"Habits often initiate routines. So for example, you might have a habit of answering an e-mail for an hour each day. And while you're answering e-mails, you're not totally on auto-pilot," James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, talks about habits in the Minimalists podcast. "You're thinking carefully about how to respond the message and so on. But it's often the habit. The automatic non-consciousness action of pulling your phone out of your pocket. That initiates the routine of responding the e-mail."
Clear also adds in podcast episode: "A habit must be established before it can be approved. And so the very first thing to do is to master the art of showing up. It's not to worry about the performance. It's not to worry about what the writing looks like."
I like to nap and sleep. Because my body needs to rest, recover, and recharge in order to function and perform. I'm left with 14 hours in a day.
I mentioned it in my previous blog entry, Priorities.
I start my day by making my bed every morning.
"It will give you a small sense of pride. And it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day. That one task completed will have turned into mini-task completed," Navy Seal Admiral McRaven gave a commencement speech about making your bed every morning at University of Texas, Austin. "Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right. And if by any chance, you have a miserable day. You will come home to a bed that is made that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. So if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed."
I met a 75-year-old man at gym's sauna. He has a fit body for his age. And he looks like Morgan Freeman. (He said he gets it all the time.)
"Life is a lesson. Pay attention," he shared me a quote from his grandfather. "Because there will be a test."
For instance, I was scheduled to lift weights at 10am with friend. My dad knew. He still called me to help him in changing gym membership. My dad believed he can make changes to it. Since he is paying for my gym membership. Apparently the gym workers needed me too in order to process it.
One of my lifestyle habits is to lift weights.
My schedule was pushed back. I was 45 minutes late to see my friend. A conflict occurred. It was a test.
My dad could have done it another time. Because I already had a planned schedule.
My friend waited for me. And we started our gym routine at 10:45am.
My young-self would have complained, sweared, and yelled at my dad. I felt frustrated and disappointed. I'm human. I have feelings. I realized it would not have gone anywhere. Because we would be getting mad at each other until someone gives up and walks away.
I learned a lesson.
It's understanding who people are. And making adjustments.
After I make my bed, I drink a cup of black coffee with a bowl of oatmeal. I take the time to be grateful and thankful for the breakfast. I single-task. I ignore my phone or any other technology. I only focus on my meal.
Then I choose to read a book or listen to a podcast for an hour or two.
I review and study for my realtor state exam. Because I failed last month. And I'll retake the exam by mid-July.
I take a mid-afternoon nap for about 1-2 hours.
I wake up from nap to blog and journal for about 2 hours. I need to write. Because it's my therapy.
I hit the gym. I meetup with a friend. I'm always early. Because I want to stretch my body before he arrives. We lift together 4 days a week. (Tuesday is chest day, Wednesday is back day, Thursday is shoulder day, and Saturday is leg day.) The days would switch up sometimes.
After I hit the weights, I would use a foam roller to loosen the muscles. Then, I would relax the muscles at a sauna for 20 minutes.
I'm not getting any younger. And I enjoy taking the time to take care of my body.
I used to masturbate before I sleep. It was a bad habit. Now, I have replaced its habit from meditating for 5 minutes every night before I sleep. I sit down with my legs crossed as my hands touch knees.
Meditating has relaxed my mind to process and relax. And it's also my therapy.
I still masturbate here and there. But I have limited my time from it. I used to be a porn addict. (I'll talk more about it in one of my upcoming blog entries.)
Throughout my day, I engage in a conversation with anyone. I like to talk.
For instance, the man from sauna also told me about communication. It's having the sense of talking to anyone despite their age, gender, and color. He was surprised I was able to initiate and engage in a conversation with him. We had a great pleasure in meeting each other.
Some people wouldn't want to talk. I can read their body language. That's fine. I can't force them. I respect their space.
"Humans need to bond. It is one of our most primal urges. So if we can't bond with other people, we will find a behavior to bond with, whether it's watching pornography or smoking crack or gambling," Johann Hari writes in his book, Chasing the Scream: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection. If the only bond you can find that gives you relief or meaning is with splayed women on a computer screen or bags of crystal or a roulette wheel, you will return to that bond obsessively."
Other lifestyle habits throughout my day:
I message my buyers on FB Marketplace. Because I sell used material goods from decluttering my room, or taking free stuff from neighborhood.
I play tennis twice a week with Avi on Tuesday, and Ken on Thursday. I warm up. And I play a match against them.
I play basketball once or twice a week. I would either shoot around alone or play a game of pickup basketball.
I like to compete in matches and games. It trains the mind to strategize on how to beat and study the opponent. And to overcome a comeback whenever I am down.
If I'm not competing, I will only learn and accumulate the knowledge in mind. And the body is not being able to apply, execute, and perform on the court.
Competition practices the body and mind altogether.
I win. I lose. At the end of the day, I'm alive. And breathing.
Same goes to tennis and basketball. I mentioned it earlier in lifting weights. I also go to a sauna for 20 minutes after I finish playing tennis or basketball.
I clean my teeth 3 times a day, or before I go out. I floss and brush my teeth. And I end it with a mouthwash.
I used to skip flossing teeth. Because I was lazy. I have lost a lot of gum from it.
I shower once a day, or once every 2 days. I get dandruff. It must stay moisturized.
I declutter at least one item in my room almost every day.
"The average household has 300,000 items," Michelle Schroeder-Gardner writes in her article, 14 Shocking Statistics about the Things We Spend Money On.
I eat healthy. Because I do not take multi-vitamins anymore. I focus on eating less carbs, more greens, and more protein. I avoid eating salty foods. I hate salt. My only sugar I prefer to eat is fruits.
I like to label my lifestyle habits. Because it acknowledges either my progression or regression. And it helps me to become a better person every day.
Some days are good. And other days are bad. It's being able to trust the process every day.
I used to see habits as goals before. It was unhealthy. Once I ever reached a goal, it became a finish line. And my motivation ended. Then I went back to my old habits.
"A calm mind, a fit body, and a house full of love. These things cannot be bought. They must be earned," Naval talks in his podcast. "Even if you have all the money in the world. You can't have those 3 things."
I continue to be consistent on my lifestyle habits as I work on becoming a realtor. And looking for clients to declutter their homes.
The mind talks. And the body decides.
It is an offering.
Many means and ways of giving.
When I was a kid, I was taught to never talk to strangers. Because I might get kidnapped, molested, or killed. (They never said that. But you can see why.) I avoided beggars asking for help. (It made me look down upon them.) I only earned money through gifts, chores, and allowances from family, friends, and relatives.
And received any brand new material goods, like toys, given to me from family, friends, and relatives. (Brand new material goods were purchased from money too.) I witnessed this way and mean of giving and receiving based on my childhood experience.
I became what I saw and heard.
"I think money is important. And I do really want to hear your reasons for that," Travis talks about it with his friend, Brandon, in their podcast episode, The Importance of Giving. "But maybe to just keep in mind as we move forward. You also can give up your time, effort, attention, love, and talent as well."
I was told to give more than receive. Every time, I was offered a gift. I was taught to not accept it right away.
I sleep about 8 hours every night. I take a nap for about an hour or two every day.
One day is 24 hours. About 10 hours of my time is from sleeping. My body needs to rest, recover, and recharge in order to function and perform. And I am left with 14 hours in day.
It is being able to train my mind every single day, or else I will not be able to prioritize and minimize my time efficiently. (That is now a top priority in my life.)
Because I choose my time.
Every day is a challenge.
I was first introduced about priorities by reading Greg McKeown's book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. (I read it about a month ago. I am slowly applying it.)
"Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it's about how to get the right things done. It doesn't mean just doing less for the sake of less either," McKeown writes. "It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential."
I continue to declutter my room every day. It is still messy. My room is a work in progress. Decluttering takes time. It is a lifestyle. Because my mind is processing. (FYI, I plan on writing a blog entry about processing.)
In 2017, a movie, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, first introduced me to it. (My friend, Jon, told me about the movie.)
I was astonished by this film, even though I was not ready to declutter at the time.
I was on auto-pilot. I used to keep shopping in a consumerism country. I always bought a material good to fulfill my happiness. (I expected it would happen one day. But it never did.) The material good eventually gets old. I always bought a new one to replace it.
Brand new items boosted my ego and confidence. I bought them to impress others. I was seeking validation and attention to others.
My old items were left somewhere in home. Because I was still attached to them.
Throughout my life, I did not realize I was always collecting "old and new stuff." Call it a cycle of cluttering.
I was playing a game of tag during recess in 1993. (I was 6 years old.) I tripped and fell. I lost control of my speed. My head hit the cement. I was unconscious. I suffered from a coma for about 2-3 days.
"WHY?" I asked myself.
I was 16 years old. On Saturday night, May 17, 2003, my uncle killed my sister. My sister was my (first) best friend. My uncle and I always played and watched basketball together. (He loved the game.)
3 years ago, I was jealous. Because my dad always pleased his brother, nephews, and nieces. I was in anger. I decided to shove my uncle. Then I front-kicked my dad. (My dad signed me up for taekwando classes when I was a kid. I hated it.) And I felt guilty. I walked away from them. Then I held a grudge against my dad for a month.
Last November, I received a voicemail from a friend. He told me his father has passed away. His father was my tennis/basketball coach, and friend.
Welcome to life.
I write about my thoughts and ideas. I share it to you (or the reader).
I am sending you a message.
You are motivated to write now. (I wish.)
Now, I perceive it differently.
It is only a motivation to continue on reinventing myself at any time of the year. First and foremost, it is up to me. (You already know.)
I used to think a new year will change me. (I would wait, until a new year comes.)
One word: Procrastination. (Yes, I still procrastinate but it is not as worst as before.)
Today, I told my Uber Driver about this.
Then, I asked her, “How do you see New Year’s?”
”I do not start changing right when New Year comes,” she answered. “It takes time for me. Maybe 2 months in.”
Be the change you want to be. Expect failure. Whenever you are ready, start your (up-and-down) journey.
When I was growing up, I always enjoyed watching my favorite NBA player, Kobe Bryant.
Last night, we celebrated his jersey retirement ceremony.
The Los Angeles Lakers retired both of his jersey numbers, 8 (wore it from 1997-2006) and 24 (from 2006-2015).
Kobe retired at the end of 2015-2016 season. He is a 5-time NBA champion, and 18-time NBA All-Star.
In NBA history, Kobe and Dirk Nowitzki (of the Dallas Mavericks) are the only players to play for one single team for 20 years. (I believe they will be the last.)
Time flies. You already know.
Video shown below of Kobe's heartwarming speech at Warriors-Lakers halftime.
He improvised. (Not too long speech, not too short. Just right.)
During his speech, he acknowledged the past, present, and the future of the NBA. He gave full credit to the NBA hall-of-famers ahead of him, or else he would not end up being here. He was truly inspired. He was also grateful for the fans, media, and especially, his family. (The past is remembered.)
He ended his speech with words of wisdom to his daughters.
"Those times when you don't feel like working. You're too tired, you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That's the dream. It's not the destination, it's the journey. And if you guys understand that, then what you'll see is you won't accomplish your dreams. Your dreams won't come true. Something greater will, and if you guys can understand that, then I'm doing my job as a father."
What is my drive? What is my motivation?
Honestly, it is tough to get my mind fully focused 24/7.
Remember, it goes with the common saying, "Everything happens for a reason." Also, you know what they say, "Hard work pays off."
Yes, I get lazy almost every time I get off my bed in the morning. (I am not much of a morning person.) Most importantly, drinking a cup of coffee always starts my day.
We must set a target goal, or else there will be no motivation.
Yes, I am a tennis coach. For instance, I tell my tennis kids that they must get at least 10 shots in a row. (Focus on consistency. Just grind it out.) Once they do, I must jump over the tennis net.
It is crazy how most entrepreneurs find ways to work less hours, while others work 40 hours a week.
Enough with myself thinking outside of the box. Let's go back to this question, "What motivates you as a lifestyle/personal blogger?"
That is a very good question. Honestly, I do not earn money from creating and writing this blog. (When I first started this blog, I was hugely concerned about earning money as my first priority. Now, I do not care for it anymore.)
Why continue blogging, then?
A heads-up reminder: Become a better person on the coming new year. (A yearly traditional fresh start.)
Then again, I can become a better person anytime of the year. (There is no "perfect" time to wait for change.)