Daily Hour of Clarity

An hour of clarity a day keeps burnout away, or something.

Hey friends,

You might have noticed that I think a lot about staying mindful, aware, focused, and not losing track of the big picture. There are good reasons for this:

  • I've always felt like there are so many more exciting things in the world than I have the time to explore, so wasting whatever time I have feels wrong.
  • I thrive on novelty, curiosity, and excitement, so I naturally say yes to a lot of stuff personally and professionally – oftentimes more than I can handle.
  • The modern world isn't just exciting, but also demanding. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, drown in responsibilities, succumb to busyness, and burn out.

If you work a full-time job and have a family, or are studying full-time, or running a business, or dealing with other life's challenges, there's only that much time you have left for everything else.

Aw, i can't fit Loss into my schedule | Loss | Know Your Meme

When I'm overwhelmed with life, awareness is usually the thing that goes first. Mindfulness routines like journaling and planning help to an extent, but aren't always enough to stop me from sliding into the state of "everything is important and nothing is getting done" (personally or professionally).

Lately, I've been experimenting with making clarity the top priority. As in, trying to allocate enough time for self-reflection, introspection, organization, and prioritization no matter how many other things I have going on in life.

This is more than just journaling, or just a mindfulness routine. This is me sitting down for 30-60 minutes every morning and really THINKING about my life, my work, my priorities, and whatever other things I have on my mind at that time – no matter how much pressure I'm feeling to jump right into DOING.

It's not always easy. Actually, it's pretty hard to do mindful self-reflection when your life is full of urgent-important. On some days, I have to almost physically restrain myself from rushing to do stuff. But it pays off. I've noticed that no matter how anxious I feel in the morning, giving myself this block of clarity inevitably makes me feel more focused, confident, and optimistic. And less directionless.

Obviously, it doesn't have to take an hour every morning, it's just what works best for me. Pretty sure you can achieve a similar outcome by spending half an hour every day, every few days, or perhaps a few hours once a week, depending on your needs, schedule, and availability.

This week, I'll experiment with having separate clarity sessions for my personal and professional life. Both have a lot going on and I'm sure both can benefit from a little more clarity.

Have a clear and optimistic week,


A few thoughts

Fall is coming – SAD. There's this one day every late summer when I go outside in the morning and suddenly catch a whiff of fall. It can be a perfect summer day, but the air just feels different. Just a little cooler. And BAM – I immediately get the feeling that it's all downhill from here. Last Thursday has been the day.

Hype and substance. People who are average at what they do but great at marketing and self-promotion are sometimes (often?) more successful than those great at what they do but with little self-promotion skills.

Loved this

Can a Neuroscientist Fight Cancer With Mere Thought? Apparently, there's a connection between our nervous system and the growth of cancer tumors.

When Everything is Important But Nothing is Getting Done. "What had started out as a nimble organization able to create impressive software now felt stuck. Everything was high priority, nothing ever seemed to get completed, morale was low, and it was starting to coalesce into a learned helplessness where the only solution seemed to be resignation."

A Walk Among the Tombstones "This necropolis is a special kind of hell—a nightmarish place where many things died before they were truly dead. Buried here are men and women who confused breathing with living; those for whom what could have been and what was lie miles apart."

The fun part

Just a couple pictures from last week. Was fun.