Day 18 of the 40-Day Challenge

In the name of Allah, most gracious and most merciful,

Thanks to Allah today is a great day. Although I lagged in the beginning, I tried to motivate myself with an interesting idea that I will share with you. In this post, I will share with you the challenge I faced, and the proposed solution for solving it, some key takeaways to learn from these things, and other useful pieces of information I have learned so far.

1. The Challenge

I didn’t sleep well yesterday because I have had a very important call. It took much time, and if I didn’t finish the important topics I discussed with my friend at that call, I might not be able to discuss them later. Therefore, I slept in the morning as well for about three straight hours. Why did I leave myself to sleep that much? Because I slept too little the day before, and I know after experimenting with myself that if I didn’t have enough sleep, I won’t do much good throughout my day so I decided to get enough sleep.

After waking up, I ate, have had a drink, and then I felt not motivated at all while doing my tasks. No engagement at all, and I felt sleepy. I have already started partial experimentation with the last system I developed mentioned in this post, but it didn’t engage me enough. I felt that I have too much to do in the day, too much pressure, and I feel that there is a burden on myself even before starting. So here I have two problems, the last system doesn’t seem to work well for me, and I am now not engaged and there is no concrete system that I could use now. And imagine what? When there is no system, no plans, things start to fall apart, and you feel a lack of tracking your time. Without having a plan, and a system or routine I don’t expect myself to get much done.

Feeling depressed, and wanting to sleep again, I just went to sleep but while having an idea in my mind “I must do something about this”. Yes, I temporarily felt depressed but thanks to Allah I have developed an attitude of “Whatever failures, and mistakes you did, there is always hope to be better again”. From what I know about myself, I don’t usually feel depressed for a long time. It is usually temporary, and I try to pick myself ahead again.

Sorry for digressing, but again let me just stress this point. Although I felt depressed, I went to sleep while having an idea in my mind “I must do something about this”.

It is usually known that after focusing on something intently or worrying about a problem, the best answers don’t necessarily come while being in that focused mode. On the contrary, they come when you are not focusing intently or when you do easy activities like walking, taking a shower, or taking a nap or sleep. It is surprising how ideas come to us when we don’t focus on them. I see it as a sign of help from Allah “Our Creator” that he tells us, whatever knowledge we have we are weaker to find good solutions by ourselves so he helps us by giving us hints and providing us with solutions when we aren’t focusing. Very interesting how Allah has designed us in a way that great things happen when we aren’t thinking about them. It reminds me of the idea that we are not alone “Allah” is always helping us so be aware of this.

To know more about this idea of creativity, and focus you could search for the difference between focus and diffuse modes of thinking.

2. The Proposed Solution “Updated System”

I then woke up, but still, no idea came to my mind but I kept thinking a little bit after just waking up while still in bed, and an idea came to my mind. I then went to the bathroom, and other supporting ideas came to my mind. After praying, and getting back I have a somehow solidified new system that seemed promising. So let us experiment and see what will happen.

Someone might argue with me that I am continuously changing systems and failing a lot. That’s true because when I experiment with them, although some of them seem promising, I find that I am still not fully engaged. Yes, I know that I should stick to a system for a while like maybe at least one week to start to see its fruits, benefits and to give it a real good try. But another idea came to my mind. Usually, we start motivated whenever we do something new, but if this motivation didn’t last for at least one day then that may be an indication that the system is not that good from the beginning. So why bother myself with experimenting with a system that doesn’t feel good even from the start which is when I am supposed to be motivated. I don’t know. Maybe this idea is wrong, but that is what I feel, and that is my current justification.

Here is the system in simple words. I will not put many details, and I will keep it simple because this one is that simple.

  1. Work and focus so hard for one hour. No distractions.
  2. Take a break for 45 minutes.
  3. Have a big goal throughout your day to do within your breaks. In other words, your breaks are breaks from “Work You Have to Do” but are into “Works You Love to Do”. Now do whatever you love which should be beneficial as well. It is a challenge, and you don’t have many rules. Just one challenge and a promising goal per day. Maybe finishing a huge part of a book, learning some new skill that you have always postponed. But here is the key idea “This thing should be promising and challenging. In other words, if you did it today you will feel that you have made an achievement in itself”.

I know that this may seem over-optimistic, but it may turn out to be good. You know, I have failed with many systems before, so why not try that one. I think it will be really good, but let us experiment and see what will happen.

Tomorrow I will tell you what I found after applying that system for about one day since I didn’t spend enough time yet to experiment with it, but I have applied it partially until now and it seems promising for me.

3. Key Takeaways

  • Never lose hope whatever failure you have experienced. Don’t stay feeling depressed for too much time. Just start again, and experiment. You don’t know what results you may get if you approached things differently.
  • Putting a system or routine is usually important for achieving good results.
  • Remember the difference between the focus mode, and diffuse mode and note how could you get some creative ideas.

4. Useful Pieces of Information

  • Media and social media are usually businesses. They profit from your attention. It is your choice to choose which you want to pay attention to and to specify your priorities. But remember that the media and social media ideas maybe be the best environment for you.
  • The more there is a supply of something, the less valuable it usually is since there is an abundance of it. If most people watch television, spend much time doing unimportant things on social media, continuously hang out with their friends for no specific reason, and see that learning only happens in schools, and universities, then notice that if you did like those people, there will be many close copies of you. There is nothing so special about you since you didn’t spend enough time designing your environment that will get the best out of you. Usually, general television and social media environments are general. The more general you are, the less specific you are. Knowing too much general non-useful information will fill your mind with too many unnecessary things “noise” which may hinder your critical thinking, and prevent you from developing your true competitive advantages by wisely spending your time on the most important things. So be wise with how you spend your time.

Finally

Thank you. I hope this post has been beneficial to you. I would appreciate any comments if anyone needed more clarifications or if anyone has seen something wrong in what I have written in order to modify it, and I would also appreciate any possible enhancements or suggestions. We are humans, and errors are expected from us, but we could also minimize those errors by learning from our mistakes and by seeking to improve what we do.

Allah bless our master Muhammad and his family.

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