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There's a song I've grown obsessed with recently that begins with these beautiful four lines:
Poetry has no place for a heart that's a whore
And I'm young and I'm strong
But I feel old and tired
This is so real. And true. I've felt this before. I felt it this past week. After all, I am a member of the so called "burnout generation".
Burnout is typically associated with the workplace. I wasn’t simply tired of my job, however. It felt like I was burnt out from life itself.
We are burnout for many reasons. But the main reason is that we live in a world with crumbling trust. We are the products that social media sells to advertisers. We go to doctors who see us (maybe they must) as products that they have to cure within 15 minutes so they can meet their quota. We read news that is actively trying to rile us up so we keep clicking. We think we consume products, but we are the products. As Tyler Durden says in Fight Club:
The things you own end up owning you
The modern world is very good for doing the cookie cutter thing. Routine procedures and finding a fact is easy in the modern world. The modern world is fast and convenient.
But the modern world isn't always great for edge cases. And unfortunately, we're all edge cases.
In this world, you have to be good enough at lot of things. A good enough doctor, therapist, coach, nutritionist, physical trainer, writer, public speaker, communicator, breadwinner, etc.
Our covid days have made all these problems obvious. Who do we trust? Is the news trying to rile us up? Can we trust our politicians or are they just saying things to win re-election? What do we do when doctors have opposing advice?
In our covid days, we're contending with being good enough while trying not to feel old and tired and overfired. Is it possible?
It's an open question, I'm still exploring. The answer I suspect is within my personal, paradoxical definition of embracing laziness. Hopefully, I'll figure it out and write more.
Until then, here's this week's newsletter:
This Week's Embrace Your Lazy
My Habit of the Week:
"If you want to change the world, make your bed.
I’ve had many miserable days where I came back to a well made bed and I thought, 'Hell, at least I did something right today.'
Making your bed makes you feel accomplished, makes it easier to be tidy, and inexplicably affects the atmosphere of your room. It is a lazy habit that unexpectedly improved my life. Making your bed is hard because it won’t improve your life by 100%, but it will improve your life by 5%. And that 5% makes a difference.
Making your bed reminds you that the little things in life are important. We are always so worried about our huge goals, dreams, and failures. But it is amazing how often the little things in our lives build up to something magnificent."
- From my article called 5 practical habits from the most popular commencement speeches
My Question of the Week:
Are there moments in your day where you do nothing? What does "doing nothing" even mean?
🧫This Week's Petri Dish
A great classic video from David Foster Wallace.
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says,
“Morning, boys. How’s the water?”
And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and asks,
“What the hell is water?”
I'm not even going to explain this. Just watch this one minute video. It will inspire you and make you happier. It's sooo great :)
To be my own person and live my own life, for the past 5 years, I've been obsessed with how people learn new skills and change their behaviors.
I've come up with strategies, methodologies, and philosophies based on what I've learned. In a world where we have to be good enough at everything, I think it's going to be invaluable. These are going to help us deal with the burnout and good enough problem. I will share these ideas in future newsletters.
But first, we must be know our realities.
We must recognize the vulnerabilities in our software. How our emotions, thoughts, and core beliefs can be hijacked by people who want turn us into products or even something worse.
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
First, we must unshackle ourselves.
We are living in the matrix. There are no scary master puppeteers that control our reality. There is no big lie. The universe is indifferent.
We are our own master puppeteer. We shape our own reality. We see what we want to see.
First, we must see how our reality is debilitating us. We are half awake, lying to ourselves, so we don't have to take any responsibility for our lives. Our Great War's a spiritual war. We must take up arms. Our Great Depression is our lives. We can't distract ourselves from that anymore.
We must wake up.
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