Things I Sometimes Forget But Should Definitely Not Forget Because They Are So Important
Published December 7, 2019, Page Last Modified November 7, 2020
1. Pretty much anytime I’m not feeling like myself, it’s because one of four needs is not being met. Those needs are: sleep, exercise, spending time with people in real life, and being outdoors. Hit all four and I’m coasting. Miss any one and I start to dip. When things are not going well, ask myself if I’m lacking in any of those four categories, and then adjust accordingly.
2a. Meditation is a surprisingly effective solution for almost every unwanted negative emotion. I say ‘surprisingly,’ because sometimes when I’m extremely stressed and have a lot to do, I convince myself that I don’t have time for meditation and that it won’t help me at all. It’ll just take time away from other tasks that I need to get done. However, the few times I’ve been extremely stressed and have decided to sit down to meditate… holy cow do I feel like a new person when I finish! The feeling of being overwhelmed completely disappears. And in that moment when I finish a sit, it’s so laughably clear that when I’m feeling stressed and don’t want to meditate at all, that is the time I should actually meditate most. This works not just for stress, but also for anxiety, sadness, unpleasant recurring thoughts, you name it.
2b. You don’t always have to be doing something. Doing nothing can also be wonderful.
2c. You don’t always need to get somewhere else. Right here, right now is enough.
3. Starting anything (an essay, project, etc.) is the hardest part. But once you cross the action potential for starting, the next steps are easier in a way that is truly unexplainable. And again, in the moment after I finally start something, it’s hilarious when I realize… wow, why did it take me X weeks/months to finally do this? Because you enter this positive feedback loop where the joy of accomplishing one small task motivates you to work on the next. And you just wonder how the human brain can fool you into procrastinating for so long, keeping you from starting something that really does end up bringing you great joy.
4. Never be afraid to talk to anyone. The potential downside is simply an awkward encounter that is eventually forgotten by both parties. The potential upside could be a deep friendship, mentorship, or romantic relationship and clearly outweighs any risk of embarrassment. If you are even thinking at all of approaching someone, just count down from three and send it.
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