Like the Inuit with all their words for snow and the Scots with all their words for rain, I wonder if, as we confront the tumult inside of us, we need an expanded vocabulary to describe the subtle differences among the environments of our selves. I think the LGBTQIA+ community, using a string of letters that marches on toward a plus implying always more, has made an important contribution here: recognition that once we begin to focus our honest attention inward, we find a world as diverse and worthy of vocabulary as the one outside…
Category: Personal Growth
I can see now that I was, in fact, making several mistakes. Principal among them was that I considered no change at all to be a viable option. It wasn’t, and not only because the present circumstances were untenable, but also because they were not static.
The second, related, error was that I assumed that all the risk was in moving, that by definition staying put was the prudent option.
I could see his brain rewiring in real time: He no longer believed that his clients hired him because he was always available. He was starting to see that it was safe to wait a bit before responding. It was even safe, in some cases, to not respond to emails at all.
“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit – all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it.
Seeing the strings attached by Austin Kleon
That bit about the strings the signs of the human hand made me think about the way AI blends images together — you can’t see the seams!
The seams are what is so good to me about collage. The seams show the different origins of the material. They tell me that a human made it.
And to a certain extent it’s true for all the art I like: the imperfections…
“Artists; you do know, don’t you, That your mistakes are your style.”
(via Austin Kleon)
I felt like I needed to protect myself from what other people might think about me.
I tried to read people’s minds, as if I could know what they were thinking. What did they think of me? Was I interesting? Did they like talking with me? I knew, intellectually, this was impossible. By that time, the pattern was etched in my mind.
I asked myself a lot of questions. What if people were looking at me? What if I said the wrong thing?
There’s so much in this essay that I relate to! I’ve been lonely a lot of my life, and tried for many years to compensate with self-sufficiency. I refused to let having no one to go with stop me; I went to concerts alone, I hiked alone. But concerts aren’t that fun on your own, and hiking alone has its risks.
About ten years ago, I’d finally had enough of not having friends nearby and was determined to make them. I built a group of friends around writing, which ultimately broke apart a couple years ago. In the time since, I’ve discussed what went wrong with the friends I kept individually, and grown much closer to them as a result of honest conversation.
Read What Works
What Works: A Comprehensive Framework to Change the Way We Approach Goal-Setting is not really a book about goal-setting. It’s not a book about achieving anything. It’s a systematic deconstruction of the stories that keep us hustling, striving, and always looking for more. It’s also a guide for reconstructing an approach to personal growth, planning, and productivity once we’ve shed those stories.
Loved this! So much writing about work doesn’t acknowledge the pressures of the system we are in, and how those can influence our priorities and practices in ways that are unhealthy and unfulfilling. This was a full excoriation of the effects of toxic individualism, capitalism, and the Puritan work ethic on our approach to productivity and goal-setting. It offers a framework for digging into the psychological barriers to making progress on what really matters to us, and both recognizing and resisting the draw of conformity to these systems.
“I want to help give structure and meaning to growth based on curiosity instead of achievement.”
“Every day is an opportunity to practice satisfaction rather than striving.”
…I felt an old familiar anxiety around the first thing I wrote and published after my short break. I was examining where it came from when I realised that I was telling myself that *the longer I put something off, the better it needs to be when I actually do it*.
Evaluating your fears
I do an exercise called “fear-setting” at least once a quarter, often once a month. It is the most powerful exercise I do.
Fear-setting has produced my biggest business and personal successes, as well as repeatedly helped me to avoid catastrophic mistakes.
I’m a little iffy on Tim Ferriss but this sounds like a helpful exercise.
Say what you want
Make your allies proud & your haters butthurt.
STEP 3: Talk about what you want. Don’t assume anybody knows what you’re after until you articulate it.
Good business and life advice: don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Say what it is you want.
IIRC We Should Get Together or Frientimacy talked about this in friendships specifically.
STEP 4: Leave what you know. There are no awesome gigs to take in The Shire.
A good reminder for me right now 😉
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.
A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.
Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
Liked some of this, wasn’t sure about other parts. The second half I liked better than the first. She has a keen eye for observation and describes her feelings vividly. I liked the bits of other places and natural history — dabbling in other people’s cultures less so. I’m not sure it all pulled together for me though I thought she ended it well.