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Japanese and procrastination

Lately I Haven't had much time to learn Japanese. A combination of intense socialization, reading of various books, and lack of motivation has prevented me from continuing my education. But I know I can't stop. My ain reasons for learning Japanese stems from my love for their culture, food, people and my presumed love for their land (since I have never actually gone to Japan). This lack of motivation has also made me realize one thing: The amount of things we miss out on cause we don't make a concrete decisions. In other words, I believe the majority of  procrastination stems from a person's inability in making a decision. So many times we do something from a vague sense of motivation. Small things or thoughts such as "I should study some Kanji" or "I should run today". Since these thoughts are vague, abstract and somewhat detached from ourselves, We never take responsibility for them.

Read that again: We never take responsibility for them. 

I'm sure, either through experience or through readings, you have seen how you and others are more likely to do something wrong or otherwise out of line with themselves through the veil of anonymity. Decisions work in a similar fashion. When you make a decision you should make yourself as  accountable as possible for that decision so that you actually feel pressure to act. After thinking about it, the best way to stop procrastinating is simply to stop having abstract or weak thoughts. I have to stop wasting mental energy on thoughts, distractions, and chasing the magical pony. I must take responsibility for my thoughts, decisions, and goals and make then concrete, applicable ideas for which I can act upon. To sum it up.

1. Make the thought or decision specific and actionable. vague or abstract thought, goals and decisions such as " I want to learn Japanese" or " I am going to go running" do not stand for anything. Instead chose  "I want to learn meaning for 20 JLPT 2 words" or " I want to run x miles today as fast as i can (or run for 20 minutes)"

2. after setting specific thoughts, Make sure you are conscious of them and that they do not become background information in the mind. This is life and one must try to live it as consciously as possible. The way I look at it the more power your give yourself, the less likely you are to blame it on others. But most of the time we blame it on others because we fail to see just how much power we have vested in our ourselves (new agey and cliche, I know). But speaking clearly, nothing is stopping you from ordering a book to read, or going for a walk, or searching up ways to learn Japanese, or from disconnecting from Facebook unlike its something physical like broken bones or blindness.

Life Exercise: What Would You Do if Money were not an Issue

On Ideas in the Making

I remember when I first read the Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and how logical and seemingly easy it seemed to me. Even though I knew that actually making it happen required a lot of work, guts, and maybe some luck; I could still understand how important the concepts were. Of course, many have gone on to criticize the concept of  a four hour work week-- some calling it lazy, others impractical  and some just straight up disbelieving its possibility  But in my opinion, the book was not solely about starting some sleazy company and wandering off to some unknown island; rather it was about how to dissect, plan and make deliberate choices. Early in the book, Chapter 2 I believe, Ferris asks the reader to imagine what they would if they had 100 million dollars, what everyday concerns would become redundant and what would one really begin to care about?

Since then I think about this exercise at least once a week to see how I have come along. Personally I believe this is one of the stronger exercises one can do in order to get down to the core of the issue for most of us: if money weren't an issue what would you do? Ferris talks about dreamlining ( a way of organizing  what you want, whether it be tangible or some sort of skill set, on paper ) and then outlining what action you would have to take to get there.  Dreamlining is important because it helps you put your goals in perspective by helping you breakdown the amount of time and money learning a skill will take as well as determining what constitutes achieving that skill or that money.

In the majority of the book, Ferris talks about countless of productivity ideas (he talks about Parkinson's law and how it can be used to create pressure, one of my favorites), and how 80 percent of the results can come from 20 percent of the inputs : meaning that deciding what to focus on can be infinitely more productive than how much time you spend doing something. But in my opinion, these parts of the book pale in comparison to the immensity of value in the first and last parts of the book.

The later parts of the book focus on how one will continue to feel like they are contributing after they become completely financially independent  Many people think that after they quit there careers, especially if it was a career they took particularly seriously, they can just relax, but the fact is, many of these professionals begin to feel empty. With nothing challenging them to succeed and step up to the plate, suddenly they feel empty and their drive to live feels diminished.

The first part of the book is the one that focuses on the mind-set and paradigms of the financially independent. Its also the part that asks the question of what would you do day to day if you had 100 million dollars.

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