The Art of Doing What You Can With What You Have

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“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”Anne Lamott

There are some psychologists who believe over-thinkers to have highly specialized brains; their minds are great at solving complex problems. Where most people give up easily enough, they keep thinking and trying to find a solution. They spend more time on a certain task that anyone else.

But over-thinkers often get stuck. Their minds keep trying to fix something that can’t be fixed, no matter what. And this slowly kills them inside.

A solution to overthinking is to think of what’s next to be done. That is, actually, a good way to keep you distracted from most of the miseries of life.

Doing what you can, then the next thing, and the next, is how all great things are built. This is how you get from doing what is easy, to what is difficult, to what is impossible.

I am writing this post one word at a time. And, no matter how hard I or anyone else tries, you can only write something one word at a time. Continue reading

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When It Feels Like the Weight of the World Is on Your Shoulders…

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“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”

“I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.” – Ayn Rand

For those of your who are into hitting the gym, lifting weights, I say this: when it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders… squat.

To the rest of you: massive action.

That’s it.

I used to play the victim because of all the bad things that happened to me. I was depressed and anxious and in poor health and poor and pessimistic. The world was a terrible place.

Why did this had to happen to me? Continue reading

The Map is Not The Territory

We humans have to process an insane amount of information on a daily basis. Our senses alone provide more than we can cope with.

So we create maps. Instructions on how to navigate the world. Some of them, you might call stereotypes; a system performs according to certain rules.

We understand cause and effect, we understand the ramifications of our actions, and the way people react to different stimuli.

But the map is not the territory. Continue reading

15 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence

Self-confidence can also be described as a debilitating fear of failure. And the main thing that has kept me from pursuing my dreams for many, many years.

It’s something we all face, at least to some degree.

But how do you boost your self-confidence?

How do you grow out of the person that you are in order to become who you want to be?

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How to Overcome Failure

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
Randy Pausch

Most of my time is spent trying to figure out ways to overcome failure. To me, failure is the default. Whenever I become complacent, whenever I take things for granted, whenever I become bored or lazy, there’s some failure to wake me up a bit.

Failure is the default.

Continue reading

You Should Know Defeat, But Never Be Defeated

“People should know when they are conquered.

Would you, Quintus? Would I?” – Gladiator

There are many things you can do to another person. You can defeat them, time and time again, you can conquer them, control them, inflict pain upon them. But you can never destroy them. Not entirely. They tend to hold on to that last remaining piece of their humanity, not matter how broken their hearts are, and they don’t want to let go.

People don’t know when they’re being conquered. They just can’t accept a definitive defeat.

And, yet, in a world where so few have what it takes to be brave, in a world where few are capable of recognizing courage, there are a lot of people who’d like to avoid fighting any battles at all. They stare at the mountain and they say to themselves that there’s no point in trying to climb to the top. They avoid conflict at any cost. Continue reading

We All Fall Down

In the great movie “The Lion in Winter”, Richard and his brothers Geoffrey and John are waiting to be executed by their father, King Henry II of England.

Richard says, “He won’t get any satisfaction out of me. He won’t see me beg.”

To which Geoffrey replies, “You chivalric fool! As if the way one fell down mattered.”

Richard offers a brilliant answer: “When the fall is all there is, it matters.”
Continue reading