Today I was late for work again. For three minutes that is.
You may ask why I’m writing on an event as insignificant as this. Hold on a moment I don’t intend this to be a whining or rant post, but a post that you can learn from.
What can we learn about me being late you may ask? Hmmm… let’s learn (or contemplate) about something called “Cause and Effect.”
In some metaphyical traditions as well as science itself, cause and effect is a commonly accepted law of the universe. That is for every cause there is an effect, and for every effect there is cause.
Something to contemplate about, though, is:
A cause may have multiple effects. For example, going to the gym to train with weights can be a cause for you to… (A) Gain more muscle. (B) Lose more fat. (C) Become more attractive to opposite sex. (D) Be able to wear again your old overgrown clothes.
An effect may have multiple causes. Going back to me being late at work I was late for some factors I can think of. (A) I didn’t get up in bed early enough. (B) I could have skipped taking a bath. (C) I could have started walking from the public transportation (Jeepney in our country) when I sensed traffic isn’t moving. (D) The traffic. (I know it’s like blaming the traffic, but no one could deny that it was a valid cause.)
There is a chain of causes and effects. Meaning that an effect can in turn become a cause for another event, and so on. For example: A mother taught her children to be kind to people (cause 1). Her children in turn became kind to other people (effect 1 – cause 2), and because of that those people who were treated with kindness felt good (effect 2 – cause 3…). It could go on and on, like those people who were treated with kindness in turn became kind to other people, too.
There are lots of more to contemplate on the law of Cause and Effect, that I can write another post for it in the future. For now, though, it would be nice to contemplate on these things, even for a moment.
The law of Cause and Effect is for real, and remember (A) A Cause can have multiple effects; (B) an effect multiple causes; (C) there is chain or link of causes and effects.
I was just visiting my blog a while ago when I was surprised from that notification I received from wordpress.
It’s been a year….
When I first started blogging my writing wasn’t that good. I didn’t even expected that I’ll be writing a lot of posts.
But then something happened. I started to like writing….
I remembered back then I was dreaming on becoming a real writer. You know, those people that who writes books and articles.
I bought a read a lot of books about writing, honing my skills along the way by writing posts in this blog.
Back then I was writing daily. Yes daily.
I never wanted to miss a day that when I can’t write a full post I’ll just write one of those short quotes.
Ah those were the days.
So what happened? Why did I lay low in writing posts?
As I can remember I missed a day of writing a single post. I tried to make up for it by writing some more, but in my mind it’s already alright to miss a day of writing a post. Also, I wanted a break from daily writing back then.
Fast-forward for a few more months and here I am writing a blog post again. I decided that since it’s my blog’s anniversary then I shouldn’t miss the opportunity to write a post.
And oh, since I like learning new stuff. I learned this new acronym tl;dr (or TLDR) which stands for…
Too Long Didn’t Read
Whitebeltblogger is celebrating his blog’s anniversary by reminiscing the past.
If you’re familiar with old school self-help authors (90s and earlier) you’ll hear the usual (and overused) advice, ‘Read books.’ Being an avid book reader I actually support that kind of advice.
But times have changed. Besides books there are lots of learning materials out there. Blogs, youtube videos, podcasts, online courses, etc. We’re not limited to reading books anymore.
If you’re a child of the internet like me, you probably already know all of those stuff and more. So why I am stating the obvious you may ask?
The reason is I want to change the belief that a person can only get quality learning through books. Other mediums are just as effective (or more).
For example, I learn better technical materials watching video tutorials compared to books. While some people like to learn from podcasts while driving or commuting. To each to his own.
So the next time someone asks, “How many books have you read this year?” or “What book are you currently reading?” You can answer with, “I just watched this awesome video on making ice-cream last week,” or “I listened to Engineer Bob’s podcast yesterday.”
That person might give you a weird look, but what’s important is you have learned something, the mode of teaching is a lot less relevant.
I own more than 500 books and ebooks, but I’ve only read a portion of my collection. Most of them are non-fiction by the way.
I’m quite good at rationalizing to myself why I need to buy a book, even though I already own a similar or better book in my library.
Here, I’m going to list the reasons why I haven’t yet read (or stopped reading) the rest of my books:
I buy books (and ebooks) a lot faster than I can read them. In average it takes me 3-7 days to read a book, depending on the number of pages it has.
I stopped reading because the book is full of fluff (unnecessary filler words) or doesn’t get to the point.
The author said something I find offensive so I discontinued reading.
The author oversells his/her other books or courses. It’s okay to advertise, but not too much.
I figured out that I already know what’s mentioned in the book; reading it will be somewhat of a waste of time.
What is contained in the book is not in alignment with my current beliefs. They say we should read material that contradicts what we know, but sometimes my bullshit detector gets really high while reading a book I don’t agree with.
I started reading another book and I become really engaged; in effect, I forgot about the other book completely.
I became busy at work or other projects.
I lend or sometimes give away books. Hey, it’s nice to share knowledge.
When reading books I somewhat read by chapter or section every day, making it a habit. If I skip a day or two, it becomes easy to stop reading a book altogether.
Some of them are just reference books and are not to be meant to be read completely (by an average person, that is).
There you have it. My reasons (or excuses) why I still haven’t read a lot of my books.
Lately, though, I’ve been reading ebooks exclusively, and I’ve discovered something called Stealth reading.
Stealth reading basically is just reading whenever you have free time, like while commuting to and from work, waiting at a line, or while eating at a restaurant. It really contributes to my reading time a lot.
But even though I haven’t read a lot of my books, I don’t consider them a waste of money or space. They are my valued possessions. I feel I’m surrounded by knowledge when I see them. 🙂
I’m a player of League of Legends. It’s an online game where a group of five players try to beat the other team.
Currently, I don’t have a clan so I get to play with random players selected by the game’s matchmaking system.
But I’m not going to talk about that’s game mechanics or my opinions about it. I’m here to talk about winning and losing streaks.
We can explain how winning and losing streaks happen in various ways:
They say nothing succeeds like success, which essentially means that winners have a psychological edge over others who have less or no experience on winning.
A player’s psychology is important because our thoughts determines our actions, and our actions lead to the results we get. Results that can be positive or not.
We can take advantage of this principle by winning at small tings first before we tackle more difficult challenges. In that way we can build our winning psyche.
Actual material or resource advantage/disadvantage
There’s this concept known as snowballing where advantages are built on top of another. Think of a snowball that gets bigger as it rolls on the ground.
That’s the reason why it’s easier for entrepreneurs that have money to make more money. Money can be used to buy resources that’s necessary in starting and keeping a business going.
Knowing this, we have to keep in mind that small things matter because they eventually lead to big results.
Crowd/peer support or putdowns
This is somewhat related to no. 1, but the former is all about how we view our self. What I’m going to talk about here is how other people view us.
Psychology has a concept known as the Pygmalion effect. Basically it states that expectations of other people affect how one person performs.
Just think who is more likely to win, a team that is cheered upon by the crowd or a team that receives only ‘boos.’
So, if we want to increase our chances of winning better find a supportive crowd, or if you have no choice but to deal with an unsupportive one — just ignore them.
Winners feel better physically, which leads to better performance
Can you remember a time when you won? How did you feel? Aren’t you full of energy and vigor?
Losers on the other hand feel weaker, even though they haven’t really exerted themselves.
Of course, we can condition ourselves physically that we can continue to go on even after disappointments and setbacks, but let’s face it, we’re doing it to win. That feeling of winning is so pleasurable, the reason why we endure hardships.
The other person/team is simply better
In competition we like to think that we’re the best and we can defeat anyone who competes with us, but the reality is that there are people who are more experienced and skillful than us. The reason they are more likely to win.
In those circumstances, let’s put on a good fight, try to learn as much as possible, and who knows we might actually win. Ever heard of upsets in sports?
And, yes, we must become better. So next time we’ll be the one with the definite advantage.
The possible explanations above are my own. There might be a lot more to winning and losing streaks than we currently know.
Sometimes, there simply seems to be a kind of cycle or rhythm on things. It’s like an invisible force, a force that once we know, we can control it to our advantage.