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January 2015
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January 31, 2015

Happiness is a marathon, not a sprint. Adding up baby steps or 1% increments is something that seems pointless at first. After all, who cares

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January 30, 2015

Museums are a great way to get both in and out of your head. Funny enough the art there has very little to do with it.

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January 29, 2015

Through the closed window the sounds I hear include a ship horn, sea gulls, crows and doves crying with high pitch and frequency, cats which are either being tortured by other cats, wanting sex

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January 28, 2015

Yesterday I quoted Steven Pressfield who said that resistance is impersonal. That is true and liberating. However sometimes there are reasons for our resistance and they are clues. Resistance in those instances is personal, because it might tell us that we are heading the wrong way or haven’t met our needs in a way that allows us to pour ourselves into our work. Maybe

  • a change of perspective is required (if you always focus on others focus on yourself or the other way round)
  • something might be rational but deep down we just don’t want to do it
  • you lack vital information to proceed
  • something is out of sequence (baking the cake before the dough is finished)
  • we have neglected self-care (not enough sleep, mental rest, lack of exercise)

How can both of these conflicting things be true about resistance? That it is impersonal and personal? Timing is important. If you just don’t feel like starting, but get over yourself, start working and after 20 minutes it flows the resistance was impersonal. If you know you haven’t slept or moved properly for days it may be easier to rectify those behaviours than trying to break through resistance with sheer stubbornness. If you never know what to cover maybe you haven’t done the legwork just yet. Whatever it is it’s important not to overthink but to experiment. Sleep more see what happens. Research and see what happens.

January 27, 2015

Resistance is impersonal.

-Steven Pressfield

Resistance happens like the weather. You can’t do much about it except expect it, dress accordingly and then write, create and work despite all the tricks resistance tries to play on you. The most cruel one is that resistance is somehow your fault and only if you read the right books or change your thoughts it will be gone forever. So what if it’s not your fault? What if you are not a procrastinator but if it’s just part of the human condition? What happens when you step out of the boxes you have built around yourself labeled with ‘lazy’ or ‘procrastinator’?

 

 

 

January 26, 2015

We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;

But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.

We turn clay to make a vessel;

But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.

We pierce doors and windows to make a house;

And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.

Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is not.

-Tao Te Ching, chapter 11 by Lao Tzu

In the West emptiness is something to be filled or avoided. If a glass is empty it should be filled and if you are empty inside it means, that your life is full of superficiality, which leaves you feeling empty the way food makes you feel empty, that has no nutritional value.

The Tao paints a very different picture of emptiness. The world could not exist without this emptiness. What emptiness do you have in your life without which you could not exist?

January 25, 2015

Time travel exists, and a new form of capital punishment is introduced: Transporting the convict back to the worst, practically unsurvivable, places in human history to find yourself in. You are such a convict, and just got sent back. You will do anything to try and survive.

– Prompts by unknownantipatriot on reddit.com

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January 24, 2015

‘Growth happens out side your comfort zone’ or ‘just do it’ is something we hear all the time. However if some adventure traveler who has been to 93 countries and slept in a glacier (not beside one) tells you to just book a ticket do you book and leave? If so that’s wonderful but what if not? What if you are not the kind of person to jump in and learn to swim right there and then because in real life you also learned

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January 23, 2015

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

-Isaac Asimov

Today you don’t have to be humble. Today you can snicker along with that part of you that thinks it knows everything. What happens if you give humbleness a break for 5 minutes? Is it a small sin that will lead to more trouble along the way? Or does it give you the mental space to not be so serious? And while I am addressing you am I actually talking to myself? No worries, it won’t get more philosophical than that. We will not discuss whether the chair is actually there or not. But how is the know-it-all doing if he or she is allowed to come out into the open instead of holler from the back of your brain?

January 22, 2015

When we are trying to change habits or the climate in our head there’s good and bad news. The bad news is that you are trying to undo patterns which have been flawlessly working and lightning speed for several years. So often 20 days of doing something might not get us the results expected. The good news is that our brain is flexible: we don’t need 13 years to change a brain pattern which has been firing for 13 years.

January 21, 2015

People often say that reality is constructed. It sounds a bit like wishful thinking or plain old sales talk if we don’t understand how it works. How is reality constructed? Imagine a constant stream of millions of pieces of LEGO read more …

January 20, 2015

Eliminating disappointment can be a good goal, that motivates us to grab opportunities, even the ones which are beyond our comfort zone. However once disappointment has caught up with you, should not be the goal to turn the other way. Disappointment communicates to us the hopes and expectations we might not have been aware about. When we run and hide from disappointment we will miss that vital information. But isn’t positive psychology about focusing on the good? Absolutely. However there is something very valuable if you look at the nature of your disappointment, especially if you do it without reliving it and more with a healthy distance: you are not your disappointment. Disappointment does not mean that you have failed: it means that your expectations where not met. If you know what kind of expectations you carry around it is much easier, to either work on reframing them or finding new pathways and options to meet those expectations.

January 19, 2015

You have heard of SMART goals? Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic

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January 18, 2015

The whole point you engage in exercises like gratitude journalling, listing three good things or committing planned acts of kindness is that you want to feel happier. Sometimes that works but what if it does not?

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January 17, 2015

There was a time when the notion of brushing your teeth everyday was not mainstream. People had to be convinced to do this. As Charles Duhigg mentioned in his great book ‘The Power of Habit’ one trick the industry discovered was read more …

January 16, 2015

In school the sight of the red pen scribbles teaches us, that if we don’t get something right the first time we have failed. It’s an unhelpful thought, especially if we ever hope to do work that is truly challenging or create anything from art to a zoo. read more …

January 15, 2015

Surprise is informative. Not the surprise-birthday-party kind. The ‘wow I pictured that completely different’ type. Whenever you are surprised pay close attention. It means that consciously or often unconsciously you thought something is true which is not. We don’t like to admit that but if we remind ourselves of the simple truth that everyone is wrong every once in a while we can relax, admit it and then correct our belief.

 

January 14, 2015

Gogglebox. Watching people watching TV. It’s not easy to think of anything more boring to watch. Until they watch

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January 13, 2015

Food has a huge influence on how our body feels and performs. Thoughts are the equivalent for the mind. While you might have heard this analogy before let’s take it a step further.

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January 12, 2015

Bad adjectives are scary. We don’t want them to be attached to our name. What do you avoid doing to not be called arrogant? What do you do so nobody suspects you of arrogance? And do you do or not do these things even when nobody is around? The problem with this is

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