Ask Yourself the Right Questions About Your Life

Social Media Detox Project: Day 25

We all have things we’d like to change.

But, a lot of the time, we find the change never comes.

This is because we aren’t thinking about personal change enough.

And when we do think about change, we see it as a monolith, a whole big mess of problems we need to fix. So, we shrug and say we’ll deal with it another day.

And “another day” never comes, because we are afraid of this perceived monolith. If we even take the time to do a little self-reflection at all, and evaluate the areas we are lacking, we see so many problems that we become overwhelmed and give up before we even get started.

The thing is, change needs to be broken down. If we have a large number of problems in front of us, the best strategy is to focus on one at a time. We can’t do everything at once; we don’t have the capacity for that.

Real change requires real focus and real commitment; it is not something you can half-ass.

You have to be honest with yourself. You have to ask yourself questions about why you behave the way you do.

If we do not ask ourselves the right questions about our own lives, then we have no hope of finding the answer.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Blog writing

Edited video

Something I Read Today

“It is important to remember that the environment drives our good behaviors as well as our bad ones. People who seem to stick to good habits with ease are often benefitting from an environment that makes those behaviors easier.

Meanwhile, people who struggle to succeed could be fighting an uphill battle against their environment. What often looks like a lack of willpower is actually the result of a poor environment.” -From Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Something I Learned Today

If you focus on things you can control, you may eventually find things which were once out of your control are no longer so far out of reach.

The Reason No One’s Reading What You Write

Social Media Detox Project: Day 24

Because what you write isn’t good enough.

Not yet, anyway.

But that’s because you haven’t been doing it for very long, or you just don’t do it enough.

As that realization sets in, this is where most people typically stop.

“Why should I even try?” They say.

Because the other ones who succeed ask themselves that exact same question

And then they keep going.

Just shouting at people to follow you doesn’t work, you can’t pull people by a leash. If you try to do that, the leash will snap.

They have to come willingly.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Time with friends

Something I Read Today

“Direct marketers don’t care how many people they reach.

They care what percentage take action.

Brand marketers have trouble measuring action, so all they have to work with is reach.

If you can measure, stop worrying about big numbers when it comes to reach. Run away from the Super Bowl or a billboard on the main highway.

Small audiences are your friend, because small audiences are specific, and specific increases your percentage.” -From Seth’s Blog, Comparing % and Mass by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

We are all wells, but when it comes to anything, we only have a limited amount of water.

I think too many of us are wells with only a bucket’s worth full of water, which is why we burn out so easily.

Don’t Scroll Past Me

Social Media Detox Project: Day 23

We all wish to be heard; to be seen; to be noticed.

“I’ve got something to say, too! Pay attention to me!”

We all say it.

We all want it.

Is that why we write?

That’s part of it.

But I’m learning to be more comfortable with and focus on what I’m doing. To not worry so much about whether or not you will actually read this.

I’m writing this because I want to be a better writer.

Why?

Because I enjoy doing it; but also because I have a desire to be heard.

And why should my voice matter more than anyone else’s?

It shouldn’t.

On a similar note, I think I get what the random likes by people on WordPress are.

People scrolling by on their Reader feed, just clicking on the Like button for every single post, without actually reading the article.

That’s okay, though. Y’all keep doing your thing, and I’ll do mine.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Blog writing

Something I Read Today

“When you’re feeling stuck with your project, grab three index cards.

On each card, write down an element of the project that, if you invested time and money, would change for the better.

If those three things happened, if those three elements improved, what would happen to your project?

Okay, now that you’ve got all three… what are you going to do about it?” -From Seth’s Blog, by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

Maybe the meaningful things I do won’t matter today, right now; but maybe someday.

Adjusting Habits

Social Media Detox Project: Day 22

This morning I decided to wake up at 4 and exercise.

Normally, I exercise after I get home from work in the evening, but I’m doing a little experiment.

The idea was to front load exercise so I don’t have to do it in the evening when I’m already picking up my kid from her mom’s, trying to figure out dinner, and then trying to fit in time for writing, editing video or something otherwise productive.

Now it’s 7:30 in the evening and I’m already pooped!

I plan to do this for a week or two, and see how it goes. I’m hoping it will make my evenings a little more structured.

So far, I have spent the evening watching Vikings, so, while not the most productive use of time, it is instead something I will label a “transition phase”.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Watched Vikings

Ate a grilled cheese

Something I Read Today

“You are sure to be censured by malevolent Criticks and Bug Writers, who will abuse you while you are serving them, and wound your Character in nameless Pamphlets, thereby resembling those little dirty stinking Insects that attack us only in the dark, disturbing our Repose, molesting and wounding us while our Sweat and Blood is contributing to their Subsistence.” -Ben Franklin To Robert Morris, as read in The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis

Something I Learned Today

Sleep is my best friend.

History Is So Cool

Social Media Detox Project: Day 21

Multiple people throughout history had the foresight to record what was going on in their present.

Whether or not it was intentional, much of what they wrote can be seen as life lessons; what to do and what not to do.

All they managed to accomplish, even without all the resources we currently possess, still fascinate us to this day:

The cities they built;

The ideas they wrote down;

The beliefs they shared;

And the wars they fought.

Through their stories we learn what daily life was like in those long ago days, and remember how much we take for granted.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Exercise

Posted my first AuthorTube video on YouTube

Recorded a new video

Something I Read Today

“The one who pays the piper, carries the tune.” -From Fires of the Faithful by Naomi Kritzer

Something I Learned Today

That I need to continue doing things that my “lizard brain” tells me not to.

Downtime is OK

Social Media Detox Project: Day 20

I think the fear of not hustling enough is a real thing.

But sometimes, you gotta eat some Cinnamon Toast Crunch and watch Captain Marvel.

What I Did Today

Went hiking with a friend

Got coffee with another friend

Novel writing

Downtime

Something I Learned Today

That I still struggle a bit with letting myself relax and watch a movie.

Something I Read Today

“So we clasped hands, and closed our eyes, and listened to the faint drumbeats from the village piazza, then lost ourselves in the crunch of the leaves under our feet, and the pounding of our hearts, and the wind in our ears.” -From Fires of the Faithful by Naomi Kritzer

Paying attention to my lifeline

Social Media Detox Project: Day 19

I am exploring self-employment, which is like submerging into a mysterious abyss. As I dive deeper, I’ll discover all sorts of new and interesting treasures, wildlife and other people who live here. My entire worldview is shifting.

But I am just visiting, and I can’t venture too deep just yet.

Currently, my day job is my lifeline. As I continue exploring, I have to pay enough attention to it so that it doesn’t snap.

But if I spend enough time down here I will adapt; I will find other lifelines.

Then maybe I’ll be able to survive on my own.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Blog writing

Exercise

Something I Read Today

“If you’re not proud of what you actually do, perhaps you can explore doing something else instead.” –from Seth’s Blog: “Say What You Want” by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

That George Washington suffered more defeats than any other General at the time of the American Revolution.