Sometimes the best thing we can do is to stop “doing” and just be. You don’t have to “be” anything. We don’t have to “be” quiet, or productive, or useful, or nice. Just be.
In his brilliant album that gave music and lyrics to Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Neil Diamond wrote:
Be, as a page that aches for a word that speaks on a theme that is timeless.
In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg’s classic collection of meditations on finding the writer within, she has an essay on talking and listening with friends as a means of bringing stories to life. She says, …
I love it when I meet people who understand winter, as in the only way to thrive during winter is to take it head on, get out in it. Dress warm and get outside. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.
— Jeff Smith, editor, Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine
From A Cross Country Ski Tale
I’m a northern girl. I was born and raised in an environment whose seasons were punctuated by the first frost and the spring thaw … and the highlight of the year was the day the ice broke on the river.
The secret to happiness in these “harsh” environments is to meet them head on. Dress warm and get outside. Do not let the weather control your emotions or your happiness. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.
But isn’t life itself a harsh environment? Life is hard. The secret to happiness is the same. Embrace it. Meet it head on. Get out in it. Dress warm. If you are cold, dress warmer, get moving.
The worst of states is when you experience neither relaxation nor productivity. Be focused on work or focused on something else, never in-betweeen. Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time.
— Timothy Ferriss, 4-Hour Work Week.
I am on the final chapters of 4-Hour Work Week. As hard as it is for me to imagine enjoying his company, Ferriss is nailing it.
I have always found myself operating from a core set of operating principles — or “first principles,” if you will. Here are my guiding principles for 2011.
- Do the important stuff first
- If I want to read more, read more
- Pay attention
- Listen to my own voice
- Relationships matter
Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
— Susan Ertz, Anger in the Sky
I have to admit that I am puzzled by people who claim to be easily bored. I can’t recall ever being bored. Granted, I am an introvert, which may explain why I have not lived an over-active life. I have always had a long queue of interests that manage to keep my mind occupied. I grew up in the country. The vast countryside was my backyard and my siblings and I always had something to do. As I grew older I discovered books and the world of ideas. Again, no shortage of things to do on a Sunday afternoon.