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The stories we tell ourselves tend to limit us more than facilitate our better self.

“I’m this way. I’m that way. I don’t do that well. I always do this.”

Our youthful attempts to grasp at personality end up producing a reflexive, historical, and/or familiar sense that who we are and what we will be is predetermined, or somehow outside our control. We internalize other people’s projections of us, or assume traits as if uncontested truths that we can’t step outside of.

And why do that? Doesn’t that approach rob us of our emotional & spiritual autonomy?

There’s value in questioning the stories we’ve been telling about who we are. Especially the ones that box us in, keeping us in old, less-useful patterns that cater to versions of ourselves that prevent us from growing.

The stories we tell ourselves are the overlays for how we understand our place in this crazy thing called life.

Even so, we get to choose our own story. Do our experiences and specific context affect us? Undoubtedly. But that’s the part to reconcile. We don’t always have to double down.

We can split the difference too.

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Build everything but the ceiling

Much of the time, we build the ceiling before we build the walls.

That makes for an odd version of a room, doesn’t it?

All too often, we say what can and can’t happen before we have the data. We cloud the reality from the jump and we limit an ideas ability to grow.

Our tendency to curb possibility before we’ve even put ourselves in a place to turn it into reality, is a recurring pitfall many of us succumb to. The great part is, we’re just one choice away from flipping that. Just one decision away from assuming we can actually do it.

One thing we can be sure of, is that thoughts are patterns that replicate in our lives.

In that case, why not choose, YES?

Why not build everything but the ceiling?

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I need my time

One of the things I’ve realized over the last few months, is that mornings are a very potent creative time for me. Something about daybreak, the sunrise,  & the smell of freshly ground coffee, all puts me in a creative state.

Between a son who wakes up early and a variety of projects, it’s even more incumbent upon me to carve out the time I need to write, take photos, edit, work on graphic design, etc.

I’m working to block out 1.5-2 hrs each morning for creative work.

No emails. No calls. No running to meetings.

Once afternoon arrives, I’m better suited to emails and handling the admin side of things. By batching my meetings on one day a week, I’m also able to reduce wasted movement that produces time I can use creatively instead.

One thing we can always ask ourselves is, “are we creating the conditions to do our best work?” The part of us that wriggles & fidgets when that question is asked is exactly why it’s worth asking.

I’ve settled into the fact that I need my time. I need my morning creative time to make art, think without parameters, and write.

So, which chunk of time do you need, and for what?

What time of day? For how long?

Perhaps most importantly, how will it make you feel if you get that time to yourself?

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It’s not what you say, it’s what you believe

The reason its alarming when people say repulsive things, is not because saying repulsive things is bad, it’s because BELIEVING repulsive things is bad.

For as much as people rail against political correctness, that’s really not the issue.

As Americans, we focus too much on being able to say whatever we want, when we should be thinking about what we believe.

It should bother us me more that we aren’t addressing the underlying cause of what people say.

Racism isn’t abhorrent because it is vocalized or written – it’s abhorrent because it’s hateful, anti-human, & refuses to acknowledge equality, using an outmoded and disproven philosophy as its central tenet.

Lets question why people say what they say, not whether or not they have the right to say it.

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No Phone In The Coffee Shop

As of late, I’ve taken to leaving my phone in the car while venturing inside to my favorite coffee shops. I’ve noticed that the times when I have my phone on me, I default to checking it while waiting in line, or waiting for my macchiato after I’ve ordered it.

The barista will be doing their thing, helping make my morning right, and I’ll have my head down reading some shit I’ve probably already seen.

As of November, I’ve been leaving my phone in the car or in my bag during these moments.

I’ve had more conversations, I’ve connected more, and it’s been cool. I invite you to join me in ‘No Phone In The Coffee Shop’ for a few months. I’d be interested what your thoughts are after trying it out for a month or more.

A few questions come to mind…

What is that discomfort we feel when idle? Is it something to do with being alone with our inner monologue?

Are we de-prioritizing social cohesion in favor of smartphone dopamine hits? Is there a value to limiting those hits?

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