If you can get it done with less.

If that’s something you hate doing.

If you can do both things well.

Of course, why focus?

Checking your email while studying.

Watching a movie while surfing the internet.

Texting while dating.

Gaming while eating.

The trouble comes when we think that some things are better when we combine them.

It definitely possible to get them done. But I’m not so sure about, doing it well.

For the people, the activities, the work we love, not focusing is a disservice. More almost never makes it better.

Because you can’t be replaced easily.

Because you’ll enjoy it better.

Because they will miss you.

One of the biggest fallouts of romance is the lack of love.

It could be that maybe you are not ready to be loved. But more often, it is our expectation of love that gets us in trouble.

Two contrasting ideas of love.

The first view of love is that it is an emotion that is generated by perfection, by something that’s amazing, by a very beautiful, exciting and intelligent person. A sense of awe, wonder or joy.

The other view is that love is an emotion you bring to bear on what is imperfect. That is, love is most necessary when we are weak and incomplete. Emotional labour.

If we look around at how our culture uses the word “love”, we might find more contradicting definitions. And so, we get muddled.

We believe that love should be a continual feeling of perfection. Or that we should receive the same quality of love as we offer. Our expectations, unmet, can quickly become a recipe for unjust, anger and unhappiness.

Maybe instead, the first step to a long-term happy relationship begins with making conscious our definition of love, announcing our idiosyncratic meaning and seeing if it’s, after all, a sustainable way to get the love we want.

In this experiment, I attempt to find out if I can stop taking arthritis medication, Methotrexate.

Why: I don’t want to be dependent on a medication I don’t need. It’s time saved from travelling to the clinic, mental space saved from remembering to take it, and mental cycles saved from beating myself up when I forgot to take it.

Summary: Stop taking Methotrexate. Stopping didn’t worsen the condition. Most symptoms are predicable and caused by my action.

Experiment log [Oct 21]

1st week September 27, 2021 – October 4, 2021: Right wrist is sore on Wed – Thu. Left and right forearm is sore from Thu to Sat. It’s probably caused by playing Ghost of Tsushima on the PS4 for 3hours.

2nd week October 4, 2021 – October 11, 2021: Wrist is great. No problems at all.

3rd week October 11, 2021 – October 18, 2021: October 12, 2021, Tues Wrist is a little weak. I guess it might be from lying on the side cramping. my hand. Recovered on Sunday October 17, 2021

4th week October 19, 2021 – October 25, 2021: Wrist & joints are perfect without medication.

Goals are destinations. A promise we set for ourselves in the future.

We feel amazing when we get there. And disappointed when we miss the mark. The disappointment when repeated can turn into a mood, then it gets cemented as personality. And this begins the slippery slope to depression.

When IBM first learnt about this, they set their sales quota lower than what was realistically expected. The sales team overshot their quotas, felt overjoyed and went above and beyond. Their productivity went through the roof.

Set your moonshot. But don’t forget to have lower goals too. Because once you hit those, it’ll make you feel so good you might just find yourself landing on Mars.

I don’t think it’s expensive meals, fancy cars or grand resorts.

It’s probably not liking every Instagram post, subscribing to their newsletter or supporting their business.

For sure, it is not Even Steven. I gift you, you gift me. We’re even now.

It’s certainly not how smart, popular or well-connected you are.

We begin with this.

Remembering their names, their quirks and their dreams.

Appreciating their efforts, their feelings and their being.

Not projecting, not demanding, not wishing they are different. Accepting and loving them.

Showing up with presence (probably not advice), embrace and care when they need you there.

And when you don’t see eye to eye, suspending your judgement, being curious and seeing what’s at stake.

These are tactics and tactics works.

But it is to first understand that it’s more than a hack to move up in the social hierarchy, more than an emergency text line when you’re in need, more than just a transaction. It’s a relationship.

You won’t have the time for everyone, but maybe for the right one, it’s worth it.

Painting your boss as a capitalistic monster is a sure way to lose a salary negotiation. To start an imaginary war, cherry-picking stories of racism, sexism and unfairness.

You do it because it insulates you from the fear. The fear of finding out you’re a fraud (which we all are), the fear of leaving your comfy job and the fear of rejection. It’s easier to blame than face the monster under the rug. Or learn how to negotiate with respect and elegance.

As a result, you gave away the opportunity to win an ally, your boss.

The story you choose is a choice.

I hope you choose one that helps you get to where want to go, in a joyful and productive fashion.

Why is it we don’t often tell ourselves the truth, about how we don’t tell each other the truth?

We put on a mask, tell micro white lies and omit parts of our story.

One reason is shame. We don’t like parts of ourselves that are ugly. We can’t accept them and so we do our best to hide them.

Another reason is the feeling of rejection that we’ve experienced before. It’s so painful that we don’t want to ever repeat that pain. Worse, when someone uses that information and weaponises it.

The truth is we are just avoiding pain. We manage how much of our truth we let out. We do it to manipulate people, circumstances and situations.

But have you thought about the cost of withholding? It takes energy to repress and suppress those emotions, manage how you show up and keep track of the stories you tell.

We steal the opportunity from (undermine) ourselves to receive the help that we need.

And so we hide. To save ourselves from the pain of facing those demons in us.

If your hair is on fire (and you’re in survival)

If you are only interested to be loved, instead of loving

If you are looking for someone that’s funny, smart and wealthy (perfection)

If you’re looking for a permanent solution to your emotional, financial and sexual problems

If you see relationships as transitions

If you haven’t accepted your flaws (and hence can’t share them)

If you don’t want to be vulnerable and unwilling to be in uncertainty

If you can’t enjoy being alone (and you’re looking for an escape)

Maybe just maybe, you haven’t loved yourself.

And that’s where love begins.

I don’t know any babies going around with a list of priorities. Why do adults need them?

We can get a lot done by trying. Whether it’s sales, tennis or cooking, when we show up and do our best, things get done.

And so, we get greedy. More impact, more sales, more results, less time, less money, less effort.

As we seek to do more with less, we discover that powering through is simply not enough.

We get stressed. Day after day, this compounds to a long-term feeling of coming up short. And so we run even faster, squeezing water out of rock. And finally, our body goes to a stop.

Prioritising is taking a hard look at our lists of desires. And deciding what is more important than the other, in this moment, season and month.

Ranking our desires.

The next time we are running short, we can look at this list of priorities and know what’s next.

Not run faster in circles.

Art is creating something new, that might not work, to change people for the better. What change do you seek to make?

It’s not art if you know it’s going to work. That’s management. That’s a manual. That’s people at Daifun, China who paint copies of Picassos.

It’s not art if there’s no intent. When you do it because you feel like it, that’s a hobby. A hobby can produce artefacts that look like art. And it could even make you rich and famous, that’s luck. That’s not art.

As you can tell, the way I define art have nothing at all to do with painting or sculpture.

A chef who wants to change how people look at sandwiches, by playing with flavour, pricing and business model. They are making art. That’s could be David Chang, Danny Meyers or your 15 year-old son.

The scientists who banded together during the pandemic, found the vaccine and gave it for free. That’s art.

A receptionist who gives you the inside scoop on the person you were meeting. So you feel prepared and relaxed before you walk in. She’s making art.

An entrepreneur, a sever or a barber. They can all be artists.

You too, if you choose to.

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