Coming back to work after a long break is always a chance to reflect. How did I do things before and how can I do better this time?
I took a semi-intentional break from writing over the break as well. I feel like in the never ending search for optimization, it is occasionally healthy to break all of ones habits simultaneously to see what is and is not necessary.
The period gave me time to reflect. Time to see what was and wasn’t valuable to me.
I learned that those who are dear to me are one of my highest values and I would trade most things for that.
I took a break from running, to heal my knees and see what I did and didn’t miss about training.
I took a break from music. Or the grind of music. Any music making that happened over the break was for pure enjoyment.
And I think I’m getting to the root of all of it when I say, we need to find what truly brings the deepest joy and focus on those things.
I listened to Jocko Willink yesterday on the importance of getting up early.
He said when you get up early you have a choice, you can start the day with a victory and get up, or you can be defeated by rolling over and going back to sleep.
Waking up with a win, I never thought about it that way. It’s definitely something to ponder.
What little victories can we add to our day that will make things better?
It starts with waking up. It starts with doing one small workout. It starts with reading a sentence. It starts with showing to work a little earlier.
Little changes lead to big changes.
How do we come back to the world after such an adventure? How do we make sure the lessons that we learned stick with us?
It’s an interesting thought, we often go through it when we experience any sort of great experience. I often liken it to summer camp, where we think we are changed people but we go back to the world and resume our usual habits.
I think one thing we could do is give ourselves a break. We are more than just our daily routines and if we slip back into them, that is not the summation of our history.
But I think taking time to remember the perspective we had during such grand experiences is something to be actively practiced.
In short we are not just our daily routines. But when we get a chance to experience something amazing we should take what we can with us along the way.
Today is going to be short because this is important. It’s something that I’ve experienced with my students and something I’ve experienced with a lot of the author’s I’ve read.
To be able to learn without fear is a super power.
Back at it after some much needed time away. And here’s what I’ve been thinking about the most.
Dare to be weird.
When we think about people who are successful in their field, we rarely think about the amount of time and energy they’ve put into their craft.
Upon further examination we usually find sleepless nights, borderline neurotic behavior, among other attributes.
There’s the age old tale of Michael Jordan shooting 100 free throws every day.
As with music, running, and pretty much all of my other shenanigans I’ve found this to be true: true success doesn’t look cool.
Practicing, failing, honing skills and focusing on the micro that leads to the macro are not glamorous things. It is impossible to look cool or graceful while doing them.
So let’s dare to be weird. Let’s be okay with looking ridiculous if that means it will pay off in the end.
Sometimes consistency is better than quality.
Last night I needed to go running. I really didn’t want to go. After work miles are a trudge, no where near as adventurous as Saturday long runs.
So I decided to take it easy, lo and behold I ended up cranking out a pretty nice recovery run.
Sometimes, when building habits, we get so caught up in doing things perfectly every single time that we fail to see the larger goal. Consistency is what matters over quality so much of the time because if we stay consistent, the quality will follow.
So on that day that you really don’t want to exercise, on that day where creating seems like the last thing you’d like to do, focus on staying consistent, in whatever form, and it may help you stay the course.
There are days where it seems worthless. There are days where getting out of bed seems futile at best. There are days where none of it seems to matter in the long run. Why try? Why persist?
But these days don’t define us. They are not who we are. Those days, more than most are the days we must persist. Because that, in and of itself is a victory.
To keep going in the face of adversity is one thing. To persist in the face of complacency is another.
I would argue that pointlessness is just as, if not more of a discouragement that adversity. At least with adversity we can see our enemy.
With the other, we are constantly hurly into the void, not knowing if and when anything will arrive.
But we must persist, we must keep going, because we are building ourselves up for something more.
Happy Monday. Let’s put in some work and achieve our goals, even on the days when they don’t seem to matter.
This morning wasn’t the easiest. Everyday the idea of being an imposter slowly but surely creeps in and I’m left questioning myself.
The truth is we create because we must. We make things because it is better for us. Some days on this forum I feel like I’m speaking to air. Other days I feel like every word I type is somehow disingenuous. But that is all part of the process.
Honesty is a journey. It is a daily practice. Being on honest with yourself about yourself is not a natural thing. We crave safety, we crave stability. And vulnerability is most often the opposite of those things.
So here’s to staying the course. Finding little ways to be honest with ourselves and others a little bit at a time.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve paused before writing. To me, this exercise is great because it forces me, in whatever fashion, to be creative at least once a day.
Sometimes the pause comes from lack of thought, or sometimes too many thoughts, sometimes it comes out of fear.
I almost always wait until the end of my writing to come up with the title, but this time it was right here.
If I’ve learned anything about making things and putting them into the world, it is that fear is the biggest creativity killer, and most often it is a singular moment.
If we can inch our way over that one hurdle, then fear dissipates. It is gone.
What potential do we have lying beyond that single moment of fear? What if, in consciously acknowledging it as a single moment, we can end up conquering it?
What if our perpetual doubts about are work were all just, in themselves, single moments of fear to be overcome?
What are our points of doubt and how do we overcome them?
I’ve been on a really good streak here lately of productivity. There are plenty of good reasons: good sleep, good people, blogging, but today I’d like to focus on one in particular,
I quit worrying about my “brand”.
In the world of making things and putting them on the internet, a culture has arisen. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just our human way of categorizing things.
We talk about trending, branding, hashtags, and all of these terms and even more that I’m only half familiar with become a part of everyday conversation.
But sometimes we can let those things become the goal and we end up in some sort of technological tail chase.
The best, most productive weeks I’ve had in a long time are because, instead of thinking about how things may look conceptually, I kind of just said “screw it” and put in the work.
Long story short, don’t chase a brand, chase honesty, consistency, and positivity. Do the work first and let your brand speak for itself.