Summary – Start with a small win
A typical morning, I was waking up when I heard this conversation in my head (Not in an insane kind of way)

Willpower – OK you need to wake up now
Lazybone – What? now? I still want to see the ending of the dream.
Willpower – But you are going to be late.
Lazybone – Will you please just shut up?
Willpower – erk OK

/end conversation

Of course the conversation is made up. But have you ever had similar experience? Where the problem with your productivity is not due to procrastination but because of your weak willpower.

Some may call it discipline, but the fact is the stronger your willpower, the more likely you will be able to finish up your work and do what’s necessary. So how do you strengthen this willpower to withstand any temptation that may come?

Let him win the small battle
Willpower is really just a part of us, just like our muscle. If we didn’t do any exercises, it will become weaker. Period. However if we immediately start with intense exercise after a long rest, it will not be stronger, it will be painful instead. So start small.

Exercise your willpower by letting him win some easy round.

1) It’s never easy. Before anything, we need to establish that it’s never easy to overcome temptation or procrastination. It’s not impossible though. Once you understand this, you will know that it will take a lot of effort to win the war. And that itself will strengthen your willpower tremendously.

2) 1 minute timer. Set your timer in your cellphone for 1 minute to rest during working. Enjoy that 1 minute and when it’s up, straight away continue working. This will be his first victory.

3) You’re the boss. How about saying this exact word everytime you sense your willpower is about to be defeated. Just imagine he’s really the boss of you.

Some may not like being bossed around, but who else would be a better boss if not the best part of you – willpower

4) Start the tough war. It’s easier to let willpower win when we really enjoy what he is asking us to do. For example, eating ice cream. For a start this may be a good idea, just to let him win a few round.

But we will need to step up a bit by start winning some tougher rounds. Maybe you don’t want to go to work or washing your car. Win this. And your willpower will immediately be stronger.

5) Never negotiate. Temptation being a temptation, is tricky with words. They know exactly how to manipulate you into letting them win. Try not to negotiate. An example of negotiating is “Ok, I will wash the dishes, but afterward I’m going to play PS2 for the entire night”. You see what they’re doing? 🙂

This kind of winning will never strengthen your willpower. It will only make it worse.

– I wonder –
Any other methods to strengthen our willpower?

———- Personal Note ———–
I always have fancy dream usually in the last hour of my sleep. The kind of dream that you will want to know how it ends. The most recent is how I survive being flown away by a major tornado 🙂

Photo Credit – doughkeeney

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Summary – Defining our features
Once upon a time, people send letters to each other just to say hi. Then Mr Alexander decided to come up with a mean for people talking to each other via a wire. Voila! we have telephone.

Not long after that, we are introduced to cellphone. And I am proud to announce that at the time this is written, we are now using a phone that can surf the net, take pictures, record voices, watch television, do office work, play games etc.

Did I mention it is also a phone?

One morning, I actually talked to a colleague of mine about his high tech cellphone which do almost everything you can think of except accepting call. A call just can’t get through. Ironic isn’t it?

However this concept is not new. There is actually a name for it – Feature Creep. Generally defined as the condition where too many features being installed to a product or a project that in the end the product doesn’t serve its purpose.

Just like a watch, it was supposed to tell time. But with all the additional features installed such as all the many tiny hands, stopwatch, games,pulse detector etc, how many can actually tell the time immediately when asked? Its main purpose of telling time is neglected and thus the product is now useless.

Aren’t all these sound familiar?

How It Applies To Us?
We too have our own purpose and responsibilities. We are born and immediately we become a son/daughter, also a family, Later we learn things and we become a student, We also become friends to some. And after graduated we become an employee. Fall in love and married, we are promoted to being parent. Of course among other things.

No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to drop all your responsibilities and go back being a baby. All these define who we are.

What I’m merely saying is that we must know that a watch should always tell time. All others are just additional features that are not as important.

Real Life Example
A real life example is myself. I am a muslim, a son, a family, a husband, a father, an employee. One year ago, I decided to become a blogger. This is just another additional feature of my life. Being a blogger can never be more important than me being a husband. So when I have to choose between spending quality time with the mrs or blogging, I will always choose the mrs.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love blogging, and I’m not stopping any time soon. This is where I publish and share every ideas I may have. And I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

At first, it was quite tough to balance the two. I was very new and need to work hard to establish the blog. Luckily the mrs had been very supportive. I owe it all to her. Now, I am better at managing the blog. It’s still a work in progress, but at least I know which is the more important.

Conclusion – Even so, the great thing about life IS its feature. We need to enrich ourselves with new experience and responsibility to life life at its fullest. Be a dancer if you want, or a traveller and travel the world.

But first we must know what we actually are before all these feature. As long as we keep that in mind, we will never go wrong.

– I wonder –
What’s your most recent feature?

——— Personal Note ———–
Sometimes I stumbled across some great tunes in my head. I don’t know about others, but I find them catchy. 🙂 So what I did is record it into my phone to avoid forgetting it.

Maybe my other features in few years time is writing songs. Who knows..

Photo Credit – Liewcf

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Cute girl

Summary – Persuade your mind to want to remember

A few days back, one reader by the nick SilentReader had asked me one question to be discussed here – How to improve long term memory. Shall we?

First of all, allow me to interest you with some articles I’ve actually written on the subject.

To tell you the truth, I actually did quite a lot of thinking on the matter. And at the end of the day, I’ve concluded that there is only one way to be able to memorize something and remember it for the rest of your life.

You must want to remember.

Seriously, I can list down every technique known to mankind – Chinese One Syllable Technique, Association, Repetition, Funny Images, House Mapping etc. But they will prove ineffective if you just don’t want to remember.

However trying to make yourself want something is not an easy thing to do. Why? It’s because the mind is always behaving like a child.

What will happen if you ask a child to work instead of playing? He will first disapprove and will try to wiggle his way out of the task. If that didn’t work, he will do the job lazily, hoping that you will give up impatiently. What would you do?

The same goes to the mind. It will goes exactly through the same phase as the child, disapprove, wiggle and lastly do the job lazily.

How to negotiate with the mind? Well treat it like a child of course.

1) Always slow talk
Never raise your voice to your mind. The more you force yourself, the more reluctant the mind will work for you.

2) Visualize what will be achieved.
Just like a child, you must describe how they will benefit visually. Maybe draw a car that they will be able to buy if the child gets good grade and be successful. For the child, the word successful doesn’t mean much.. but if he knows that with good grade, he will get to be a pilot and buy a car. That will push him in the right direction.

Research where your graduated seniors are working now. And how much are their salary. Imagine your dream laptop that can be bought easily with your one month salary should you follow their foot steps. In short, motivate yourself (visually)

3) Join in to do the hard work.
If you put a child to work under the hot sun while you sip cold drink under the shade, the child will immediately realize he is being bullied and may stop working altogether. If you work with him under the hot sun, he will do the work more willingly.

Work together with your mind. How? for a start, when you read, you read. Don’t read with your mouth while you are thinking about how hot your girlfriend is. 🙂

4) Reward
Every child demand some reward if they do a good job. They may not say it out loud, but they really want it. Some would settle with a pat on the back, some may want cash.

Figure out the reward for your mind. It can be as simple as a 30 minutes nap or $50 to be spent on anything.

5) Make it fun
Cleaning up the house is never fun for children. But if you assigned each child to a room and whoever can clean up the fastest will win one week of no work, I’m sure the work will be done in no time.

In the case of your mind, make it fun by maybe substituting the character described in the history book with your real life friends and family. Of course don’t let yourself be the hero. Hero always get killed in history books 🙂

6) Don’t plan too far ahead.
Children hate it when you gave them 20 things to do. Most probably they will just drag the first task to avoid doing the other 19.

For your mind, try to implement this trick. Only plan to do two things at any time. It is a great Getting Things Done (GTD) tools.

– I wonder –
Any other resemblance between a child and the mind?

———- Personal Note ———–
I just love children. Just watching them play can make me smile. They have no idea what they’re playing, what’s the rule or the goal but they can still make the game looks insanely fun 🙂

I guess one of the price we have to pay growing up, is losing that sense of having fun. What do you think?

Photo Credit – Hamed Masoumi

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Clean House

Summary – Don’t branch out too far

I was cleaning my house yesterday. Well it has been left for quite some time so there’s a lot to clean. And it is very hard to keep that motivation up when there’s so much to do.

What I do is this..

I started with my bedroom. As always there will be things that I need to move from my room to another room. Maybe a travelling bag which was supposed to be in the store. Or my MP3 cds that were supposed to be kept in the car.

Here is where I learn something about sustaining motivation. I noticed that I can easily lose motivation if I immediately bring the items to its place. For example, if I found the MP3 cds in my room, and immediately brought them to the car, I will usually be more tired and often decide to postpone the whole cleaning to another time.

So I come up with a new system. When I clean the bedroom, I will just leave all the items to be removed from the room just outside the door. I just pile it up there. And when I finished with the room, I will start clean the next room and move the items to another room while putting a few of the items in its rightful place through out the process.

By the end of the day, I have cleaned the entire house, and all the items are put in place 🙂 (My proudest moment)

Conclusion – So this is my theory. When you are working on something, put all other works outside the door. Just a few cm outside. It can pile up to be a mountain of stuff but that shouldn’t bother you because you are working on this side of the door.

If you entertain every additional work or those minor minor things that comes up while you’re working, you are already losing your motivation.

Our attention and concentration is not infinite. Just like money, if we spend it, we will be left with less money. Period. There’s no way a person who does 100 jobs in 24 hours will have better quality that a person who does 50 jobs in 24 hours.

– I wonder –
How do you keep your motivation sustained?

———– Personal Note ———–
As requested by Fairuzniza, I attached two very recent photos of Zafirah 🙂 My new motivation in life


This is taken on 1st of June, She still had some level of Jaundice. But I just love this one


I think that should be her first smile ever in her life 🙂

Photo Credit – Tifotter

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