I’m part of the Old school. I grew up on the stories and advice of mature and experienced, partly from parents, on the stories from classic literature, and how the technology has developed, on the good ideas that the technology has brought. I went through all the qualitative leaps which technology created and adopted them for my own good progress in life. With new technology, I could learn more, make more and faster develop myself. I have been self-informed, since the first days as they have appeared, about systems like GTD (GettingThingsDone). Thirty years ago. I had my system, at that time, called the Finish the Job. I applied my system exclusively to work. Since my parents, and the old writers left me pearls of wisdom for life, like, “What you started, finished or you do not start at all”, “Live and let live“, “Don’t do anything to someone, if you will not like that to be done to you”… We have books full of this, like “Signs by the roadside“, Ivo Andric. I hold on to them. Today, there are hundreds of some kind of systems, and they all have in some part, real-life essence. Usually, they share the standard quality. What is right, which lasts for decades, if not longer, is the following.
You need to set long-term goals (1 and 5 years). If you want to have meaningful lives, you need to know where you’re going and when you will get there. For me, this was essential areas of my existence. Health, Love, Job. If you set for yourself long-term goals, and If you went through this process honestly and disciplined, in a short time, you will have a list of activities that you need to maintain on a daily basis. Most people do this unconsciously, with intuition, but with the hazy and undefined long-term goals, people on this path get lost. Life puts, additionally, lots of sheets over your head like Wars, State bankruptcy, the loss of loved ones, divorce, change of job, new beginnings from scratch… It’s hard to correct your behavior and everyday actions if you do not have clearly defined goals and even approximate period of time for their achievement (for me these periods are 1 and 5 years, after all that happens in the recent past). When you set your long-term goals and a meaningfully distribute them on the micro (daily) activities, there remains another essential step.
Self-discipline. These daily activities need to be transformed into good everyday habits, as they need to last for a loooong period of time. There is a whole science about developing good daily habits, how to grow them, and how to keep them. What has worked for me, from Day One, is “instant action“. Without thinking, looking for motives, preparing an environment, delaying for irrelevant problems … make an action. Later, the global procedure is given, such as motivation-action-reward, preparation of a comfortable environment and others blah, blah…
To start with, immediately switch to an active state and start with the first action, as soon as you opened your eyes in the morning. And then, with the next step, and so on until you finish everything you set for that day. Do not think, do not wait for the sky to fall on your head, just go ahead. It’s hard for the first few months, but progress is rapidly seen, and both, the brain and the body are getting adapted to the better, which enormously increases self-discipline, completely unconscious.
In the beginning, I made a list of activities for tomorrow and performed them on the “eat that frog and MITs (Most important tasks)” principles (I later heard that terms). Something remarkable happens then. Naturally, started to separates the blocks of time during the day, in which specific actions were repeated, every day. This is also logical because if these goals are explicitly defined, it is in your nature that you have periods during the day that are most suitable for their accomplishment, through activities. Morning personal hygiene, bedding after bedtime, gymnastic, breakfast, coffee, reading news and articles, writing, warming up for that day, it’s logical to be in the morning section. Setting up a bed for sleep, dinner, evening personal hygiene, reading, sleeping is reasonable to be in the evening segment. The segment of time you spend at work has his contents and activities. The afternoon block, consumed with the family at home, at a walk on fresh air, in the purchase for the home and family, in the games, has its activities. This happens as an entirely natural process. It was later explained, as the easiest way to acquire good habits, put together those that they correspond, to the daily rituals, as I described above. For me, it was then called, the Daily Routine. Today it is called Rituals. There is the natural routine of your metabolism, as the process of nutrition. Digestion of food from 20h to 04h, cleaning from 04h to 12h and food consumption from 12h to 20h. This is related to the natural cycles of day and night. We’re so made. Also true is the natural division of the day on 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of rest. You just need to make a schedule of these activities that suits you best during the day. With years, the needs for some of these primary activities are changing, as well as their schedule during the day. Your personal arrangement is naturally imposed by routines for each period of your life.
It is dangerous if you do not have determined goals because then you enter into the vicious cycle of bad habits. Every day look like each other, without any good shifts in everything you do. Sounds like you can see the future because you know exactly what you’re going to do tomorrow, and you’ll do it the same things for the next 5 years there, every day. It is not a pretty future, is not it?
The basic idea of this whole story is incredibly presented in the movie, “Groundhog Day“. In the film, completely lost character, entirely sarcastic to all the importance of life, unscrupulously ambitious because he thinks that the world spins around him, with a colossal Ego, with utterly disturbed understanding of values, with a distorted view of the social and moral norms and relations between people and sexes, just a typical man of this days. Actually, this is even worse today. He is so close to us, that he is likable, in all that chaotic existence. Beginning with the process of sobering. At the start, he meets its lowest desires like, money, sex, overeating, drinking, lying, disrespecting anyone and anything, breaking all norms and moral rules. Demolition of all restrictions that may be placed to intelligent human being. When he realizes that this does not fulfill him, all of this making everything worse, he tries to set a goal for himself but again, against any natural laws. He’s trying to change someone else’s will and to force someone else to love him, like he is a God. He hits the wall again, because he has no power to free himself from all the false habits that have been inflicted on him, and he sets the wrong goals all the time. At that moment, incapable of understanding what is happening to him, what is the point of the state in which he is, he tries to end his agony. Again the wrong goal, set up with a line of lesser resistance, yet against all the natural rules. He realizes that this is not a solution. His behavior is definitely a problem. Let’s see, what can be set up as a good long-term goal, which our guy would finally fulfill, as an intelligent and self-conscious human being, positively perfect in what he does? He is a man who lives by his words, of course, he will read everything he can to open his horizons, and to create in this area the greatest he can. He will enjoy the best food offered to him, but within the limits that he enjoys, and help those who are relieved of that pleasure, to realize that this is not good. He will reconcile with the pain that occurs when natural laws come into play, and when dear people leave us. Force majeure. He will reconcile itself to the deaths of others, and make easy their last hours on earth, as much as he can. He will change his attitude towards others for the better, because these small acts of goodness, which are returned with gratitude, heal the soul and make you redeem yourself, for all the bad things you did while you were unconscious, lost. He will also develop his artistic side, the creative part. He will recognize the beauty of art and will feel his need to realize himself through it. He owed all this to himself, from the moment he came to this situation. So we owe it to ourselves.
When these healthy habits are rooted in your personality, it is easy to vary them and adapt to changes in setting goals. Some goals will be achieved much faster than you planned (set a higher purpose and keep on going), some were unrealistically set in the start (you did not have enough information to shape them properly, so this adjustment is now on the move) but it’s essential that you have enough self-discipline in you now to go to the end. You have a meaning.
Probably the most important habit I have developed for all these years is, using the time which I take for myself before the end of the day, to manage in my mind all day long behind me and dedicate this time to myself. This habit was created in the period when I had many complicated feelings, that if I would lie to sleep, all those thoughts, ideas, strong bad and good feelings simply did not allow me to fall asleep and rest. Then I started, before the bedtime, to take a little time to recognize my thoughts, and if some ideas are so powerful or some feelings are entirely overwhelmed my mind, I put everything down on paper. Just write everything. It would merely empty that electricity, which carries through my nerve system and brain, and completely free myself from the current misery. I’m asleep as a baby, and by tomorrow I’m like a new one. I never slept for more than 7 hours, and with 6 I have enough sleep hours. Rested, tomorrow I will be proactive in dealing with all those thoughts from the previous evening. I split up good problems, whose resolution has purpose and mining, and I reject all those bad problems that would only take my precious energy and time. This habit is part of my evening routine.
Every morning and this should become part of your morning routine, read the short daily news, just informative, and separate a few articles that encourage your curiosity to learn. The news is generally, in 99% of cases, terrible, sensationalism will become elaborated, and an ordinary man will be discomfort. The main reason why this lousy news affects your spiritual condition is the feeling of powerlessness. You have to overcome this because you can’t do anything about that. The impact of these events on your life, not exist. Scan only titles to have extreme shallow information, and go on. Do not spend on the news more than 5 minutes per day. Articles and columns are another forms of information that should stimulate your curiosity and should be read with insight. It is an entirely subjective view of the topics, but catch that content is as various as possible.
I learn skills that allow me to teach myself what I need (self-learning). This will follow you all your life. Unfortunately, school systems are totally obsolete, I will mention only one fact, that the summer break is 2 months, this has been kept since children had to help their parents in the grain fields and were unable to attend classes. This was introduced for centuries behind. No school system has valuable knowledge for children such as “learn how to learn”, how to organize their ideas and thoughts, how to evolve in what they are best and what fits their personality. Teach him to catch a fish so you will not have to keep fishing for him. Instead, children are flooded with irrelevant facts that they can find in 2.5 seconds on the Internet when they need it. Children are forced to learn what they are not interested in (to achieve a better average grade). It’s a waste of valuable time because they could spend it on exceptional developments in what they are interested in, and what they want to learn, literally everything that can be discovered in this branch. Give them wind in the back of what they are interested in, and gain them to be informed in general knowledge. You will see how our children are not lazy, and that in each of them, no longer crouching little genius, but jumping and running. Therefore, you need to learn how alone you can reach the knowledge you need. School and college will give you partially that. Before the Internet, I spend every buck to buy books from which I could learn what I needed and what I was interested in. Today, everything can be absorbed through the Internet. There I get new knowledge every day. You have to learn your whole life (because you want it and you love it) and this is the only way to survive and make progress. I developed this habit, and she is in my afternoon routine.