Quotes

“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”

Apparently this Rumi dude was pretty smart. I’m loving this quote.

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.

Rumi

Fun fact: Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and scholar. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Question: Was “ruminating” named after Rumi?!?!

Some Rumi quotes and some more Rumi quotes.

You

The Artist’s Hierarchy of Needs

I’ve been taking on some creative projects lately (music and writing) and found this idea of an artist’s needs really helpful. I makes me want to create!

πŸ‘‰ The Artist’s Hierarchy of Needs

(I’m not sure this is technically a “hierarchy”, but still it’s a good list.)

Cheat sheet: creative physical space, creative imaginative space, creative peers / community, creative fuel (filling the well), being active / taking care of your body, creative edge / challenge, faith and belief in yourself and your work, having your work responded to, certainty (confidence?), and time.

Here’s just one of the ten artist’s needs that I really liked: The need for your creative edge:

Solving problems, pushing boundaries, developing something new is at the heart of the creative process. Rather than despair about how difficult it is, embrace the challenge of your craft.

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You

Discomfort is Your Best Friend

I really love the message in this article. It sounds severe, but discomfort is actually your best friend in life.

πŸ‘‰ You Will Not Grow Until You Learn to Tolerate Discomfort

I have found this to be more and more true the older I get, to the point where if things are very easy or comfortable for too long, it sort of terrifies me. It is the first sign of your downfall. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Embracing discomfort and seeing it as your friend allows you to shed fear and enjoy the feeling of progress. It lets you learn to play guitar or programming, it lets you take a chance with someone, it lets you find new ways to be happy and fit, it lets you be shed stale thinking.

When we are in pain, discomfort heightens and communicates. When we are making progress, discomfort peaks and recedes, and clarity washes over us.

PS I told my kid the other day that discomfort grows you, before I even read this article. She said that sounded like something I would read. πŸ˜‚

You

Five Tips to Be Memorable in Social Settings (and Still Be Yourself)

This is a great article for those of us who may be on the understated side and/or not a big fan of small talk.

πŸ‘‰ How to Be Memorable in Social Settings – Five tips to stand out in a positive way

These tips are great because:

  • They’re genuine and let you be yourself. In fact, they kind of help you be more you.
  • They make socializing more fun and interesting for you, not just others.
  • They are simple and practical.
  • They even work towards some of an introvert’s strengths, i.e. reading books.

Cheat sheet:

  1. Have interesting answers ready for common questions (where are you from, etc.)
  2. Dress for success, i.e. find your style
  3. Remember people’s names (damn this is hard!)
  4. Give people your undivided attention (easy)
  5. Read so you have stuff to talk about
You

Shi**y First Drafts

In a creative writing class I’m taking, our teacher pointed us to this great piece called “Shitty First Drafts”. It basically says what we all know but tend to forget: nobody ever just sits down and writes a great story on the first try.

πŸ‘‰ Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott

This approach frees you up to have fun with it (another topic from the class).

The first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later.

Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird

As a side note, this “shitty first draft” approach applies just as well to other creative endeavors such as making music or software. The key is to not actually ship the shitty first draft (although the occasional great album seems to be an exception to this rule).

Disclaimer: this blog consists entirely of shitty first drafts. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

You

The Secrets to Happiness (Distilled)

I went to this talk by a Buddhist monk about happiness. I’m not a Buddhist, but one thing I like about Buddhism is that it’s more of a philosophy than a religion (from what I’ve seen). There was absolutely no talk of a religious greater power. And no attempt to convert anyone.

The talk was pretty simple, logical, and grounded in reality. It was basically just useful life hacks.

After the talk, I told a classmate, “That all seemed pretty simple.” And he said, “Simple to understand, but really hard to do,” So happiness is like chess in that sense. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Anyways, here’s the quick guide to happiness, according to this class.


Happiness is about a peaceful internal state, i.e. a happy mind.

External rewards (like money, status, etc.) are fine, but they won’t give you lasting happiness. (I know this sounds self-righteous, but it is also self-evident. There’s nothing wrong with being rich, but we all know about rich people who are unhappy and poor people who are happy. πŸ™ƒ)

To reach an internal peaceful state, act on things you can control and don’t worry about things you can’t control.

If you can do something about it, don’t worry about it.

If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about.

Example: Stuck in traffic on the way to a doctor’s appointment? Call your doc and say you’re running late. If they can work you in later, great. If not, reschedule. Then relax and don’t worry about it. And don’t get mad at your fellow drivers. They’re all in the same situation as you.

Also, a happy mind is a clear, uncluttered mind. This is why mediation is so helpful. It is a quick way to clear out the clutter of your mind and reset to a more relaxed and productive state. It’s like cleaning out a cluttered closet.


And that’s it! Simple and hard, just like life.

πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ As a side note, it’s funny that this guide to happiness comes from Buddhists, who say that life is suffering. There is something kind of perfect about the people who embrace suffering to be experts on happiness.