What’s a 3-day monk?

I learnt a new phrase today: Being a 3-day monk. It’s a direct translation of a Japanese term, “Mikka Bouzu” (me-kah boh-zu). A 3-day monk is a person who starts a new project with a lot of commitment and passion, only to give it up soon and move on to something else. It could be a new diet plan, exercise routine, language course, music lesson, quitting a bad habit, starting a good habit… anything that takes time and consistency to be effective.

We are all guilty of being a 3-day monk for one thing or the other. Why do we quit so easily? Why is it so difficult to pursue anything with consistency? What would it take to be a 30-day or 300-day monk?

 

[Photo of a Shaolin Monk demonstrating his superior balancing skills learnt over years of practice]

PS. My first book, Dhinchak Life, was written over a period of two years – one piece per week.

Inspiring quotes about Change

“If there’s no difference between your tomorrow and today, you are as good as dead.” (Imam Ali AS)

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr)

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” (Maria Robinson)

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Growth mean change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”

“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” (Benjamin Franklin)

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and the willingness to change. At such a moment, there’s no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready.” (Paolo Coelho)

“Life is too short to try and change others.” (yours truly)

[Photo of Danxia Peaks in ShaoGuan, China – taken yesterday]

What Does it Take to Achieve Your Goals?

I have wondered about these questions for many years: Why most people can’t fulfill their dreams? Why most goals are not achieved? Why most plans don’t work out? Why so much action doesn’t produce the desired results?

Working with thousands of salespeople and sales managers for over 20 years, I have learnt that there are only four reasons. Whether it’s about your career, health, money, relationships or any other goals that you fall short of, it is because:

  1. You don’t really want it. Whatever ‘it’ is that you are after. Are you having sleepless nights thinking and planning for it? What if you don’t get it? Will you settle without it? Do you have a specific time frame in mind? These questions can help you determine if you really want something badly enough. Otherwise, it’s not even a goal – just one of those wishes which may or may not be fulfilled. And you will be OK either way.
  2. You don’t believe it’s possible. It’s an inner voice that tells you, you can’t do it. ‘I can never lose so much weight.’ ‘I don’t think I am made for this.’ ‘It’s just not worth it.’ You believe you don’t have what it takes – the talent, opportunity, looks or whatever. 
  3. You don’t know how. You don’t have the knowledge or the skills required to achieve the goal, and worse still, you don’t know that. Like the salesperson who doesn’t put in the time and effort to learn the product or the skills. Or like someone who spends an hour working out every day without knowing the basics of fitness or nutrition.
  4. You aren’t willing to pay the price. In other words, you don’t take any action towards your goal. You are lazy; you procrastinate. As someone said, ‘If you are only interested, you will do what’s convenient. If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes!’

Do you know of any other reasons? Knowing what’s holding you back is a big first step towards achievement of your goals – unless you are #4.

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What’s the Perfect Time?

What’s the perfect time…

  • to start exercising?
  • to start eating healthy?
  • to start learning a new thing?
  • to start reading?
  • to get organized?
  • to help someone in need?
  • to stop procrastination?
  • to say ‘i love you’?
  • to say ‘thank you’?
  • to quit smoking?
  • to quit drinking?
  • to follow your dream?
  • to take a vacation, to travel?
  • to volunteer for a cause?

So many people spend their lives waiting for the perfect time to do what needs to be done now. What are you procrastinating?

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5 Motivational Quotes!

Everyone needs motivation. Here’s a collection of five very motivational quotes to keep you going for the week:

  1. “The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, and this you will become.” (James Allen – As a Man Thinketh)
  2. “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” (Helen Keller)
  3. “I do not have superior intelligence or faultless looks. I do not captivate a room or run a mile under six minutes. I only succeeded because I was still working after everyone else went to sleep.” (Greg Evans)
  4. “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. If people can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” (Will Smith in the movie: Pursuit of Happyness)
  5. “The greatest achievement was at first, and for a time, nothing but a dream.” (Napoleon Hill)

Which one did you like best? Please also share your favorite motivational quotes through comments.

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35 Steps to an Enhanced Life

We all want more happiness, better health, increased productivity and improved relationships. We want to be able to motivate ourselves to do the things we know we should do to enhance our lives. I try to help myself and others to achieve all that through this blog.

Here’s a collection of posts from the last couple of years that I consider to be the best, considering the popularity and comments from the readers. Most articles are short, and take only a few minutes to read. Please let me know through your comments if this collection could form a useful ebook…

Happiness:

Health:

Productivity:

Relationships:

Motivation:

Please take a few minutes to tell me about your most favorite articles, through comments below. Thanks.

[Photo of Kuk Po hike near Tai Po in Hong Kong, taken last week]