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(Not) Overcoming Narcissism

I spent yesterday with my family from Vermont. I rarely visit them, because Vermont is out of the way and doesn't seem very exciting, but then every time I spend time with them I remind myself how much I enjoy it and how I should go back soon.

While I was in Vermont I finished a book called the Narcissism Epidemic, which was a perfect book to crystallize why I love spending time with my Vermont family. They're the least narcissistic people I know.

I forget who recommended the book to me, but I read it in the same way a hypochondriac might read the DSM-IV. I suspect that I'm probably narcissistic, and that it's probably not a great thing to be.

Guest Post: Breaking Through Your Orbit of Inertia


Ivan Ilic, a professional pianist, just reached out with a guestpost and reaction after reading "I think the biggest barrier for me to overcome was myself." Some really fantastic observations on breaking through in here -

Sebastian’s last post was inspirational to me, but not because of the story itself, poignant though it was. Although I would love to read a more detailed account of R’s unusually successful turnaround, there was a turn of phrase in Sebastian’s response that really resonated with me.

“The good news and bad news is that there’s almost never a silver bullet. So, you can safely stop looking for [it] and start picking up 1% edges, 2% edges here and there. Trend upwards and establish little good habits, a better environment around you, and so on. R covers this when he says, “Make sure that all the small steps you take are taking you in the right direction. A little bit at a time, over a long period, and you’ll always win.”

The only way to realize the power of incremental positive changes over time is by experiencing it yourself. Although self-discipline has not been my biggest problem, I had a serious slump in the second half of last year. When I needed to move my most important projects forward, I seemed paralyzed. Does that sound familiar?

The past six months have been the first time I have orchestrated my own turnaround, without external factors to motivate me. “Picking up 1% edges, 2% edges here and there” and establishing modest good habits has been so effective that looking back over the past six months, I’m still shocked.

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