I flew 2,000 miles from Boston to Denver to meet my wife for the first time. I was excited as hell. I was also nervous as hell for many reasons. First, I would be staying at her parents' house. Making a positive first impression is already hard enough. Just imagine the pressure of knowing I didn't have the money to get a hotel if I messed that up! Second, we didn't know what each other looked like. We met in 2008, which was many years before it was customary to Facebook-stalk someone to confirm they were not a hot mess or a mass murderer.
I had a powerful conversation with a mentor yesterday, and it got me thinking about the paradox human connection in the era of the internet and social media. Specifically, technology provides us with endless opportunities to connect with anyone worldwide, yet we're seeing epidemics of isolation and disconnection. Why are so many people lacking strong friendships or communities to be a part of? This led to a thought exercise about the types of people we feel comfortable with reaching out to and what kinds of people we felt were unapproachable (thereby leading to more disconnection).
Today's busy world lures us into the trap of trying to fill each minute, each moment with something, anything, and everything. Worse, when we feel that we are behind or that there is not enough time, we double down on this approach. After all, it would seem paradoxical to slow down to speed up.
And yet, those among us who live from a place of serenity and/or peak performance embrace this approach. They don't cram more into less. They embrace the space.
Spoiler alert: it's not coffee. That can help treat the symptoms, but it's not addressing the root issue.
Today I woke up feeling great but quickly found myself in a funk. Worse yet, I didn't even have a good excuse as to why my mood and experience changed from hopeful to annoyed and frustrated. Isn't that messed up? I wanted to have an excuse because I wanted to blame something rather than come to terms that it might be random or (worse) my fault.
Regardless of what gets you into the fun, the most critical morning fix is... resetting your state.
One of my most treasured possessions is an annotated photo album that my brother made to capture all the memories of our family vacation to Plum Island. The way he combined the images with the story of our experiences was perfect. Every time I flip through that book, I'm teleported back to the farm where we picked blueberries, to the beach where my daughter cheered on the waves, and to the sailboat where the seagull perched on the captain's head while he fed him crackers. It was all magic.
There is a world of difference between a time permitting and a time permission mindset.
Take a few seconds and think about one of your most important goals or dreams. It could be something related to your family, your health, your finances, your career, a hobby, etc. If you have multiple options, just pick the first one because this mental exercise will work equally well for all of them.
Imagine you start your day by saying or thinking, “Time permitting, I will get to X today.”
Family vacation 2019 was idyllic. We were able to experience everything from fresh-off-the-dock Maine lobster to waking up to the sounds of horse hooves clicking on the roads while deep in Amish country in Upstate New York. There are too many highlights to share in a single article. But as a parent, there is one memory that will be forever burned in my brain.
With dynamite, you can hurt yourself, hurt others, or achieve a goal. The inventor of dynamite intended for it to be a tool for good. When combined with the right expertise and focus, dynamite could carve roads through lands that were otherwise impossible to traverse. Consider the intense effort that Dashrath Manjhi spent over 22 years carving a road through a mountain. Imagine how much faster and easier this process could have been if he had a team of experienced detonation experts? It probably could have been opened in a few months.
Newsletter subscribers have probably noticed that I'm a bit more active on my blog these days. In fact, I published more new content in the last 10 days than I did in the previous 6 months. The feedback has been fantastic, which I take as an indication that I'm striking a chord with the hearts and minds of people like you. Honestly, it's an honor that you give me permission to reach out to you. I hope I can continue to keep your interest as you invest your time with me.
My 5-year old daughter loves to surprise people with gifts she's found or created. Honestly, she probably gets more joy than the recipient! There are only so many rocks from the park that one can receive before they all look alike. And there are only so many places you can put them before you run out of table space. Still, I find it endearing that she tries so hard to make another person feel special.