It’s the third week, and you feel like 2020 never left. The journal you wrote your goals on is stuck somewhere between your unfinished novel and the incomplete Business Plan.
I can’t blame you. Even if you started planning for this in December as I did, the weight of all those resolutions could come crashing if you put yourself under this kind of chronic pressure.
But today’s different. Today, you’re aware that you need to make some changes. That what you’re doing isn’t going to help you get further.
Just that thought alone is often what you need—the awareness.
The knowing. …
My fingers sweat across the keyboard and my barefoot angles on the floor. I don’t know why I did this — or why I’m doing it.
I don’t know what the point is.
I write this on a live session on YouTube; no one is watching. My brain tells me no one cares. That I’m not a good enough writer to be doing “writing live” sessions.
This reminds me of the girl in college who said I didn’t have charisma. She was quiet and calm. We dated for a week, and then she said she couldn’t continue.
“Well, you’re missing something,” she…
You’ve probably come across that quote. I didn’t even know the original author until today. I may forget again tomorrow. That’s one of my weaknesses; I forget things.
In a way, my brain decides what is essential and leaves out the rest. I have a hard time memorizing things, and my default answer is almost always “I don’t know?”
Alexa…where’s my phone?
The quote, though, is worth reiterating.
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami.
We can expand this to general advice. Suppose you only listen to the advice that everyone is listening to. In that case, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. …
Don’t expect anything from anyone.
You have hope, aspirations, dreams, desires, wishes.
You have family and friends who show up. You have people who stand up for you — people you can count on.
But don’t expect anything: we’re not entitled to anything.
Anything we get is a plus. Anything we get is a gift: time, opportunity, money, forgiveness, permission, etc.
I can’t control the world around me by wishing things were different. By hoping you’d understand what I meant when my words affected you negatively. Praying you’ll forgive me as soon as I say “I’m sorry”.
It’s my fault. It’s always my fault if I’m misunderstood. It’s my fault if I don’t account for the government in which I implement my ideas. Or this body I live in. …
Let me know if this happens to you as often as it does to me:
You prepare the night before; write down your tasks; go through a solid night routine. You read fiction to sleep and have a solid 8 hours.
Once the alarm rings, there’s this subtle moment when you, honestly, without a doubt, don’t want to wake up. You want to stay here.
Then the fog clears. Always. Once you remember why you did what you did, it always clears. But it will be back tomorrow.
The past two months, I’ve spent stuck in that fog. Personal reasons, mostly. I had to take care of my health. I think that’s an excellent reason to pause everything and focus on it. …
“By the way, my name is Kamga,” I said.
“Oh, hey, my name is Anselm,” he said, turning to look at me.
My body moved with hand-stretched. Car keys dropping into his pocket, he moved the ruler to his left hand, and stretched his right.
He returned to his car, pulling his keys to open his door. Then turned around.
“That’s really nice what you did, man. I’ve been living here for a while, and you’re the first neighbor whose name I know. Thank you.”
I’m the guy at the party who comes in thinking everyone is looking at him, wondering if he brushed his teeth. The guy who stays in the corner if none of his friends are there. Who watches people — making stories in his head. Who will happily have a conversation with you if you give him 48 hours to decide whether you’re trustworthy of his “deep” thoughts. …
Your cells change whether you want them or not. If you choose to ignore them, the change will not ignore you.
You see this with people who work out. Fortunately, life is not all about healthy living or weights. The reps happen passively.
The music you listen to—the movies you consume. The friends you entertain. The things you say to yourself.
“Everything you say is an affirmation. What are you affirming?”
“Man is what he believes” — Anton Chekhov
You were born alone; you’ll die alone. There are sadness and truth in that sentence. The sadness that comes with realizing that one day you’ll leave the people you care about — and who care for you. That sooner or later, you’ll be dying in a bed, old (hopefully). Or in a split second, your body or some piece of human technology (e.g., car) would fail to perform as intended.
We default to this sadness because we’re more open to dangers than joys. If you’re running away from a nasty tiger, you don’t exactly have time to monitor the new pear trees on your escape route. …
Mornings are cold, quiet, and lonely.
When my alarm rings at 4.30 am, I talk myself into not going back to bed. It’s warm. It’s cozy. Non-judgemental. It only wants the best for me at that point in time.
And that’s the problem. What’s best for you now may not be best for you tomorrow. And tomorrow becomes today.
This is how we end up making shitty decisions: we make them today thinking we’ll fix them before tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes. We’re shocked nothing’s changed.
Guess what? Today was tomorrow. Cycle. Forever.
When I think of how much my morning sucks, I remember that every time something has sucked and I avoided it, I always regretted it. …
I know you’re going through a tough time. Most people don’t understand you, and your attempts to explain meets either puzzled looks or hurried nods. They don’t really care — even when they say they do. You know it. You’ve tried to believe that this was the only way; that life was meant to be survived. But each time, like today, your heart tells you something isn’t right that this isn’t what you were born to experience. That you deserve better.
We’re sitting on the same bench, watching the sea finger our toes — back and forth, back and forth. Everyone is running on this beach: children, parents, angry bankers, happy business owners, sad teachers. Everyone. Except us. We sit there staring into the sea, the beautiful expanse of colorless glass right across the horizon. …