Following my own recommended book, “Choose Yourself”, I started to do 10 ideas a day starting from the beginning of this month.
The author, James Altucher says that you need to do it consistently, EVERYDAY including weekends, for at least half a year to a year before you start seeing some results.
A) Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.
B) Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.
C) Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.
D) Within a year my life was always completely different. 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc.
According to the above milestone, I should start to feel lucky and people smiling at me.. So do I start to feel lucky already?
No, not yet. But it does have other effects:
- I become more self-aware. Daily writing 10 ideas makes me reflect more on myself, and I better understand what my thought processes are, and where they are coming from. So the moment I got angry at someone, or if some sort of emotion arises, I could detect it easily. Controlling emotion is a big boost to your IQ. How many times your better, colder and more rational judgements are being clouded by your emotions? Emotion is our built-in ability to tell us what is important to our survival, but more often than not our amygdala got overfired and results in uncontrollable, regrettable rage. You should listen to your emotion, but use your prefrontal cortex to make decisions. Awareness is the first step to successfully regulate your emotion
- I become more solution oriented. Every time I see a problem, I will start to think how to address it. Of course, most of the solutions are really bad. To pick a not-too-embarrassing example: the solution to solving the littering problem in my area is to have the residents or shop owners of the street maintaining the cleanliness of it ( Hmm… wait! That might be a good idea because the rubbish must be coming from those who stay around the area). The process happens almost subconsciously. The moment your brain starts learning to find solutions to a problem, it will learn to find solutions for any problem.
- Start to discover problems more easily. It seems that there are always a lot of problems waiting for me to solve. So why not just apply my 10 ideas to solving those problems? When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So when your brain is inside problem-solving mode, then everything has a problem, and your brain is eager to just the issue.
- Less complaining and blaming. Complaining is for losers. If you can do something about it, why not just do something and shut up? If you cannot do anything, why complain, for it is a waste of time.
- I become better at processing technical information. Just on that day I wanted to educate myself on Standard Step Method in backwater analysis, and before this I would need to read the material, meditate on it for half a day before I could make any sense of it. But that day, I instantly grasped the gist of the whole thing after reading it and drinking coffee with my brother. Or maybe the engineering material is too easy for me, I should read something that is as difficult as Quantum Field Theory or Holographic Duality?
- I grow more compassion for people around me. Maybe because I am now more self-aware, so now I start to think of others more. I can stand in their shoes better, visualizing their problems and trying to anticipate their needs. Before you start feeling lucky and people smiling at you, you will need to first smile at others. I also now care for others more. Maybe I can’t do much, but then, all they need is a call, or a warm text message.
- I start making big, grandiose goals. Before you can have a big breakthrough, you will need to change your mindset first. Before you can grow rich, you need to think rich. Making audacious goals was never my forte; since young I always underachieved because of my self-defeatist attitude. I couldn’t handle failure and rejection, so I usually settled for easy goals, the goals that I know I can achieve. This time around, I set a BIG, GRANDIOSE goal that depends on factors completely out of my control. If I fail, I want to fail with a boom, and learn tons out of it. Failure is a luxury that mustn’t go wasted.
- Following the above, I start to have faith more, in myself, in God, in my divine destiny. On the days when science wasn’t so advanced, people used to believe that humans are special, that their prayers can be answered by God, that miracle can happen. But as science progresses, more and more natural phenomena can be explained without resorting to supernatural causes ( Laplace famously said that he has no need for the God Hypothesis in his celestial mechanics). People start to believe in God or supernatural things less and less. We think that we are growing more and more rational with the progress of science, but now I think that this progress comes at the expense of our spiritual and faith dimension. Who knows what miracle you can achieve, when you believe? Sadly, we no longer do. So we get no miracle, so we settle with mediocrity.
- They said mind leads to action. This is certainly the case. I used to write the action plans I wanted to achieve in my notepad ( or diary) and then shelved them aside. But now, I would see whether it’s instantly doable or not, if yes then I’ll just do it. If no, I’ll just let it dwell on my mind a while, before move on. These action plans become constant reminders. If they are important enough, I would be reminded again in the future and then they would become burning desires, and then they become reality.
- Stop wasting time. Writing 10 ideas really take time, and time is now the luxury I don’t have. So I have no choice but learn how to skim news articles and Hacker News. The days of mindlessly surfing the Internet are over. No more time on gossip websites, and very little time to read sports news ( I love soccer AKA football). Why reading sport news when you will need to do sports yourself?
- Writing 10 ideas become significantly easier as times go by. The more you practice something, the better you become at that. Playing brain training game like Lumosity cannot make you smarter, it can only make you good at such a game. I do think that writing 10 ideas a day not only makes me good at writing 10 ideas, but the benefits can spill over to other areas of my life.
- I marvel at the indefinite malleability of human brains. There are many times when my rational mind told me I couldn’t even write 5 ideas for a given topic, let alone 10. I decided to ignored the complain and just start writing, anyway. And as I wrote, my rational mind struggled and complained, it was screaming and kicking as my will dragged it along. Ideas just came when I started writing, and before I knew it I had more than 10 ideas at my hand! I think human mind is just like body muscles; when I first started running 42KM marathon, my legs grew tired, my muscles cramped, and my rational mind told me that cannot be done. But then again, my will dragged my legs, and I completed my run. So if your brain aches from thinking and writing, that’s good! No pain, no gain.
There you go, the 10++ benefits of writing 10 ideas a day! I sorry if this reads like a self-help post, but I think this faithful documentation of my progress is too useful not to share.