As kids, we often sought to count our fingers to cross check the final sums in our weekly tests, but as our grades got higher, and the math got more complex, we ditched the fingers as nonchalantly as we had our diapers. Instead, we started developing newer and more effective methods of cross-verification as we advanced.
Yet, as adults, we often hold on to the same tools that helped us cope and grow years ago, without as much as questioning their usefulness and validity in our current states of mind. And although this minor discrepancy does not stop our progress, it certainly slows us down with its excessive weight, which at a crucial time be responsible for essential time squandered.
It is, therefore, in our best interest to first identify the tools we use on a daily basis to go on and excel in life and examine what works and what doesn’t on how effectively, how soon, and what results they produce for us right after we’ve done them.
Take another example we often find most people indulging in; that of immersing ourselves in mundane mindless activity just short of taking a big decision, or solving a big problem. This activity helps our conscious brain to take a break and disassociate from the problem long enough to come back to it and look at it objectively or with a fresh perspective.
While this technique may have worked for you most of the time, what is required now is for you to look back and rate just how well it worked the last time you were in a problem situation. If by looking in hindsight, you believe that it would have been more productive to continuing the problem-solving process relentlessly rather than exhausting yourself by immersing in mundane activities, then you have your answer.
There are no shortages of patterns or techniques that we as humans have developed to manage our emotions and our progress, and each one of us will come across hundreds of them in our own lifetimes, and by being aware of them and eliminating the unnecessary our lives will definitely be calmer and more peaceful.
However, we need to be extra aware of the techniques that appeal to our logic rather than verifiable results. How? By measuring the effectiveness of a pattern not based on how logical it sounds, or its appeal of concept or philosophy it draws from but based on actual shifts in your behaviour.
Let us take a demonstration. Let us assume you suffer from acute impatience and short temper. You use one of the common techniques of ‘collapse anchor’ and notice visible changes. Now, this new state becomes your new baseline or point of reference. The next time around, you try a new technique for the same problem. Now study the new results. If the results are more effective, add this to your toolkit and if it isn’t making a splash, be sure to drop this in the ocean the very moment.
Why is it so very important to drop these redundant techniques? What harm could keeping multiple tools do? None at all. But why would you want to carry junk, ineffective and unusable tools at all? The purpose of a toolkit is defeated the moment it carries outdated tools.
Where do you go from here? Pick the most important problem affecting your life, use tools to identify what works best, gives the quickest results, and clean out all the extra baggage. There has to be something about flowing free and weightless into the arms of success.
As is true for a house, that every new addition must fully integrate and complement the household, it is true for humans and their quest for success. Each new technique, pattern, mechanism, must be in complete sync with a person and aid in a better quality of life. Identify your most effective tools and get to work now.