Moving to a new city,
Buying a home,
Going on a retreat,
Quitting your job,
Starting a job,
Meeting new friends,
Cutting ties with friends,
Getting a dog,
Journaling about future plans,
Rearranging your furniture,
Changing your morning routine,
Going for a run,
Spending a Saturday in nature,
New Year’s Day,
The first day of the month,
After a few deep breaths,
Opportunities to reset come in moments rare and customary.
As we get older, we accumulate more things than we need. To make room for the important, it’s good to part with items that go unused and untouched. To help us decide, we should use the fingerprint test.
What items do we touch the most? These items get to stay.
If our fingerprints haven’t touched something, why? Are we not respecting something we value, or it its value, in practice, less than we believed? Add more fingerprints or let go.
Fighting back tears means it’s time to let them fall. Our bodies can only hold so much.
The release is painful, but the relief is serenity.
Asking more questions than the person you are talking to is always advantageous.
Every person in the world is smarter than you at something. Finding what that something is will humble you and help you connect with others.
Relabeling the things we do from passive obligations to active choices can give us strength for the future.
Passive: “I can’t believe I spent an hour reading the news this morning when I only wanted to spend five minutes.”
Active: “I chose to spend an hour reading the news this morning.”
Passive: “My screen time is high but all these things popped up so I don’t think that’s a clear indication of my phone dependency.”
Active: “Times are hard. I chose to spend a lot of time on my phone.”
Passive: “This movie went too long, and there’s much work I have to do.”
Active: “Of all the things I could be doing, I’m choosing to watch this movie right now.”
Resisting bad decisions we’ve already made is futile. Reframing them as choices we made can empower us to make better decisions in the future.
Negative events take up more headspace than positive events. It’s easy to forget about the wonderful things that happen to us.
In my email inbox, I have a folder called “Feel Good Inc.,” named after the classic Gorillaz song.
Anytime I receive an email that makes me light up — whether an old friend reaches out or a colleague compliments my work — I place the email in this folder. Then when times get tough and I need a dose of positivity, I just open the folder and read through. It’s also great for work evaluations when I want to support my accomplishments with real evidence.
Focusing on the positive helps give me energy for when times get tough. Having a “Feel Good Inc.” folder gives me the proof I need to believe in myself.
Work is busy. Life is overwhelming. And what’s worse, you only get one plate.
When your plate is full, something needs to come off the plate. And thinking about what gets taken off is critical. Because if it’s sleep, that is not an inevitability, but a choice.
What if we took off our plates what was non-essential? If we thought that way, sleep, rest, and self-care would stay on the plate. When we toss away all our veggies, living off dessert becomes a struggle.
Try not to think of anything, and thoughts race wildly. Allow the mind to do whatever it wants, and thoughts slow down effortlessly.
This is the power in giving your mind space to express itself.
Force people to think a certain way, try hard for certain outcomes: these make our goals more distant.
We’re always more effective when we’re not trying to be right. We’re more likely to win if winning isn’t the preoccupation. We’re calmer when we don’t forcing ourselves to be serene. We do more when we try less.
Write once and that writing is the best writing.
But perfection is overrated.
By definition, half of my writing posts will be below average.
One of my posts will be the best post.
One post will be the worst post I’ve posted.
The aim is not perfection but quality and consistency.
Even if our principles are not written down, we live them out in what we do each day. We may have never thought about what our principles and values are, but even so, they unconsciously manifest in our decisions.
So why not codify our life principles by writing them down?
Make your principles easily to reference so you can access them during difficult times. Be specific so you can compare what you believe in to what you do. That difference is painful but steadying. Writing down your principles keeps you honest and centered.