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Just Sufficing Sucks

It might surprise most readers to know that I actually had a pretty great time in school. I learned a lot, made great friends, and had some very good teachers. There are a lot of positive aspects of school that should be preserved even in alternatives.

What I don't like about school, though, is the incentive structure it presents to students. School teaches all sorts of bad things like doing work to please others, submitting to arbitrary authority, and my least favorite of all: doing the bare minimum.

The first two I dodged somehow, but doing the bare minimum is ingrained somewhere in my brain. It doesn't rear it's head all that often, but when it does, it's ugly.

And, to be clear, I don't blame school for it. It's my own responsibility to condition my mind and to not fall prey to bad habits, and I failed to do that in school. So maybe I was out in the cold, but it was my own fault I didn't bring a jacket.

Thought of the Week: Keeping Watch

On Where Pianos Roam

Constant vigilance.  I feel like this is something we must all keep--a faithful, undeterred watch over ourselves.  I've had several times in my life when I feel as if I lost myself in the fray of everyday living--a busy 40-hour work schedule, endless to-do lists, doing more for others and increasingly less for oneself. 

First of all, there seems to be such a premium for selflessness.  If we constantly do unto others, then we are kind and chivalrous.  I don't disagree with this, but I believe we could do better by doing unto others AND ourselves.

Secondly, it's so easy to abide so strictly to one's priorities that everything becomes more of a chore.  Things that once were fun and meaningful devolve into shear drudgery.  Our true needs and desires somehow eventually get lost in the shuffle.

For myself, this week continues to be one of the most hectic I've had in a while.  In spite of the fact that I will be off from my day job in the next couple of days, my schedule will reach its most frenetic during this time.  (I can't wait for this week to be over!)  I'm not doing so badly right now though.  Past experience has taught me a few things that I try to live by with a vengeance.  I list them here now in hopes that they might be of assistance to you. 

1.  Whether it's just ten minutes or two hours, take some time every day to do nothing and decompress just a little.  Turn off the radar (and your cell phone too, for that matter), and just relax.  Personally, I like to fit in a little power nap on particularly hectic days.  Doing this helps me pace myself better in order to get me through what I need to do. 

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