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Don’t Be Afraid of Frogging Out

Don’t Be Afraid of Frogging Out

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As you might or might not know, I crochet a bit here and there. 

For those of you who don’t know what crocheting is, it’s a craft very similar to knitting but done with one hooked needle, instead of two.

It’s unlike what I usually do and that’s what makes it quite refreshing. In fact, it’s even a stress buster because poking the hook through small holes becomes an outlet for my aggressive energy.

I could go on about the benefits of crocheting but I’m pretty sure you could find that on google.

Here’s what I am here to talk about: Frogging.

It does sound really weird at first, and to be honest, the logic behind it is funny.

In crochet, you make patterns through stitches. When you make a mistake, you need to rip it out.

However, a lot of times, you can’t spot your mistakes until you have moved ahead with a whole lot of stitches.

When this happens, you can either go on with your work, or rip it apart till your mistake, aka frog it. 

Wanna know why it is called frogging?

Imagine yourself saying “rip it, rip it, rip it” while you are pulling out several rows or rounds of a project (whatever crochet item you’re working on). It sounds similar to the noise a frog makes, right?

While frogging the project, you’re more likely to have a frown on your face rather than singing the ‘rip it’ song.

No one likes to undo their efforts and crocheters are no exception. It’s literally ripping apart your heart.

However you know, that’s not how it’s supposed to be, crochet or life.

If you spot a mistake in your work and let it slide, you’ll probably look back at the piece with regret because the error will stick out like a sore thumb. Only you would notice it but it would still bother you. 

On the other hand, if you spot an error and frog it to fix it you might get a little bit irritated. But when you’re done with the project it’ll give you the satisfaction of a task well done.

One reason people fear frogging their work is that they’re scared to do the work. I agree it’s quite a bit of effort but if you did it the first time, you will have no problem doing it the second time.

Plus you get to observe and rectify your mistakes that went unnoticed earlier. It makes you learn a lesson that you would’ve missed the first time round.

So don’t be afraid of frogging out 🙂

Recap for memory:

  1. A lot of times you can’t spot your mistakes until you have moved ahead.
  2. If you spot a mistake in your work and let it slide, you’ll look back at the work with regret.
  3. If you did it the first time, you will have no problem doing it the second time.

How To Be More Self-Disciplined

How To Be More Self-Disciplined

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People think that either you have self-discipline or you don’t, there’s no in-between. But that holds as much truth as the theory of flat earth.

In reality, people have different levels of self-discipline. Even the same people have different levels of self-discipline when it comes to different tasks. Some people might have a high level of self-discipline when it comes to working out but very little self-discipline when it comes to doing their schoolwork. Other people might be the opposite: they may be able to complete their schoolwork but aren’t able to get themselves moving.

So what gives you the ability to be self-disciplined in certain areas, and where does it run away in other tasks?

The short simple answer to that would be your ‘Reason Why’.

 

Reason Why

The reason why explains why you do what you do. It’s like one of those weird questions you get asked in an interview. Even though we make up a random answer for the interview when it comes to self-discipline, you need to answer and you need to answer it honestly.

Having a mental picture of your Why gives you strength in times where you forget why you’re doing something.

Studies showed that a strong motivating reason why allows people to tap into willpower reserves that they might otherwise not have been able to.

In our examples above, the ones who work out have a clear image of why they work out, they might want to get fit, feel better, look better, get stronger, or all of the above. Likewise, those who complete their work may have the goal to be the best academically and get into the best of colleges.

With all this being said, remember that reason why is only a finite resource. A strong motivating reason why may only act as a buffer or a temporary solution to increase willpower and that willpower still does have a finite limit.

 

This brings us to the next step of developing self-discipline.

 

Developing discipline through singular activities

Since willpower is a limited resource, it is better to use it effectively on one task than spread it throughout ten.

Focus all of it on one of the however many tasks you want to accomplish.

Then when the first activity becomes a habit, move on to your second activity.

For example, you want to develop the habit of reading a book, exercising, and making your bed.

You can begin by taking up any of these activities, possibly the simplest one first.

Every day you decide on a time to fix up your reading time.

Over a couple of weeks, this becomes a habit and you no longer need to convince yourself to read.

You repeat this for other activities as well.

When an activity becomes a habit it drains a lot less willpower. Thus, the more activities you turn into habits, the less you need to rely on your limited willpower and it can be utilized for other things.

 

Here’s another thing that can help you remain on track when you’re already low on willpower.

Pre-plan Your Response to Temptations: If-Then technique

As the name suggests, pre-planning your responses means thinking of ways how you’d handle your distractions or temptations before they arise. This way you don’t have to use your willpower in resisting your temptations or in thinking about how to act. Otherwise, we tend to give in to our distractions because we don’t know how to respond.

As an example, your temptations are your friends asking you to hang out and your goal is to exercise during that time. You tell yourself, if my friends call me about the party, then I’ll tell them I am busy and have a couple of important things to do.

Another example, if the urge to play the video game because you feel like taking a break after studying, then you’ll go for a short walk instead.

 

Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Practicing self-discipline increases self-discipline in subsequent acts. You have to train yourself to be able to strengthen your resolve and get rid of temptations so that you may achieve your goals.

Recap for memory:

  1. Willpower is a limited resource. A strong motivating reason why allows people to tap into willpower reserves that they might otherwise not have been able to
  2. When an activity becomes a habit it drains a lot less willpower.
  3. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

Do It Right The First Time

Do It Right The First Time

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Your mom tells you to fix your bag strap whose stitches are coming undone from the sides.

You say that you’ll fix it in the evening. 

She reminds you again in the evening but you’ve already sat down to complete your homework. As soon as you’re done with the homework, you go for a walk and by the time you come back, the bag strap is long forgotten.

The strap remains forgotten, until you are on your way back home from school and you grab your bag by the strap but the only thing that comes in your hand is the strap.

We all have this tendency to overlook small things that demand attention, which go on to become huge issues that demand immediate attention.

I, too, have taken part in such tomfoolery and am still bearing its consequences. 

(I have no idea why I feel the need to share personal things that make me look dumb but I do it every time and here I am again)

In 11th grade, I did not memorise trigonometric identities (mind you, they’re pretty important for 12th grade). For some unknown reason, I did not understand its importance and here I am regretting it.

Now not only do I have to memorise those identities, but I have to memorise them in a small time frame, along with the formulas for class 12.

As you can see, I’m in big trouble.

While I was practicing the formulas yesterday and reflecting on how deep of a trouble am I in, my mind drifted to the saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

And boy, have I ever heard a truer saying.

The phrase expresses that if you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later.

This does make a lot of sense because the amount of effort you would’ve to put initially would just be a fraction of the work you would put if you delay the action. Besides, when you act upon it later, more often than not you’re under stress caused by the magnitude of the situation. This wouldn’t be the case if the problem was handled when it came up. 

Uprooting a weed is easy, but if that weed turns into a tree, uprooting it is next to impossible.

It’s the secret to doing just half of your work. Do it right the first time it comes to you and you won’t need to go back to it again or correct it.

A few places you could put this saying to use:

  • Getting things and objects fixed
  • Learning things in the first go
  • Cleaning things
  • Getting pains and aches checked (my mom hurt her toes and when the pain wouldn’t go away even after 10 days, she decided to get it checked. Turns out she had fractured her little toe)
  • Completing homework and assignments

 

Recap for memory:

  1. Overlooking small things that demand attention can turn them into huge issues that demand immediate attention
  2. Looking in a problem that very moment saves time, effort and stress
  3. The secret to doing just half of your work – Do it right the first time

P. S. Doing things right the first time does not mean that the work needs to be perfect and you have to put all your focus on making it ‘the best’. Trying to make things perfect results in getting nothing done. Doing it right means there isn’t an issue in it that you’re aware of, yet you have overlooked.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

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Here are some pretty random observations.

As some of you might or might have not noticed, wide legged pants are making a comeback.

I got a pair too. I loved them, but guess what was my mom’s reaction to them?

“These are from the 70s and 80s. Just a few years ago skinny jeans were in, and no one paid heed to the baggy pants. I have no idea why you’d like to wear these old ones. Nevermind, keep them if you want to.”

Fast forward to this Thursday, I was on a road trip with my family, and to keep everyone awake, I put on a podcast. It was a sci-fi drama about… a pandemic.

Well what it’s about isn’t necessary here.

What mom and dad noticed was the fact that the podcast involved only two characters leading us through the story – at least till where we heard it.

They pointed out that it was just like the radio. You are entertained by hearing other people converse or tell a story. You don’t need to be focused or give your time to the audio. You could hear it while you commute or do your chores. However, unlike radio, you have the choice of what kind of podcast you wanna listen to.

You might be able to connect the dots with this.

The point I am making here is that trends and history have a tendency to repeat themselves over a period of time. But they don’t repeat as they were. They make a comeback, with tweaks and adaptations, taking inspiration from their predecessors. We realise their importance and the shortcomings of things, fix them and re-adapt them. It’s the way of the world to better things and reuse them.

So this was just your friendly reminder that it’s okay to go a full circle and settle again on your older systems with little changes here and there that suit you right now.

What are some things that you have settled back to again?

Why Does Life Speed Up As You Age?

Why Does Life Speed Up As You Age?

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“Dad, how much more time to reach the restaurant?”, you ask with restlessness.

“Just 20 minutes” your dad responds sweetly.

You start to get irritated and sink down in your seat. Even though mom says it’s just been 10 minutes since you left home, it feels like an hour.

I can bet all of us have been there when we were 5 or 6 years old…

Waiting for your mom’s call to get over to ask her if you could go and play seemed like half an hour, when in reality you were just waiting for 5 minutes.

But now, 5 minutes spent talking to your friends seem quicker than a minute.

Why do you think that is?

Why does life seem to speed up as you age?

There are multiple theories regarding this.

One of them states that as you get older each year goes faster because it makes up a smaller fraction of your entire life.

For example at 5 years of age, 1 year is 20% of your life. However at age 25, it makes up just 4% of your life. Hence, the same amount of time starts making up a lesser portion of your life.

But I don’t think that this actually happens because a day is of the same duration, whether you’re 7 or 17.

So it doesn’t have as much to do with the actual calculation of time, but rather how we perceive time.

(Good news, even if you didn’t understand this percentage theory, you’re good to go because it doesn’t have a reference ahead in the post. We’ll leave the time theories to the physicists)

The short simple explanation is that how we perceive the passage of time is directly linked to how much attention we are paying to it.

For instance, if you’re bored or afraid, or in any other unpleasant circumstances, you hope for the time to pass, focusing all your attention on the time, thus making it go slower.

As we age, we become more and more engrossed and focused on what we are doing (aka when we’re in the flow or zone). We also become less aware of our surroundings and our perceptions of the environment are lowered as compared to our perception during childhood.

Thus, when we focus on whatever is in front of us, we don’t pay attention to the time, thus making time fly by. Another instance you could take is being absorbed into gaming.

This explanation justifies the fact time literally seems to pass by in a jiffy when you’re on a vacation (or just having fun in general).

You’re concentrating on what’s happening and what you’ll be doing, rather than how much time is left before you need to go back home.

Yet when you look back on the trip, it seems like it lasted a long time because of the memories you made and amazing things you did.

This brings us to the Holiday Paradox.

While we are at the vacation time slips by, but when we reflect on it, it lasts forever.

This is because we view time in two ways:

  • Prospectively
  • Retrospectively

Prospective view of time means how we measure time as it is passing, or simply how we see it in the moment. Prospective view measures time by how much energy we spend. For example, a child has to use most of his energy to learn about new things and gather new experiences. An adult however, does not need to spend as much energy because he knows the routine things and doesn’t have as many novel things to learn. So prospectively, a day goes by much faster for an adult than a kid.

Retrospective view, as the name suggests, means how we perceive time when we look back at it, when we reflect on it. It measures time by how many memories we made. Even a 2 day vacation can seem like a long one if you have a lot of fun and try out new things.

So if your brain can stretch out time in retrospect because you made memories, it can also compress it, if you didn’t do anything interesting or worth remembering.

If days are repetitive, consisting of the same routine, it is gonna speed up time. A routine week – which is ultimately a kind of repetition – passes in a blur since you barely have any new memories.

Thus a week full of events and gatherings seems longer than it actually is.

Adding a few new things to your routine, such as a different routine, can make it seem like you made a new memory.

Now some would wish that time goes slowly, while others would wish for it to pass by quickly. But I think the happiest life would be the one where time seems to fly as you live it, but stays forever in your memories.

Recap for memory:

  1. How we perceive the passage of time is directly linked to how much attention we are paying to it.
  2. Prospectively – Being bored, afraid and focusing on the time can cause it to slow down, and being engrossed in what you’re doing, trying new things and just being in the present can cause it to speed up.
  3. Retrospectively – Making memories and having novel experiences can cause time to stretch, and repetition can cause time periods to become a blur.

Here are two of the videos that inspired me to write this post:

P. S. It was really challenging (and fun at the same time) for me to write this post. It was really hard to explain a topic like this through writing. Hope it made sense 🙂 Let me know if I explained it well and if you have any questions or discussion regarding the topic, I’d like to talk to you.

Why You Don’t Need Motivation To Get Started

Why You Don’t Need Motivation To Get Started

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People wait for motivation to strike to get something done. Sometimes you get lucky and motivation hits you, but other times it doesn’t. What do you do then?

Do you hope that motivation will pass by and give you the fuel to power through your work? I mean it’s an option, just not a reliable one.

The solution for this puzzle is in the understanding of one very simple statement:

“Motivation often comes after starting, not before.

Action produces momentum.”

                                                                         – James Clear

Even though you might already have some motivation for a task, possibly due to  your interest in it, it won’t be universal for every other thing you need to do. When you need to do your assignments and chores, there is little to no motivation present, thus making it unsafe to rely on the motivation to get you working.

The first step is the steepest step to take, after that nothing isn’t as hard.

So when you get to work and see yourself actually doing stuff and making progress, motivation trickles back in. In your head you’ll be thinking “This feels good. I can do more of this.”

As a result, motivation tends to come after starting and not before. The magic is in doing the first step instead of waiting for something magical to happen first.

After you have started a task, the amount left to do will always be less than when it began. This tends to inspire you to just get the task done.

Moreover, when you will start and accomplish even the tiniest bit of the task, it’s easier to get back to it and resume it, rather than starting from scratch. Your mind thinks that a part of it is already done and therefore there is less work to do.

You can start by setting aside 5 minutes for doing whatever it is that you need to do. After those 5 minutes, it is your choice whether you wanna continue it or not.

However, after starting most people feel that it’s easier to continue doing it and get it done rather than stopping, and end up continuing their goal.

One the other hand, if you choose to stop after five minutes you’ll have still made some progress.

So it’s a win-win situation.

Recap for memory:

  1. Motivation often comes after starting, not before. Hence, motivation isn’t always the best thing to rely on when it comes to starting things.
  2. Action produces momentum.
  3. You can start from as small as 5 minutes.