What a beautiful morning. Started my day with a green smoothie and fresh berries and a French lesson, then walked with the boys to their bus stops, with a meditation in between. Continued on a longer walk around the meadow, which is bursting with fresh leaves, clover, and birdsong. Did some weights when I came home, then read a chapter of Tim Ferriss’s brick of a book, “Tools of Titans”, over oatmeal (with blueberries, walnuts and flax seed) and coffee, followed by a page of writing. I don’t always have time for this full routine every day, but I get to most of these things most days. To me, having a career that allows for all of this time to nurture myself is how I define success.
Something that stood out from reading the interview with Glenn Beck in Tim Feriss’s book: he says, “Be willing to fail or succeed on who you really are. Don’t ever try to be anything else. What you are is good enough for whatever it is you’re doing.” Most of the time I try to really take this to heart. And I tell myself, I’m good enough to be a children’s author and illustrator. It doesn’t even really matter if I’m published or not—what matters is that I use my gifts, that I write and draw, and that I share it with people in the ways I know how. I haven’t been writing enough, and I’m changing that. And now that my first finished novel is in the hands of an agent and editor for consideration, I need to get off my butt and keep writing.
And here’s something from angel investor and CEO Naval Ravikant (also from Tim Ferriss’s book): “If you don’t believe in an afterlife, then you [should realize] that this is such a short and precious life, it is really important that you don’t spend it being unhappy. There is no excuse for spending most of your life in misery. You’ve only got 70 years out of the 50 billion or however long the universe is going to be around.”
Such a good thing to remember, right? If I can just think well of myself, do my very best at what I know how to do, treat other people well, and let myself be happy, then haven’t I succeeded as a human being?
Too often I get wrapped up in the stress of a situation (don’t we all?), and allow the cyclone of anxiety to spiral out of control. As we were driving downtown for a road race that the boys were running in, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that had slowed to become a parking lot, I found myself thinking, “I wish I were the kind of person who was even-keeled and unflappable. Does it help to become stressed out? No. Can’t I just breathe and think creatively about this for a second?”
After some complaining and swearing, I did breathe and say a prayer (encouraged by my wife), got off the congested street and found a different route, and we did find a place to park and to the starting line in time for the race, with 7 minutes to spare (we had planned on an hour). Eventually my stress subsided (and the free McDonald’s iced coffee helped), the boys ran their race, we found them in the enormous crowd with no difficulty, and I learned that—once again—a cool temper and trusting in the Universe are more productive and happier for everyone than freaking out. Sigh.
So… if I can just remember every day to do my best and let go of the rest, maybe I’ll choose joy more often than I choose fear.