Every Damn Day

Every day I write on this blog.

I share something with you about how you can improve the experience in your body.

I do it every day because that’s how we live our lives. Every day; day in, day out, you show up and live your life.

You learn new things bit by bit.

Sometimes you have breakthroughs.

Sometimes, there's one day that's bigger, better, or more important than others.

But most of the time, it's the gradual daily process of change.

So I modeled my blog on it. I don't expect your attention every day, but if you're following along and paying attention for even 80% of the time, I expect both you and I will learn something.

A Most Important Relationship

“Your relationship with food—the thing that you are so desperate about, which causes you so much discomfort, that you want to change and fix right now—can lead you to the centre of your very own life when you are curious about it.

What you eat, when you eat, where you eat and how you feel when you eat are clues to guide you home to yourself.” —Geneen Roth, author of Women Food and God

Embracing the Work

Something I read on Seth Godin's blog this week got me thinking.

If you don't have time to clean up, you don't have time to cook.

The good part of your thing isn't the whole thing.

Even the stuff you love takes work. It takes preparation. Cleaning up afterwards.

And probably, most of the time, you don't love the crap parts of your thing.

The good parts don't magically make the work not work. You can be passionate about cooking and not like cleaning up sometimes.

Both can be true at the same time.

Stop worrying about figuring out what you're passionate about. Figure out what work you're prepared to do and do it.

Embrace the work and you'll enjoy the good part of you thing more.

Find Out What Your Teacher is Teaching

This year, I read 27 books in total. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, a large proportion of those ended up being important.

But you don’t always have to be reading an “important” book to find something profound.

A friend gave me a hint a few years ago. When reading, rather than just writing down or noting things that seem profound; try paying attention to interesting turns of phrase or descriptions you like. Perhaps this seems obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me.

It was in this way that I cam across something interesting in the first of the Books of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The protagonist of the novel starts his apprenticeship with a great mage, but is impatient to learn something. He complains to his new master:

“But I haven’t learned anything yet!”

To which the master replies:

“Because you haven’t found out what I am teaching” replied the mage, going on his steady, long legged pace along their road...

How often are you impatient to learn? What do you expect from your teachers? How will you know when you are learning?

Have you found out what your teacher is teaching?

Important Books I Read in 2018

You read some books at the right time. Something in them shifts the way you think.

It could be that you've been leading up to that shift for some time. Perhaps the book has a completely new idea to you.

I read a lot of books that changed things for me this year. Here's a list:

Braving the Wilderness - Brene Brown Rising Strong - Brene Brown The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck - Mark Manson Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari The Story of the Human Body - Daniel Lieberman How to Change your Mind - Michael Pollan Why We Sleep - Matthew Walker How Emotions are Made - Lisa Feldman Barret Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers - Robert Sopolsky Non-violent communication - Marshall Rosenberg Atomic Habits - James Clear This is Marketing - Seth Godin

A (Draft) System for Writing

I've taken a few days off to think through how this blog is going.

It has been over a month since I started my daily habit of writing and publishing on this blog. There have been nearly 40 posts in that time. Not all of them are amazing, but I'm proud of my work so far.

Practice makes perfect.

I try to write things that are helpful for you and tend to shy away from writing too much about myself and what I'm doing. However, I think a discussion of how this has gone might be helpful.

  • I successfully posted nearly every single day, bar one.
  • I have developed a habit of posting.
  • I have work to do on my writing habit.

Adding the habit of posting a blog post to my evening wind down has been successful. Adding it to something I'm already doing has helped me to stick to the habit.

However, some evenings that time to post rolls around and I have nothing to post. Not to mention that even when I do have ideas, the 'daily' format leads me to skip writing any long form research pieces. I'm okay with not writing those very often, but the habit of posting to my blog is NOT the habit of writing.

So those pieces are not being worked on.

Therefore, I have decided I need to work on developing a habit of writing each day.

Here's my plan.

  • Set aside an hour each day.
  • For the first 30 minutes, write. The writing will be on a pre-determined topic(s) and my aim is to be free form. Less editing, more getting ideas onto a page.
  • For 20 minutes, edit. Editing is a different process to writing.
  • Spend 5 minutes posting. This may be the result of the writing that day, or previously written material.
  • Spend 5 minutes deciding on the writing topic for tomorrow.

Throughout the day, I will continue to collect ideas through my observations of the world. All of this is collected in the Drafts app on my iPhone. Once I'm ready to write about an idea, I transfer it over to my writing app, Ulysses. Both writing and editing happens in that app. Then I move back to Drafts to look through the list of ideas for tomorrow.

I thought this system through to make sure it's as straightforward as possible to give myself the highest possible chance of doing it. There are still some gaps here that need to be worked out with practice, but the attention I've given so far to the system should yield some results I'm happy with.