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We know the amount of hours in the day but we do not know how many we will have. Work and sleep fill lots of those hours, but what we do with the rest is our choice, right? When I was growing up in USSR, our choices were very limited. There was one kind of salami, one kind of milk, one kind of cafeteria, one kind of children’s boots, and one kind of black and white television, there were no commercials or advertising because all industry was ran by the government and there was no competition. We did not know different though. Our days were filled with school and work, and then lots of playing outside, cello and piano lessons, library and theater, walking around and exploring Moscow, museums. This was pre-internet of course. Today we speak of how busy we are, yet we find time to like things on Facebook and Instagram, to post a bunch, to catch an episode of somewhere’s “Housewives”, to read and ignore a friend’s text, to play with our phone while our children are trying to tell us what happened in school… We are choosing each and every second who we are, what we surround ourselves with, what we expose our children to and what we model for them.
Seth Godin says of the Industrial age that “You work your day doing something you’re not proud of, and you decompress at night with television and whisky, and on weekends you can go for a run. Right? Do that forever, and forty years from now you’re dead — that’s the deal.” In post-Industrial era our choices are abundant, thanks to infinite connectivity that is growing exponentially as we speak. But it is easy to feel trapped by what is being sent to you and the stories that are told about who you are and what you should be choosing. Rebel and do something different today! Go beyond the norm, beyond what people expect, beyond what you expect.
I stopped at my son’s public school the other day to surprise him with a hug. I was driving by and thought about it, then almost did not do it because “would it be weird?”, “would his teacher say something”, “would the front desk ask me why I was there?”, but I pushed myself and went ahead with it, and ran in and hugged him. The smile on his face was priceless. The feeling I got from the hug was beyond what the words can describe. It was a little hug that was enormous. I understood that it is the best thing in life. Free. Abundant. Amazing. If choose it that is.
Learning today is easier than ever! We have access to the world’s greatest teachers, gurus, and all sorts of experts at our fingertips. You think you have no time, but I bet you can easily pass a college course’s curriculum while driving the kids to and from afterschool activities or during your commute to and from work. You can subscribe to the podcasts of individuals that you respect, or simply search by what you are interested in. Podcasts and free and informative. The ones I recommend for everyone are Achieve Your Goals with Hal Erlod (the author of Miracle Morning), The Tim Ferris Show (Choose interviews with the guests you admire), Operation Self Reset, Tara Brach (for meditations), The Startup School with Seth Godin, these are just a few I follow on my phone and I have to say they keep me inspired and on my “high flying disk” of being aligned with universe and promote the flow of creative juices. Morning meditations are a breeze as you can look up and find any type of guided meditation and music on youtube. My kindle gives me samples of books I want to explore and purchase if I like what I read. If a choice is between playing candy crush which teaches nothing and is a complete waste of time using the same technology in my pocket and learning something new which in turn stimulates thinking and creating, I choose the latter.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford
At the start of this year I made a decision that I want to commit to myself to a pursuit of intellect. I’m already a bit of a nerd, so this wasn’t really an alien concept for me, however I quickly realized that in order for me to make educating myself a priority in my life – I would have to make it into a daily habit. Here is a list of some suggestions for small practices you could implement into your lifestyle. I would not expect anybody to do all of these things every single day, but you can choose a few, and keep your learning varied and fun! At first it may seem overwhelming, but after a few months of…
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