I have an elderly friend who lately every time I see him is complaining about getting older. He doesn’t complain in the lighthearted way that people usually complain about getting older. He seems genuinely troubled by where he is and even more so by where he’s going.
He talks about being depressed about it and I feel I have nothing much to offer him as consolation. My most genuine response is that he should seriously consider – as we all should – whether the general patterns of his life is fulfilling to him or whether he needs to shake things up a little. Continue reading
Even though I know that full time jobs suck, I used to go to interviews and lie.
I usually got the jobs. I would figure out what they wanted to hear and say that that’s what I am. “We need a screwdriver?” they would say. “Oh, yeah, well I’m a screwdriver,” I’d exclaim. “It’s my passion in life to drive screws all day long. I can drive screws for hours. I read books about driving screws. I drive miles and miles just to drive screws. Let me drive your screws for you. It’s what I live for.” You sit there with a pleasant smile plastered on your face, make warm (but not too warm) eye contact, agree that all the limitations they are offering you are really things you want in your life. “No benefits, you say? Well that’s perfect for me because I’ve been feeling a little too appreciated lately.” I was so convincing that I didn’t even realize I was lying until they said I was hired. Then I didn’t feel so good about driving screws.
This week I went in for a few job interviews even though I know very well that, for me, full-time jobs suck. This time I told the truth. Continue reading
Whatever path you choose, you will eventually hit a wall. Artists and writers know these obstacles and they call them “blocks.” Our natural inclination when we’re being blocked is to push against, to assault, to throw all our weight against these perceived barriers. But successful artists, and it turns out successful innovators in all fields share a very different approach. Continue reading
The transitions we’re aiming for can ultimately be summed up in one word, right? Happiness. We are trying to scratch an elusive itch. Contentment might be another word for it. Enjoyment of life or even Fun might be other ways to put it. The most important and reassuring element of aiming for a better future is that if we can dream it, we can reach it. In this blog I want to add one emphasis: If we have dreamed it, in some way we already have it within us. Maybe it just hasn’t reached the surface yet. Continue reading
Worried about the future, bummed about your past? Will the next check make its way into your account? Get into your work. All those worries will disappear.
That’s it. It’s great advice. This is the most magical thing I know about work. And it’s a great realization that a bunch of independent sources arrive at on their own. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow describes a state where the individual becomes so engrossed in his task that he loses himself. Time slips away, physical needs like hunger are forgotten about and the individual sort of floats in a state of bliss while the daily struggles disappear as if of no consequence and fall away. In his powerful book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle describes a similar situation where the individual who truly lives in the here and now is able to let go of the nagging past and future. Continue reading
You’re sitting in your evening traffic jam and the idea hits you! By time you get home and try explaining it, it’s gone. Mowing the lawn, same thing. Waking up from a dream, same thing. What had the power and impact as a fantastic, perhaps even life changing idea somehow loses it’s strength even after a few minutes. You try telling it to a friend, and it just fizzles. Where’d it go?
Write one true sentence. Continue reading
The cashier refuses to let you have it your way, avoiding your eyes she points to the clock and says: It’s after eleven and we have to stop serving it that way at eleven. Or some other ridiculous claim. She doesn’t love her job. She doesn’t think about better ways to serve. When she clocks out she is physically gone, but her mind and heart were never there in the first place.
Whether you’re a frustrated dancer doing time in a fast-food restaurant or an art-school reject causing global havoc leading a Nazi army of fellow discontents, so much wasted energy can be better directed if only we choose to inhabit the place we truly yearn to be. Continue reading
The phone hasn’t rung with new business in days… or has it been weeks? The visits to your website are down. The few customers who come through the door seem to have nothing to offer you but complaints. Home life isn’t much better. Where is the quality life you’re supposed to be living? You’re yelling at the kids. The dog’s run away. You’re in a rut.
It is human to have periods of depression. And by “depression” I simply mean a feeling that our life is not under our control. Some call it a sinking feeling. A power greater than us seems to pull us down and we fight it. It is the panic of a swimmer being held down by the current. We all have depression but how we are dealing with depression makes a difference in whether we emerge from it stronger or weaker.
I think of three lessons I’ve learned for the times when things aren’t what you’d hoped and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Continue reading
The virtual storefront! Wow! What a concept! Who ever thought we’d see a day when having a internet address would make a business as legitimate as having an actual physical street address. And already there is a generation among us who have never known a world without a functioning internet. To them, the priority is already leaning toward an internet identity if a physical storefront is too expensive or even unnecessary. Continue reading