I have my own way to deal with productivity. I was calling them mind hacks, personal slogans and other weird names.
When I'm feeling stuck, overwhelmed or finding myself in some «bad» pattern — I use those mind hacks.
Recently I've found an «official» name for i. It's time to share. :)
They are called «mottos».
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What the hell is a motto?
The motto is a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals of an individual, family, or institution.
Motto is a personal slogan.
When I find myself on a slippery road to breaking a good coding habit — I use a certain motto to help me out. And usually, its impact is enough to win the battle.
I've coined the problem of pre-mature optimization into this phrase:
Do not optimize the future, optimize the past.
THIS wording works for me. It should not work for you. And that is the whole point. To remember certain rules with wording that works for you.
My attitude to pre-mature optimization is that. I want to optimize stuff that is already happened. On other words my optimization should be based on data. And data comes from the past. :)
Choice is good. Choosing is NOT.
Having tons of frameworks, libraries, and options is cool. But making a perfect decision eats up way too much energy. And some cases it's valid, but in most it's not. Things change.
I simply try to avoid choosing.
Don't look for a better tool, seek for a better brain.
I've stopped mindlessly replacing my inner problems with better tooling and addons and seeking to improve myself first (at least trying), then seek for the tools.
We all have encountered different thoughts that move us. Thіs information is extremely valuable.
Shape it, support it, use it.
Shape it. Support it. Use it.
Be careful. Mottos are NOT about what you WANT to believe. They are about your current beliefs, not the future ones. Just be careful NOT to pick fancy stuff that looks nice but doesn't really click with you. Be honest with yourself.
Identify what you strongly believe in and coin that into a short sentence.
It all starts with noticing.
Once I've noticed how important it is for me to build up positive momentum in the morning, I have zero doubts that it is my thing. It is my thing. It's important for me, period.
Mornings are about momentum.
Write down your strongest beliefs — things, that are deeply connected to you and have a real impact on your behavior.
If you're feeling like it — feel free to steal someone's phrasing, easily. It's yours if it's yours. Pay attention. When you consume content and a phrase strikes your heart — write it down.
Ready. Set. Go!
In the beginning, it's not THAT important how well they are articulated. It's what you put into the sentence, the personal meaning.
What makes a motto more powerful is what it's connected to. Think Coca Cola putting billions of dollars into advertising to support its brand. You might also want to support your personal slogans. They should be deeply connected with your goals, beliefs, emotions.
Write that down.
Mottos are powered by both rational and irrational. Rational arguments and emotional coloring make a cool combo. In other words:
- Can you explain your belief?
- Does it excite you?
When you consume the content you might come across stuff that supports your motto. For example, when I've persuaded myself (made it an internal belief) that consistency is important I hear it from almost every person I follow. Consistently.
Bring your motto to life and use it as a weapon contextually. It's your tool, your beliefs. Use accordingly.
It takes time to shape your worldview and find internal hacks, but it's totally worth it. Shape your beliefs concisely in order to use them effectively. Support them with internal and external evidence and you will become better, faster, and stronger.
Mottos are not a magic wand, but the world is complex enough so we can neglect what we actually believe. These reminders are a powerful mechanism to identify yourself and navigate life better.
Just do it.
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What is your motto and what is the background behind it?