3 years ago when I was having a desperate time, I went to a person. A person that I always admire, and a person that has always been a mentor to me. He helped me make a five-year plan on a piece of paper and asked me to keep it in my pocket and look at it every morning when I wake up. That was very kind of him but unfortunately, that did not work for me. It was shortly after that I lost track of it and did not know which one of my goals to value the most.

Well, maybe because it was just like any other new-year resolution plan — not very realistic.

Very recently, I read a book called “The 5 AM Club” and in the book, I learned about the 20/20/20 formula. This entire article is based on the 20/20/20 formula and the four elements of a successful and happier life.

In this world, we are too busy working on our mindsets. We go to schools, colleagues, universities and even read self-help books to make sure that we learn and know more. That’s wonderful but that’s only helping our minds. And unfortunately, everybody pushes us to work towards the mindset — they believe success underlies in knowledge while that’s only one of the four important elements of success.

In life to be successful, productive and happier, we must work on four elements; the “mindset”, the “health-set”, the “heart-set” and the “soul-set”. Only these four elements can help us know more, stay healthier, become successful and be joyful. Let’s go through each one of these below.

In the end, we will create a five-year plan based on these four elements and the 20/20/20 formula:

The Mindset

The mindset is not as easier as it seems. Yes, you can build a good mindset through the books you read, the people you meet, the things you see and the words you speak. But, you may end up feeding your mind negative information from the social media or the internet or the negative people — intentionally or unintentionally. So, we have to be careful about where we live, where we work, where we go and what we read. They all contribute to shaping our mindset one or another way.

The Health-set

A healthy person has lower stress and a higher productivity level. Therefore, some of the well-known corporates encourage their employees to go to a gym or at least work-out at home. If you don’t have the time to go to a gym, at least take 7 mins out of your morning routine and do a work-out at home. And don’t stop until you sweat. It ignites your energy, dissolves your stress and expands your joy.

The Heart-set

Humans are controlled by their hearts and emotions. If we don’t work on this very element, we may end up affecting all the other three elements. One way to make sure you contribute to your heart-set is that you write on a personal diary or you speak to someone you trust or speak to God through prayer or whichever mean. As very well said by Sigmund Freud, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and they will come forth later in uglier ways.”.

The Soul-set

There are people that are smart but ugly inside. You immediately realize that their arrogance is above their knowledge. And believe me, it gives them stress as well — they just don’t know how to get out of this evil trap. It is very important for human beings to work on their souls on daily basis. You contribute to having a perfect soul-set by making donations, helping others, praying in the morning, showing gratitude and doing meditation.

If you think that’s a lot of work to do, the 20/20/20 formula will help you work on all of the four elements in one hour on daily basis.

What is the 20/20/20 rule?

The 20/20/20 formula says you must wake up early in the morning and divide your given one hour in the following order; 20 minutes move, 20 minutes reflect and 20 minutes grow.

Now, it’s up to you how you divide the four elements using the formula but here’s how I did it:

I put the health-set and heart-set elements to the “move” category, the soul-set to the “reflect” category and the mindset to the “grow” category. During the first 20 minutes of my day, I decided to work on my health-set and heart-set by doing a 7-min workout, and express my emotions on a piece of paper. The second 20 minutes of my day to “reflect” and work on my soul-set by meditating, reading the Quran and doing the morning prayer. And the last 20 minutes of my one-hour to grow by reading a book, planning my day at work and writing an article if possible.

That’s how I planned my morning, feel free to use the same table format and come up with one for yourself.

I hope it helps. Thank you and don’t forget to share this article.

By Sher Shah Rahim


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