As human beings, we innately are created to be social animals; however, what this biologically means is we behaviorally crave touch. We need deep love. We need deep interaction. One act of love for primates is grooming; which is why parents love to care for their kids. It's a concentrated, act of love. What the age of technology and internet has brought is a vast great amount of advancements, global connectivity, and transfer speed of information. What we have lost in the interim is the deep connections that the human heart thrives on. When was the last time we wrote a long letter to someone we love? When was the last time we drew an extensive drawing or created a project for someone we care about to simply display the feelings we feel inside without words? How often did we really call loved ones on a regular basis and have long, deep conversations of: what are your dreams, what are your goals, how are you really feeling? It is ok to cry with me because I am crying too. This level of depth is what our souls crave and, unfortunately, with the inundation and speed of information, we are in the age of quick texts, group chats, less than 140 characters, thumb scrolling, etc. to capture and catch up on as much as we can. We watch movies / shows / concerts / games and often catch ourselves scrolling again on our phones to "optimize" our time or capture clips of video to share it on social. Imagine this was your last day on this planet: how would you truly like to experience it stripped away from mundane creations of distraction? Imagine this was the last day of a loved one: what would you tell them or would like to do for them?
Ecuador has now become the epicenter country hit hardest with the number of cases and deaths in entire South America. Ecuador has been on government enforced strict lockdown since 3.15.20. My family and I have been aiming to get regular updates from them. My aunt was 48. I hadn't seen her in years; how much I wish I just would have gone to Ecuador last year.
It does not perhaps hit home until you know someone who passes away, or much worse, it is within your own family. I share this with you because it hurts. It hurts what is happening around the world. It hurts to see so many still complain. This is our chance as a human being / as a species to rise, together. Instead of being angry, I am going to aim to be grateful and be proactive each day. We don't know when this will end, and I will be honest: it is going to be months and maybe until the rest of the year. What we know, scientists shared in January and I shared until I talked myself blue. There is no normal; this is our new normal and our opportunity to grow as a better human being from it. Some will, some will choose not, others will hurt beyond measure.
I share some tips and notes I took for myself in the desert in hopes that it can inspire you to take this time for some deep reflection. Deep action. Deep work. Write that long letter to yourself, to a loved one, take that long solo walk, take that long phone conversation and focus your energy in the right places. It is not only about time, but energy-- how are we investing our emotional, physical, and mental energy is more important than ever. We have this beautiful planet that was crying and now we are crying with it. This is our chance.
SAYING THANK YOU IS A SKILL:
1. It shows you care about people.
2. It shows you don't think you're the queen / king of the universe.
3. It shows that you understand the order of the world.
4. It's going to brighten your day.
5. It's going to brighten someone else's day.
PROBLEMS DISTRACTIONS CREATE:
1. Too much info: forces our brain to focus on things we already know, find funny, has superficially changed, trending topics that are aligned with our beliefs, and see flaws in others than ones in ourselves. We aggressively filter.
2. Not enough meaning: We tend to find quick stories first. Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps. Distractions then becomes a story filled with gaps lacking meaning.
3. Need to act fast: lest we lose our chance, we jump to conclusions or not well thought out actions.
4. Not knowing what we should remember: we try to remember the important bits. These decisions inform our mental models of the world.
QUESTIONS TO ASK EACH WEEK:
1. What have I learned?
2. What mistakes have I made?
3. What do I need to avoid?
4. What do I want to focus on?
5. What am I grateful for?
HOW TO LEARN SKILLS FASTER:
1. use best practices
2. measure and evaluate your progress weekly
3. get feedback
4. don't quit with failure
5. chuck your work uninterrupted
QUICK WAYS TO UPLIFT YOURSELF:
1. diversify your source of fulfillment
2. change your environment
3. journal everything
4. organized your closets / storage and donate
5. wave, smile, say thank you to everyone on the streets
30 LESSONS ON LIFE:
1. Balance is between ready aim fire to "ready fire aim".
2. Automate as many things as possible.
3. Journey is greater than genesis.
4. You'll be happier if you love the journey more than the destination. Love the climb.
5. Your relationships will all change dramatically. Adaptation and evolution is life.
6. The past is best used as a wellspring of gratitude.
7. Procrastination is ok if it works.
8. Procrastination is a silent killer of your deepest dreams.
9. You can be spontaneous even when you have plans.
10. Money can buy a lot of things, but the most important thing it can buy is freedom: escaping the mental and physical rat race.
11. The people that are holding you back mean well.
12. Getting older isn't a bad thing.
13. Happiness should be a central focus in marriage: the other person's happiness.
14. Finding yourself is great, losing yourself is better.
15. It's ok to fail at stuff.
16. Be afraid of regret not failure. Take the calculated risk.
17. How you manage your energy is more important than time.
18. Your health is your wealth.
19. EVERYONE knows something you don't. Have the humility to listen and you'll keep growing.
20. Experimentation is the best way to get advice.
21. Focus on the smallest changes that make the biggest difference -- PARETO principle 80/20 rule: 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes.
22. Keep a journal.
23. You are WINNING if you can be grateful, excited and focus on your journey, even in the tough times. Find mentors and coaches during this time for guidance.
24. Find meaning in your obstacles.
25. If you don't like the story you are telling yourself, tell yourself a different story.
26. Your weaknesses are your strengths.
27. Separate how you spend your time from how you make money.
28. Have an attitude of gratitude.
29. Only thing that goes up with age is maturity. Focus on your character and wisdom.
30. Lessons aren't learned from lists. Get out there, experiment, and put things into practice.
"Tough times create strong men. Strong men create great times. Great times create weak men." Lets rise as individuals and rise as a species. Thank you for reading and my deepest hope is as many of us remain healthy, safe, and love one another.