"...I understand that you don’t understand Money don’t grow on trees And if it did, Those trees would grow So far away It would be work to get it " "L'Argent" by Lorenzo Thomas
Blue Zones is a good place to start. However, if I were to give advice to my younger self, I’d focus on:
- Sleep: Get a full night’s sleep and take a midday nap for a total of eight hours.
- Food: Limit eating to four consecutive hours a day. Eat mostly plants. Drink powdered psyllium and water to stave off hunger feelings in the off hours.
- Exercise: Walk/run for 16,000 steps a day or 8 miles, incorporating a full range of movement. Include some weight-bearing activity or physical training twice a week.
- Social: Cultivate a social environment for flourishing among family, friends and your larger social circle. Be a positive, creative person and look for the same in others. Relentlessly prune relationships that are predominantly negative.
- Being & Doing: Find something to do that leaves the world slightly better than you found it and promotes good sleeping, eating, exercise and social habits. The Buddhist idea of the Noble Eightfold Path is a useful model of how to be and what to do.
Hard to tell the difference.
“Many people conflate your work with your job, but they are completely different things.
Your job is the daily tasks you are assigned to complete. Many people think checking these boxes off in a timely manner is their only responsibility…
…Work is all the tangible and intangible things that happen while people are performing their job…
[For example, managing your boss is work.] Your boss pays you to handle setbacks; she doesn’t need to know about every single setback or hiccup. Constantly bringing up negative developments makes you a Bad News Bear.
So what should you do instead?
Fix the problem. Resolve the issue. Mitigate the damage. And then, once the storm has passed, work into a conversation how a setback happened and you resolved it. This way your boss sees only sunny skies.
Also, on the flip side, all good news travels up…Everyone likes to hear good news. Especially good news that they can then give to their boss.”
—Kyle, “#RealWorkTalk: Work vs. Job, Part I.” Capital Hill Style. March 27, 2019.
Strikes me as true of everyone, not just bosses. No one wants to hear about your trials and tribulations. Handle it, and be the little ray of sunshine in everyone else’s life when you’re up for it.
Are you angry, frustrated, sad or feeling some other strong emotion other people may not like? Channel your anger into motivation. Personally, I favor running until exhaustion and sleeping. Or for downer emotions, just going straight to sleep.
No one wants to hear about your problems or listen to you complain. Everyone has enough of their own issues to deal with. Bringing them up only when you need help means you’re more likely to get the help you need.
I was reminded of this talk recently. Thought it was worth adding since the advice is timeless, even though it is relatively old. The only thing I don’t like is the use of the word, “fuck,” and the cutesy obscured spelling of it. Here’s an idea, if the word “fuck,” is inappropriate, don’t use the word. But, it is most definitely appropriate here. Get rid of the asterisk. [Hey, just realized that asterick is from the Greek aster, meaning star, which is also in disaster. Don’t know why I never thought of that before.]
If someone asks you whether you are willing to do something for free for the “exposure,” “experience,” or some other line of nonsense, tell them, “No.” If you want to volunteer your skills in your community, fine. But, don’t volunteer to work jobs for free. Doing so implies you do not believe what you do has value. Everyone does work of value. Get paid for it.
Oh, and Mike Monteiro has a new book out for pre-order via Amazon, the only way you can get it.
“You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid monotonous work, chances are you’ll end up boring, stupid and monotonous. Work is a much better explanation for the creeping cretinization all around us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms as television and education. People who are regimented all their lives, handed off to work from school and bracketed by the family in the beginning and the nursing home at the end, are habituated to heirarchy and psychologically enslaved. Their aptitude for autonomy is so atrophied that their fear of freedom is among their few rationally grounded phobias.”
—Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work and Other Essays.” Port Townsend: Loompanics Unlimited, 1986.
“To write good software you must simultaneously keep two opposing ideas in your head. You need the young hacker’s naive faith in his abilities, and at the same time the veteran’s skepticism. You have to be able to think how hard can it be? with one half of your brain while thinking it will never work with the other.
The trick is to realize that there’s no real contradiction here. You want to be optimistic and skeptical about two different things. You have to be optimistic about the possibility of solving the problem, but skeptical about the value of whatever solution you’ve got so far.
People who do good work often think that whatever they’re working on is no good. Others see what they’ve done and are full of wonder, but the creator is full of worry. This pattern is no coincidence: it is the worry that made the work good.”
—Paul Graham. “Being Popular.” paulgraham.com. May 2001.
Optimism that a solution to whatever problem you are tackling can be solved, and skepticism in whatever solution you’ve managed to find or create, thus far, is perhaps one of the great lessons of how to approach life.