Mind over matter, what’s the matter with your mind?

via @memeprovider

Where there's a will, there's a way.

, se puede

You can do it, contrary to your negative internal dialogue.

Mindset is everything.

Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.

Jokes are personal.

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The emotional journey of creating anything great

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via Bill Gross

Why is it that every new idea begins with excitement but ends in the ‘dark swamp of despair?'

Writes Angela Duckworth in her book Grit

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”

The key to achieving anything is not necessarily maintaining that excitement but pushing through all the CRAP (criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure) and maintaining a beginner's mindset.

Of course, you're likely to lose interest, energy, and emotional support from family and friends along the way. That's why it's equally important to have a vision of where you want to go and what you'd like to accomplish. Developing habits, a daily practice, also help fight the resistance.

Good things are supposed to take time. Progress ebbs and flows. It's beneficial, almost necessary, to step away from the work and plan unscheduled time. Even when you're not thinking, you're thinking; the brain never turns off.

If innovation were easy, anybody would do it.

Goal setting 2018 where all believing is betting

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Photo by Wells Baum

Offbeat, except in normal life.

Shaken, not in rage to be stirred.

A contrarian, narrowed into a consensus view.

Constant surprises, a search for settlement.

Ludicrous ambition, tolerable mediocrity.

Finally a new year, with more conviction this time.

Writes Gary Lachlan in [easyazon_link identifier=”1782500022″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]The Caretakers of the Cosmos[/easyazon_link]: “Without goals, without some purposeful anticipation, we live, Frankl said, only a ‘provisional existence', a kind of marking time which is really a death in life.”

In the game of goal setting, all beliefs are gambles.

Give yourself permission to build 

Motivation ebbs and flows. It is fickle and short-lasting.

So we can't wait for the muse to compel us to work. As Chuck Close said, “inspiration is for amateurs.”

However, what we can do is develop a passion for something, fire up our grit to push through crap (criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure), and give ourselves permission to act like the finishers did before us.

It is discipline that converts information into actionable items. We learn nothing until we put knowledge and possibility into use.

Everything is practice.

‘We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish’

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish.” Malcolm Gladwell #gif #turtle #quotes
via giphy

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish.”

Malcolm Gladwell

Life is a series of dashes; a movie, not a photograph. To echo Cervantes, “The road is better than the end.” Don't forget to enjoy the moments in between.

If you’re struggling to get started, do it badly

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Perfection is the antithesis of inspiration; it prevents you from getting started.

The trick to getting going is to do it badly. Be intentionally messy.

Producing crap isn’t the end-goal. The point of taking small actions is to create enough momentum to feel like we’re winning.

What sustains persistence are small improvements. You’re looking to go from one pushup a day to two the next week. You’re trying to walk five thousand steps a day before graduating to six thousand. You’ll need to write one-hundred words day after day before developing the muscle to get down two-hundred words on a consistent basis. By the way, there is no such thing as writer's block!

Do small things to get started — not matter how poorly — to avoid second-guessing yourself and to prime the motivational pump.

Fear is never as bad as it seems

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Most fears are irrational.

When we let what we're scared of drive our decision-making, we seek safety which mostly means inaction. Like algae, we prefer to stay local, isolated from the from the sun that feeds us with its light.

So how can we get where we want to go when a constant state of dread lies in our way?

When stuck in doubt, heed the words of Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” The amygdala exaggerates our anxieties.

If we're courageous enough, we'll say yes and do it anyway.

Fear is both natural and artificial; if used wisely, it can be the impetus for action.

The magic of music

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Music is powerful because of its ability to galvanize emotions.

As Oliver Sachs demonstrated, music is therapy; familiar sounds trigger memory and can help people feel like their former selves.

Music can also suspend doubt and fear. Your workout playlist can push you the extra mile. Ambient noise can boost your concentration and thus productivity levels. In short, music can free your mind so you can do anything from dancing with fear to get stuff done.

There’s something instinctive about music that tugs directly at the heart. It needs little if no processing. Even a plant doesn’t need a mind to dance toward the sun.

“Language is used every day, and easily becomes shopworn, and it takes a poet to recall it to its freshness, its ability to embody eudaimonistic insights in a meaningful way. Music is not as shopworn, and thus may cut straight to the heart.”

Martha Nussbaum

Stay connected to the big picture view

Don't be afraid to look back (photo by Wells Baum)

Your business is still a work in progress, as is your health and relationships. Even the democratic experiment is still in action.

What's your credo? What're your criteria? What ethos are you trying to build for yourself over the new few years?

If you can't recall your goals in the first place, consider treating your work etc. as if you were starting anew.

They say starting is the real challenge. But even more difficult is popularizing a good idea that's worth seeing through.

Follow in your own footsteps 

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Prescriptions work until the placebo runs off. If you've ever followed someone else's formula, you've experienced its vulnerability. The path may work for a while before the magic wears off.

The road to success is individual. No person's rise to the top is the same. There are too many variables at play — your wealth, health, nationality, and network.

The only way to emerge from the shadows is to make fresh footsteps. Don't be the extension of someone else's story. Write your own instead.

Working in public

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Start before you're ready. If you wait until everything is perfect, you won't get the feedback that makes your work better.

As Seth Godin writes, “habits are more important than fears.” Sharing and shipping your art alleviates doubt and strengthens the doing muscle.

You have to live with the fact that your production could always be better. But then you'd never show up. Says the South Park creators:

“We realized that’s stupid. You can always spend more time making something better, but really it wouldn’t make much of a difference. The show would be maybe 5% better if we took 4 times as long on it.”

Furthermore, contradicting yourself is a means of thinking. You only craft what you know right now. If you remain open to learning, your perspective will continue to evolve over time.

Blogging, tweeting, Instagramming are all forms of thinking in public. You're going to have to write a lot and take a ton of photographs before anyone considers it shareable. The more you make, the more selective you can be. Keep experimenting.

How to build up and sustain intrinsic motivation

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The thing about cliches is that sometimes they’re true. Take this one for instance: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Competition is the quickest way to demotivate yourself.

You may enjoy excelling, but you will realize the game is really within yourself to achieve greater personal growth. According to career analyst Dan Pink, there are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is rewards-based where things like fame or money drive your effort. Intrinsic motivation seeks a deeper purpose – it drives people to do what matters to them than what impacts the bottom line. Naturally, people that are intrinsically motivated play the long-game.

Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning and into work without groaning and grumbling — something that you just can’t fake.

A Gallup study shows making $75k a year does not make people happier; in fact, they are more likely to fall into the trap of jealousy and bitter competition. Dissatisfied people always want what they don't have.

They say that having a backup plan can demotivate you as well. As Mark Manson wrote, “Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it.” The doing mindset creates momentum. If you want to be consistent you have to “put your ass where your heart needs to be,” says author Steven Pressfield.

When it comes to motivation, consider focusing on why what you do matters rather than quitting just because someone else does it better. A ‘trying' attitude put Jamaican Bobsleigh into the 1988 Winter Olympics–“being there” was like winning a gold medal.

When trying to stay motivated, try to keep perspective by practicing “objective optimism”:

“don’t replace “She’s better than me” with “I’m the best,” but, with something quantifiable, like “This presentation I made really looks great.””

The only way to hack motivation and avoid burn out is to enjoy what you do with purpose even if progress is slow. A thousand drips can fill a bucket.