What to do in this historical fork in the road
I’m glad I am able to get this out to you all. Between zoom meetings and looking for funny zoom backgrounds, it’s been busy.
Today’s newsletter is broken into three sections: productive, creative, and human. Sign up below, if you aren’t signed up.✓
Would love to hear what you think.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” - Churchill.
A lot of people have things they want to do. Most don't know HOW to do it. I taught an online class on how to create habits by embracing your laziness. More than 1000 students took it and apparently found it very helpful. I’m currently updating it to make it even better.
That’s coming out soon, but in the meantime here’s an article I wrote from the archives.
How to be lazy to make your life better
TLDR (Too Lazy, Didn’t Read):
If you want 3 tips to help you create long-lasting habits even during our current crisis, read my article.
"Pay attention to what you pay attention to." - Amy Krouse Rosenthal
People often say you are what you eat. For creativity, it's much the same.
Traditional media has failed. In our current age, you have to be intentional about your media diet.
You are the inedible mix of the inspirations you put in yourself. You have to create the petri dish necessary for success, inspiration, and creativity.
If you aspire to be original, here’s how to do it:
How to be original enough to make magic - Embrace your Lazy
We’re all curators now. We must learn to carefully curate our sources. It’s only then that we can be truly original.
“Someone threw a stone in a pond a long way away and we're only now feeling the ripples” - Giri/Haji
One of my favorite books, Cloud Atlas, has a weird structure.
It has six standalone stories. Each story has a different plot in a different time in history with different characters. You can read these stories alone, but it's only when you read them together that a deeper meaning emerges.
Towards the end of the book, one of the characters states the deeper meaning:
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
In the book, every seemingly little character decision in one story affects future characters in other stories. Decisions I make today will cause small ripples in history that will affect people generations in the future.
After reading this book, I got obsessed with this idea.
I used to think of history as something that's happened in the past. Or something that somebody drones about while you try to write a crappy poem for your crush.
But history isn't just in the past. History doesn't just happen to people in grainy old photographs. History is also now.
We're living in future history books. And at this historical fork in the road, we get to decide what future generations read.
Last week's newsletter I talked about doing your part.
In this crisis, we have an opportunity. Crisis brings our (and society’s) problems into stark relief.
Even if you aren't living on the frontlines, there is a lot you can do. This week put your ear to the ground and listen. There are a lot of problems out there. After resisting the inclination to be disheartened or find blame, list out the problems you can (or want) to solve.
Then start to create the petri dish necessary to solve those problems.
In today’s world, it’s impossible to be a bystander. We are all caught up in the gears of history whether we like it or not. Choosing not to do anything is a choice in itself.
You are responsible for writing the next chapter of history. For all our sakes, make it good.
Our choices ripple across history. The choices we make at this historical moment will impact what our grandkids read about.
Let’s find problems and build the skills to fix them. Because that’s how we can birth a better future.
The book, Cloud Atlas, ends with a beautiful sentiment.
The protagonist of the first story, Adam Ewing, realizes his responsibility in creating a better world. He decides to join the abolitionist movement.
Adam knows what his father-in-law would say to him: “Only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!"
And yet as Adam realizes in the final line of the book:
“What is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”
Let’s create a beautiful ocean together.
Till next Sunday my lazy friends,