Review – Online Courses on Self Development

For these few years, I addicted into reading blogs about self development. I got to know many popular blogs and bloggers, admire how they did and try implementing their advises into life…Sometimes I made success but failure more often. T.T

You probably noticed there are numbers of online courses, as I did, how would you consider to buy the course? During these years, I interested in several online courses and ebooks. Here, I would like to share how I felt and what I found out from the courses:

Learn More Study Less, by Scott Young

Discover Your Passion, by Barrie Davenport

Bold Living Guides, by Barrie Davenport

The 52-Week Life Passion Project, by Barrie Davenport

Sea Change Program, by Leo Babauta

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Passion of studying

Continue with my 2013 Resolution Projects, this is another most popular project that come up my mind, for all years. I’m using the term “studying” instead of “learning” because I enjoy being a student.

It is interesting that I used to believe I would not study any more after secondary school (similar as high school in US) since I didn’t enjoy my school life. I was unmotivated and aimless, just gathered with classmates walking around (not the type of bad students but certainly not the good one, I believed no teachers would remembered who I was at all) I didn’t know what I was doing for that 5 years!

But lucky I got a chance to study the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, that my life had been changed. I found my interests and somehow satisfied at my college life (by the way, I have never been a straight A student).

And now, you might not agree with, but I like reading course material and taking note, much more than learning a particular skill or sport.

How to be passionate at studying/learning?

I know there are many people struggling in studying, who might never getting back to study after graduate, could not find out their interests in studying. Therefore here we would like to share the traits on how to explore our passion of learning…

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Time management: tailor made your to-do list

Time management is critical on GTD that is very common topics, here are some advises from my favorite bloggers. And I’ve personally implement all these traits to see how they helped me with.

Scott Young: Weekly/Daily Goal

Create to-do list on weekly & daily basis, and review every week to make sure tasks to be finished;

It greatly helps on keep checking the daily progress on what we planned (from weekly plan), but I often overestimate myself and unable to finish all to-dos daily. I had too many things wanted to do but too little time available!

Leo Babauta: Zen to Done (ZTD)

Set 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) everyday, keep it simple in order to focus on what important rather than overloading.

It sounded so great too make me focus on the important tasks, but my life is very routine, my MITs would normally the same at everyday. So, identifying the importance (or essentials) seemed not to be necessary. Thus the ZTD is less functionality on my case.

Cal Newport: Five Minutes a Day

By reading the “How to Become a Straight-A Student” by Cal Newport, it recommended more than a to-do list to manage the daily tasks. In his book, he interviewed many straight-A students in order to find out the secrets of effective studying, it was interesting that many students created daily to-do list but end up failure, they struggled and swamped with to-dos.

For example, they put 10 to-dos in a day but actually could only accomplished 3 items, they usually overestimated themselves. On the other hand, all straight-A students created their daily to-do list with time theme.

I personally pretty like this approach, as I used to plan too much tasks  that I couldn’t managed (even that they all similar on every day). So, I’ve decided to implement this trait for a week, it worked fine.

As you read from my previous post, I live with busy schedule, my major available hours for PDev would be 3 hours/day given 4-5 hours for sleeping. It would be quite easy to arrange to-dos for these couples of hours.

However what about the tasks I did whenever I’m available? Such as I read when I’m on the way to office/home if I’m not sleepy. Or I read/blog when I’m not busy at work (don’t tell my boss!).

Also, there is no clear picture on my progress, I miss my weekly plan!

Therefore I combined all three together: Scott Young + Leo Babauta + Cal Newport. Let’s see what happen…

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Making productivity: to-do tasks

I have to admit that last post was a bit boring, I’ve been running several new habits that my time management is a bit confused (time management should be another topic that we will go through). Last post shown how to define and setup goals. But, Goal setting =/= Goal achieving !

There are certainly tons of things we need to do afterward, an action plan is necessary to create that providing the whole picture of the goal achievement. It should contains the tasks, expected completion date, resources required, and target.

Here I’m trying to use myself as an example. Let’s see how I work on for that…

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Interesting arguments: Goal vs No Goal?!

Interesting arguments: Goal or No Goal?!

During the research of goal setting strategy, I recently went over some discussions from Leo Babauta (from zenhabits) “The Best Goal is No Goal”  , Jeff Goins (from Jeff Goins Writer) “You Don’t Need a Plan to Change Your Life” … , they claimed not to set goals in our life for less stress and simplicity. It is an interesting point of views and made me considered about how goals setting might helps me with.

Referring to this point, David Damron (from LifeExcursion) published a post “5 Reasons Leo Babauta is Wrong About Goals (inc. Leo’s Response!)” He argued to the importance of goal in our lives.

I would say we can success without goal setting if we are passionate enough, for those who are self-disciplined and organized person can “burning their passion” and achieved what they wanted. It is not necessary to set up long-term goals, short-term goals, action plan… officially.

However, for some people, just like me, usually need guidelines and 3-rd party assistance to maintain our passion. We are easily getting lost without road-map.

Therefore goal setting is essential for someone like me, and I will keep going on this blog.

Goal Setting

Everybody knows what is goal, it gives us the direction of our life. And there is no point here to discuss why we set goal, since we all do it every new year! Just to ensure : setting right goals and setting goals right!

Dream a big dream, based on each aspect on our last post, let’s think about what you would like to be, to do and to have, in each of different aspects.

SMART Goal

In searching around goal setting strategy, there is a popular concept, SMART goal. I never doubt for this concept since it seemed very sufficient and highly recommended by most resources. Basically S.M.A.R.T. stands for 5 criterion:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time-sensitive

It is important to ensure your goal should be fitted into all of these. Then you will come up with a list with goal of each aspect and that should be measurable, such as:

Health: loss 20lbs;
Finance: increase 50% of current income;
Study: finish reading a book monthly ….

Note: “Be more healthy” is not a sufficient enough, you will not able to confirm weather you make it or not.

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