Unlike money, everyone is ultimately on a level playing field when it comes to time. We all get the same allowance of twenty-four hours a day. Just as there are ineffective ways of investing your money, there are ineffective ways of investing your time.
If we all have the same amount of this essential resource, why do some people achieve so much, and others so little? Where we start from — in terms of economic class, skills and education — certainly has something to do with it, but there are just as many riches-to-rags stories as there are rags-to-riches stories, so obviously there is another factor at play here.
~ David Cain
I found the realization that it’s really my attention that is my limiiting resource to be both liberating and scary. Liberating because it means that all I need to do is focus my attention and long-term success is within my grasp. Applying my attention, even in short stretches, inevitably leads to progress on my favorite projects. And scary because every time I’m tired, run-down, don’t want to do something– every time, food or the Movie-monster call my name, entertainment or distraction– there are so many opportunities for me to turn my attention away from the things I find valuable.
Which type of Muppet are you? You’d think your answer would depend a lot on your innate personality. But it turns out that the tightness or looseness of your environment plays a big part in whether you’re more Gonzo or Kermit.
If you don’t know who the Muppets are—or, were, oh gawd, old, OLD I tell you…—I cannot help you.
I’ve always wished I was Animal, but I think I’m really just Bert.
In fact, I’ve let years of my life go by this way. I could be working on something I truly love, and then I’d hit a snag. I’d get frustrated, then avoid it for the rest of the day. I just wouldn’t want to be frustrated anymore, so I wouldn’t touch it. There’s always later. Perhaps if a better mood came along I’d be willing to tackle it.
I’m not sure I agree with how easy it sounds the way he puts it. But he’s dead on with the point.
Here’s another spin on it, the late, great, Jack Vance as Curly.
In theory, we can let go of every single possession. Sure, for practical purposes, we’ll need at least one outfit and shelter and a way to eat and use the bathroom. And even more practically, we’ll need a house and things to wear for a job and so on. But letting go of a possession that you don’t absolutely need for practical purposes is theoretically possible. So what stops us?
This skill—and it is totally a skill that I had to practice and practice and practice—is one I USED to struggle with. Years ago, it was definitely fear that was holding me back from letting go of possessions.
Today is it 100% the guilt that I do not want to incur by throwing things into a land-fill. I have a cubic yard of books… not worth a dime, and I’ve already spent a ton shipping hundred of books all over the world racking up points in bookmooch.com—you want these books? I have TWO Davis Mark 15 marine sextants, …want one? I have a great chain saw that’s probably worth a couple hundred if I had a few hours to waste [I do not] dealing with idiots on Craig’s List. …want an old Jeep that’s fun to play with off road? …how about a perfectly working ink-jet printer? …a swage-fitting tool? …how about a one-hundred-year-old, fully restored billiard table?
I’m serious. Hit reply, or join the mailing list and hit reply tomorrow…
The assumed paradigm is that a mattress is essential to good sleep just like a chair is essential to sitting. But why did mattresses become mainstream? When did the buffalo robe and pile of leaves go out of fashion? Could a good night’s sleep be had if, for instance, we slept on a sandy beach or the equivalent? Why did ‘they’ start saying a firm bed is best, and still provide a two to three foot thick ‘system’ of mattresses just to get you to that ‘firm bed’ effect?
~ Patrick Clark
I wish I’d found this 12 years ago. It took me forever to figure out a lot about sleep. I’m still working on the shoulder range-of-motion required to side-sleep without a pillow. (I still wake up feeling like I’ve dislocated my sternoclavicular joint.)
…anyway, yes, harder and flatter is unquestionably, always better for me. If I’m having trouble sleeping, I sometime get up, and get out my favorite, 1-inch-thick, inflatable air-mattress on the floor—so so comfortable . . . with my fave silk-cotton-blend sleep sack . . . and my fave little pillow . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz every time.
When you’re trying to stay focused on the actions, thoughts will come up and attempt to occupy your attention again. Most thoughts are not useful in the moment; they’re just conditioned mental reflexes, and there are triggers all over the place. To keep your attention on what you’re doing, make a general policy of dumping a train of thought unless the thought determines the next action you take. Nineteen times out of twenty, it doesn’t, and you’re better off ditching it.
~ David Cain
There’s a serious down-side to this once you’re good at it: The rest of the sheeple don’t think this way, so interacting with them requires a bit more effort.
But it’s also a chance to be a positive influence on the world, so there’s that. I suppose it’s a question of whom do I place first, myself or everyone else. Care to guess my answer? (Hint: In case of sudden loss of cabin pressure, whose oxygen mask are you advised to put on first?)
Meanwhile, privately, we all know that much of life consists of trying to hide the extent of our own stupid-aspect, while accentuating the smart stuff so that others might think we’re made of it through and through.
~ David Cain
Hey now! …if you’re going to call it like it is, that’s just not fair.
If only there was some way that I could… you know, apply self-awareness and self-assessment to work on my stupid-aspect. How cool would that be?
They who wanted to do each other good are now handling one another in an imperious and intolerant manner, and in the struggle somehow to get out of their untenable and unbearable state of confusion, they commit the greatest fault that can happen to human relationships: they become impatient.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Guilty as charged, Your Honor.