- From Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
In the last few days, I came across the concept of “affirmation” in two different books (Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert). I’m taking it not only as an encouragement but also as a sign. A sign that tells me that it’s about damn time to completely own my dream and be more serious about pursuing them.
My BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to publish books and speak to a wider audience about what I write. I don’t know yet exactly what I’m going to write and speak about. I just know in my fantasy world, I’m a write and a speaker. This is the way I know I can and want to contribute to making this world a better place for the current and future generations.
It took a long time to realize my passions, understand what excites me more than anything, and solidify the BHAG. And it took some more time to feel comfortable enough to talk about it. By “a long time”, I mean more than a decade. And only recently I started to take actions to get closer to achieving the BHAG. One of them is writing blogs. Given the nature of the action is sharing my work publicly (no matter how small my audience is), it took me a while to become comfortable with it and frankly, I’m still not 100% comfortable.
So now with the two books I’m reading at the moment simultaneously telling me about this concept of affirmation, another action I’m taking is to write my affirmation 15 times a day in one setting. My affirmation is “I will become a best-selling author.” I have a little notebook dedicated to affirmation writing. Writing it over a cup of coffee is part of my new morning routine. When I’m away and don’t have the notebook with me, I write it in my digital notebook. According to Scott, who has achieved his goals with the affirmations which includes becoming a best-selling author, the key is to do it constantly.
This is not some weird, unscientific “waste-of-time” exercise. Because humans are built to preserve energy whenever possible (our brain uses 20% of energy when it only accounts for 5% of our body mass, and it is wired to preserve energy to be as efficient as possible), we pay attention to only a small fraction of stimuli around us. By writing/saying the affirmation, we focus our mind on that specific thing. This ultimately leads to noticing things that we didn’t before. Those things that can help us achieve that goal in mind.
That being said, deciding a random thing as a specific goal to go after and writing and/or saying it 15 times a day wouldn’t be worthwhile. It’s a work to figure out what we want to achieve and it doesn’t magically come to us one day - at least not in my experience and anyone else’s that I’ve read about and looked up to. Looking inwards and asking fundamental questions like what you enjoy doing and what excites you, writing those down, recognizing patterns in your behaviours and habits, and going through ton of trials and errors… At a minimum, these are what it takes.
This quote below from another book I’m reading (yes, I like to read multiple books at the same time…) sums up quite nicely:
“By receiving constant feedback, whether through likes, comments, or immediate replies to our messages, we condition ourselves to expect fast results with everything we do. … long-term thinking is the “secret” to achieving your goals. But it won’t happen today or tomorrow. You mush develop the art of patience and consistency.”
- Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
As I was editing this post, a Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover, was playing on TV. They ended the episode that was playing with this: “… no matter what happens in life, you have to go after your dreams. You can’t wait for what you want to come to you, …”
Life is precious. And too short. So, I write my affirmation. 15 times. Everyday.
Book recommendations from this post: