A: Do it repeatedly.
Think about how our skin eventually gets used to the most potent cosmetic product. The impact will lower as time goes by, otherwise consumers can stock enough bottles for the rest of their lives. It is not just the matter of shelf life but once our skin gets used to certain ingredients, it can’t be stimulated anymore. Those who say humans are creatures of habits must have overlooked the battle between laziness (conforming to an old habit) and boredom (forming new habits) in the calculation of highly efficient individuals.
有曰：「人是受制於習慣的生物(Humans are creatures of habits)」，而壞習慣往往是不自知的，若不是從書本或講座中受到啟發，或有良師益友從旁指出，人們對自己的行為往往是後知後覺的。
Every time I stumbled upon blogs which are updated frequently, I wonder, “How can they have such an ample amount of time?”
Then I study successful people, living and dead, whose productivity has made huge contribution to their own domain and discover the one trait in each of them: they spend significantly less time on entertainment than regular people.
While most people sleep in, shop online, play games, chit chat, watch flick and so, those who take their projects seriously fill their schedules first with the progress goals so there is no way for distractions to squeeze in.
As I came across with the idea of minimalism, it dawned do me that my convoluted writing could be a reflection of my life! There were too many things that seemed fun but didn’t really give me any joy eventually that stole away my time to live my life to its fullest and share my story with the world.
Then I started re-prioritizing. I crossed out activities that didn’t contribute to my long-term goal and built up a strong foundation that’s favourable to my writing (like going to bed early, doing yoga and eating right).
I started this year with two calendars, one to mark the chain actions of writing and one for yoga practice. It was until the 4th/5th month I noticed a co-relation: The day I went to a yoga class and got my blood circulation going instead of sitting there watching entertainment news and coveting was usually the day I wrote too.
So my answer to the earlier question is: They have time to write because they are living right.
New products are released every day but we only receive our salary once a month. Needless to say, self control must be applied while living in capitalistic society.
Let’s be real. There are plenty of cute stuff and good deals, but we don’t necessarily bring every single cute or discounted thing home.
If we swap our credit cards once there is something new and nice, we are no creatures more than chimpanzees which salivate when bananas are placed in front of them.
It’s funny how some young girls name shopping as their hobby because honestly, it doesn’t require any skill whatsoever.
The manufacturing of various merchandise is endless so we really shouldn’t run on that track mill. Shop only when necessary, say when a replacement is needed.
Here is a small challenge for my dear readers: Say no to the 30% off handbag next time when you see one and are tempted to open your wallet.
“But it doesn’t cost much,” you may say, but what you doing here isn’t just saving a few dollar notes, you are actually quitting a bad habit.
Even though the handbag isn’t pricy, but the cost of you easily giving in to your desire is very high.
By saying no to a temptation, we are resisting not just a piece of jewellery or a coat or a bottle perfume, but the energy of a bad spending habit.
I knew an adult whose saving is no more than a teenage boy. Whenever I pointed out his money loophole, he would shrug, “Silly. How expensive can a taxi ride be? It’s just around a thousand Hong Kong dollars a month in total. If I don’t spend that small sum of money on taxi ride then I will probably spend it elsewhere anyway.”
Did you identify his fallacy?
If the “elsewhere” category is something that he may or may not spend on, then spending the money on taxi won’t harm. But, if the “elsewhere” category he is referring to is a necessity then the taxi fare is an additional expense that should be avoided.
The first rule of all money management rules is to differentiate fixed expenditure and flexible expenditure.
Fixed expenditure is the minimum expense for survival. They are the basics, like food, water, electricity, rent, toiletries, the Internet bandwidth… pretty much the same among all individuals. (Don’t fool yourself here and stop being a drama queen. You KNOW you won’t die without a Chanel purse.)
To maintain a basic living, we cannot over compress our fixed expenditure, so the capacity to save money all depends on flexible expenditure.
Flexible expenditure has nothing to do with survival. It is mostly related to vanity. Makeup, accessories, wine, electronic gadgets… you name it. The list can go on and so can the bill.
Now, I am not suggesting a complete shut down of allowance on flexible expenditure. We do need some treats to motivate us to pursue higher goals. Besides, people do judge us on our appearance and it is reasonable to be at least presentable in public and specially business occasions. But to be very honest, whether a person can save a substantial amount of money has direct relation to his/her determination to lead a less material life.
To put it simple, fixed expenditure is money spent on your needs and flexible expenditure is money spent on your wants. Even a child can tell the difference, right? But not so in the adult world because there is something that causes us so much confusion — discounts and seasonal sales.
We may not think of buying an LC pot on a usual day but if we happen to see a price reduction promotion or a groupon offer, suddenly and quite magically the clay pot is disguised as our need. We must train your brain and rewrite the association of a discount and a lifesaver.
The first tip to having our flexible expenditure under control is to stop triggering our wants. Unfollow people who constantly make you feel inferior and feel like keeping up with their fashion trend or lifestyle. If that sounds too much of a cliche, try this one; Hang the newly bought item in front of the closet so that you’ll be reminded that something is still unworn and to look forward to. This curbs my urge to shop impulsively and hopefully it works for you all too.
(In the next entry, the willpower in relations to money management will be addressed.)