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Habits that are bringing positive changes for me

by Imran Ali - 06-Nov-2018

I am no expert in any of these adapted habits but they are to some extent bringing positive changes in my life, although I also believe that somewhere at some time I lost hold of some of these attributes and habits but I am a believer of the statement "it is never too late to start something". I would also like to mention here that none of these terms are newly introduced by me and I will mainly be focusing on my personal experiences associated with these habits. They are as follows:

1. Minimalism
2. Setting short term goals
3. Learning the art of saying "No"
4. Reading
5. Writing


As a muslim and a person belonging to a middle class family, since my childhood I was taught to never be obsessed with material things as it only bring stress along with it, but somewhere along the way I along with my loved ones have lost track of this inherited habit. It was in the beginning of this year that I have decided to start de-cluttering stuff and obsessions off of my back. I started with my online habits, deleted my Facebook account, Linkedin account, Instagram, and other social apps. I was not very active on many of these online platforms apart from Facebook but these were eating much of my time, I was looking for satisfaction in the wrong places this I realized when I started studying about minimalism, it helped a lot, I would like to mention The Minimalists and Becoming Minimalist for their writings that helped me in re-learning something that I had inherited within me, I now invest time with my children.

Setting short term goals

Once I de-cluttered certain stuff and bad habits off of my life, I now had plenty of time. Where to invest this spare time, I had nothing fruitful to do, it was a time when I met this friend of mine who I meet on quarterly basis and who I counted among my mentors (his name is Rehan Hanif), he told me of this newly adopted habit of himself in which he sets a small a tiny goal and practice on it until it is reached and then switching to something new in that specific field or picking a goal from another field. This I took as a learning experience and I started setting goals, the first goal I set for myself (you will laugh on it) was solving the 3x3 Rubik's Cube which to me a couple of years ago was among the impossibilities. However, with the help of Youtube (Louise's Tutorial) in the matter of 2 weeks and dedicated practice, I learned this algorithm and solved the cube for the very first time in my life, I cannot describe the satisfactory emotions it brought for me – it was worthy of the time and effort, my best time now is 4 minutes which in the next phase I will try to bring to 2 minutes (my next small goal). Trust me it is the goals like these that will bring happiness in your life, you realize it once you start putting the efforts in them.

Learning the art of saying "No"

This one does not mean to say "No" to everything and everyone. You have to minimize on your empathetic attitude, I am referring to it because I was being abused for this attitude of mine, once I realized that people are manipulating me for small time tasks that they can perform by themselves, that too very easily, to them I started saying "No". I might sound very heartless here but it was these small things that people were literally abusing me with, I am an IT professional and out of my empathic attitude I used to take even the task of a simple pdf making out of a scanned document that used to eat much of my day, basically to be true with you it is not what small task you do, it is who you do it for that matters, everyone used to come at me like I owe them something. Do not let anyone abuse and manipulate you for favors, you will not get any especially when you need any sort from them, trust me personal experience is speaking, people will act professional when you need them, be precise and clear in your matters, save yourself from becoming a toxic person and start saying "No".


I am now realizing that much of these habits have everything to do with minimalism. You have to start investing your time in better things, nothing can beat "Reading" when it comes to better things. The CEO of the company I am working in during a meeting once advised us to start reading books and topics that interests you. It is the best advise anyone can give you. The best outcome of my reading habit now is I approach everything with an open mind. I am leaving my conservativeness and backwardness behind me (I was never a conservative person previously it is just I lost myself somewhere at some moment of time). Reading is giving me the confidence to actually express myself among many people. I am not claiming that I know more than other people but this habit is giving me the power of actually listening to people and their opinions and to put in front of them mine, it is bringing the critical changes inside me, which I am very proud of now, it is a must to adopt habit if you are lost soul like me.


This is the habit that will add to your critical thinking. I am adapting this habit by many means. One of it is to write about something I read or a podcast that I listen to or an educational video that I have just watched, I write about things that I am learning and observe routinely. As of yet I am not writing on regular basis but my frequency of writing about experiences is better than it was before, it is part of the "expressing myself". It takes time to write I am a novice in this area and this will be another learning experience for me. It is not an easy task to write, what I am doing here is sharing my experiences and not trying to show off. Every time I start writing I feel like a child, and when I read and then start writing about it I feel like a person who knows nothing, this is the best change it has brought in for me. Give it a try.

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