Passion

Don’t try to find your passion. Instead master some skill, interest, or knowledge that others find valuable. It almost doesn’t matter what it is at the start. You don’t have to love it, you just have to be the best at it. Once you master it, you’ll be rewarded with new opportunities that will allow you to move away from tasks you dislike and toward those that you enjoy. If you continue to optimize your mastery, you’ll eventually arrive at your passion.

~ Kevin Kelly

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Accountability

Starting on January 3rd, 2022, I’m hosting an accountability session.

https://forum.moversmindset.com/pub/accountability

It’s free. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, and there’s no “upsell” at the end. It’s simply an opportunity to synchronize with others who want to make progress toward some goal of their own choosing.

This session is for kind and generous people who want to get something, (something of their own choosing,) done. But, who feel they need some others to kindly and gently hold them accountable to doing the work. In the session, you’ll be part of a group of people working together.

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Intentional

About a month ago, I was lamenting the loss of some of my Movement mojo. After some soul-searching, we started with a simple change: Rather than waiting for movement to happen as a part of our day, we began asking a simple question, every day:

“What are we doing tomorrow?”

For fun, we set this chalkboard-wall up to encourage activity and to let us savor the decreasing number of days to American Rendezvous, a Parkour event held in Somerville, just across the Charles River from Boston.

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Starting

The tendency to put off difficult tasks that we don’t want to face is almost universal.

And it turns out, the moment of starting a task is often so much harder than actually doing the task.

~ Leo Babauta from, https://zenhabits.net/starting-task/

Tom Petty’s lyrics not withstanding, I agree with Leo. Starting is definitely the hardest part. Unfortunately, I don’t understand why it is so difficult for me.

Take this blog post. It’s 9pm. I go to sleep at 9:30. (Why, is an entirely different story, see, Sleep.) I’ve a long drive tomorrow, and I’ve a few things left to stuff in my overnight bag. I’ve waited all day to do this small task. Writing these blog posts is straightforward; I have a well-oiled process for dropping into the right mindset and dipping into a fertile sea of cached ideas to find one to inspire. Invariably, a few minutes into the process, I’ve found an interesting thread to pull on. This is so much fun, I could—quite literally—do this all day. So why then do I wait until 9pm?

Because you see, it’s not just writing this blog post. I feel all the things on my to-do lists—both literal and in my head—are like writing this blog post: Straightforward, self-chosen, in line with my priorities and goals, inherently interesting, generally worth doing, immediately rewarding in most cases. And yet, the proverbial 9pm rolls around before I feel enough pressure to start.

The only thing I can think of is that some part of my mind just knows that the list will never be done. No matter how many times the “let’s get stuff done” part of my brain were to rise to the occasion, there’s some other part of my brain that will roll Sisyphus’s rock back to the bottom. Maybe this is all there is to it? Is the problem, not the “doer” side, but the “setter upper of things to do” side? Is the problem that I don’t know how to simply be?

Have I, perhaps, only learned instead how to be a human doing?

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Discipline

Motivation will get you out the door, but it fades over time. A good book or podcast might give you the momentary impulse to take your first steps along a path, but when the road gets tough only discipline will keep you moving forward.

~ Dan Edwardes from, https://danedwardes.com/2020/11/17/motivation-is-temporary/

Edwardes is a well-known figure in the world of Parkour. He’s someone I’m proud to call a friend. A little over a year ago, I had a quiet, private, late-evening conversation about businesses and movement and Parkour and I’m pretty sure we touched on motivation. …or at least, I know motivation was something bouncing around in my head. Specifically: lack thereof. I’m not even sure that I realized that at the time, but it’s clear to me now.

At the time though, I definitely experienced a sort of ground-shifting sensation. I don’t generally fan-boy on Parkour people, and I’m pretty sure I never did that with respect to Edwardes. No, it was more like—something I’ve experienced on several occasions with Parkour luminaries—I was suddenly aware that I hadn’t been fawning [for years] over this person. No, here I was, once again, in a cool conversation with a fellow human. Being.

These days, I’m doubling-down on discipline and that quoted blog post and that conversation conspired to inspire me to make a fresh post.

Anyway. Dan Edwardes is someone you should hear of, and now you have. Check out his blog, or the best—call me biased—podcast interview of him, Dan Edwardes: Motivation, efficacy, and storytelling.

Oh— and no, that linked podcast is not the conversation I mentioned up top.

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If I had a clone

I only wish for more hours in the day and a clone to do adulting chores while I enjoy [insert speaker’s preferences here] without interruption.

Who hasn’t expressed such a sentiment at one time or another? I certainly have, and it’s a pleasant diversion to imagine being unloaded of all the small stuff that seems to weigh me down. There’s plenty that can be said—and which I and others have already said—about the importance of the smaller things and “adulting chores”. But today I’m going in a different direction.

When that sentiment comes to mind, I use it as a thought experiment: If I had a clone, that would then obviously be me. It would be literally this same me that I am today. This same me, who doesn’t want to do those small things and adulting-chores. How do I expect to be able to convince the clone to do all the stuff I don’t want to do? If I could convince the clone, I’d be able to convince myself. So I set about thinking about how to convince the clone.

Because then I’d be happy to get that stuff done, wouldn’t I?

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Nothing Fails Like Success

There are internet companies (like Basecamp, or like Automattic, makers of WordPress.com, where I work) that charge money for their products and services, and use that money to grow their business. I wish more internet companies could follow that model, but it’s hard to retrofit a legitimate business model to a product that started its life as free.

~ Jeffrey Zeldman from, https://alistapart.com/article/nothing-fails-like-success/

ahahahahahahahahhahaahahhaaa! Sometimes I like to share stuff just because it makes me happy. (The stuff; not the sharing of said stuff, I mean.) I regularly talk about how this web site is a vehicle for my reflection—I’m quite often literally thinking through things. Writing, (tappity-tap-tapping on the keyboard here,) and writing, (scratchity-scritch-skratching with a pen on paper,) are two of the ways I figure out if the dross I regularly find in my head actually corresponds to reality.

When I read sentences like the ones I quoted above, I leap (sometimes literally) to my feet knocking over my chair in the process. It does my weary—deeply deeply weary it be—heart good just to read sentences like this. And I hope—not in the sense that I little value your ability to think and “hope” you’ll finally get what I’m saying; no. I only hope that sometimes, some of the things I share make you happier.

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