On Falling Behind

Sometimes, the burden of life gets a little heavier than normal.

Certain things you’d like to get done fall by the wayside, in favor of more pressing issues.

And that’s okay.

Sometimes, you just need to take care of yourself.

Take breaks.

As long as those breaks don’t become the new normal, then spending some time in self-care is good.

Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind.

Because, after all, life’s not a race.

In your process of rejuvenation and self-care try to do things that will build you up, rather than bring you down.

Respond to negative thoughts with positive actions.

Stay well.

The Rhythm of Life

The sun rises.

The sun sets.

The world turns.

The clock ticks.

Life operates outside us; indifferent, consistent, moving to an objective rhythm out of our control.

When we say life is chaotic, it’s because we have misunderstood it.

It’s not that life is chaotic, it’s that we’ve fallen out of sync.

When we’re not paying attention, it becomes easy to lose the rhythm. 

That’s because we often have our own ideas about how life should be.

And we’re usually wrong.

If we fight it, we may find ourselves hitting the wrong notes and messing up the performances of those around us.

Understanding how to move with the rhythm of life is important if you wish to put on a good performance.

Because, like all pieces of music, life has a finale.

And, then it’s over.


How often are you happy? How often are you sad?

How often do you feel energized? How often do you feel de-energized?

How much of what you feel is based on things you can’t control?

How much of what you feel is based on what you can?

Pillars and Foundations

Living my life with intention has allowed the things I want to do and the things I should do to better align.

My days are filled with the kind of purpose that a day job never gave me.

The things I do each day don’t come with a paycheck, but they do come with a sense of purpose.

So, what I want and what I need fall into better alignment.

I am setting a foundation for the rest of my life. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but whenever it does happen, I want to feel like a solid human being.

So, I’m laying into what’s important.

Now, I actually want to exercise. I want to spend time in nature. I want to read.

I have to keep an eye on my three pillars: sleep, healthy eating, and exercise.

If those things fall apart, then everything falls apart.

When the three pillars are maintained, I can put forth better effort into what’s important with greater concentration and consistency.

The Best-Laid Plans

Sometimes you lay out a detailed plan for your whole afternoon.

Sometimes you set out to write your weekly post about the value of planning.

Sometimes your dog breaks into the hen house, kills three of your chickens, and throws off your entire afternoon.

It happens.

Sometimes.

“The best-laid plans…” as they say. Actually, I don’t know what the complete saying is. I always just hear people say “The best-laid plans…” and then you’re supposed to finish the rest, I guess.

The best-laid plans don’t account for bloodthirsty dogs. There.

What I can say about planning is that sometimes, it has no value, whatsoever.

Planning can’t really prepare for the unexpected. 

That’s why it’s unexpected.

Maybe there’s a theme in here about death somewhere, too. 

I’m sure the chickens didn’t wake up this morning thinking it was their last.

I guess none of us really know.

That’s why I quit my job. That’s why I spend my time doing what I love with the people I love.

I know it can’t be the same for everyone. I know the system pushes a lot of people down.

We are always connected these days, though.

And with connection comes opportunity.

Pockets of opportunity exist everywhere, albeit to varying degrees of visibility.

But they are always there.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention.

That’s why it’s important to minimize distraction.

Making the most of life means paying attention, but you have to decide what that means for you.

If this sounds like general advice, it is.

If you need a little more, here’s some:

Gravitate toward the creative things you love. 

Avoid the things that keep you from doing those creative things on a consistent basis.

For me, this means:

  • staying off social media.
  • avoiding binge watching.
  • reading books.
  • going on nature walks.
  • regular exercise.
  • writing daily.
  • spending time with my child.
  • spending time in the sun.
  • regulating the media I consume (no more than an hour a day of video games, for instance).

Anything less will bring me down. Maybe not all the way, but in fragments.

But those fragments add up.

Maybe it’s the same for you, or vastly different.

I hope you don’t spend most of your time doing things you hate and the rest of it distracting yourself from that fact.

And, I sincerely hope the bloodthirsty animal jaws of death remain far, far away from your hen house for a long time.

Be well, John Spartan.

The Search for Clarity

I’m not the best at speaking out loud. It takes me time to form my thoughts into words sometimes, and I often stumble over myself when I try to explain a concept to others.

That’s because I still have much to learn.

So, I’m spending this time trying to uncover knowledge, and the unwritten words buried deep within my mind.

For many of us, buried somewhere beneath the mounds of anxiety spread throughout the world, clarity is still waiting to be unearthed.

And clarity can be achieved through solitude, not through the constant barrage of information thrown at us every minute of the day.

Checking our phones constantly doesn’t really help us or anyone else.

Here are some practical suggestions for bringing back a little clarity into your life:

  • Go on a walk (if you can find a place far from others)
  • Color (seriously, it’s relaxing)
  • Read a good book
  • Write, especially about how you’re feeling
  • Exercise
  • Garden
  • Meditate

The important things involve moving your body, feeding your brain with good stories (preferably from physical books), and creating things.

Each of us has an unknown amount of time left on this earth. No matter what we do, we can’t control it.

I don’t know when my last day will be.

But I do know that I want to spend whatever time I have left putting good things into my mind and body, and contributing positive things into the world.

What will you do to get back your clarity?

Solitude or Isolation

Right now, you might feel confused, constricted or frustrated.

You might find yourself facing the crossroads of solitude and isolation.

There is a difference:

Solitude is being alone without being lonely.

Isolation is being lonely whether or not you’re alone.

In the last decade or so, solitude has become a luxury, an afterthought, or something in between.

Now it’s a necessity.

Walking alone with your thoughts, being in nature, letting the sun fill your body, mind and soul.

That is life.

Doing good, focused work that helps someone else.

That is also life.

In the social media age, minutes pass while anxiety builds. There comes a point when the amount of information we consume starts to lose its value–especially if it’s one-sided.

Spending hours scrolling through social media feeds to get the latest on the latest, or binge watching Netflix in order to escape the cold, hard realities of life: that’s simply waiting for the inevitable.

This is a rare opportunity. Don’t waste it distracting yourself from yourself.

Right now, you can choose solitude or isolation.

So, which will it be?

Now For the Future

You don’t need to worry about what’s to come.

You simply need to take the future into consideration as you develop your system for the present.

What actions do you need to take now in order to secure the best possible future?