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One reason some people resist implementing their strengths is that it adds more to an already overstuffed schedule. The underlying assumption is that more tasks proportionally use our resources. Yet strengths is not simple adding and subtraction math. When we implement our strengths we gain energy which we can then use to get the other stuff done. Not using your strengths is a bit like saying you have no time to go to the gas station because your trip is too long.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.-Mark Twain
I love finding new ways to align my thoughts, feelings and actions with my values. However sometimes it can seem like there is so much to do that it can be quite therapeutic to think about the things, I have no intention of changing anytime soon.
I don’t have to change my fixed mindset about math because anything beyond basic math is not important in my life. Similarly there is no need for keeping up with the Jones’ cars or botox jobs because I don’t compare myself to them.
There is a lot of freedom in thinking of all the things we don’t have to do.
Just because something is common shouldn’t mean that it’s normal. Let me explain: while it’s very common for people to experience burnout at some stage in their life it doesn’t mean that we should accept it as normal. Normal means that it’s to be expected, it’s the norm and it implies that that’s just how it goes. It subliminally communicates that we are helpless because norms are not easily changed. In your own mind it could be helpful if you learn to distinguish between things that are common (but you could do something about if you needed to) and normal.
Most people have seen and felt unbelievably moving things that we somehow don’t talk about in our culture. These events can move us by being unexplainable, tender or intense. They range from communicating through telepathy to straight-forward moments of deep intimacy when energy is exchanged in ways we don’t understand how to put into language. Yet often when we attempt to talk about these things what Stephen Harrod Buhner calls “The Reality Police” steps up: this is another person or our inner voice which says something like “that is not possible” or “how can you prove that?”. It was one thing to sell something as a fact that is not. Yet regardless of whether something has been explained or not and regardless of whether we understand what happened, letting the reality police squelch these conversations before they can happen ensures, that we will be blocked and can’t grow in that particular area.
Today I was masochistic enough to actually go on a Positive Psychology Facebook page and read the content. You would think that that’s a fun and interesting thing for someone passionate about the subject. What greeted me was an argument and counter-argument culture that I have become very tired of. Now let me state that it’s absolutely vital to discuss research in terms of where is it applicable and where is it simply not helpful. However more often then not it feels like a culture war and I feel that even if you are not part of that particular debate, it brings us all down. Because it reflects something that is rampant: we have exactly the same debates over and over again.
- Team Duckworth: “Grit was found to be quite important.”
- Media: We all need more grit, let’s implement it everywhere, it will save the world.
- Concerned Professor: Grit is bad for people and democracies.
- Media: Do you mean to say that grit won’t save the world???? Fuck grit.
The mother of all pointless debates is religion versus science. One group is holier while the others think they’re smarter. And we keep recycling arguments which just confirm everybody’s point of view. How the hell is that helping anyone?
We can of course do that but it’s about as helpful as watching an episode of the Kardashians to improve anything in your own life and the life of others.
Can we please start having different debates? Can we please just let go of this infantile idea that one concept will save us all without we having to put any effort whatsoever?
Maybe you think this doesn’t concern you, because you are not in academia or the news media. But we can sabotage ourselves by focusing on the wrong debates. We don’t need scientists or politicians for that.
Putting off work until the very last minutes puts us back in touch with our school or university self. Heck we might even get a pang of nostalgia from doing this. I don’t know about you, but there was always a vague sense of naughtiness attached to procrastination that was not exactly unpleasant. Of course we get stressed but there’s some goodness to be had from this experience.
However in this confusing emotional cocktail it’s easy to overlook the real cost of procrastination: mounting fear of the task itself. The longer we wait, the bigger the task ahead seems to grow. It starts out like a manageable box. Wait one day and it grows into a heavy-ass box that you need the movers to come schlepp for you. Wait a week and the task has suddenly taken on a distinctly Kilimanjaro-style endeavour. So let’s not let that happen. Let’s look at procrastination like a ticking time bomb where for the safety and sanity of everyone involved you want to cut the damn wire before it’s shorter than your nail.
It’s one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: just include the word secret in your headline and people want to know what it is. In 90% of all these cases you will already “know” the secret, whether it is how to be happy, find meaning or how to work more productively. Let’s act on the things that are secret no more and we accept as truth.