You have this inability to improve your situation in life
Most of us are looking at some part of our life and saying, this isn’t where that’s supposed to be. It’s a disheartening moment that comes for us all.
Whether it’s our relationship, our career, our health, whatever, nothing cuts us deeper than the aching distance between expectation and reality.
But we need to understand, this is not a failure of our life, it’s a failure of our language. Because regardless of where we find ourselves, there is no supposed to be, there is only what is.
One favorite movie…
It will take as long as it takes.
How long will this take?
It will take as long as it takes.
Sounds like one of those super unsatisfying aphorisms our parents would say in the car on a long road trip. Not exactly reassuring when you’re ten years old, sitting in the back seat of the station wagon, waiting for something interesting to happen.
And yet, this is precisely the speed at which most things occur. No matter how good our intentions, there’s typically nothing we can do to hurry the process. …
Three little words that enable innovation
How long does it take you to write a single email?
Fifteen seconds? Five minutes? An entire afternoon?
Whatever amount of time you picked, odds are, it’s too much.
Adobe surveyed over one thousand workers for its email usage study, and found that people on average spend more than five hours per day checking their email.
You heard that right. More than fifty percent of their workday. Close to one thousand hours. That’s criminal. Everest has been climbed in fewer hours than that.
Naturally, there’s no shortage of recommendations, tricks and hacks for keeping…
Imagine someone at your office lashes out
We live in a puritanical society where everyone is offended over irrelevancies.
And it’s not a passive habit, either. People are vigilantly on the lookout for something to be slighted by. Always looking around every corner for what the world is doing to them, rather than doing for them.
Hell, some people are offended when others are not offended by what they’re offended about. It’s the infinite regression of fragility.
Lukianoff explains in his timely book about the coddling of our minds that many of these claims about injustice are usually cognitive distortions…
Cruel, but funny
Seinfeld asked the crucial question.
What fun is life if you’re not making jokes all the time?
The zen master of comedy was not doing a koan, merely stating a fact. Joy is the reason we are here. Humor is not only our best way of accepting our humanity, but also our best survival tool.
Unlike other species, we can use it as a weapon to stave off bitterness and despair in even the darkest of times.
My mantra for this is, he who laughs, lasts.
The downside to this philosophy is, the higher we are carried…
Keep meaning afloat in the face of the void
Although there is no intrinsic meaning in the universe, it’s not particularly helpful for me to believe that it’s pointless to try and construct my own meaning as a substitute.
While still honoring and indulging in the nihilistic parts of myself, my main approach to life is to be existentialist in nature, using the combination of my creativity, my awareness and my agency to make the meaning my soul requires to not destroy itself.
To cheat the cheater, as my favorite psychotherapist says, adopting an indomitable attitude towards existence.
We all do what we have to do to pay the bills
Henson, in creating his beloved puppet characters, believed that many of his creations were artisanal.
Not in the hipster way of being bespoke, painstakingly produced small batch items. Rather, in the hippie way of the art not being a pitch for anything, it was simply the thing itself. It was everything the artist wanted it to be.
This framing of the work we do is important. It need not apply to everything we make, because we all do what we have to do to pay the bills.
Being happy was more important than being consistent
The first question we have to ask is whether or not this decision is even worth making.
Because it may not be. The act of deciding may take too much time and burn too many resources, the results of which won’t offset the opportunity cost of getting where we are going. Training yourself to become binary about decisions early and often can be a massive anxiety reducer.
However, if we discover that a decision is necessary, then there’s another question worth asking.
If we made a mistake, could we reverse our decision…
Flood our hearts with wonder and humility
Being part of a tribe satisfies our most primal urge to belong.
The idea of joining this group of people who, if we went away would miss us, is a deep and ancient human dream that is worth pursuing.
Human tribalism, on the other hand, is really terrible idea. Our preliterate humanity can make us do some pretty awful things to each other, and so, we have a responsibility to use the more evolved parts of our brains to overcome those judgmental urges with compassion.
Getting fired for not cleaning up after other people or yourself
During new employee orientation at my old hotel job, all staff were trained on a standard called lateral service.
The hotel cross trained all teams to support each other by pitching in on various tasks that were outside of our responsibility, regardless of job description.
Doing so not only promoted a culture of teamwork, but also eliminated the usage of the phrase, it’s not my job.
William, the veteran valet parker who trained me, walked me through the entire property on my first day. Any time he walked past…