The Key Metric in Making Change

The best advice I heard and verified in my own life is the following for quitting something.

Keep quitting until you have quit.

Step 1:

Decide that you are going to make a change. You know without a shred of doubt that it is bad for you.

Step 2:

Never doubt the decision.

Step 3: (if needed)

If you fail, repeat steps 1 and 2.

How To Track Your Way to Success!

The only metric I would suggest you track is the amount of time (mins, hours, days, weeks) that passes until your restart.

If you can shorten this time you are on the path to success.

If you ignore the fact you are off course then you are heading in the wrong direction.

The hardest part is to not ignore the truth that you have committed too.

Ignoring a problem can feel good in the moment but it delays the pain. We all know this.

When I wanted to stop drinking alcohol, and I would drink again, I stopped worrying about how many failures happened and I focused on starting again.

I would restart my journey.

It took me about 3 years.

The last time I opened a beer I took one sip and I threw the rest away. That was my last drink.

Your Friend.

Terry

Self

Steven Wilson has a new song out that I dig. “Self”

The video is strange and thought provoking.

Jon Blestein writing for Rolling Stone – Quotes Wilson:

Self’ is about our new age of narcissism and self-obsession, one in which a human race that used to look out with curiosity at the world and the stars now spends much of its time gazing at a little screen to see themselves reflected back in the mirror of social media.

So few artist make social commentary that has a bite any longer.

Perhaps, I am missing most of it due to the fact I am an middle aged white dude who truly does not understand or enjoy modern rap and hip hop which I think is where most of the action is these days.

This song along with my interest in developing a deeper life made me think about Huxley’s Brave New World.

The “Brave New World” denizens were plied with pleasure, distraction, advertisement and intoxicating drugs to lull them into complacency, a world of perfect consumerism, with lower classes doing all the work for an elite.

Pioneerleadership’s Blog

I wonder where a citizen would find pleasure, distraction, advertisement and consumerism all in one device?

PS: Here are the lyrics to “Self”

Self-help and self-aware
Self-made millionaire
Turn it up and tone it down
Entertain like a fucking clown

Self-image and self-belief
Selfish acts between the sheets
Self has no sense of tact
Self is too self-detached

We are self, the self that loves itself now
We are self, I only see myself now

Self-absorbed and self-obsessed
If not me then someone else
Self sees a billion stars
But still can only self-regard

We are self, the self that loves itself now
We are self, I only see myself now

(I am the universe)

We are self, the self that loves itself now
We are self, I only see myself now

Personal Sabbatical 2021

I am spending a couple of days camping at the South Llano River State Park on the Llano River near Junction Texas. I am camping by myself.

I wanted to take some time to be alone.

I grew up an only child. Time alone is nothing new to me. However, how I use that time alone is.

I am 52 now. Who do I want to be?

Not the person my mother wanted me to be. Not the person culture thought I should be but who do I want to be?

I think I know. But I want to reflect.

My health is a big part of this for me.

For me this means, being 160-170 pounds (I am 5’9). Strong. I can do pull-ups and other exercises. And that at least a couple of my abs are showing.

Vanity?

Perhaps, I just want to live longer and better than my mother, grandmother and others in my family.

As Dr. Peter Atia talks about training to be a kick 100 year old. That is who I want to be.
Without your health what do you have?

The irony in 2021 is that I have my iPad Pro with me and I can post to a blog from here. So you could ask the question – how alone am I?

Until Next Time.

South Llano River, South of Junction Texas

Look for the Helpers

Us Texans have had a rough week. The once in 100 year winter storm that the state did not prepare for cause it just might not happen. It happened.

I spent too much time on twitter. I started to fall into the blame game trap.

Thankfully I read Austin Kleon’s blog. He writes daily.

He posted Look for the helpers which is a video a quote from Fred Rogers sharing a story his mother taught him.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. Fred’s Mother

Then he posted a video of a wonderful man twitter named Thor Harris teaching a simple way to fix your own pipe if it busted. Here is the Link

Reading this blog post vs doom scrolling twitter changed my outlook and my actions. I walked about my front door today and looked for neighbors I could help with their downed trees.

Looks for the helpers. Be the helper.

Why 98% of People Die Without Fulfilling Their Dreams

I googled “death due to lack of purpose” I was thinking about how older people who are sick tend to stay alive when they have a purpose, even if that purpose is to take care of a pet. We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

But what I got was a headline for a blog post to a retirement investment company that wants me to become a wealth machine.

 If you want to become part of the 2%, you don’t need to possess any special skills that no one else has, and you don’t need any specific degrees or inheritance. The steps are few and simple. Today, we cover the first of 17 principles to live by. 

That unnamed blog post

Fuck this.

I can become part of the 2% that achieve their dreams if I just follow this 17 step process. I will not bore you with any more absurdity but rest assured he fixes the cable.

Money is not the problem nor is it the answer.

Money does solve a lot of the worlds problems. And money can solve our personal problems of food, clothing, and shelter.

But working your whole life chasing money in the name of one day when you are 70+ you will start a foundation like Bill and Melinda, I think you are missing out on a lot of life and opportunity to start now.

What would you do if you had unlimited money?

I was watching a video that posed this question.

#1 answer: I would start a business doing XYZ.

The person posing the question was stunned. You have unlimited money and you can do whatever you want and you decide to open a business to make more money? WTF?

I think it telling that people answering the question did not hear or understand the question. They did not reflect on or even consider what they would do if money was never to be a concern again for them.

WWYD?

I think most of us would get pretty bored if our answer was living on the beach and having a cabana boy bring us whatever our desire was.

I think the answer is not just making more money. I think the answer is to minimize the need for money in your life so that you can be free to make an impact in the world around you.

How would you answer that question? Do that. Whatever that is. Start.

Your friend,
T

What Technology Do You Use?

Cal Newport author of Digital Minimalism started a podcast in 2020. It is Q&A style and it is really good.

Recently answered the question “What technology does he use?”

He of course uses a desktop computer but famously does not have social media accounts nor is he a fan of the phone. Just because you CAN do something on your phone does not mean you should.

He mentioned his favorite piece of tech being the Codex.

The move from a scroll to a bound book was huge. It allowed the flipping of pages forward and backward to find the information you are looking for.

His description reminded me of Merlin Mann’s famous hPDA.

Building your first Hipster PDA

  1. get a bunch of 3″x5″ file cards (here’s 500 for around 3 bucks)
  2. clip them together with a binder clip
  3. there is no step 3

We forget that pen and paper is technology.

We ignore the cost of using a digital device.

We do not accept that deep work is valuable.

If you know me, I prefer paper.

The Return of the Personal Blog

Are you old enough to remember blogs?

I am talking about personal blogs written by real people for real people. Not long form content marketing written for SEO and Google’s black box.

A Blog is a truncation of "weblog"

weblogs: a history and perspective is a post from Rebecca Blood written 2000. Shit like this makes me love the internet.

When Social Media Fails

Big Tech is not your friend.

Their algorithm is not your friend.

Fall of 2019 I deleted my Facebook account.

Fall of 2020 I deleted my Instagram account.

Watch out Twitter – I have my eye on you!

I never looked back.

I think 2021 is the start of the shift back to personal blogs.

>It’s where you can share what you learn daily (and let automations spread the message to whatever social media platform hasn’t ruined society lately).

>It’s where you control the narrative (as much as that can be done at all).

>It’s stable. It’s a playground for your creativity. It’s your place to be generous with what you learn and kind to those who care enough to learn with you.

>It’s a place to build relationships with those who care. Those relationships will determine your future projects, experiences, and outlook.

>It’s not the only place for these things, but it’s your place for these things, and that makes all the difference.

From It’s Time to Get Personal CJ Chilvers 2021.

I do want to share what I am doing. I want to provide context for the conversations I am having with people. Life’s celebrations and life’s difficult lessons learned.

I want to say.

“Here’s what I see, here’s how you can be part of it.” Seth Godin

A new school but an old school personal blog.

Here I write for you. My friend.

Pleasure Principle

When I person cannot find deep meaning they distract themselves with pleasure

Victor Frankl

Read that again and sit with it.

Pleasure is an addictive loop. Most people hear addictive behavior and think drugs, alcohol etc. But today it can be your phone, processed food or porn.

Instead of writing out your goals for 2021 that might not see the light of day again, decide to make a small change.

Learn to be alone and bored.

When you feel that twitch to distract yourself push in on that feeling. What are you distracting yourself from?

Write it down. Journal about it. Think about it.