• Stephanie Lin

If You’re Too Busy for These 3 Things, Your Life is More Off Course than You Think

Despite the increasing stress and limited mobilities during this pandemic, I decided to do something different to make the most out of the current situation.


I’ve come up with an idea which I call “the 12-day global happiness challenge.”


Since it is a global activity, the participants are from all around the world, including senior executives, entrepreneurs, researchers and young professionals.


What’s more interesting about this global challenge is that unlike any other challenges, people will receive money by doing it.


Yes, you read it right! It is because the purpose of this challenge is not to make money but to help people to take real action apart from the fact that it can improve their self-discipline as well.


The truth is it can be challenging at first, but it becomes second nature once you get used to it.


Here are the rules of the global happiness challenge:


1. For 12 days, all participants must complete the following three tasks every day:

· Read a minimum of 5 pages in a book

· Exercise a minimum of 15 minutes

· Connect with 3 friends (including new friends)

2. Pay $60 ($5/day X 12 days)

3. Report the checklist by 11 PM each day and get a refund of $5 if all tasks are completed.


In other words, if you consistently complete these 3 tasks for 12 days, you can get all your money back. Surprisingly, nearly half of the participants didn’t complete the challenge.


Why can some people overcome the challenge easily while everyone else can’t?

Why are some people more successful than the others?

How do successful people do to perform better and achieve more?

1. Organize life by investing your time on the few vital things


Life is short.

Stephen R. Covey once said: “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically, to say no to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.


There are so many things we want to do and so many goals we want to achieve. However, not so many people have organized their lives in such a way that they can prioritize the wildly important activities.


A person’s happiness is like a 3-legged stool, with career, health and relationships being the legs of the stool. If one of the legs of the stool is broken, we need to fix it to maintain the balance. Thus, it is crucial that your priorities should revolve around these three areas evenly as much as possible.


Career:

Do you spend time on continually developing new skills?

Are you a lifelong learner?

Do you read every day?

If you want to make progress in your career, spend at least 30 minutes of your time on learning something new in your field.


Health:

Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?

Are you healthier than you were 6 months ago?

Do you work out regularly each week or at least 15 minutes every day?

Big things start from small beginnings, and at the end, everything adds up.


Relationships:

Do you make efforts to build new relationships in an authentic way?

Do you spend time nurturing the relationships that are important?

Relationship development is accumulating your social capital. With time, the more we put in, the more we will gain. We should pay attention to our stock and consciously take care of it.

2. Form good habits that you don’t have to think about


Many people understand the importance of their career, health and relationships, but only a few people actually do activities that drive success in these areas on a regular basis.


The principle of focusing on the few vital things is common sense; it’s just not common practice.


When I launched the 12-day happiness challenge, a lot of participants said it was difficult, especially during this time where everyone was feeling more anxious and stressful. However, some other participants were very confident and claimed that “it was not challenging at all” because by then they were already doing it every day.


The secret is that they scheduled these activities into their calendar and developed good habits that they don’t have to think about.


We’re creatures of habits. When something has become part of our lives, it doesn’t require willpower. We just do it.

3. Play the long game


What’s the one activity or activities you’ve been doing every single day in the past 10 years? 5 years?


People tend to overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years.


When we work out once, we don’t feel a big difference. But when we work out every day for 5 years, it’ll make a big impact on our overall health. When we make a few connections one day, it won’t bring us immediate opportunities. But when we keep doing it every single day for 5 years, we would nurture important relationships and discover new opportunities.


Most of us are seeking for short-term gains. We want to get the results fast and often emphasize too much on the outcomes instead of the process. However, it’s those continued efforts and rigorous execution that will lead to greater results.


Consistency is key. We have to keep doing the most important things day in and day out whether we feel like it or not.


If we don’t purposefully invest our time every day in making progress and improving, it would be easy to get off course in life.


But if we start organizing life by focusing on the few vital things and forming good habits that we don’t have to think about, we’re likely to get where we want in life.


Do this long enough, and you’ll be surprised!



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© 2019 by Stephanie Lin