For the most part, our lives are formed around habits. Some are good, others are bad, and we often want to change the bad ones but we never get around to doing it. Habits can be very complicated to understand, but the book – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – does a great job at simplifying the concept.
This blog is split in 2 parts, part 1 explains what habits are and part 2 explains how to change your habits.
Saving money as a full time student can be really hard to achieve. Yet I managed to save over $3000 for my travel in less than five months on a minimum wage salary for my one month trip to Thailand.
It wasn’t easy. To be honest, if I didn’t have such a strong desire to travel I would have never made it.
Alright so let’s Break it Down
First I had to set myself a goal. According to some friends that went backpacking and online research $3500 seemed like a good amount to save and use as follow:
- $1000 for the plane ticket.
- $1500 for all my spending in Thailand.
- $1000 for gear, insurance and so on.
In most parts of North America, the average student will begin school when they turn five years old. We start off in kindergarden where we are taught the basics of social interactions, mathematics and language. Then from the first grade all the way to the end of high school we are taught to attend class five days per week in a specific schedule and can only leave class with the permission of the teacher.
Most of the habits that define us are there since childhood and the longer you’ve had a habit, the harder it is to change it. We follow a similar pattern at school almost everyday until the age of 16-17. Most students start university between the age of 17-21. In other words, right after graduating from an institution that forced you to follow everything to the letter and ask permission to go to the bathroom (an environment where your freedom was very limited), we are thrown out of the cage. For the past 10-12 years of your life, you’ve been taught to ask permission for anything you wanted to do, your classes were in most cases given to you without any choice. And a few months later they open the cage and tell you to go explore.
Last year I started writing daily notes in a notebook. Sometimes I wrote about my day, other times about an important lesson I learn and also reviews of books I read. Part of the reason I decided to start a blog, was to share some of these notes.
So I did what any beginner would do. I went on YouTube and typed “how to start a blog?”.
All I found were bloggers recommending hosts that they claimed they were using (although they weren’t) just to make a solid commission.
In order to understand how to build a website from scratch I asked my friend Steve who has a business in this domain. He recommended me a host based on security, speed and reliability.
Afterwards, it was all about learning the ropes of blogging and that’s where I became “corrupted”.
I looked up a few guides on writing good blogs but I completely forgot what I initially wanted to make this blog about. I was writing things that I felt people would like to read rather than writing what I felt like writing.
I wrote my three first blogs based on that idea. But then I lost the pleasure of writing, I wasn’t motivated to do it. Why was I able to write for almost a year and then, when I threw it on a website I lost the interest?
Picking Up A Book
When I was in my last year of elementary school, my friend Julien introduced me to reading novels. He recommended me a book called Amos Daragon and when I started reading it, I did not put it down until I finished it. I had never viewed reading as a form of entertainment, but when I read that book, I was visualizing the scenes in my head and it felt like I was watching a movie but better. When I did finish, I craved more, thankfully the series had twelve books in total. I kept reading several novels throughout high school but I stopped when I started college.
At the beginning of 2016 I saw a Facebook post that Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his goals of reading two books per month throughout the year and decided to adopt the same goal. But instead of reading fiction (like I always did) I decided to read different styles of books; biographies and books on well being, meditation and educational ones.
Out of all the books I have read so far, I chose three that I recommended to all my friends.