Measuring productivity is not an easy practice. What you do know at any point in your work though, is whether your productivity is at it’s best. Better yet, if it is where you want it to be.
Today, we are bringing you a few simple daily practices that will help you maximize your capacity and develop more productive habits.
Listen to our founder, Gautam, explain his habits and how they help him:
For this simple trick, we are engaging our Reticular activating system, which is our brain’s filtration system. It captures only the important things and feeds that to our brain. To train the RAS, we can use our everyday activities, like showering, eating and walking to work.
In the exercise, Gautam will explain how to use your RAS for setting a positive momentum
It’s so much easier to work and avoid stress if we manage to combine positive emotions with habits. Have you ever gained a good result from beating yourself up? Didn’t think so! With this practice we are learning to maximize the effect of positive emotion we gather throughout the day for a positive outcome.
The assignment is simple. Give an honest answer to 3 questions, day in and day out. Now, remember that this exercise only works if it becomes a reoccurring habit, so make sure you set up a notification in your calendar and get ready to have your life changed! You can use your journal or phone or even the conversation with yourself during meditation. Ready?
Here they go;
Easy? Even better! Now imagine how much more you can do and achieve if you manage to feed your brain with this information. How will your brain treat you in return if your brain food becomes the feeling of proudness, forgiveness, and commitment?
Gautam’s life has changed once he stopped feeding himself with ‘Oh, see? Someone else is doing it better!’ and ‘See, this is where you failed again!’. Instead, he started saying ‘I’m proud of you for trying again.’ and ‘I forgive you for making the same mistake, you are only human.’ and most importantly: ‘I commit that next time, I will take help in preparing and deliver my best self!’
Start noticing the nice things people say, train your brain to switch from assuming the worst to assuming the best.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get regular content like this straight to your mailbox!
Gautam Khetrapal Founder, LifePlugin | Keynote Speaker
Gautam is a world class speaker who has spoken at stages such as Mindvalley, UNESCO, TEDx, Startup Investor Summit bringing a unique blend of play, passion and adventure at each of his spaces.
We live in a world of Abundance and Lazy Consumption in the 21st Century. Pretty much everything we want is just a click away. Yet, our generation is more dissatisfied, more depressed and more unhealthy (physically, mentally, spiritually) than our previous generations. What are we doing wrong?
This is a list of uncommon, unchallenged ideas or habits we have in our time & age, that stop us from creating an extraordinary life. It’s a call out to the rebel in you to challenge each of these items.
Let’s start with an easy one 🙂
Money. Maybe 2 or 3 for some (answer this for yourself if you will). We give so much importance to financial success and almost nothing to any other area. And rightly so, many people give in everything to their jobs or businesses, anything that brings in money, and end up sacrificing all other areas of life.
What about your Intellectual life? Every animal on the planet has their strongest tool, Tigers have their Teeth, Eagles have their wings & sight, humans have their mind. We are not the strongest, nor the fastest, nor the biggest on the planet, yet we are the most dominant species on the planet because of our minds. What are we constantly doing to nurture our minds?
What about your Social Life? Studies show that number one factor that determines your happiness level, is your level of your social connections.
What about your Character? Your character will determine all the KPIs of your life anyway, how do we consciously focus to build it everyday?
What about your Spiritual Life? Humans have deep desire to be connected to a higher source, be it a religion, or Spirituality in general and connection to the universe? How do we grow as a spiritual being?
What about your Love Relationships? Over 40% of the couples divorce in America. One of the million amazing things Tony Robbin said was this “Love to me is not a feeling, it’s an Action”. What actions are you taking everyday to improve your love life?
A very interesting exercise to explore is Lifebook. Lifebook divides your life into 12 different areas (Financial life is #8 in that list), and create strategies for all of those 12 categories to create a more holistic life experience for ourselves.
“It would be so much easier (and cheaper) for the world to make organic food free, than to treat people for cancer for the last 20yrs of their lives”- Eric Edmeades
We are the smartest species on earth, but also we make the dumbest decisions about our own health.
The food marketing industry is more evil that tobacco industry and we don’t realise it.
Today we don’t even realise that we are sick, we have been sick for 15–20yrs because we were never supposed to be eating the stuff we have been eating all our lives.
So today when people have been obese all their lives, they just think it’s who they are.. If someone’s skin has been bad for 10 yrs, they don’t think it’s a problem anymore, it’s just who they are.
Our body’s survival software has been evolving & developing for millions of years, and it’s perfectly designed to make us survive the worst possible conditions imaginable. BUT, with the food choices we learn to make today..
Here is a brilliant talk by Eric Edmeades who introduced me to this topic and has inspired thousands of people to make conscious decisions with their food. Do yourself a favour and watch this today:
Another recommendation, a book about understanding our body from an evolutionary stand point – Why We Get Sick
Here’s an awesome testimonial of the book from Richard Dawkins (he is considered the modern age Charles Darwin): “Get two copies, and give one to your doctor”
All “Drugs” Are considered dangerous, but alcohol and smoking are acceptable everywhere.
In no way I am recommending to become a pothead or cokehead in life. But today, there is enough research available for us to understand that some substances (I am talking about Psychedelics) can have a therapeutic, and in some cases life-changing effect. People have to go to events like Burning man to be explore these things without being judged (not that I am complaining about Burning Man :)).
But people deserve to know exactly how psychedelics can benefit them and also potentially harm them.
If we categorise every substance in the world (except tobacco & alcohol) one category called “drugs”, and just have a taboo about all the “drugs” in the world, we don’t give people a chance to potentially change their lives in a certain area.
And the ones who are willing to explore this, might not get the best information about it because its not a popular subject to bring up with your friends and family.
Here is a interview of Tim Ferriss with a guy that studied psychedelics as a researcher for over 19yrs.
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT USE ANY DRUGS OR SUBSTANCES WITHOUT CONSULTING A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL…
Get well informed, and make decisions for yourselves.
I hope most of the people reading this don’t feel that way, but a lot of people still think it’s fluffy stuff and sure.. you can use it to calm your mind. It is much powerful than that.
I mentioned in point #1, the tool of strength for humans, is the mind. It’s the reason why humans are the most dominant species on the planet. We gotta keep this tool sharp and in our control.
There are only 2 scenarios when it comes to mind control — either you control it, or the random world around you does. It’s better to have it under your control.
It should be done everyday, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Cool thing is we sometimes do it without even knowing, it just needs to be a daily practice.
Think of it this way, you wake up, you brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, eat good breakfast etc and that’s your way of taking care of your body.
Meditation is taking care of the mind.
Here’s a few ideas to start:
I highly recommend mornings, because that sets the tone for the day. Here
Why use memory when I have all the technology in the world.
Phones are getting smarter and people, not so much..
Using memory is considered a waste of time and unproductive, and is replaced by technology.
Here’s a common argument:
Why in an age of smartphones, Google, Wikipedia, and ever present internet access, WHY would I bother training my memory?
Why do I want to remember names and phone numbers, my app does it for me?
Why do I have to calculate manually when my calculator in my computer works just fine?
Why should I invest in learning a new language, I will never need it now that Google glass and other advanced translating tech are already available?
Because when you stop using your brain, it starts becoming useless.
Boosting your memory has a direct relation with your creativity. Great thinkers of the ancient world recognise that creativity, focus and critical analysis could only happen in the minds of a well-trained memory practitioner.
Boosting memory and constantly learning new stuff is excellent for mental health. Better memory practitioners reduce their chances of Alzheimer by half.
“There is no learning without memory improvement.” Harry Lorayne, Father of Memory Improvement
Need more convincing, check these out:
Greetings, SuperFriends. Welcome to a very special episode of this week’s show. Today, we’ve managed to book, without…
We want the latest Operating System even if the previous one had just come out a year ago, but the Education system can be a few hundred years old.
I refuse to follow that. I studied Computer Science Engineering at university. While in university, I was interested in Event Management, People Management, Sales & Marketing and Exploring new cultures. I studied all of that on my own time with my own dime.
Today, I am a Personal Transformation Enthusiast with the goal of creating the Disneyland of Personal Growth, Learning and Education. None if this came from my school/university.
Some of my smartest people I know are putting their lives on the line, taking a massive study loan over $100,000 to join the some university for a year or two.
In an age of exponential technologies, new models of work and entrepreneurship, location independence, and new definitions of what it means to lead a meaningful life — it’s time to rethink university. Here’s an alternative that a company that I work with is experimenting right now:
“The future will belong not only to the educated man, but to the man who is educated to use his leisure wisely” – C.K. Brightbill
Stick with me here for a minute..
Mihaly, best selling author of “Flow”, explains that we experience the optimal experience a.k.a “state of flow” when our mind is met with a challenge that just matches our skills.
The natural state of mind is chaos. It is neither useful nor enjoyable.
And state of flow is overcoming the “natural” state of the mind (chaos or psychic entropy).
With the massive growth in the media and entertainment industry, we can easily distract our mind with a passive leisure activity (the biggest example is Television).
But it’s a very poor substitute for “attention invested in real challenges” like creating something or investing in our skill development.
With so much distraction around us, our attention, in a way, is getting controlled by way too much useless external stimuli.
What can we do?
Once we understand why this happens to us, we can overcome our mind being controlled by the world around us.
Our mind is always seeking something to overcome it’s natural state of chaos or entropy, and overstimulation of external stimuli (which we have little control on) can temporarily fulfil that need.
And also understand that we can consciously choose how to consistently experience “the state of flow” through experiences that actually contribute to our personal development
Here’s an excerpt from the book “The Flow”, that conveys my point perfectly:
“Instead of using our physical and mental energy to have flow experiences, we spend hours each week watching celebrated athletes on TV, instead of making music, we listen to platinum records cut by millionaire musicians. Instead of making art we go to museum to admire paintings that brought in the highest bids. We don’t run the risk of acting on our beliefs but spend hours each week watching actors who pretend to have adventures, engaged in mock-meaningful action.
This vicarious participation is able to mask, atleast temporarily , the underlying emptiness of wasted time. But is a very pale substitute for attention invested in real challenges.
The flow experience that results from the use of skills, leads to growth; passive entertainment leads nowhere”
The lesson here is to use our free time wisely, not only because it leads to our personal growth, but also because it gets us in the Flow state.
Interested in reading more on the subject, read the book,
We all want to have total control over our lives, our emotions, our our goals etc, BUT we start everyday with the total opposite.
Most people wake up and the first thing they do in the morning is… you guessed it right.. check their social media.
Your mornings are the single most important determiner of how your day will unfold, and you give the control to Emails, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat etc..
Here’s why it’s a bad idea:
If this information is totally new to you (I hope not), here is a really interesting article for you 🙂
The answer is simple (but not easy): Have a morning routine.
The most effective people in the world have morning routines (all of them), because it’s the most important part of the day..
Tony Robbins starts his morning with a ritual to prime himself for success..
Robin Sharma created the 5am club which is followed by thousands of people today (I am still at 5:20am)
Here is a cool article that you will like about the recipe for creating the perfect day, everyday.
In a conversation with a friend about daily routine, she gave me a long argument that went something like this:
Follow your passion and create the career you love..
..there is just one problem with that, this can be slightly misleading. Let me break down the “The Passion Hypothesis” ..
The Passion Hypothesis: The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.
People are often misguided by just rolling with this idea, and here’s why:
In the book ‘So Good, They Can’t Ignore You’, Cal Newport gives the following 3 conclusions from studying and negating passion hypothesis from closer look:
With that said, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to turn our hobbies into our dream careers, but even the most successful musicians, artists etc don’t have the “Passion Mindset”..
They adopt something called the “Craftsmen Mindset” and focus only on the process of mastering their craft. Understanding this difference can help a lot of people make better decisions. Read the detailed description here:
In June 2005, Steve Jobs took the podium at Stanford Stadium to give the commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating…
And that’s it. I hope this inspires some ideas on how you can start shifting your life in the direction you want. Would love to know your thoughts below 🙂
Let’s start with an easy one 🙂
In June 2005, Steve Jobs took the podium at Stanford Stadium to give the commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class. Wearing jeans and sandals under his formal robe, Jobs addressed a crowd of 23,000 with a short speech that drew lessons from his life. About a third of the way into the address, Jobs offered the following advice: You’ve got to find what you love…. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.
When he finished, he received a standing ovation.
Now, this is where I want to introduce the most misleading advice in the name of passion…
Steve Jobs — a guru of iconoclastic thinking — put his stamp of approval on an immensely appealing piece of popular career advice:
What most people don’t know about Steve Jobs, in the time he started Apple Computer his actions were hardly the actions of someone passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. In other words, in the months leading up to the start of his visionary company, Steve Jobs was something of a conflicted young man, seeking spiritual enlightenment and dabbling in electronics only when it promised to earn him quick cash. Read full story here: Do Like Steve Jobs Did: Don’t Follow Your Passion
How do we find work that we develop passion for?
There are 2 different approaches to thinking about work:
Most people adopt the passion mindset, but the craftsmen mindset is the foundation of creating/finding work that you love.
In other words the passion mindset is gonna keep you perpetually unhappy and confused.
Elliott took $50,000 in credit card debt and invited over 50 digital entrepreneurs for a weekend in 2008, but then he was on to something..
The following year, 200 people came and this time, they paid for themselves.
The year after 700 people came, and they paid.
Today, he gave birth to what we call the Summit Series. It’s one of the most exciting business conferences in the world and people like Richard Branson and Jeff Besos attend and speak at that conference.
Elliott was voted as INC. Magazine’s Coolest Entrepreneur of the Year 2009.
Did you notice what he was doing?
He was bringing together people with similar interests, similar problems, and similar lifestyles together. And that is the most powerful ingredient of our education, our tribe.
There’s something liberating about the craftsman mindset: It asks you to leave behind self-centered concerns about whether your job is “just right,” and instead put your head down and plug away at getting really damn good. No one owes you a great career, it argues; you need to earn it — and the process won’t be easy.
Put aside the question of whether your job is your true passion, and instead turn your focus toward becoming extremely valuable.
Regardless of how you feel about your job right now, adopting the craftsman mindset will be the foundation on which you’ll build a compelling career.
Adopt the craftsman mindset first and then the passion follows.
If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).
Constantly push your boundaries
Constantly seek new ways to get better. It could be anything that’s related to your ideal work — reading books, blogs, watching webinars, attending seminars implementing & testing new learnings etc,
You see, people get from average to good very quickly at first, but once they get comfortable, they stop getting better because they are not stretching themselves.
We need to train ourselves to constantly get better through pushing ourselves. Identify a clear, specific goal based on something that you’re not quite able to do yet, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get there.
Every time we have to learn something new, there is a burst of inspiration that gets us through the first month or so, and then we start to slow down. The most successful people are the ones who are most consistent.
Time block your ‘craft practice’ everyday. Once its in your calendar, just dive into it everyday(even if it is for an hour). I noticed some resistance for myself when I was starting this process, but forcing me to ‘just start’ everyday at the same time, got me in the habit to not even letting my doubting/questioning mind come in this process.
This has a compounding effect on whatever you want to get better over time. You will be surprised to see how fast you grow in a few months and it will keep getting better.
Even if it means to destroy what you previously thought was good.
Cal Newport suggests to use money as an indicator of the value of your skill. You know you’re getting better at something if more money is being offered to you in your job or business.
Craftsmen mindset offers a long-term payoff in creating Mission-oriented and Successful career. We have to be patient and consistent with the efforts.
I had been a firm believer of Following your passion in life, until I came across this information. It shifted my paradigms in the way I view passion and especially in my work. This compelled me to share it as there are many young people unsatisfied in their work because they believe they aren’t passionate about it, and don’t know how to find work that is fulfilling to them, which they can call their Passion or Calling.
I hope this inspires you to go on the path to create mission-driven work for yourself that you can call your passion.
This post is completely inspired by the book ‘So Good, They Can’t Ignore You’, by Cal Newport. Highly recommended book for anyone who wants to go more in-depth in what it means to be passionate about your work, having mission-driven career and HOW to get there.
Let me know what your thoughts on finding/creating career passion, this does start very interesting conversations.
“… I am unable to have enough time in the day, there is way too many things to do. Some days, I am unable to go to the gym, because I am too tired, or not motivated, or feeling low because of the day and feel like rewarding myself by relaxing. I don’t feel too happy to start work somedays, I guess I am moody…”
This conversation went for about 15 mins, I have heard similar challenges from many people, and I have had these challenges myself in the past.
So, the question is, how do I have a perfect day?
The answer is – you can’t.
Not by careful planning of the activities of the day or having just a positive attitude towards the day or life. These things will certainly help though.
Why? Because we don’t have full control on how the day will unfold, what are the unplanned things/conversations that will tax us or distract us from our vision of a perfect day.
Let’s start with what constitutes the perfect day, make your own list, here is mine:
Now, back to the question of having a perfect day, how do we make sure that we have energy (willpower is also physical energy) to fulfil our requirements of the perfect day, everyday.
Here is the answer:
The goal should not be having a perfect day, rather having a highly energised start to the day. Positive energy creates positive momentum.
Gary Keller in his incredible book ‘The ONE Thing’, mentions how highly effective people have a highly energised start of the day:
Highly effective person’s daily energy plan:
Does this work? Hell yes. Since I have organised my mornings to cater to the model above, my productivity has skyrocketed and I can’t wait to start my days everyday.
5:20am: Wake up to the most beautiful woman, spend 15–20 mins with her just being hopelessly romantic.
6:00am – 7:10am: Hit the gym, Crossfit, because it’s just awesome.
7:10am – 7:40am: Shower, get ready for office, protein shake and/or fruits
7:45am – 8:20am: Meditate
8:30am – 10:45am: Disappear for everyone (no phone, emails, FB) until I get the most important thing of the day done and plan the rest of the day.
10:53am is when my first office meeting starts and by this time I am done with most important items of the day and overflowing with energy.
I highly recommend planning your start of the day so you energise yourself with as much Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Mental and Business energy as you can. And you will start to notice a major shift in your life.
Let me know your recipe for a perfect day in the comments below
On Sept 9 2017, I went on a TEDx stage in one of the best universities in Malaysia, and started my speech by saying “I am here to make you quit your university today”.
I was expecting dead silence, but instead I received a big round of applause in the first 10 seconds of my speech.
The reason I mention that is because I believe there is a deep explanation for that surprising response..
You see, we all know that our standardised education system is outdated, we talk so much about it and keep beating that dead horse. What we are really seeking now, is a solution to escape that outdated system and not face the consequence of being a failure in life.
And I am here to suggest that solution.
It is a continuous circle with 3 fundamental elements, that I call the Wheel Of Modern Education, and it empowers anyone to sit in the driver’s seat of their own education, and design their own life.
We know that the “standardised” education system is outdated, it was built for the industrial age and hasn’t been updated for over 100 yrs.
We don’t live in the age of standardisation, we live in the age of customisation (the information age) and for the first time have the privilege to customise our own education like never before.
There are websites like edx.org where you can take all the classes that MIT students take today, for free.
Or you can go on udemy.com and buy any course below $200 from photography to programming, turn your passions into professions.
We have that privilege today.
We have never had this much and this easy access to information before.
But if customised online education alone was the solution to the problem, we wouldn’t be talking about changing education system today.
Customised self-education is important but is not the only thing that matters. And unfortunately, even the most forward thinkers of our times only focus on this aspect of “Self-education”, and miss THE MOST POWERFUL aspect of our education.
The story of Elliott Bisnow is the perfect example for how you take your education (and your life) to the next level.
In 2008, the 23yrs old Elliott was starting out as a digital entrepreneur living in Utah, a very cold State in USA.
As an entrepreneur he needed to learn & educate himself constantly. He had a lot of unanswered questions and didn’t know who to ask. So he picked up the phone, and started calling all the successful young entrepreneurs in the country. The calls went something like this..
“Hey, I am starting out as a digital entrepreneur, and I am inviting some really cool digital entrepreneurs to hang out for a skiing trip in Utah, would love for you to join. And you know what, I will pay for your trip”
Find your Tribe.
You see, human beings are social animals. We naturally seek connection with people who are like us; people with similar interests, similar problems, similar lifestyles. And we thrive in that environment, that’s where we share the latest practices, we learn from each other, we teach each other and grow TOGETHER, as a Tribe.
This is the hidden element of modern education that unlocks massive success and fulfilment.
And it’s never been easier to find your Tribe.
If you are a programmer today, you can go on topcoder.com, they have turned programming into a massive online multi-player game. They make money there by taking on projects, but they compete with each other, they teach and learn from each other and grow together as a Tribe.
And there is a Tribe for literally everything, it doesn’t matter if you are a programmer, a musician, a photographer, a doctor, a dancer, an entrepreneur, you name it. All it takes is a Google search.
In the world we live in today, its never been easier and more important to find your Tribe.
And when you find your Tribe, something really interesting happens.
On May 28, 2017, I landed in Barcelona and joined about 400 people from 50 different countries that relocated to Barcelona for a month to go deep into the field of personal transformation. This event was called Mindvalley U
Mindvalley u, Barcelona, 2017
For the next 30 days, in the day we would have inspiring workshops & classes from some of the best teachers in the world, and in the evenings we had spaces to connect deeply & meaningfully with our Tribe. We partied in the streets of Barcelona, had dinners and deep conversations with each other, and reinforced our connections with our Tribe.
This is what I call, a Deep Immersion.
Deep Immersions are powerful. These are events that happen for a really short period of time where you come together with your Tribe and go deep into your interests, stir some emotions, have a lot of fun, and create lasting memories.
Every time I come back from any event like this, I come back with a list of books I want to read, courses I want to take and classes I want to enrol in. That ties back into my “Self-Education” again.
And that’s how Self-Education, My Tribe and Deep Immersions form what I call “The Wheel of Modern Education”.
The beauty of this framework is that you can start at any one of the 3 places and one leads to the other, and it never ends..
.. and why should it end, when our education is this exciting and fulfilling 🙂
Wheel Of Modern Education by Gautam Khetrapal
You see, we idolise people who quit their education and do great things in the world; our Mark Zuckerbergs, our Elon Musks, our Einsteins, our Richard Bransons, our Mark Twains..
But if we look closely, the smartest people in the world, the Outliers, the Game-Changers, the Moonshot takers..
..they NEVER quit their education, they simply escape the outdated education system.
I hope this opens your mind to a different perspective of education, and you take this framework to drive your own education.
You can watch my TEDx talk on “The Wheel Of Modern Education“, to see how I apply it in my own life and how this is really a template that enables us to become the Dean of our own never-ending University.
I would love to know what you think about this framework and how you have been driving your own education in your own life. Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Have Questions For Us?
Speak to our tribe curator for all your queries