Those of us accustomed to making life livable by superimposing over its inherent chaos various control mechanisms — habit, routine, structure, discipline — are always haunted by the disquieting awareness that something essential is lost in the clutch of control, some effervescent liveliness and loveliness elemental to what makes life not merely livable but worth living.
~ Maria Popova
I spend significant time swerving between the two extremes of schedule-and-organize “all the things,” and running around like a dog fascinated by everything. New item #1 on my list of 42 things (all numbered “1”)…
The self-limiting beliefs infect all of us because all of us like being competent, we like being respected, we like being successful. When something shows up that threatens to undo all of those things, well then it’s really easy to avoid it. What goes hand-in-hand with that is the sour mindset. The mindset of, “We are not getting what we deserve.” The mindset of, “The world is not fair.” The mindset of, “Why should I even bother, it’s probably not going to work.”
One thing those of us who are lucky enough to live in the world where we have enough — we have a roof and we have food — is we find ourselves caught in this cycle of keeping track of the wrong things. Keeping track of how many time we’ve been rejected. Keeping track of how many times it didn’t work. Keeping track of all the times someone has broken our heart, or double-crossed us, or let us down. Of course we can keep track of those things, but why, why keep track of them? Are they making us better?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep track of the other suttf? To keep track of all the times it worked? All the times we took a risk? All the times we were able to brighten someone else’s day? That when we start doing that we can redefine ourselves as people who are able to make an impact on the world.
~ Seth Godin
Seth Godin has a lot of unusual (as in, high-fidelity, clear, insightful, meaningful, useful) things to say. This bit of insight made stop in my tracks — literally made me stop walking and fumble for my podcast player controls to capture the time code so I could dig this out.
“We can redefine ourselves as people who are able to make an impact on the world.”
There’s nothing magic about printing on paper and editing with a pen. To me it’s all about changing context, putting my brain in an at least slightly different mode. That’s why I love Lopp’s imperative to “Sit in a different place” — you need to see your own words in a different light.
~ John Gruber
Changing context is so critical. There’s deep magic to be found in having loving crafted spaces where you work, think, read, etc.
The big umbrella for me is this idea of “master the day.” The whole idea is that life doesn’t change — wether it’s weight loss, success, happiness, marriage. It doesn’t change until something today changes. And that by itself is a huge revelation. Because most of us, we may have heard that idea. But if all we did was change something today, then that would already put us on the path we want to be on. And that, again, right there, there’s a philosophical change. Because if we knew that it just took changing small things, and that by changing something small today it would be easeir to change something small tomrorrow, a lot of us would have a much easier time reaching our goals.
So how do you change on a daily level? When you think about it, the average person only reflects about what needs changing, once a year. Right? The New Year we write our resolutions and that’s the only time we reflect on what’s working and what’s not working. One time in 365 days. Imagine if you did that every day. Imagine if you did that 365 times now. Imagine how quickly you could iterate on your behavior and your habits.
I sure wish I’d read, (or heard,) this about 10 years ago. Took me an embarrassingly long time to discover this on my own. This is literally the it’s-not-actually-a-secret to all of my success. Small daily changes. Even in the face of catastrophically stupid, self-imposed set-backs. Small daily changes. Every day, one step forward.
If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.
We love these flawed superheroes, because it makes them relatable, vulnerable, and REAL. It gives them an identity; as readers of comics or viewers of a movie, we get to look inside these people and know that they feel real pain too, and we see parts of ourselves in them. … Why, then, don’t we do this with our real-life heroes and ourselves?
The two key fears are the fears of uncertainty and not being good enough, and in my experience, they’re both the same thing. We’re afraid of the uncertain future (and uncertain situations) because we don’t think we’re good enough to handle whatever might come out of the chaos.
If one felt that this were true, what might one do unlearn such fear? As usual, Leo has a considered opinion spoken from the position of experience.