A while ago I was having trouble working. I had just begun a new workout regimen, which was taking up a lot of my focus and willpower, as well as leaving me more tired with the same amount of sleep. I felt as useless and helpless as I can remember, staring at a todo list with very simple items on it, and being all but unable to get myself to finish them.
Thoughts tend towards permanence. As I sat there staring at my list of things to do, I noticed a thought cross my brain: I used to be so productive and now I'm not.
In these situations, I find it helpful to remember that everything passes. My least productive days will yield to more productive days, and my most productive days will be followed with less productive days.
Knowing that I will be productive again when I'm unproductive helps me put things in perspective. Rather than wallow in the doom of "losing it" and being unable to work efficiently again, I see my failure as a temporary valley. This enables me to keep a good attitude about it and focus on crawling my way out of that valley.
On the other hand, when I'm operating at my peak, I try to remember that I won't always be like this. That helps me appreciate the work I'm doing, focus on keeping the ball rolling as long as possible, and deriving enjoyment from my performance, soaking in the view at the top of the mountain.
There are very few things that are permanent in life, and clinging to those things or even hoping for them is counterproductive. It's better to develop strategies that account for life's variance and capitalize on it.
Dating is another example. I think it's always better to assume that it won't be permanent rather than to assume it will be. Taking this attitude will allow you to fully experience relationships while they last, fully appreciating the other person. When single, it allows you to enjoy the benefits of being single, knowing that it won't last forever. Contrast this to someone who takes their partner for granted, assuming the marriage will last just because of a half-day ceremony, or someone who complains about being single, ignorant to the benefits of being so.
As a rule of thumb, it's usually helpful to understand how the world really is and to plan around that. Almost everything in life is transient, so enjoy it while it lasts, and plan for what may come next.
Photo is Shibuya, Tokyo at night. Some awesome videos from the recent Japan trip:
One of my favorite proverbs is "this too shall pass" - it's wisdom through both good times and bad is powerful and something I try my best to keep in mind. As Abraham Lincoln put it:
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
The picture isn't showing for me. Anyone else having this problem?
I know that a lot of people's favorite posts are the self improvement ones. They're the most gratifying to write, and also to read the comments on.
I'd write more of them, but I hate writing them unless I feel like I'm really exemplifying the topic. Otherwise it's disingenuous. My worst nightmare would be for this site to turn into one of those other "personal development" blogs, 99% of which are written by people whose lives are not particularly outstanding, that churn out productivity porn every day.
"Ten new ways to organize your todo list!"
I'm not sure about you but I love the medicine commercials now. With all of the regulatory requirements placed on the pharmaceutical industry, 75% of those commercials are spent informing the potential consumer of all of the side-effects that could happen as a result of taking the medicine. Everything from blood in your urine to constipation to dry mouth or mood swings. I find myself being more intrigued with the side effects and forgetting what the medication is actually supposed to treat! So, in honor of that tradition, let's assume Busiocrityis a virus.... indulge me for a bit.
Busiocrity, a virus that is plaguing offices internationally. Common symptoms:
Sound familiar? If so, you might be suffering from this common virus. Constant emails and meetings that produce no results are becoming an epidemic in today's workplace. As humans, we have evolved from spending our days toiling the land or chasing our food to toiling in meetings and chasing productivity. What's worse is that there seems to be no end in sight for this plague. There are, however, some individuals who have escaped this Zombie virus to rise above the mess. What do they do? Let's take a look: