Many books and articles advise chasing your one true passion. But is that always easy and feasible in real life? Let me tell you my story.
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My personal journey has been a topsy turvy ride of different professions. In high school, I was obsessed with writing code and building software. I taught myself over 5 programming languages by spending most of my time hitting the keyboard. My love for programming continued for years, and a part of it remains alive even today.
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I had such a deep interest in programming that shortly after my graduation, I started a software startup with a friend. My journey with coding showed me how long it takes to become skilled in any field. But once you get there, it places you in a different league altogether.
After a few years of programming day in and day out, I was captivated by planning and executing innovative products rather than writing the code myself.
My passion had shifted from programming to innovation. I went all-in with all my enthusiasm again. I studied the stories of all the big names and learned how to build a business that serves a need. After trying 10 different products to quench my thirst, I found my enthusiasm towards the field dwindling. Most of the ventures I built failed, but I learned that to stand out from the crowd, one needs to offer value that nobody else has.
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After my romance with innovation, I found leadership exciting. I was keen on improving my skills and bringing the best out of people. I spent tons of time reading over 25 leadership books, talking to mentors, and understanding psychology concepts. It took me 3 years to wrap my head around the concept of leadership, and I am far from ideal even today.
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After a few more years went by, I developed an interest in writing. I had drafted articles for my venture before, so I had some basic skills to begin with. Since I had spent over a decade on personal development, productivity, and time management, I recently created a blog called Productive Club, where I share my experience and tips.
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As with any earlier profession, I left no stone unturned working on my writing skills. I spent an hour every day reading articles/books and taking up online courses on the subject. By setting a target of writing 2500 words every day, I started applying what I learned. I follow the same routine even today.
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I am no Stephen King, but my writing skills have improved in the last one year of blogging using that approach. A few months ago, I decided to explore the world of books and give it a shot. My first thought was to write a book about productivity and time management which was right in my forte.
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But, I decided not to choose that category because there are enough books on the topic already. I did not want to offer content similar to what people have read before.
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Based on my earlier experience, I set two simple rules for myself to pick the right topic for the book:
- It must provide real-life value to the reader
- It must cover a fresh idea or perspective which no author has written before
I had no intention of providing advice which I myself did not try following in real life. Finally, I chose to write about a technique I have applied every day for a long time.
Many years back, I was short-tempered and impulsive with my decisions. I wanted to act fast without wasting any time. After paying the price for such hasty decisions and actions, I devised my own method to solve the problem. The answer was simple. I would spend a second or two before taking any little action in my daily life. That’s the essence of my book, the Magic of 2 Seconds.
Take a moment to analyze yourself. Over 99% of the decisions you make are small. For example, from the time your alarm sounds, here are the choices you make:
- Should I sit up or hit the snooze button?
- Should I check my phone or get off the bed?
- Should I brush my teeth or relax on the couch?
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Within a few minutes of waking up, you make various choices. If you consider your entire day, you make thousands of such little decisions without paying any attention. Without your knowledge, you make silly mistakes like uttering the wrong words, eating junk food, getting into an argument, or postponing a simple task due to laziness. And then you go hunting for those big ideas which will change your life.
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You focus all your time and energy on them without realizing that such significant decisions occur once in a blue moon while your little mistakes are slipping right under your nose.
Charlie Munger, the billionaire partner of Warren Buffet, has rightly said, “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
You’ll achieve far better results by improving the unnoticeable little decisions instead of chasing groundbreaking ideas. My book teaches you how to implement that concept in real life.
Your mind can do amazing things in 2 seconds. The book is all about learning how to become self-aware by improving your decisions and avoiding mistakes in less than a couple of seconds.
“Wait, 2 seconds? I can’t get off the couch that fast,” you complain. You’re right. Your body needs time to perform an action, but your brain is a million times faster.
The best part is your thoughts are lightning quick, no matter what your IQ. You do not need Einstein’s intelligence to process thoughts in 2 seconds. Aren’t you capable of having a conversation by processing what you hear and replying right after? If you can do that, there is no reason why you cannot think and make better choices in a snap of fingers.
This book may not stimulate a billion-dollar idea, but it will help you correct the little errors you commit often. These small changes compound over time making you a better person and propel you to achieve higher success in professional and personal life.
After reading the book, you will develop mindfulness about every little action you take. Practicing the 2-second principle is the secret recipe for cultivating the self-awareness skills of a zen monk. Your brain is capable of a lot more than you think. Read this book to tap into the magic of your mind using just 2 seconds.
About the Author
Maxim Dsouza is a self improvement blogger at Productive Club. On his blog he shares unique tips on productivity, time management, decision making and entrepreneurship. He is the author of the book, The Magic of 2 Seconds, which is a real life guide on making better decisions in 2 seconds.
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