By Leo Babauta Most of us have a troubled relationship with uncertainty, often without even knowing it. Our most difficult problems often stem from uncertainty: procrastination, overwhelm,… Open at source
Uncertainty is the place where we learn — if we are certain about something, there’s nothing new to learn.
This new relationship with uncertainty can unlock so much for us — freedom and joy and the ability to take on whatever we want.
Uncertainty is the place where we learn — if we are certain about something, there’s nothing new to learn. It’s the place where we form intimate relationships, create art, make something new. It’s the place of discovery, play, dance, growth. It’s the pre-requisite for all of this!
6 min read · Jul 13th · The facts about mindfulness no one's talking about.
as the adage goes: if you only have a hammer, everything can look like a nail. The reality is that we need many tools in the "mental health toolbox" for a variety of stressful situations life will throw our way: what about the saw, screwdriver, or pliers? A contributing factor is that we live in a consumerist, capitalist country. It has been overly commodified, its origins partially distorted. Not enough people, especially health professionals are researchers, are talking about the risks, contraindications, or downsides of practice, or who specifically it's best suited for and when.
Practicing mindfulness when you're not mentally ready, or when you actually need a nap, to eat, a massage, to work, or an important conversation with a loved one can clearly create more difficulties than it's meant to mitigate. References
There have even been some depictions of mindfulness as a panacea for suffering, despite the fact that mindfulness was not originally developed to treat suffering or disease
7 min read · Jan 26th · How to get started with getting started.
The humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow distinguished between two types of choices we make, fear choices and growth choices. A fear choice is born of insecurity, a choice made for the sake of security or safety, driven by a need to avoid failure or disappointment. But at what cost? We may turn down a promising job opportunity, thinking it isn’t a good fit, when in fact our choice is based on avoiding potential failure. On the other hand, when we make a growth choice, we put reward over risk, choosing to do something, despite the risk, that might make our life more meaningful or rewarding. As Maslow wrote, “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” So which will be the determinant of the choices you make in life, fear or growth?
Procrastination is reinforced by a powerful reward—relief from anxiety.
Apply the "good enough" standard to yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to be good enough. Setting unrealistically high standards prevents you from trying because of the fear of not meeting the unreasonable expectations you place on yourself.
4 min read · Jun 11th · Productivity systems often focus on how to do the work. However, it is crucial to understand why we are struggling to do the work in the first place. Often, our procrastination triggers are emotional…
Reverse your procrastination triggers. Each procrastination trigger can be reversed to stop procrastinating. If a task is boring, try to make it more fun; if a task is difficult, find someone to give you a hand; if a task is unrewarding, treat yourself after you complete it. You can also spend a bit of time defining a specific goal and a detailed plan for ambiguous or unstructured tasks. It will make it much easier to keep started and stay productive.
The higher the emotional aversion to a task, the more likely we are to procrastinate.
Frustrating tasks are often linked to a lack of control and a feeling of helplessness, which may lead to procrastination
2 min read · Jun 18th · The existential exhilaration of playing chicken with Time
In Phase Two, you get busy. Mountains of energy are suddenly available to you. Straining to avoid one particular thing, dawdling mightily, you can do five others.
And now it’s over. You’ve emerged. You have been a weird little god, playing with Time. You’ve been Max von Sydow, playing chess with Death. And while you haven’t won, exactly, you haven’t lost, either.
Outwardly, I’m at ease: I’m pottering about, I’m picking up books and putting them down again, I’m chatting gaily on the phone, I’m eating tortilla chips. But inwardly, inwardly, I’m in violent Luciferian rebellion against the angels of adulthood, of responsibility, of unfreedom.