Two things that I don’t like about myself are procrastination and the habit of forgetting things. But the good thing is that I don’t procrastinate.

Welcome to my blog, this post is about my first experience with the PGP course thought by our PLP teachers. The first things we did with this project were read a book, watch a youtube video about “positive brain training” and take notes about the ladder. So without a further ado, let’s get into it.

I just finished reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear (you can check the book out here). But that wasn’t the thing we did in this course. We watched a Ted Talk presented by Shawn Achor on the benefits of “Positive Brain Training”. (Click here to checkout my notes on the ted talk and watch the presentation itself). Shawn Achor says that practicing these positive brain training exercises will make us less stressed and more productive. These steps being; 

  • Random acts of kindness
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • 3 gratitudes

He clams that by repeatedly doing these things you will start scanning the world and seeing the positives and not the negatives. He also says that by being more positive you will also be more productive and less stressed. So we decided to put these steps to the test.

Everyday we would come into class and we’d do, or talk about one of the 5 steps above. For example, on Monday’s we’d meditate, on Tuesday’s we’d do a random act of kindness, and on Wednesday’s we’d do some exercise. One of my favourite ones was when we were instructed to write a love letter to someone else. I wrote mine to my friend Max L. thanking him for being a good friend. 

I also liked how on Wednesday’s we’d go on walks as a class, I found it to be very peaceful and reduce stress. 

The other thing we did in this unit was, like I said before, read Atomic Habits. Unlike most the books that I’ve read in my life, this one really seemed to help me. This book started off with him telling us about his backstory in sports. Then goes on to him discovering the steps to getting rid of bad habits and keeping good habits around. The “laws” that he talks about are as follows (for good habits).

  • Make It Obvious
  • Make It Attractive
  • Make It Easy
  • Make It Satisfying

Then the inversion of those being (for bad habits);

  • Make It Invisible
  • Make It Unattractive
  • Make It Difficult
  • Make It Unsatisfying

I’ve been applying some of these tactics into my life to try and keep around some good habits and get rid of some bad habits. 

The good habits that I want to maintain are, keeping my room clean, making my bed every morning, and practicing my shot from in basketball for at least 45 mins a day. So far I’ve been keeping true to most of those. I’ve been practicing basketball outside everyday, even if I’m on a call with someone or on vacation. I’ve been making my bed every morning, but I haven’t always been keeping my room clean. But I can apply some of the laws to that to make sure I do. For example, I can make it attractive. Having a dirty room doesn’t look good, having a clean room makes it look good. Or I can make it satisfying. Having a clean room makes it easier to get from place to place.

Then some bad habits I’ve been trying to eliminate are procrastinating and walking my dog only when my mom tells me to. Some things I can do to make these into a good habit are making them easy. Walking my dog kills two birds with one stone, he gets to have some fun and I get to do some exercise. Or making them satisfying. Getting my work done on time makes you feels stress free.

The essential question we had to answer for this project was “How does balance within my life create opportunities?”. This question can be interpreted in many different ways, but I chose to look at it in a “Work-Life” balance point of view. Having them be balanced can benefit me in many areas. For example if I focused all on work I wouldn’t be in the best of health, but if all I thought about was my life outside of school I would never get any homework done. Having these two be balanced can also translate into me becoming a more well rounded and happy person. Just like in the happiness advantage, doing exercise among other things will lead to me becoming more happy which will contribute to me becoming more productive. Being balanced will make it so I have a better work ethic in a job and in a sport respectively, and that’s how I create or get given more opportunities.