“Tightness erodes clarity. Tightness reduces expansion. Tightness broadens fear, scarcity, and the feeling of being powerless. Tightness keeps me wound in my own Small Self, forgetting entirely about everything that exists beyond the tightness. Tightness looks like turning away from reality. It looks like worst-case-scenario, all-or-nothing thinking. It looks like ‘What if this doesn’t go the way I want it to?’ and ‘I don’t think I can handle this’ — like worry embodied. It looks like self-doubt and rumination, catastrophizing and smallness. It looks like forgetting about my body and only listening to my brain.”
– Stay Soft, Lisa Oliver
“Audience capture is an irresistible force in the world of influencing, because it’s not just a conscious process but also an unconscious one. While it may ostensibly appear to be a simple case of influencers making a business decision to create more of the content they believe audiences want, and then being incentivized by engagement numbers to remain in this niche forever, it’s actually deeper than that. It involves the gradual and unwitting replacement of a person’s identity with one custom-made for the audience.”
“Everyone knows how productive you can be when you’re avoiding something. We are currently experiencing the civilizational equivalent of that anxiety you feel when you have something due the next day that you haven’t even started thinking about and yet still you sit there, helplessly watching whole seasons of mediocre TV or compulsively clicking through quintillions of memes even as your brain screams at you — the same way we scream at our politicians about guns and abortion and climate change — to do something.”
“Serious iPhone photographers have been able to shoot in RAW for some time via third-party apps like Halide. But what makes the new ProRAW feature special is that you don’t need to use another camera app—ProRAW images can be captured in the iPhone’s native camera app. More importantly, it utilizes all of Apple’s advanced computational photography features built into the iPhone.
“Many workers won’t be returning to an office anytime soon, but having them relocate their efforts entirely to their homes for the long run might be unexpectedly misery-inducing and unproductive. We need to consider a third option for our current moment, and if we look to authors for inspiration then one such alternative emerges: work from near home.”
A goal that isn’t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force. This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.
But with the ASG there is a point. It is not such an important point that you postpone joy to achieve it. It is just a decoy point that keeps you bobbing along, allowing you to find ecstacy in the small things, the unexpected, and the everyday.
What happens when you reach the stupid goal? Then what? You just find a new ASG.
“Generosity sometimes involves personal sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that feels different than cheap dental floss. “Generous generosity” can actually move us more toward embracing uncertainty. If having, or keeping, what is “mine” creates a sense of certainty, then giving it away involves sacrificing that security at some level. And “mine” can extend beyond money or stuff. What about “my” time? “My” plans? “My” life? If I give it away, will my own needs be met? At the most basic level, giving is an act of deep-rooted trust. It is an energy that directly combats a spirit of scarcity.
Someone once said that it is not “whether you have it” but “how you have it.” Do we hold it in such a way that we are willing to part with it? It seems that our level of detachment often informs our level of generosity. But it is not an exact science. In other words, generosity is not a line item in our budget for which we write a calculated check each month (although that’s a good place to start). Rather, heart filled giving is really quite fluid and requires an ongoing spirit of awareness. In our humanity, we do it imperfectly, but we hope others are generous with us when we miss the mark.”
As individuals, if we want to be creative, we need to give ourselves space to play and experiment without a set agenda. Amos Tversky famously said that the secret to doing good work is being a little unemployed so you always have hours in the day to waste as you wish. During that wasted time, you’ll likely have your best, most creative ideas.
1. Remind yourself that time is valuable and once it’s spent you absolutely can’t get it back.
2. Ask yourself: “Would I be willing to do this thing tomorrow?” It’s easy to sign yourself up for something in April when it’s only September. Do your future self a favor and try this little exercise.
3. Respond quickly. Don’t leave people hanging once you know you’re saying no.
4. Own your “no” if it’s not a priority (because something else actively is): “Thanks so much for thinking of me. I’m not going to be able to take this on, but I wish you the best with X.”
5. Reframe your “no” to assuage your guilt (if it’s something you genuinely wish you had time for). Acknowledge that this commitment is significant to you, even if you’re not taking it on. A good sample script: “This is so important that it deserves someone’s full energy, and since I can’t do that because I have XYZ other things, I would be dishonoring the importance of this event/role/weekend getaway by saying yes.”
“Social skills are like any other kind of ability in that they require practice.” Smith writes in the latest edition of her newsletter, Inside Your Head. “And by this point in the pandemic, starved of normal, everyday social interactions — running into an acquaintance on the street, sharing an elevator with a co-worker, or making small talk with a barista — most of us are pretty rusty.”
We’ve already gotten kind of awkward. But over the next few months, with even fewer chances to practice being social in person, we’re all about to get super awkward.
“Water has three states, but you know, not really only three—clouds, fogs, mist, rain, and many others. A rainbow is related to water. Our bodies are 70% water, and our planet is also 70% water on the surface. We’re almost like a puddle of water. As you know, those different states of water can look very beautiful, but sometimes they can be very violent, like a tsunami.”
– Ryuichi Sakamoto