It’s time to stop blaming our surroundings and start taking responsibility. While no workplace is perfect, it turns out that our gravest challenges are a lot more primal and personal. Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it. Specifically, it’s our routine (or lack thereof), our capacity to work proactively rather than reactively, and our ability to systematically optimize our work habits over time that determine our ability to make ideas happen.
~ Scott Belsky
Routine is great. Routine guides me to channel my pensive morning moods into reflecting on what I want to accomplish that day. Routine suggests that I create spaces which enable certain types of work. Routine saves me time by streamlining the vast majority of my chores. Routine ensures I make progress on the long-term projects that seem insurmountable at the beginning. Routine forces me to make time to encounter new ideas.
But rigidity won’t do. Sometimes I want to break free.
Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.
~ Bertrand Russell
I’m certain I have nothing to add to that. If that doesn’t make you the least bit wistful, then I’ll wager you are young.
The grandeur of the Declaration of Independence… consists… in its being the perfect way of an action to appear in words. And since we deal here with the written and not with the spoken word, we are confronted by one of the rare moments when the power of action is great enough to erect its own monument.
~ Hannah Arendt
The foundations of the American democracy are unique, regardless wether you think it is a “good” or “bad” construction. If you would like to take your knowledge of it to the next level, I highly recommend:
Yet whatever one calls it, we share a rough idea of what’s meant: a lasting sense of one’s self moving in a sea of selves, dependent yet alone; a sense, or perhaps a deep and common wish, that I somehow belongs to we, and that this we belongs to something even larger and less comprehensible; and the recurring thought, so easy to brush aside in the daily effort to cross the street safely and get through one’s to-do list, much less to confront the world’s true crises, that my time, our time, matters precisely because it ends.
~ Alan Burdick