Category: Philosophy

Good Enough Donut Shop
CreativityPassive IncomePhilosophy

Make Garbage

“The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.”

Arthur Shopenhauer – German philosopher

We’re all familiar with beginner’s luck.

You play Backgammon for the first time and beat the pants off your opponent – even though you have no clue what you’re doing.

You play Street Fighter II for the first time and demolish your brother despite the fact he’s been working on his special moves for weeks.

You paint your first landscape in a Oil Painting 101 and it’s a masterpiece. Then you paint like a six year old for the rest of the semester.

The Secret Behind Beginner’s Luck

What’s going on here? How can we excel at a skilled activity on our first attempt and then fail right after?

I choose to believe it has something to do with Arthur Shopenhauer’s quote.

When we make a first attempt at something we often expect to fail. Or at least are relatively indifferent to the outcome.

When you play that first game of Backgammon you don’t understand it, you could care less if you win, and you probably expect to lose.

You’re probably starting to imagine how liberating that can be.

Whether you’re starting a business, a 100 day challenge, or writing a novel – one of the most empowering ways to approach the task is to assume you’re about to make garbage.

Of course, when you make garbage the pressure is off.

Tell your friend you’re finally writing an album of original acoustic folk ballads and it’s going to be serious garbage.

You’re free to write, experiment, fail, push boundaries, sing horribly, and not play in steady time.

The funny thing is you’ll probably create something pretty good.

At the least, it will be better than the garbage you thought you were going to make.

Anxious Man
Philosophy

Why You’ll Always Be Anxious

I’d be willing to bet you’re feeling anxious today.

Maybe you’re behind on a project. Perhaps you have to meet new people at an event tonight. Or you’ve spent weeks wondering whether you’ll ever get your new career off the ground.

So you look for solutions to eliminate your anxiety.

Work harder. You put in extended hours to get ahead on your work. Once you’re ahead on all those projects, you’ll feel better.

Numb yourself. On the way home from work you grab yourself a six-pack to help you forget about the relationship that’s not going well.

Tell yourself it’s temporary. Once you get the job you’ve been dreaming of, 20K followers, the perfect partner. Then you’ll finally be free of anxiety.

But the truth is that deep down inside – maybe in the minutes before you fall asleep at night you know, deep down, that you will never escape your anxiety.

You entered this world alone. You’ll exit this world alone.

We were born into a world constructed from layer upon layer of unnatural stressors:

  • 40 hour work weeks.
  • Information delivered to us instantly.
  • Our social conditioning screaming at us to earn more money than our peers, buy a beautiful home, and gain admiration.

False alarms continuously trigger our survival instincts leaving us an anxious mess.

You Can’t Eliminate Your Anxiety (But Here’s What You Can Do).

Instead of being anxious about being anxious accept anxiety as part of life.

Here are some things I do to make my reduce my anxiety (your list might be very different):

  • Take long walks at night.
  • Meditate using the Headspace App.
  • Play with my daughters.
  • Make a home cooked meal (no television).
  • Enjoy an honest conversation with a friend.

Conclusion

Anxiety is part of being human. We can’t eliminate our anxiety. But we can learn to manage it, live with it, and become friends with it.

Have a few seconds? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree?

Note: This article is my feelings about anxiety. It shouldn’t be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This article is my opinions and for general information purposes.