This is a followup to my post about brain rewiring. I’ve read several more books, some of them were great, and some of them I didn’t bother to finish. One thing’s for sure, I’ve learned a lot and feel like I have an arsenal of tactics at my disposal for how to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
First, a quick development update:
I took a small break from working on A Spire To The Gods to do a non game related side project. This might sound like a bummer to people waiting for Spire to come out due to the release pushback, but in reality, this break is one of the best things that will have happened to Spire over the course of its development. I hit a creative and motivational wall late last year and was struggling to get any meaningful work done on Spire. That’s when I realized I needed to change, and started rewiring my brain. This side project has given me the time off to reboot my system and refill the motivational tanks while working to incorporate several important habits into my life.
Back to the main point:
I’ve been reading a lot of books and blogs about happiness and how to live a fulfilling life. In the process my Kindle library has gone from 2 books to around 30, and several of my favorites have been self improvement books. What I learned made me realize I needed to take a step back and reevaluate the way I was doing EVERYTHING. A big takeaway is that if you want something to happen you have to REALLY want it, have a plan for how to get it, and put in a lot of time and effort to make it a reality. This is true for most things like relationships, your career, and your happiness.
Here are three books that helped define my path:
The book that jump started this whole process for me was The How Of Happiness. The great thing about this book is it’s backed up by science and not some motivational BS other books rely on. I learned the way you think about things, react and reflect on different scenarios, and constantly worry has a huge impact on the way your brain functions. This in turn has a major influence on how stressed you are, your happiness levels, and even your overall health. A powerful instrument the book goes into detail about is maintaining a gratitude journal.
Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time – This book has 52 simple methods that can be used to rewire your brain to make it more resilient, peaceful, and happy. The methods range from teaching you how to be calmer, feel safer, to focus on the present moment, and to stop worrying about things that don’t matter or aren’t even a factor. I’ve been practicing a handful of these methods and without a doubt I’m happier, more present, and more confident than I was 9 months ago.
Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals – This book starts with 4 stories about different characters who are stuck in their own financial ruts. Strangers notice their woes and talk them into going to a workshop to learn the Rich Habits. The stories are a little cheesy, but were mildly entertaining and provided enough motivational oomph to get me excited to want to practice the rich habits. The juicy part of the book, where the habits are detailed, is pretty short and to the point. Each habit is described and an example is given for how to put it into action. The book finishes by telling how the 4 individuals from the previous stories fared after implementing the habits into their lives.
Rich Habits was a great read simply because it didn’t mess around with fluff and filler. I imagine there are a thousand other books on this subject and you can find this info elsewhere but my big takeaway were these two habits:
- Follow your own list of good habits for a month: Write down all your bad habits in column A, and then write down the inverse, or good habits next to them in column B. The objective is to weave the good habits into your daily routine for a month. You’re supposed to drill these into your head by reviewing them in the morning, afternoon, and evening every day. I’ve written down my list of bad/good habits and will practice the good ones for the month of August. These can be as simple as limiting internet browsing to 30 minutes each day and going to bed at the same time every night.
- Create long and short term goals: Write down your long term goals, then yearly, monthly, and daily goals. It’s important to create goals that are achievable, especially for the shorter time periods. I have never listed out my goals prior to this. I would guess it’s partly from sheer laziness, but also because no one ever taught me this process and how important it can be. Having this list is like putting yourself on a set of rails leading straight to where you want to go.
Yes, writing down your goals and spending a few minutes every day to go over them takes time and effort but it’s really not much in the grand scheme of things, especially if it keeps you on track. I’ve already saved time because having my next task written down greatly lowers the time I waste aimlessly browsing the internet.
The tool I use to list my goals, tasks, and write down notes I want to save is called Inkpad. There’s a website and Android app that work seamlessly together.
I’ve been on a journey of discovery where I’ve learned to take on life in a new way. It’s been great, and luckily I’m in a position where I can focus on discovering and working on these improvements instead of being forced to grind away at an unfulfilling job. I essentially respecced my character stats and unlocked a couple bonus traits. I feel like a new person and am excited to continue to grow and learn. I hope this post motivates you to pick up one of these books or to seek your own path to improvement and happiness.
If you have any other books, links or anything else you found to be helpful please send them my way or post it in the comments below.