Sturgeon’s law states that 90% of everything is crap. If you dislike poetry, or fine art, or anything, it’s possible you’ve only ever seen the crap. Go looking!
The days I remember the most are not the days I cross everything off my list. It’s the days when I slow down and deepen the moments and spaces in between tasks.
Rushing through tasks and chores like we need to get to the next thing only creates an experience of life that blends together in a dull soup. But what if we could elevate the moments of our lives to something special, sacred, alive? What if cooking soup for dinner became a transcendent experience? A moment of transcendence is something each of us has experienced: when we feel incredibly connected to the world around us, when we lose our sense of separate self and feel a part of something bigger. It’s that moment when you’re at the top of a mountain looking with awe on everything around you, or looking up at the stars, or floating in the ocean, or having your breath taken away by a sunset or field of flowers. We can intentionally create these moments, with practice, in our everyday lives. As you’re doing everything on your list, as you’re washing the dishes or having a conversation, driving home or eating kale and beans … you can elevate that moment into one of transcendence. Try it. And if you could create multiple moments like this throughout your day … time feels less scarce, and incredibly abundance.
Very often, the way we live our lives is that we go through the motions — we do our work, try our best, tackle the things we have to do, take on our obligations, or we slack off on those obligations and find comforts where we can.
What we often forget is that no matter what, we’re creating our lives.
What if we took a more intentional approach, and created our lives on purpose?
Life can be improved by adding, or by subtracting. The world pushes us to add, because that benefits them. But the secret is to focus on subtracting.
It’s easy to think I need something else. It’s hard to look instead at what to remove.
Most of us have too much baggage, too many commitments, and too many priorities.
Subtracting reminds me that what I need to change is something already here, not out there.
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
The quicker you want something, the easier you are to manipulate.
“Do the work. That’s all the productivity advice you need, and the only useful productivity advice you’re ever going to get. You can direct your attention to a million optimizations— email, meetings, notes, calendar, time tracking, goals, todo lists, time estimates, prioritization frameworks, quantified self sensors, analytics, apps, documents, journaling. But don’t. Ignore all this, and do the work. When you do the work, everything else optimizes itself.”
“You have to learn to quit being right all the time, and quit being smart all the time, and quit thinking this is a contest about how smart you are and how right you are, and realize that you are here to make a positive difference in the world. And being smart and being right is probably no longer the way to do that.
See when you’re in school, you take test after test, after test, after test. You have to prove you’re smart over and over. Thousands of times, you have to prove you’re smart. It’s very difficult to stop. We are programmed to prove we’re smart.”
“Not judging is another way of letting go of fear and experiencing love. When we learn not to judge others – and totally accept them, and not want to change them – we can simultaneously learn to accept ourselves.”
One of the best ways to reveal blindspots is simply to lengthen your time horizon.
A lot of good advice simply boils down to thinking longer term.
I think intention and willpower are highly overrated, You rarely achieve anything with those things.
“I often look at people’s achievements and think: I wish I’d done that. More rarely, I see the work that went into those achievements and think: I wish I were doing that. Chase the latter.”
The way you end up doing good in the world has very little to do with how good your initial plan was. Most of your outcome will depend on luck, timing, and your ability to actually get out of your own way and start somewhere. The way to end up with a good plan is not to start with a good plan, it’s to start with some plan, and then slam that plan against reality until reality hands you a better plan.
Make friends over the internet with people who are great at things you’re interested in. The internet is one of the biggest advantages you have over prior generations. Leverage it.
You’ll learn more shipping a failure than you’ll learn from reading about a thousand successes. And you stand an excellent chance of shipping a success – people greatly overestimate how difficult this is.
Just don’t end the week with nothing.
Do not try to be the man your father would want you to be. Be the man you would like your son to be be. It more clearly defines your own convictions, desires, goals, and motivates you to be your best.
“The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
— Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido
“Three secrets to success: Be willing to learn new things. Be able to assimilate new information quickly. Be able to get along with and work with other people.”
- Sally Ride
Most information is irrelevant.
Knowing what to ignore saves you time, reduces stress, and improves your decision making.
Loneliness has more to do with our perceptions than how much company we have. It’s just as possible to be painfully lonely surrounded by people as it is to be content with little social contact. Some people need extended periods of time alone to recharge, others would rather give themselves electric shocks than spend a few minutes with their thoughts.
This might be a little hard…Accept the fact that you are a very small part of a very large universe, but your life has meaning to so many other people you may not know or remember. You mattered!
“Where did the time go?”.
Take this question very seriously. When you’re twenty, you think you have all the time in the world. That’s an illusion. It goes very fast. Trust me.
In order to be someone, we need someone to be someone for. Our personalities develop as a role we perform for other people, fulfilling the expectations we think they have of us. The American sociologist Charles Cooley dubbed this phenomenon “the looking glass self.” Evidence for it is diverse, and includes the everyday experience of seeing ourselves through imagined eyes in social situations (the spotlight effect), the tendency for people to alter their behavior when in the presence of pictures of eyes (the watching-eye effect), and the tendency for people in virtual spaces to adopt the traits of their avatars in an attempt to fulfill expectations (the Proteus effect).
URL (Everyone should read this brilliant piece)
“From a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural.”
The longer the time frame for results, the less you need intensity and the more you need consistency.
Consistency isn’t simply willpower, which comes and goes. Consistency is doing it when you don’t feel like doing it.
If you want advantageous divergence, you have to do the things that matter on your best day and your worst day.
Who we spend time with evolves across our lifetimes. In adolescence we spend the most time with our parents, siblings, and friends; as we enter adulthood we spend more time with our co-workers, partners, and children; and in our later years we spend an increasing amount of time alone. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we are lonely; rather, it helps reveal the complex nature of social connections and their impact on our well-being.
Teach your kids how to think, not what to think.
“Our minds are hurt more often by overeating than by hunger.” —Petrarch
A large part of wisdom is knowing what to ignore. A large part of expertise is knowing where to place your attention.
“Most people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it is, with the world as they think about it, and talk about it, and describe it.”