1. Think less, live more. I got a hoodie with this saying from my mother this Christmas. I’m 99% sure she doesn’t know what it says, but nonetheless the message still has its impact. What is it that you live for?
I was more stressed out than usual in the beginning of the year, and I had a few people around me ask if I was okay. The Yellowstone trip helped me find space to breathe and in realizing how much time and energy I put into electronic devices. I’ve been trying to be more mindful of my body’s needs and expelling negative thoughts, and picked up yoga on the side.
At least I have socks to match.
2. Sometimes old fashioned is better. The newest technology might make us feel more connected to each other and to the world. From another stand point, technology promises us an intimacy it can’t deliver, and we’re left wondering why we feel lonely (check out Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together).
I mean come on. Tinder’s #13 on the iTunes store top grossing chart. While matching with a stranger may give you an instant boost of temporary confidence, the superficial encounters that derive from the app are far from emotional satisfaction.
Sometimes it’s better to handwrite a note than send a text, to strike up conversation with the person next to you instead of looking down at your phone, and to respect those in your company by putting your phone on silent or completely out of sight. With great technology comes common human decency, man.
3. Being in a relationships is so difficult. Everything you say can and will be used against you.
Relationships can be fulfilling, but that fulfillment isn’t without its cost of head butting and compromise. Your partner can make you feel like a kid again, spritely, full of joy and excitement. Life is grand. At the same time, they make you want to snuff a pillow over their face while they’re sleeping. How this polarity can co-exist in its intensity baffles me.
Being in a relationship is like thinking you’ve arrived in Heaven only to have the cardboard backdrop fall, and you realize you’ve unknowingly walked into the depths of Hell. By then it’s already too late and you’ve signed your soul off to nightmares and damnation for an uncertain length of time. I think at some point you just have to give up and stop fighting. Cuddles are a plus, I guess.
If you’re interested in history and critique of Disney (as a person and as a company), I highly recommend Schikel’s The Disney Version (1997).
4. Great things take time. It can be as complex as a relationship or as simple as quitting a bad habit.
Set goals and work on them daily. No matter how ordinary or extraordinary the goal may seem, the level of accomplishment is the same. There isn’t a defined, universal meaning for greatness. We shouldn’t downplay a person’s success based on our own judgement, and instead uplift them.
Greatness isn’t easy. If something or someone is great, you bet there’s a lot of time investment going in one way or another. You don’t remember a rock, you remember the Grand Canyon. What time is under your hands and power can be shaped into greatness. Greatness is a daily choice within all of our grasps.