Single-mindedness Is The Key To A Better Life

By Jesse Logister

Since I started learning about the principles of minimalism, I noticed the effectiveness of focusing on one single task or goal at a time. Multitasking and multifocusing can often leave you confused and overwhelmed. Those are problems that you should avoid, especially when you tackle difficult habitual changes like becoming an ex-smoker. Single-mindedness is the key that opens the door to a better life.

Multitasking divides your attention, your energy and your motivation. You need all three of them 100 per cent fueled, and they need to be targeted on one task, especially when it is a difficult one.

I often failed when I was trying to change my lifestyle (trying to quit smoking is just one example). I wanted to implement too many adjustments at the same time.

Focus On One Goal at a Time

Whenever I quit smoking, I always notice an increase in my energy level. As a result, I become more motivated to improve my life. Suddenly, I do not only want to work on tackling my nicotine addiction, but I want to combine it with goals like waking up early, having a jogging session in the morning or stop eating sugar.

However, so many big lifestyle changes are a bit too much to tackle all at once. Changing one habit can be mentally exhausting and even depressing for a while. This is especially the case with the break-up process from tobacco. You give up something that you liked (or thought you liked), and that can be a depressing feeling.

At such a moment, it certainly does not help if you have to lay off the sweets as well, while at the same time forcing yourself to wake up at 4:00 a clock in the morning to start a jogging session.

Some additional changes occur naturally and effortlessly while you work on modifying your lifestyle. They are nice bonuses, but see them as bonuses and don’t let them distract you from focusing on your main goal.

Find Your Ideal Transition Period

How long do you need to focus on one habit before you can move on to the next one?

Opinions and studies differ on that answer, and every person and habit is unique so you need to find out what works the best for you.

Personally, I like the idea of a 30 day single-mindedness period of change. Changing one big habit per month is a goal I want to focus on.

Experiment with transition time periods, but give change a royal amount of time so that you can be sure that there is a strong foundation before you move on to the next life changing habit that needs to be tackled.

Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed By Your Goals

Avoid making things to complicated and becoming overwhelmed. It can lead to failure and you might end up embracing a bad habit again.

Slow down and focus on one positive change at a time. I use this single-mindedness tactic during my quit smoking process and I notice that it makes it easier to fulfill my goal.

Give yourself all the time that you need. It is alright to do a little bit less in order to fuel up on energy and mental power. The time will come when you can start another positive change. Eventually, all those changes pile up on each other. They not only make you stronger, happier and healthier every day, but they also help you to tackle the next lifestyle adjustments.

Do you feel overwhelmed by the goal that you want to achieve? Slow down and take a deep breath. Change will come, but let it come gradually. Don’t try to race to the finish line like the hare.

Travel Possessions From a Minimalist

The Bangkok skyline at sunset - Beautiful mental travel possessions.

He strolls over the paths of the earth with only a few travel possessions. In his bag, you will not find a camera, souvenirs, guidebooks or an extra pair of toenail clippers. Because of his love for mild climates, he also does not need much clothes to keep him warm, after the sun sells him the stars. Sometimes, he does not even wear shoes. At those moments, he likes to stroll on the pleasant sand of a beach, dipping his toes in the warm, late afternoon sand and watching the wind chase golden colored waves onto the shore, that is enough to make him happy.

He does not need expensive cameras, smartphones or gasoline gobbling vehicles to make his vacation worthwhile. Instead, he values conversations, eye contact, a simple handshake and a smile. He likes to experience these valuable human interactions while he walks to his next destination.

The first and most important thing that he left behind before the start of his journey, was the idea that money keeps you on the road. However, there is so much more to see when you travel with less speed and spend less money. He learned to appreciate his feet. They are the ones who keep him moving, while his eyes, nose and ears keep him moved.

The longer he travels, the less important the destination becomes. Instead, the journey itself, rises in value. Movement is freedom, standing still is a prison. For him, it stand for the accumulation of possessions, prejudices and valuables. But now he has thrown those things away and he is liquid once again. More and more, his possessions become possessions of the mind. These assets feel lighter, better, exciting.

He loves how the smell of exotic food tempts him to embark on yet another culinary adventure, how the sun rays suddenly break through the clouds and roll over a rice field, adding an extra brush of gold to that intriguing green color of the rice plants, how the afternoon chanting prayers at a nearby Buddhist temple put a calming vibe to his mind and to the remaining part of the day.

At every new experience, he feels like a child again. A child without worries about house repairs, mortgages, student loans, a complaining boss, a continuously growing mountain of work or a continuously lessening amount of free time.

Instead, his focus is mostly captured by the moment. He looks, wonders and fills his mind with memories instead of worries. These memories accumulate rapidly but they feel as light as a breeze in comparison to the heavy worries that he used to carry around. Now, he possesses so much less, but at the same time, so much more.

A real life approach to a fantasy world

I am still searching, in real life as well as with my website. Again I have decided to try a different approach. My main focus was on writing and learning about generating income, becoming financially independent was my first priority. This is still the case but now I would like to start writing about other important categories of life as well.

The motivation to do this came from a PC game I am playing. I realized that that game presented so many general aspects of real life and then I thought why not start working to improve those aspects in my real life and use the game as a guideline structure. Follow the same steps as I do in the game.

Most aspects of life that are written down below are all somehow present in the game as well as in every persons real life. However the skills that I describe are personal choices. For example in the game I can train engineering skills. I have no ambition to be an engineer in real life so I choose something else that interests me and fits my qualities. like for example writing or web design. I still think everybody can learn something from my preferred skills as well as from the other categories written below. They can all be improved to let us grow in life.

Skills

Skill 1. trading and selling (retail, own products)

At the moment I promote a lot of products for other people. Later on I hope to start selling my own products.

Skill 2. writing (creating content)

Writing can be a fun, creative and a healing process. Putting your thoughts and ideas on paper can empty your head. I write daily and build up a lot of content which I find really valuable.

Skill 3. First Aid

Learning how to care for someone in an emergency is really important. It is also important to prevent common risks and stay healthy. Learn how to stay healthy and how you can help yourself or others in case of an emergency.

Skill 4. Web design

Designing a website is addictive. It is great to see your site improve every day and there are many fun ways at how you can do that.

Skill 5. Acting

Acting is fun and it gives you the ability to step in to the mind of other people.


Other aspects of life

Exploring

Don’t be afraid for the unknown, be brave and peek around the corner. Explore the planet. There is so much beauty in the world ready to be discovered. Read, travel, talk gain knowledge, meet new people and learn about other cultures and their values.

Physical activity (training)

Stay healthy and exercise regularly. Staying active gives you more energy and makes you happy.

Money

Money is part of the game. You can hate it but you can’t go without it so you can better make the best of it. Don’t fight it, learn to love it. Make it your hobby to collect as much money as you can and solve that money problem once and for all so that you can fully focus on other important aspects of your life. The whole world is a monopoly game and hey you can play a lot of monopoly and become good at it right.

Possessions

During your life you collect possessions. Try to minimize possessions to keep your self mobile and organized. Focus on buying quality items and learn to enjoy them.

Daily tasks

Small daily tasks that you have or want to do to. They could be tasks like cleaning your house but also things like meditating for 15 minutes.

General tasks

Tasks that need to be done, for example doing your taxes, your monthly visit to the barber or buying a new washing machine. Try to reward yourself for finishing a good amount of tasks.

Achievements and goals

Write down your goals and what you want to achieve in life. Today, tomorrow, next month that is up to you. It depends on what kind of deadlines you are comfortable with. Make sure you mix relatively easy goals with extremely difficult ones. Or cut difficult goals in smaller easier steps. The easy goals give you a boost while you work towards your bigger difficult goals. The difficult goals give you a challenge and keep you from becoming bored.

Experience

If you learn skills and do activities you gain experience. The more you know and learn to more experience you get. Keep track of what you learn and keep that gained knowledge up to date.

Mail

It became such an important part of our lives and now it really needs to put a step back. Organize your mail and set fixed times for when you check the mailbox. A seemingly small part of your life but a game changer if you do it correctly.

Reputation

It is all about building up reputation. More reputation means more respect, more work offers, more friends etc.

Social

It is important to socialize. Talk with your friends, family or relatives on a daily basis, visit them or give them a call or an email. Build up and manage your social network and you will gain so much benefits.

Dear reader, I am interested to hear about your preferred skills. Why did you choose them and what benefits did they give you? I am also interested to hear what your experiences are with the other categories. For example: which parts of the world did you explore or what are your most valuable possessions? Leave all your interesting responses in the comment section below.

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