My recent travel to South East Asia gave me the opportunity to recover from the stressful year and gave me space to think how I want the upcoming year to be.

I took a lot of time to think about personal development and how to become more successful as a designer.

During my trip, I tried to stay offline as much as possible. I did a lot of reading and observing my environment to get inspiration from the people & the culture. I came to the realization, that in order to become more successful in all areas of my life, I need to put more focus on changing my inner world.

In the past, I put a lot of effort in staying up to date with the latest news, blogs and books about design & technology. I believed it was necessary to stay on top of the latest developments that are going on in the world of Google, Facebook and Co. But if I really wanted to improve my success, I had to stop consuming and actually start working on myself. 

I also realized how often I would get caught up in discussions, gossips and rumors of all kind. Those kind of discussions, where everyone is trying to show off their latest knowledge about what’s going on in the world and that doesn’t led anywhere.

The starting point to become more successful

One of the books I was reading lately, that I can also highly recommend, is the “Miracle Morning” by El Halrod. I did an experiment to wake up early for a month. Here are my thoughts: How A Miracle Morning Can Accelerate Your Personal Growth

This book is a quick read, but it transformed the way I think about achieving goals and improving myself to reach a Level 10 life. Here is my biggest aha-moment from the book:

“…the level of your success, depends on the level of your personal growth and your mindset.”

After reading this, a lot of things started to make sense for me.

While a lot of people believe that success is the result of what you do, it actually begins within you. The outer world is a mere reflection of what’s going on inside. If chaos is dominating your thoughts, how can you expect to find peace in the real world. If you feel unconfident and small inside, how can you expect to shine outside?

It all starts with the way you think, your values and the habits you create day by day.

After having this realization, I started to think about how I wanted to change this year. Here are my 4 very simple commitments to myself to become more successful in 2016:

I take advantage of the early morning to develop new habits

“I’m so tired. Enough work for today, I’m gonna watch a movie.” – this is how my mind is tricking me to become lazy after a busy day at work.

Because I know that my energy level is pretty low towards the evening, I will try to get things done before most of the people even wake up.

After reading “The Miracle Morning” and getting super inspired, I want to create a habit of getting up at 5:00AM in the morning and do all the things that I won’t have time for during the day or after work:

  1. Practicing Meditation
  2. Acquiring new skills
  3. Reading more books
  4. Writing

Level up my health & fitness game

It is hard to stay motivated and radiate energy, if the body lacks the necessary nutrition and fitness. I make the commitment to myself to reduce my meat intake and fuel my body with healthier food like veggies and fruit. In addition, I will move my body at the minimum of four times a week. By doing small habit changes, I hope to achieve a higher energy level on a constant basis.

I will stay away from reading news

In a world of information overload it is hard for us to keep focus. With no focus, it is hard to create any valuable output.

By embracing a low-information diet, I hope that I can train my mind to stay more focused. Less information means less distraction and less limitation in the way of thinking. It also helps me to listen more to what others have to say, instead of trying to prove my own knowledge and always trying to stay on top of things.

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you know, but if you listen, you learn something new” – Dalai Lama

I circumvent negative energy

I stay away from any gossips or rumors. I’m not a person who talks badly behind peoples back, but I also don’t want to be surrounded by people who do. Working in a big company, it is almost impossible to avoid negativity. No matter which company you work for, with great certainty, you will come across someone who just likes to talk about others. This kind of behavior benefits no one in order to become more successful, I rather spent my time hanging out with people who share ideas.

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