I’m a brooder. Ruminating on one’s problems can be good, if one is actually trying to understand the situation and is seeking solutions. But brooding, that’s just ruminating without the potential for change. Brooding is simply going around and around on the same old thoughts.

Nobody else needs to endure my negative thoughts.

~ Nate Dickson from,

It’s not enough to simply shut up. One also has to change one’s thinking.


Slow down

Lately, I’ve been going too fast. Which is odd, because I don’t generally walk fast, or drive fast… and sure, I can talk fast, but not always. But my thoughts go too fast. I go from one thing to the next too quickly. There’s simply too much of: I do this, then I do that, then I can go do that other thing, and then this next thing, and then…

Short answer: Interdependence.

~ Cierra Martin from,

Another thing we can learn from a village postman is to do one thing, and do it well. That village postman didn’t also run the general store and the post office itself and the grocery and the church and …



There are two roads to my destination: Addition or subtraction. If I imagine something I want to achieve, my habit and instinct is to imagine what I’m going to do to get there. That’s the additive approach. But sometimes it would be easier—in fact, sometimes it is only possible—to get there by removing impediments.

I love that question to ask yourself when you’re troubleshooting failed attempts at personal change: Why am I not doing this thing already?

~ Brett McKay from,

It’s quite startling, but that question works. Always. (And that question is closely related to: It is not a priority.)



There is a phrase I like to trot out: “Any day at the crag.” And you need two details for this to make sense: First, that a crag is any outdoors place where one goes to climb rocks. Second, the part left unsaid is that any day at the crag is better than any other day. Thus, any day at the crag. Yes, despite the litany of things that normal people would list as negatives at the crag.

To be clear, by “appreciate” I don’t mean “enjoy” exactly, although you might also enjoy the experience. I mean “recognizing the unique or worthy qualities” of the experience itself: the texture of it, the aesthetics of it, the heft of it, the heat of it, the poetry of it, the poignancy of it — whatever strikes your sensibilities when you pay attention to what’s happening.

~ David Cain from,

And yet, despite that litany, the density of “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is” moments is much higher, any day at the crag. Dappled sunlight. A cool breeze in the shade. A view. Friends. Food tastes better. Sleep is less troubled. You don’t have to climb (or go to a crag), but you do have to find your something.


What systems are in place?

Finish this sentence: I am the sort of person who…

Here’s a different way to look at it, one that we can broaden into an insight about adult decisions about where to work, where to live, who to hang out with. There are two parts:

Are the people this place attracts the sort of people I want to spend time with and become more like?

Is the system that is in place here one that pushes and cajoles and processes people to become more like the kind of person I’d like to be?

~ Seth Godin from,

Not everything needs to be planned out, pre-visualized, processified, done-defined, and OODA looped. However, having mastered those things, it is massively empowering when things go sideways, off the rails, and get set back. Having mastered those things, I know I can always begin anew a slow upward spiral.


We create the decision

The following is a very short blog post. The idea that struck me is that how true it is (!) that we create the decision. Each decision (the root of the word, but also clearly what happens when we decide) represents our choosing to cut off—to amputate—some thing or things as we create new or renewed focus on some other thing.

This is especially true of the most difficult decisions—the ones where you are taking a risk and simply can’t predict the many ways in which it will play out. A useful perspective for the anxiety-ridden late night hours those decisions tend to inspire.

~ Mandy Brown from,

Truly, I’ve only had to make a handful of actual decisions. And they were really stressful. Right up until the moment when I actually, finally, made a decision. I can’t recall a single time where the post-decision stress or worry was anything at all like the pre-decision stress or worry. It’s almost as if I am the one creating all the stress and worry within myself.

And to be clear: That’s snark. Obviously, I’m the once creating the stress and worry. How about you? Anything you should be deciding so you can relax and move forward?


Playing at the edge

I’m endlessly fascinated with mastery practices. I might, on occasion, go so far as to say that the purpose of life is to pursue some mastery practice or another.

If you learn to play at your edge, you learn to stop shying away from discomfort. You grow and learn in new ways. And you develop a confidence in yourself that is hard to do when you stay in your comfort zone.

~ Leo Babauta from,

Where is your discomfort zone? Are you avoiding that for a reason? Have you truly explored near that edge?


The joy of discovery

I have always loved book stores. All types. All sizes. All manner of [dis]organization. When I was young, each store represented a hoard of tomes I could not even dream of possessing. How many books would I have bought? …how much money do you have? Literally. The books I did have then became valuable to me. They were precious because I had chosen them for purchase with various allotments I received; Or they were gifted to me making them both surprising and precious. To this day: Mmmmmmmm, bookstores.

Each store has its own way of embracing you, embracing the reader, and creating a sense of the universe expanding. For anybody curious and interested in printed matter, the more bookstores you go into, the more you’ll realize how many different ways there are to be curious. That helps us set a foundation to be more knowledgeable about the world we inhabit. The practical and the sheer joy of it.

~ Paul Yamazaki from,

In more recent years, resources have become available. These days, each time I wander into a bookstore I think: Once—just once—I’m going to clear the rest of my day, and spend it all here in this bookstore, and I’m going to buy every single book that i want. Just to see what that feels like.


Just say no

I like to think that there’s nothing new on my blog. (That’s not a typo.) Rather, this is all just me working with the garage door up. I enjoyed this article from Holiday and it’s wonderful advice, which I need to hear much much more often.

Say no. Own it. Be polite when you can, but own it.

Don’t say maybe. Don’t give a bunch of reasons (which invite an argument). Don’t push it until later.

Say NO.

~ Ryan Holiday from,

My intention here with 7 for Sunday is to give you interesting things to ponder. Sometimes I worry that I might be making your life worse by enticing you with even more rabbit holes than you’d otherwise stumble upon. This item is a sort of penance then, as I hope you have built up your nope-muscle sufficiently to get through 6 more items today.



Be sure that you’ve first fully assimilated the idea of ‘no’, above. For if you don’t, you risk the mistake I make of reflexively saying ‘yes’ to the next thing that comes up.

We do it because to stop (or pause) after Project number-1 means we are one-hit wonders. We are dabbling. We are amateurs.

To continue, on the other hand, means we are pursuing our calling as a practice.

~ Steven Pressfield from,

We do, in fact, want to—we must—say ‘yes’ to some next thing.

First, master the wonderful, short, complete sentence: No. Second, immediately say yes to the correct, next thing.