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As part of my yearly review process, I like to look back on the last year's worth of writing and see what stands out.
These may not be my best pieces, but they were the pieces that felt like they meant something.
Hope you enjoy.
Build Your Team
This year I set myself the goal of deepening my most important relationships - of "building my team."
I'm not convinced I succeeded 100%, but I like the encapsulation here:
"Making it your goal to help others reach theirs."
All organic systems produce wave forms, not straight lines.
Expecting otherwise is a recipe for disaster.
Here's the process:
Get very clear on the type of results you want to create.
Get very clear on the intermediate steps towards those results.
And then, let go.
Everything Is A Choice
In which Dan wrestles with Joan Didion on the topic of "self-respect."
Self-respect comes from the acknowledgement of our predicament:
That everything is a choice...
And we will almost certainly get it wrong.
All Too Much
The early parts of the year had me under huge amounts of stress. In this piece, I go over one method for apportioning your attention during those periods.
There's a relatively simple method for handling these periods, and it's based off something my friend Nic likes to say:
"You can have it all...just not all at once."
Learning To Dance
Our desire for control over the world inevitably leads to disillusionment. Better to learn to dance with the systems around us.
By allowing uncertainties to exist without needing to fill them in, by seeking out experiences and opinions that contradict our own, by letting go of the need to know and to predict and to control that which cannot be controlled -
We leave ourselves open to a fascinating and endless world of possibility.
Things we'd never thought we'd experience.
People we'd never thought we'd be.
Places we'd never thought we'd go.
Choosing Your Vices
Balancing trade-offs of pleasure in the present for pain in the future...while understanding that every risk we take today becomes easier to take again in the future.
Heuristics help us make decisions quickly while in the midst of a world that is often chaotic, unpredictable, and not amenable to sitting down and really hashing out our options.
This is what I mean by "choosing our vices":
As a heuristic, choose a few things you are willing to indulge in without guilt...and abstain from everything else.
When In Doubt, Take Notes
Taking notes is about as close as I get to an act of faith - it means I still believe, deep down, that there are things to learn, and that I can learn them.
If there's one thing I know I believe, it's that taking notes is powerful.
I know I believe it, because I consistently do it.
If you have ever lain awake in bed unable to do anything other than seethe anger towards someone you actually love, the three errors were why.
We think we know what others intend, but don't.
We think others know what we intend, but they don't.
We attribute the actions of others to character; we attribute our own to context.
Wanting To Be Wanted
Struggling with desires that seem self-defeating; struggling with desires that undercut my idea of who I want to be.
No answers in this one, but posing the question seemed powerful enough.
Nothing Comes From Nothing
Ex Nihilio, Nihil Fit.
nothing comes from nothing.
There is no smooth, definitive break between a universe in which a thing did not exist and the universe in which it does.
The building blocks had to exist before the finished product; the idea had to exist before the plan; the inkling had to exist before the idea...
And on, and on.
I'm not making claims to any kind of grand philosophical truth, just sharing my experience.
Here's what nothing comes from nothing means to me:
Everything I need to create the life I want, I already have.
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