Goal Setting SOP 1.1 (UPDATE)

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Hello,

This is an update to my goal management SOP. I’ve understood a few key things so I’m updating this SOP to version 1.1.

Version 1.0 can be found here:

http://razvanrogoz.com/2017/06/how-im-creating-my-life-my-sop/

Here’s the change log …

# I’ve eliminated the focus on a single goal. The truth is that it is not practical. Let’s say that I have a goal just to read for 2 weeks. What about money? What about other things? Life doesn’t work in a vacuum. So I can work now on as MUCH as THREE goals in any given day.

# I’ve moved all my tasks to a single system – that is Checkvist. I’m doing this because it is more practical to have my goals and my daily to do lists in the same place, as opposed to having them in different types of software.

# I’ve kept the 10 tasks a day system with a focus on having half of that (five tasks) focused on goals. Remember, a maximum of three goals on any given time. So in an ideal day, I focus 50% of my time on specific goals and 50% on other things.

# I’m considering the idea of education on demand but I think that what I’m doing right now, with my “mental OS” system is a work of genius for me because it works so damn well. So I’m keeping my focus on ten books but I’m adding other sources.

# I’ll probably get a formal system for this, as right now, everything is a duct tape solution. I’m using principles from many different systems and while it holds together, it’s not really elegant. So I’m thinking about using an entire system. What system? Tony Robbin’s OPM (aka Time of Your Life) works for me. Maybe I’m going to use another one but I just a system that works efficiently for me. I’m going to eliminate either Vagabonding / Tools of Titans from my roster. Actually, I’m eliminating it directly. Vagabonding gets replaced by “Time Of Your Life”. You can find the workbook for free on Scribd (which I guess makes it legal). I had the full course before and I don’t think you need anything more than the workbook.

# I’m going to put a short break on “How To Win Friends & Influence People” and focus on OPM for a while. It’s an amazing book, I’m halfway through but I feel I need to get some real clarity over my life now and OPM surely helps.

Update over 🙂

Thanks,

Razvan

“When You’re Wrong – Just Admit It” “(Essay #12 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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Hello,

What happens when we are kids and what happens when we are grown-ups are two different things. For most of us, doing a mistake as kids meant something really, really bad. We would have been punished and mistakes would equal some form of pain, emotional or otherwise. Therefore, we’ve learned to (1) never make mistakes and (2) when we do mistakes, to never admit it.

As an adult, it is kind of a different stories. We’re expected to make mistakes because screwing things up is usually the only way in which you can learn to progress. In life, you fail your way forward, as opposite from where we were kids, when it was expected that we performed in a perfect manner.

Based on this, it’s no wonder that most of us will never admit a mistake. It’s not that we’re evil or something. Heck no. We’re wonderful as people. It’s just that when we were kids, admitting a mistake usually came with some form of negative feedback (for me at least) so we learn fast that if we shut up and say nothing, we won’t get that pain.

We won’t admit a mistake even when we know that we’re wrong. Again, it’s not your fault. Most of what you’ve been taught in childhood proves useless or even counter-intuitive now. But you know what? People generally criticize when they find resistance. In other words, the more you defend your position when you know you’re wrong, the more the other person will try to get you to admit that you’re wrong. It’s about a sense of fairness and of importance, for both sides. It’s one of those things in human nature that don’t work because it will just escalate to something worse but we keep doing it because this is what everyone else have been doing.

The truth is that if we are simply sincere and admit our mistakes, most of the damage is gone. People don’t want to punish and blame us. I mean, there are a few that take some kind of sadistic pleasure in this but most people just want you to understand that what you’ve done harmed them. So when you admit what you’ve done, you admit it fast and you admit it empathically, you’re going to win a lot more points than if the other person has to criticize you.

You know, I’ve made many mistakes and in some cases, pretty bad ones. But I’ve tried to go first, admit it, apologize and show that I’ve learned something from this. 99% of the people with whom I’ve done this were just happy that I’ve learned something and never brought it ever again. They wanted to know that I care about them, their well being and about how my actions influenced that and nothing more. And yes, 1% bothered me about it again and again but I make a rule to stay away from those type of people to begin with.

Contrary to what some believe, most people don’t want to hurt you. Most people don’t want to make you feel bad. Most people don’t take a great sense of importance and superiority that you’ve done a mistake. This means that when you make a mistake, show up, admit it, apologize, explain what you’ve learned from it and be done with it. In 99% of the cases, the person will have a very positive feedback. In 1% of the cases, you’ve just discovered someone that you should stay away from – as negative, hate filled people tend to find joy in other’s people happiness as it simply makes them feel more adequate.

Best regards,
Razvan

“NEWSFLASH: People Don’t Like To Feel Stupid!” “(Essay #11 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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Hello,

I consider myself a pretty smart guy. I have an opinion about everything. 50% of the time these are right, the other 50% they are wrong. I have no idea which is which.

This means that I like being right. I like to show people that I know better. Be it that we’re talking about philosophy or the latest iPhone, I like to shove my ideas and my preconceptions down people’s threat. And guess what? It doesn’t work. It’s actually the worst thing I could possibly do. You know why? Because even if I’m right (and that’s about half of the time true), most time don’t like to feel stupid. Most people, be it that they have a PHD in neurology or they don’t know how to read like to think of themselves smart, like to be sure that they know their stuff.

I think my father is a classical example of this. He has an opinion about everything but these opinions are rarely substantiated by anything. And so is everyone else, ranging from close family to past class mates to the driver of the bus you’ve took this morning to virtually most people. Very few people don’t enter this category. I mean, I’ve found myself defending my point of view for hours just to later find out, through my own research, that I was wrong and the other person was right.

It simply doesn’t work. Insulting people for ideas doesn’t work. The world is driven by emotions, not logic. You can be right, the other person can be wrong but by contradicting someone and making that person feel inferior or stupid, you’ll lose a lot more than you gain. There are very, very few cases in which the idea is so important to sacrifice the person. This is because for most people, when you attack an idea, you’re not attacking the idea itself but the person who said it. You’re saying that they’re stupid or uninformed or ignorant even when all you’ve meant was that the idea was wrong.

So does this mean that you need to agree with everyone people say? Of course not. You can disagree. I just mean don’t be an asshole about it. Don’t argue for the sake of it. Don’t attack the person. Accept the difference in how people see things. In real life, you do need to have different ideas and different arguments but this doesn’t mean you need to make people feel stupid about it. Nobody wants to appear weak or inferior, that’s all.

So how do you get someone to agree with you without going after the person? You first seek to understand then you’ll generally be understood. When people say something and they believe it deeply generally they seek a feeling of importance, nothing more. Make the person feel important and they have no reason to stick to their weapons. There are ways to get someone to agree with you without being a complete jerk about it, as most people are. Most people are close to starting a physical fight just because you’ve disagreed with something they strongly believe in. A confrontational posture may get you a win but in the end, that’s a pyrrhic victory, just like with arguing. The person accepts the idea but deep inside, they resent you so you haven’t really won anything.

Simply learn to live that different people have different ideas and that not everyone needs to have your universal brand of truth in their lives. For me, I’m just surrounding myself with like minded people instead of trying to change people. This saves me a lot of energy. Plus, I’ve stopped discussions about deep moral issues, politics and religion as it always becomes a frustrating mess. I look for the common ground where I can but I make a rule to never attack the person and to remember that it’s just a fucking idea. The goodwill, friendship and connection between two people are far more important than who is right. Be joyful, smile, be happy and stop arguing on ideas like your life depends on it. Unless it is in a debate club, the person is far more important than the idea.

Plus, accepting that someone else has a different idea doesn’t mean you agree with it. It just means that someone else has a different idea. People have different eye colors and some people like spicy food when I don’t like it. Should I now argue that everyone should have black eyes and that sweet ketchup is better than spicy one? Then why the heck would I destroy friendship, goodwill and joy just to feel I’m right?

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

How I’m Creating My Life – My SOP

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Hello!

Razvan here. You know, the amounts of “a-ha” moments I’ve had in the last few days was amazing. I’ve been blessed to understand so many things, some on my own, some through the conduit of other people. At this moment in my life I feel like the fog is lifting up and I have a panoramic view over existence, seeing in places that I’ve never seen before.

Yesterday, I have took a good look at my to-do list. I have realized that I’m doing several things wrong. Among them …

# I’m pursuing a dozen goals at the same time, dividing my effort on many small tasks.

# I don’t know if what I’m doing actually works or not, I’m focusing on the effort and not the impact of my effort. Simply put, do less but do it better.

So in my “a-ha” moment, I’ve decided to do a few key changes:

# Shift from all the goals to a single goal.

# Focus all my effort in any given day to accomplish that goal. In other words, instead of investing one hour a day for each goal, I’m investing eight hours in a single one. I’m building brick by brick.

I’ve also understood something very important. When the goal is very clear on WHAT I NEED TO DO and WHY I NEED TO DO IT, when I have both my HOW and my WHY, everything else becomes a lot easier. I don’t have any challenge in accomplishing that particular goal. The reason why most goals fail, for me, it is a lack of clarity or a lack of a plan. Improvising on a strategic level is not such a good idea, now, looking in retrospect. You want to know what needs to be done and where this will lead. Otherwise, improvising may eat away at your will-power as you need to take constant decisions at what’s next and will-power tends to be a very rare commodity indeed.

I’ve made the connection and it lead to a simple three step system. I’m weary of presenting anything as a three step system, but in this case, it is actually simple.

Step 1: Pick up a meaningful goal. Get very clear on the WHAT needs to be done and most importantly, on the WHY. You don’t want to feel confused about what comes next but understand very clearly the next step and at least have a general understanding of everything else.

I use Checkvist for this. One goal at a time. Single tasking. I’m a human being. I’m not meant to do 50 things at once. I’m meant to focus my creative effort, my passion, my energy, my joy into one goal and get it done from start to completion. Here’s the website I use: https://checkvist.com

Step 2: DECIDE to put in the maximum amount of time you have available for that goal. For a long time I’ve thought that I need to have diversity in order to not feel bored. This is not true. When you enjoy something, when you like something, you can focus only on it. The diversity part is more my brain trained by freelancing when I used to have several task to get done in any given day, so I had to juggle them. Focus on a single task brings calms, pleasure, a real feeling of progress and a real sense of satisfaction.

I use TeamWeek for this. It is a Gant Chart like software. I can put on a timeline that from X to Y I’m going to focus on a particular goal. I can also add how many hours I’m going to work on average in a day. I set for eight. Even if I work less, I want to aim high. It is better to set high standards and fail them than have low standards and achieve them.

Here’s the link: https://teamweek.com

Step 3: Create your daily ACHIEVEMENT PLAN. I don’t want to call it a battle plan. I don’t battle. I achieve. Those around me are my friends and supporters. They are my future mentors, clients, friends or teachers. Why the hell would I battle them? 🙂

My achievement plan contains several elements.

# It is made out of ten wins. Each win is a major task or group of tasks. It’s generally something that’s not big enough to be considered a project but that takes more than one action to complete.

# The first win is always my morning ritual. This is a ritual designed to empower me, to start my day right. The last one is my evening ritual. This is designed to make me end the day joyfully.

# After each win, there is a debrief phase. Here is where I ask a few key questions. These are: what happened, what went right, what went wrong, why, what are the lessons learned?

# I fill most of my other wins with the steps from the goal I’m focusing now. This means a maximum of eight. Sometimes, generally, it is less as you need to do other things, that may not be critical but must be done (as simple as doing the laundry or getting a haircut). But the mass of the day, the “body” is made out of my goal.

And what’s the next step?

Get to work! Ofc! Take it one step at a time. Do it. Then debrief yourself to help you understand what worked, what didn’t and how can you do it better next time, if you can. This builds self-awareness and this is such a precious skill. It wakes you up, you’re not just doing things but you’re aware of the impact of what you’ve done. It really feels like drinking a big cup of coffee and waking up.

So let’s review …

# Set one goal.

# Get very clear on the HOW and the WHY. Spend as much time as needed for this, even days if required. Don’t use this as a reason to procrastinate but get the HOW and the WHY to clear as possible.

# See how much time you can spend on this. Ideally, it is a minimum of eight hours.

# Create a daily achievement plan and combine your other tasks, your rituals and your goal into a list of tasks.

# WORK ON IT! Make magic happen.

You know … maybe you don’t realize it yet but there’s a hidden mechanism in life that makes things happen. Call it extended causality or magic or universal law or the fact that the universe is causal with a Markov component but there’s something there. I’ve seen it, felt it so many times that whatever you tell me, I’m not going to believe the contrary. There’s a lot more than we see.

So when you pick your goal … get CLEAR on it … plan EACH DAY to accomplish it … WORK ON IT to the maximum extent that you can, magic happens. Dots connect. Rewards will come from places you don’t even expect. It’s like metaphysical alchemy but you need to DO IT and to HAVE FAITH in order to work. You need to BELIEVE that your goal is actually going to change your life otherwise you’ve lost before you’ve even began.

As a bonus, here’s a small mantra I’ve said to myself today:

Hi!

In the last days, I’ve started a shower mantra. I repeat this again and again to myself while showering, at the beginning of my day.

Here’s a variation of it …

“Today, I’m going to be successful. Today, I’m going to receive many blessings and gifts from many people and I’m grateful to have received each one of them. Today, what I do matters. The time I invest in my goals matters and it is going to move me towards the direction of my destiny, of my goals, of my dreams. Today, my life is going to change. I’m going to learn something … or do something … or meet someone that is going to change everything for me. I have a date with destiny today and I’m eager to get started.

Today, my perseverance and creativity are going to keep me walking to the finish line and I will finish this day as a winner. Today, when challenges present themselves, I will recognize them for what they are, blessings to grow, to prosper, to learn, to advance in life as there is an universal mechanism that puts me on the right course. This mechanism exists for all of us but only those who recognize it and keep it in their heart through faith, persistence, love, joy and happiness use it to their advantage. The universe will send you towards the direction where your heart is – and can make a hell out of a heaven and a heaven out of a hell based on what thoughts you hold in your head and what feelings you hold in your heart.

Because of this, today, I will talk positively to myself. I will be happy because I decide to be happy. I’m not waiting for someone else to make me happy but I simply am, through my self-talk, through my thoughts, through my communication, through the words I use. Today, I will keep the feelings of joy, happiness, love and excitement towards every situation I encounter, towards every person I meet, towards every fabric of reality because I understand the universal law – circumstances don’t create you, you create circumstances through the power of your self-talk, communication and emotions.

Today, I’m winning.”

Hope you’ve found this helpful!

Best regards,

Razvan

Take care,

Razvan

“I’m Good At Starting Arguments … But I’ve Never Won One” (Essay #10 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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Hello,

I’m good in arguing. I have a black belt for it. I can bring logic, statistics, arguments. I’ve been right many, many times. The other person was wrong. And yet, I’ve lost. Why? Because life is not about who is right or wrong. Life is about collaboration, happiness, trust, joy, love and the things that make us get together. Very, very few people are going to agree with you and not carry resentment just because your argument is better. Most people are just going to get defensive and stick to their weapons, no matter if they’re right or wrong. At least this is what I do, especially when I’m wrong.

The point is that no matter how gratifying it seems, arguing never works. You are right, the other person is wrong but you’ve lost a friend. You’re wrong, the other person is right, you’ve lost a friend and you’ve failed to learn something. When you argue, at best, you’re not going to learn anything and at worst, you’re going to push people away from you.

I’ve lost all the people I’ve loved thanks to arguing. I used to have my way on the highway and God forbid for someone to not agree with it. I always won the argue but at the end, I was feeling like a mess, the other person was feeling like a mess, the tension was high, nothing was solved and overall, the situation was a lot, lot worse than when the argue started.

This is a hard lesson to learn. It feels natural to argue. It feels natural to impose your point of view on another person or to have another person impose it on you. And yes, sometimes it is not fair. But just take my word for it, arguing doesn’t work. Conflict between two people never works. It is like drinking – it won’t actually solve your problems. It will just give you a temporary sense of satisfaction but at the end of the day, you’ll still feel like crap and with a hangover.

Why we argue? For many reasons – mostly because we want to feel important. We want to feel smart, intelligent, wise and having someone else not agree with our point of view feels a threat to our own identity. Other times we argue because we know from a logical perspective the other person is wrong and this is the best course of action. Even when arguing can prevent someone from doing something stupid, arguing still doesn’t work. There are far more effective ways to get people to agree with you than to shove it in their face. If your goal is persuasion, arguing doesn’t work. If your goal is to feel important, arguing does work but it will make you lose a lot, lot more than you gain.

Still, people will come into disagreement and backing down or giving up is not generally a good idea. Nobody said you need to take the victim role. So what should you do?

# Welcome the disagreement. It gives you a chance to understand the other person and the other’s person point of view. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong but you can’t know before you listen more.

# Avoid becoming defensive. When someone attacks your idea, they attack your ideas, not you. It’s not that they want to harm you as a person but simply, don’t agree with what you’ve said. Realize that it is just an idea and in most cases, it barely matters – the relationship with that person matters more.

# Control your temper. Hate leads to more hate. Fire leads to more fire. You can’t fight fire with fire. When one person is angry, the other person should be calm and understanding. You want to neutralize negative feelings, not add to them.

# Listen. Don’t interject, don’t comment, don’t correct, don’t say anything, just listen. Get to see the other’s person point of view. Again, don’t become defensive. Again, they may be wrong or right but it doesn’t matter here. The idea is to empower the two people not to make them enemies.

# Look for areas of agreement. Look to build a bridge on where you honestly agree so the other areas can be fixed. You want to bring the person in your camp, not be confrontational. By finding an area of agreement, it can be teamwork not warfare.

# Be honest. If you’re wrong, admit it. Most argues generally become just an ego protection, people don’t want to back down because they don’t want to feel stupid for starting an argue. It’s been so often where after saying where I’m wrong (because I was actually wrong), the other person started apologizing for everything.

Arguing doesn’t work. It never works. It never pays well. I can’t remember a single argue that was worth it. The reconciliation yes, it was worth it, the fact that we’ve opened our communication and been sincere to each other, yes, it was worth it, but arguing, insulting, attacking people for not agreeing with you never, ever works.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

“The Fine Art Of Making People Like You” (Essay #9 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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I like to compliment people. I don’t expect anything in return. I simply like to make people feel good. I’ve learned that if my compliment is specific and it is about something fewer people notice, it will matter even more. General statements tend to be dismissed as flattery but specific compliments about a person tend to bring a smile very fast.

I don’t use this as a persuasion technique. I simply apply the Golden Rule. I want people to like and appreciate me so I do like and appreciate them. I rarely say anything bad about anyone nowadays. While sometimes I get upset or annoyed and I may become aggressive, most of the time I want to be a source of happiness for the person in front of me.

This is a essential rule in human interactions. People like to feel special and important. People like to feel validated. Everyone wants to feel in his or her world that he or she matters. Remember this as it is very important. And you know what’s the best part? They actually matter. In this world, it is not only Elon Musk and Bill Gates who matters. The girl who served you breakfast matters. The mechanic who fixed your car matters. The person you’ve met in the line, matters.

Yes, it is true, maybe they won’t have the impact of Elon Musk but this is not Brave New World by Huxley. I’ve gave up on elitism a long time ago and I think that while some people are better known than others … that while some people create more than others, in some cases, almost infinitely more, every single person I met matters. Every single person I get in touch with matters. Every single person that I interact with deserves to smile and if I can make that person smile, I’ll go ahead.

Most importantly, Emerson was right. Every person is my superior in some way and I can learn from that particular person. For example, I may be better than you in … I don’t know, goal settings. However, you may be better than me in public speaking. I have something to learn from you. I welcome you in my life because you can teach me valuable lessons.

This mindset is not only for interpersonal communication but also for business. I’ve understood so long that I’ve been trying to make myself look good and popular and while some people pay attention, it is kind of slow and frustrating. I’ve realized that it is a lot easier to make other people feel important and good, to move the spotlight from my own “brilliance” to the brilliance of others. After all, in all honesty, I’m where I am not because I’m so hard working but because others believed in me. They believed in me because I believed in them and we’ve developed a special relationship.

Narcissism is not a viable life strategy :). I have a lot more to win, infinitely more, in terms of joy, happiness and love by making people feel important than trying to make others make me feel important.

Best regards,

Razvan Rogoz

The DNA Of Subjective Reality

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Hello there,

A few minutes ago, I was writing my morning pages. This is a wonderful technique that I’ve took from Tim Ferriss and which originated from Julia Cameron. In essence, you sit down and you long-write (write by hand) for three pages about everything that is on your mind. You don’t need a structure, you need to keep writing in order to eliminate anything that may inhibit your creative flow.

For me, the morning pages was usually a place to bitch and moan about how wrong things are. This morning, I’ve decided to do it different. I’ve made the conscious decision to write every sentence in the positive, in an inspiring manner, in one that can empower me as opposed to blowing off steam.

In that moment, something clicked in my brain. I’ve realized that words are the DNA of subjective reality and that our interpretation of the world around us is determined completely by the type of words, sentences and intents behind them that we use. This applies to inner self talk (the voice inside your head), outer self talk (talking to yourself out-loud or through journaling) and communication.

In the span of a few seconds, I have understood Milton in Paradise Lost. Milton said (wrote) “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”. When I’ve read Paradise Lost, I’ve dismissed this as religious rhetoric but now it makes perfect sense. The world is composed out of matter and that matter defines the property of the object. The mind is composed of the words that are expressed and reverberates as self-talk. Words are the DNA, the atoms of consciousness. 

This is simply because the words that you use and the associations that you make between them will determine how you perceive subjective reality. Everything around you, abstract or not is interpreted as good or bad by the mind. Nothing is good or bad in itself but the mind makes it so. Words, from what you say to yourself when you’re walking down the street to how you communicate with your best friends will influence, determine, even control the process of identification. In essence, you control the metaphysical qualities of existence through the self-talk you are programming yourself to have.

You create your world.

The world you see right now is nothing more than an interpretation of how you talk to yourself. It is a good or a dangerous place, it is a place of beauty or horror, it is a place of joy or unhappiness based on the inner dialogue that goes down in your mind, at this very second. This dialogue is reinforced or weakened based on your feedback loop with reality, where you’ll either seek to confirm or infirm what is already in your head.

This is wonderful to know. It feels … I feel like all my life, someone controlled my life through strings and that my happiness or sorrow was determined by what happened around me. The truth is that what happened around me was always neutral but I’ve built a story of happiness and sorrow based on my own subjective interpretation of reality.

To give you a programmer analogy, I felt so far like I was in the front-end of a software, tweaking, optimizing existing code. Now, by understanding this, I feel I’ve gained access to the source code, to the low level code that operates closer to the idea of creation than before. I don’t see the abstractions, the consequences anymore but I’m starting to see the building blocks of those abstractions, consequences. 

My own mind can make the world around me a living hell or my own, personal Shrangri-La. And it comes down to simply how I use words. The words I express to you will reverberate in my self-talk. My self-talk will determine behavior. My behavior will reinforce everything else. It is an ecology of neural impulses abstracted through words (language) and each one of them influences others.

Knowing this, I have no reason to think a negative thought for the rest of my life. This takes training, as it needs reinforcing but I’ve finally realized my ability to create my own reality. Exciting times are happening, believe me.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

“I Know Quite A Few Life Stories …” (Essay #8 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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Hello,

Surprisingly but I was never afraid of strangers. In a country like Romania where most people are conservative and don’t talk to strangers, I’ve found myself starting random conversations and befriended quite a few people. Among them were butlers, convicted criminals, retired seniors, supermodels, A LOT of taxi drivers and virtually everyone else.

How do I do this?

I talk as little as possible about me and let the other person talk about himself / herself. It comes naturally since most of the time, I’m actually interested in talking about subjects that I don’t bring up. After all, I like to learn and as Emerson put it “I learn something from every person I meet”.

For this reason, that I’m actually encouraging people to talk about what they’re interested, I’ve made many friends and I’ve made many long trips feel a bit shorter. Why am I doing this? Well, honestly, while some of the communication techniques I use are trained, this actually comes naturally. I enjoy listening to people. I’m an introvert. I’m okay with paying attention for 30 minutes without saying a word. I really find it refreshing sometimes as it gets boring to tell my ideas, my story, my concepts for the 149th time.

But if you’re not like me, then you should develop this skill. You see, people don’t really care what you’re interested in, people care what they’re interested in. Now, people also means you and me and suppressing the natural instinct to try to make others being interested in what we have to say and simply being interested in what others have to say pays a huge ROI. This is how you make friends, find your significant other, find clients, find investors, partners or simply people that will appreciate you.

It is easy to talk about yourself for hours. Anyone can do that. And maybe you’re an interesting person. Maybe you have something good to talk about. I surely know I have, after all, I have a background in copywriting. But so is everyone else. We all want to talk about the things that are good and interesting to us and you, by talking about what the other person is interested in, you’re actually giving a huge gift to that person. You’re making that person feel important, understood, validated and this investment will pay dividends, huge dividends. What kind of dividends I’m talking about?

Love, care, warmth, friendship, collaboration, trust. You’re getting the best the human soul has to offer just by suppressing your need to stand out and letting the other person do it. Don’t you think it is such a small price overall? Don’t you think that all the principles in this book are an extremely small price for the goodwill and love you’re going to get from those around you? 🙂

Best regards,

Razvan Rogoz

“Boost Your Productivity Through These Seven Easy Tactics”

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Hello,

Let me share with you a little secret. Sometimes, having no to-do list works perfectly for me. I can go with the flow and by the end of the day, I’m amazed at what I’ve created. This is especially true when I’m surrounded by like minded people, with a common mission.

However, this is generally the exception. When I’m surrounded by people, the creative energy is felt in the air and emotions run the show, everything is perfect. Most of the time though, I wake up alone, I need to get my ass in the shower and start my day and even if I love what I’m doing, there’s a lot of resistance to break through.

Because of this, I use a framework for organizing what I need to do. I like to draw my day in such a manner that I know from the beginning of the day what I want to accomplish. Or as Alice in Wonderland puts it, sometimes, I can think of six impossible things to do before breakfast. Well, in my case, I can think of ten of them, as I’m aiming of ten major wins each day.

Here are seven strategies … tips … forms of advice on how to get more out of your day.

#1 – Have a morning ritual. Mornings can be difficult for me and I need some form of space between waking up and starting on my day where I can compress. In my particular case, my morning routine includes journaling (see “The Morning Pages” by Julia Cameron), eating, some form of light exercising, drinking water, showering and grooming and cleaning my environment.

#2 – Use debriefs. I learned this from a TEDx talk, where a bomber pilot explained how they do things. Put it simply, after each major win I ask myself five questions. These are (1) What happened? (2) What went right? (3) What went wrong? (4) Why? (5) What are the lessons learned. The lessons I learn here, I am to apply and implement right away. Keep in mind that I’m not asking who is guilty, just what went wrong. The idea is to learn and improve, to make tomorrow better with the lessons of today, not to feel bad about it.

#3 – Create a daily map. I don’t use a calendar because I feel it is restrictive my creativity. If I could operate without a to-do list, I wouldn’t use one either. However, I do create like a long to do list based on wins. Win 1 is my morning ritual. Win 2 are my social media posts and so on. These are ten small projects I’m doing each day and I’m putting them on a note in the “Notes” app from MacOS. Why “Notes”? Simply because it syncs fast between devices and I like simplicity.

#4 – Put your heart into it. My goal is not to finish all ten wins. My goal is to do each win properly and then move to the next one. In some days I may finish all ten. In others I may finish three. I don’t judge performance by how much I get done. I judge performance by the impact it has to my life. Yes, output matters but doing things right is better than doing things fast, at least most of the time. My goal is to focus on the right things and do them right. It is hard to explain but I do things systematically, one at a time (single-tasking), the right way and not rush through them.

#5 – Focus on the 20%. I don’t really answer most of my emails anymore (unless they are important), I don’t waste time online and generally, I don’t do things that are not important to me. I’m putting a lot of time in the 20% that generates 80% of the results, the 20% that is generally formed out of tasks of high priority, high impact. Any form of action helps and 1 > 0 but 2 > 1 so if you can do the second instead of the first, it will help you. It is not a technique but rather a mindset of constantly asking yourself “What are the 20% that really matters from this task list?”.

#6 – Single task. This is similar to #4. I try to do things in order. If I start something, I want to finish it. Yes, of course, sometimes I move away from that order (for example, if I were to take a cab right now, it would make a lot more sense to do my study goal than to stare down the window) but as a universal rule, I’m a huge fan of single-tasking when it comes to execution. Multi-tasking works in many things but ironically, creative effort is best done by focusing on one thing at a time, simply because you don’t distract yourself.

#7 – Keep your devices charged. Look … in all honesty, you need technology to get things done nowadays. I’ve been in many situations where I wanted to do the work but I didn’t had the tools required to achieve this. You don’t need to have 100% for everything but always account for being at least 4 hours away from a power socket, especially when it comes to your laptop. It seems like we’re connected everywhere and that no matter where you go, you can charge your devices, but in practice, you’re going to find yourself in need of juice and without any AC nearby.

You know, at the end of the day, it comes down to what works for you. There are many small things that I do that helps me. If you were to pick only two from the entire list, it would be to focus on the 20% and to do a debrief after every major win. I think these two alone can change your life.

Best regards,

Razvan Rogoz

About Me

Hi! I’m Razvan.

I’m a marketing consultant, start-up entrepreneur and generally, a huge geek. I write on this website about what life teaches me and I do it in the most sincere manner possible. I don’t write for search engines, nor to persuade, but rather as I would be talking with a good friend.

Do you want to read more from me or get in touch with me? Then you can also find me on:

Medium / Facebook Pages / Twitter / LinkedIn / WarriorForum / Quora

If you want to send me an email, please use this page.

Thank you.

“Yeah, Yeah, So What Were You Saying? Well … Here’s What I Think!” (Essay #7 – How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie)

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I have a really bad habit. I listen in order to respond. I can’t wait for the other person to finish whatever she may have to say, so I can jump in with an insight, comment or simply something that will make me look smart. It is a bad habit and honestly, when I had fewer things to say, I was a better listener. I would listen for hours in a row because I didn’t want to say something stupid.

And here’s the irony of this. We think that in order to be a good conversationalist, we must be interesting. The more interesting we are, the more we want to talk about us. The more we talk about us, the less of a good conversationalist we are. From this perspective, introverted people who shy away from expressing their opinions are better conversationalist than charismatic ones that could talk for hours. Why?

They listen more.  The other persons feels understood and validated. Everybody wins. This is why couples made out of an introvert and extrovert work so well. Each fulfills their primary needs. The introvert can not talk and just listen. The extrovert can talk for hours and be listened. Everyone wins.

But this is a best case scenario. In most cases, both people want to talk. In most cases, both people want to feel understood. This means that both people want to talk, express themselves and the result is that neither really gets what they want. They both feel frustrated by the outcome.

This is why being a good listener is important. There are very few people that want to listen. You as a good listener have a huge advantage over the person who can’t stop talking. You give that person psychological air. You make that person feel empowered and understood. You help. That’s the truth. You help another person by being a good listener and generally, that person will be grateful to you, simply because there are so few that want to listen, that want to be the receiver and so many that don’t.

This is the power of listening. Plus, most powerful sales systems are built around the idea of active listening. SPIN selling, one of the most powerful selling systems for high ticket items uses listening as the most important part of the sales process.

Am I a good listener? Not quite. However, I’m trying to be. I’m trying to change my natural programming from a person that listens in order to respond to a person that listens, period. It’s a hard skill to develop but it is worth it.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz