have started moving faster to solve challenges.

Please see if this works for you and let me know your views.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Thinking and Action – frameworks

Affirmative action, books, Flow, Frameworks, Habits, Human Brain, possibility thinking, problem solving

Till now I have been generally written about how the brain gets positive feelings when you do a gratitude exercise or when you do charity etc. This feeling helps your brain see more possibilities. This was actually topic of my last post. While all of this is true, I still was not able to figure out what will ensure that I keep taking action on a continuous basis because at the end of the day, just thinking won’t get you there, you need to take action.

This is not to degrade the thinking process. As a matter of fact if you spend time into thinking then the chances are that you will find a solution which may be extremely elegant and solve the problem. But you need to have the grit or persistence to work on the solution, figure out if it actually works, if it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and find another solution.

How does someone ensure that they are always taking action. What will create that behaviour which will make me ensure that I am moving in the direction, to achieve my goals of the impossible while I am coming out with more creative solutions to handle my constraints.

While I am not sure if I have all the pieces of the puzzle in place for me, I do think that there’s a combination of things which I have observed when I have read the following 4 books – Tiny Habits by B.J.Fogg, The Art of the Impossible by Steven Kotler, A Beautiful Constraint by Adam Morgan & Mark Barden and Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol.

So two of the books – in no particular order – are about solving problems and handling constraints, one is about creating behaviours and the last is about taking your brain into a high performance agenda. over the next few weeks I will try to see if I can take out the best pieces of advice and put it into a framework for myself and see the results.

So there are some low levels activities which I completely stop doing – like writing emails. Then I create behaviours for small things which can make a huge impact for me, find processes and frameworks to resolve constraints – thinking tools and then get into flow to figure out creative solutions. If I can have prompts to help me do all this then I would have really figured out a way to not get stuck from time to time in time.

Once there’s a behaviour based on a habit, then my brain will also not get over worked. With the energy that I conserve, I may actually figure out even better solutions.

Is this too much of a fancy. I don’t know. Let me put it in action and see. I will keep you posted.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Gratitude – it makes your more resilient

Decisions, Fear, Flow, Gratitude, Habits, Happiness, possibility thinking, problem solving

This was news to me. I have always spoken about being grateful for whatever we have in life instead of bothering about what we don’t have. This habit has held me in good state, because God has genuinely given me a lot to be thankful for. That doesn’t mean I don’t have aspirations, but I definitely don’t get anxious about things which don’t come my way.

What I learnt over the last few weeks is that gratitude gets more dopamine into your brain. That spike in dopamine helps the brain feel good. Since the brain is designed to make you safe always, it is always looking for the next point of danger. So the brain is always looking for the next negative item.

When the dopamine enters and the brain feels safe, it does not have fear. When it feels safe it is willing to think of more possibilities. The moment you get into a possibility mode, you tend to solve problems better, you take better decisions and better decisions help you get better in life. You get into flow state faster because negative things are not bothering you.

When you are able to solve problems, then your brain does not get frustrated with the impediments that come your way.

When impediments come your way, your brain goes into negative mode trying to visualise all the negative situations in a snowball effect. When that happens, your ability to think of solutions goes down. And you get further frustrated, which leads to anxiety and most health related problems start from there.

Therefor being gracious, having gratefulness, is extremely good for your health. when you have good health automatically you become more resilient handling tough situations physically also.

Till next time then, be grateful for all that you have.

Carpe Diem!!!