Archive for the ‘Mindset’ Category

Back in the Office

I find that getting back to work after an extended absence is best done by making a brain dump to-do list. Being overwhelmed by all of the email and “post-trip” follow-up items can be a recipe for not starting anything difficult. But getting it all on paper makes it feel like you can actually start something and not lose track of any of the other things you are holding tenuously in your mind.

Bad News

Bad news can come from anywhere, at any time. What I’ve learned through the years is that all you can control is yourself, your actions and how you react to things around you. Bad things that happen, as well as good things, may be random or may be caused by your actions, but once they happen, that’s it. There is no need to fret over something you can’t change now.

Your best reaction now is to look for any lesson and chalk up any previous mistakes to what Dave Ramsey calls a “stupid tax”.

Obsessions

I get obsessed with things. I discover a new idea and I get stuck on it, reading about it, watching videos, finding podcasts and talking about it non-stop. Usually it’s a business idea, a health idea or something else that I think might be revolutionary to my life. Sometimes it can be helped along by a surge of caffeine in the morning, but usually it’s a 2-week thing, or less.

I am becoming more aware of them because I can tell I lose enthusiasm about the idea really quickly if I let it sit and sleep on it. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Sometimes the idea feels silly later on or when I talk about it out loud, but other ideas stick with me, beyond the obsession stage and into the “I still need to do this” stage. I guess that is my filter.

Back Home

Today we traveled back home. I always say you know a vacation is over when going home sounds like a good idea. Today it felt like a good idea. The week was great but it’s tiring to be in a different environment where sleep isn’t as easy to come by.

I feel rested and ready for what’s next.

When is the last time

Since my daughter turned 1, we were told by our doctor to stop giving her bottles at night (and to phase them out during the day). I was immediately sad about the prospect of no more bottles because that’s an experience that I realized I would no longer get to have.

Tim Urban from Wait but Why details this exact feeling perfectly in his blog post called the Tail End. You need to read it. It completely opened up my eyes to the reality that life is fleeting and you’d better be savoring every last little bit of it, the good and the bad.

I think we get lost in our heads thinking about the drudgery of our lives, imagining some fantastic future where all of the hard stuff is removed and we’re left to a life of leisure. But that just isn’t how this all goes. The amazing stuff of life is everyday, mundane and seems bland in the moment. Feeding your baby, walking your dog, making dinner for your family, changing a diaper, going for a morning run.

This is the stuff lives are made of.

Investing in Assets

I tend to not mind spending money on things that I know will help me be better or help my family be better. For example, I convinced everybody that we needed an expensive Vitamix blender, a fancy instant-pot and a new workout bench. All of these things have improved our lives and I would replace them all if they ever broke.

I hate wasting money, like most people. I try to reframe spending money on assets like I described above or education as investing. Another example is Audible. I use Audible everyday to read books I would never get to if they were on a Kindle or paperback.  Read On…

Anchor

In my quest to explore new media, I have downloaded and posted to Anchor. Anchor is a social audio service that acts as a radio. It will even take what you’ve posted as audio and automatically create a podcast for you.

The audio length is 5 minutes, which is plenty for a radio format. I am going to post daily and my theme is ten ideas per day. That’s it. It’s based on the book Become an Idea Machine by Claudia Azula Altucher.

If you can come up with ten ideas per day, every day, you will strengthen your “idea muscle” making it possible for you to accomplish anything you want, get out of or into any circumstances you can think of. Read On…

Activation Energy

With a long to-do list, it can seem daunting to begin working on any one task. We often make our to-do lists known by posting them on our family whiteboard in the kitchen. Sometimes I overestimate what I can physically accomplish in one day. But what really helps me is to know that each task comes with a resistance to get started.

In chemistry, it is the activation energy required to begin a chemical reaction. It’s usually a spike in energy required at the beginning, and then the reaction carries on itself with little or no added energy. Just beginning your day requires activation energy – getting out of bed (higher energy) vs hitting snooze (low energy).  Read On…

Complete exhaustion

Most days recently, when I get to the end of the day, I collapse in a state of exhaustion. It’s not a bad thing. It means I’ve spent all my energy for the day and I have nothing more to give. Usually, it means I had an incredible day. 

The most energy-drain comes from being home. Work can be a lot easier mentally than being home, but I love being home. The kids are awesome to watch and play with. I just need to remember that when I’m completely spent, I can get short with them. The five second time has helped me not react in anger per my initial impulse.

5 Second Rule

I just started Mel Robbin’s book 5 Second Rule and I am enjoying it. It teaches the impossibly simple, but weirdly effective 5 Second Rule, where you count backwards from 5 whenever you want to begin doing something you don’t have the motivation to do. The most common example being to get out of bed when the alarm rings and not hit the snooze button.

When I tell other people about this, it seems like, how can that be an entire book? It’s true – I feel like it might have a bit of fluff. It might have sufficed as a really solid article. But, it might not carry as much weight as an article. People may tend to shrug it off if it had just been 1000 words on a blog somewhere.  Read On…