The world is a magical place limited to some extent by our low expectations. Today while I was meditating these ideas bubbled up: [Read more…]
I went into my office (If it’s laundry day, the commute is hell) to check on my goals. They’re written on a big old calendar which sits open on my desk. Evidently I’ve drifted so far away from my goals that I can’t remember them without reading my list. But anyway, I inadvertently dumped a glass of red wine across them. So the ink ran and the red covered the letters and now I can’t see them.
Accident? Or my subconscious rebelling? Bad subconscious. Down, girl.
Hey, life is complicated. If you read this blog regularly, you know my life just got a teense more busy, with my Mom’s hospitalization. I’m not a maniac; I would defer my goals for a few months, but the only thing that bothers me is that next year I’ll be wanting to make new goals and there will be the old ones all over again. And I’ll feel kind of like a failure, or at the least, hugely unmotivated.
So I want them done. Completed. I want new goals. I want to see progress, but I have so little time. Which is why I felt so excited when I discovered a solution, something smart and helpful, from a great book called The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.
You might be thinking, 4 hours? What a huckster this guy must be! But I loved what he had to say, based on long-time science and his own curious, energetic brain. For example, he reminds us of the Pareto Principle, wherein 80% of our results arise from 20% of our efforts. In his example, he decided to get rid of all his customers except the 20% who generated the most sales for the least effort, and he ended up working less and making more.
Now, as a writer, I’m not sure how I’ll use that information, but I might stop wasting so much time on the Internet where it’s not productive, and assess what, for example, drives more readership to this blog. (I once got 355 hits in one day from commenting energetically all over the Huffington Post.)
Another example: if I look for a way to limit tasks to those that will generate the most outcome, having a GREAT logline for my next novel would be one way, because it would force me to focus. My draft will be tighter, and I can avoid wasting time and creativity on dead ends or misdirected characters.
In my next post, we’ll talk about another proven scientific principle for increasing your outcomes via reduced effort.
(Update on Mom: she is now at a rehab hospital near my home and I can see her daily. She was sad last night but it’s our way to lose our strength in the evening and regain it in the morning, so she knew not to let it overcome her. Still, she was dealing with the frustration of having been SO CAREFUL and still falling and breaking her leg. What a setback at 85! More later.)
Kindle readers can email me at Lmspreen@yahoo.com.
I was standing in a mini-mart the other day waiting to pay for gas, and the beautiful young woman in front of me was complaining to the cashier that even though she’s 30, she always gets carded. I said, “It’s because you’ve got a face like a peach.” It just flew out of my mouth, and then I was glad, because she got it. The girl’s eyes got real big and her mouth opened in this gigantic smile as she thanked me. For a second I thought she was going to hug me.
Recently I was walking out of an office and a woman was walking in, and we held the doors for each other and then laughed, and as I went through, I told her the truth: “You look wonderful.” She did. She had gone to a lot of trouble on her hair and makeup, and her outfit and jewelry were to die for. “Thank you,” she said, beaming. I think when you hand someone a spontaneous, honest compliment like that, it’s so unexpected that you get extra mileage out of it. Maybe that’s because the recipient knows in her gut that a total stranger wouldn’t say that unless it was sincere.
I read about this a long time ago, in a now-defunct magazine called “Lears – for the Woman Who Wasn’t Born Yesterday.” The writer said she was standing on a street corner in NYC, and this woman marched up, dressed to the nines, very tall, very put together, quite intimidating. Everybody was watching her, and her eyes were narrowed, as if daring someone to whistle. She stopped next to the writer, who said, “You look magnificent!” The tigress melted.
Of course we’re afraid to compliment strangers. It’s a weird old world out there, so we’re more guarded, but I think that makes it even nicer when it happens. Go ahead, take a chance. Tell another woman she looks great. Say it with conviction and a smile. Yes, it takes a bit of courage, but why not generate a burst of positivity in the world? The worst she can do is ignore you. The best that can happen is that you’ll feel great about yourself all day long.
I’m laughing about how a friend recently had a run-in with a younger person. This younger person expressed doubt that older people could learn new things. [Read more…]