Happy Valentine’s Day
Complaining and Stuff
I had the good fortune of hearing a keynote by David Chilton (Canada’s best selling book The Wealthy Barber & the TV show Dragon’s Den). In it he made the comment that “Most people don’t understand. Canada’s national past time is not hockey, its complaining,” That statement in itself is very powerful. It is hard not to feel stressed if you are complaining. It is just as easy to be positive and is a whole lot healthier. He went on to say that a great deal of our stress comes from collecting, paying for, storing and worrying about stuff. Much has been written lately about how “less is more” and even books such as Voluntary Simplicity selling very well are indicators of how the movement is going in that direction. The fact that David was telling us how little “stuff” he has in his 1300 square foot bungalow (including basement) made me really think about how much I worry about stuff; especially if I am away. Debt is still a major stressor for many people. Why are we in debt; too much stuff. If we were to put a moratorium on deficit spending and consider selling or donating some of the stuff we don’t use we would start the battle against that stressor. The second stressor that this attacks is clutter. Clutter is one of my greatest stressors. I have made great progress with de-cluttering but most people would not know it; I still have too much stuff, especially the useless stuff.
Most of us read at about 125 words per minute. That is similar to our speaking speed for good reason; we taught to read the words in our heads. If you are fast at this you might be able to get to 250 wpm. It is possible, using speed-reading techniques to reach a 1000 wpm with much higher comprehension as you are reading concepts not words. Howard Berg, the world’s fastest reader, reads in excess of 10,000 wpm with full comprehension. It is a relatively simple skill to learn to double your reading speed. If you were to assume that you typically read three hours a day, which is not uncommon in a knowledge based society, then that means you could save up to 1.5 hours a day in reading. That is 7.5 hours a week or the better part of a bonus day. That is over 32 hours a month; almost a bonus week. That is nearly 400 hours a year or 10 bonus weeks! The cost is about 16 minutes a day five days a week to develop and maintain the skill. This is a cost of about 87 hours a year. This is a net gain of 313 hours or a ROI of 360%! The downside is you must keep it up; I drop back to my speed of 250 after about a month of not practicing.
I practice transcendental meditation taking about 20 minutes a day. I cannot calculate an ROI on this one as I find the increase in focus and productivity immeasurable. Meditation clears the head to allow the subconscious mind produce all those solutions you have been waiting for. I often will write several pages after meditation with know conscious thought or any idea where the thoughts come from. It is though I am only the scribe for my subconscious. I often kick start the subconscious by asking it specific questions before I go to sleep. Sometimes the answer is there in the morning, sometimes after meditation and sometimes it is just the wrong question that does not get answered. It also lowers the resting pulse rate, blood pressure and overall stress. I also find that it creates days where I eat better and exercise more. I cannot explain that, it is simply an observation. While I use TM I have found that “no cost” meditation works just as well. You simply purge your mind of thoughts by focusing on your breathing IN/OUT. I find I often can will my pulse rate and breathing rates down while doing this. This is a great stress reliever as well as a productivity tool for helping you take control of your life.
What are you going to do?
Which of these techniques are you going to try this week? Need help, get an accountability partner by posting beneath this blog what it is you are going to try and report back again next week with what you found. My coaching clients often tell me that the biggest benefit to their coaching is having an accountability partner. Give it a shot and let’s hear from you.