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How to build your knowledge, habits, and relationships for the long-term

Source |linkedin.com  | By|Amith somani

The mindfulness and meditation bandwagon is here and trying to get us to be “present” in the now. We don’t want to reminisce about the past or pontificate about the future. Spot on. Being in the present moment is the new nirvana.

We are not spending enough time focussed on the long-term in the following categories:

  • Information and Knowledge: Our lives are inundated with up-to-the-minute WhatsApp messages, Twitter feeds, Instagram stories, Facebook posts, Slack Channels and such. We are increasingly consuming information with a very short half-life and not nearly enough which has lasting value. We need to avoid consuming “byte” sized morsels which whets your appetite but leaves you unsatisfied and grazing all day. We need to consume more longer form articles, blog posts, podcasts, books and more and not. Further, we need internalize longer-form content and enhance our existing mental models. This beautiful post on Compounding Knowledge talks about how folks like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger read and digest voracious amount of information and keep compounding their longer term mental models.
  • Habits – Due to the never ending stream of ever accessible information, we are often mesmerized by the fad du jour. It could be a new nutrition or exercise plan, or a way to speed read, or a new social media channel to participate in. I’m a big believer in innovation and experimenting a lot, both at a personal and professional level. However, I would assert that we should pick a few of the successful experiments and commit to them so they become long-term habits. So, instead of trying a new fad of giving up sugar for a week or a month, or doing a GM diet, or a new workout routine, one may be better attempting a sustainable habit – say, skipping desserts for all days but one or doing a soup and salad dinner once a week or exercise 3 days a week no matter what. It takes about 66 days to create a new habit but the compounding returns of some of those may last a lifetime!
  • Relationships – we have unprecedented ability connect with everyone, everywhere, all the time. We are increasingly building shallower relationships with lots of people and not many meaningful relationships with a select few. This is true at work and at home. Do we really get to know what drives or motivates people? Do we really spend time to understand where they grew up, what they like to eat, play, read? Do we know what their secret superpowers are? Or, are they just another connection on LinkedIn or a “business” associate?

Frameworks to help build for “long term” impact:

I could think of 3 three well established frameworks that I have read from 3 different books over the last 20 years. I attempted to try and connect them to the problem at hand.

Prioritise: Steven Covey’s timeless 4 Quadrants in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” came to to mind.

 
 
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