241/365 A certain amount of distraction

“My finest hours were Watergate, Iran-Contra, the impeachment,” Chuck Close says. The constant chatter can be distracting, he admits, but he claims that this is actually a good thing: “I like a certain amount of distraction. It keeps me from being anxious. It keeps things at a little bit more[…]

Read More »

240/365 On autopilot

Put part of your life on autopilot; by forming good habits, William James said, we can “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.” From “Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work” by Mason Currey  

Read More »

239/365 Great men turn out to be all alike

“Sooner or later,” Pritchett writes, “the great men turn out to be all alike. They never stop working. They never lose a minute. It is very depressing.” From “Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work” by Mason Currey  

Read More »

238/365 We have complete control over our character

Besides having complete control over our goals and values, Marcus Aurelius points out that we have complete control over our character. We are, he says, the only ones who can stop ourselves from attaining goodness and integrity. We have it entirely within our power, for example, to prevent viciousness and[…]

Read More »

237/365 Internal dialogue

Dweck recognizes that the internal dialogue you have with yourself greatly impacts how you think about the world around you. If you constantly tell yourself that you should protect yourself in case you fail, or that something would be dead simple if only you had the talent, you know that’s[…]

Read More »

236/365 Responding to cognitive dissonance

Whenever you realize that you should be doing something but that you aren’t (psychologists call this separation between your actions and beliefs cognitive dissonance), you can respond in one of several ways to feel better about yourself. In his book, Pychyl identifies a number of unproductive responses people have when[…]

Read More »

235/365 Do a bad job

Whenever I feel stuck with an article, idea, or project, I simply give myself permission to do the worst job imaginable. Since I’m the only person who will ever see the original version of whatever I’m working on, after I give myself permission to create crap, I always come up[…]

Read More »

234/365 Living under time debt

Even though we have a lot of control over what we intend to do with our time, there’s strangely never enough of it. How do we always mess up this simple equation so badly? Do any of you feel like you have enough time? We often argue that we don’t[…]

Read More »

233/365 From our skills and knowledge

Let us hope none of us will be forced to call upon symbolic skills to survive concentration camps or arctic ordeals. But having a portable set of rules that the mind can work with is of great benefit even in normal life. People without an internalized symbolic system can all[…]

Read More »