3 Words for 2014

Last year I tested Chris Brogan’s 3 Words thinking and it was a stupendous success. Last year’s words were dissident, High Priest and performer. The goal is to choose 3 words which remind me who I want to be this year. Words which will inform and affect every action, every day.

These words aren’t in play because of what they mean literally, nor does it matter in my routine what they mean to you. The goal is to give myself a quick and easy touchstone for “Is what I’m doing right now moving me toward my goals?”

My 3 Words

My 3 words for 2014: artist, adventurer, actor.

artist adventurer actor

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It’s Just a Song (Not an Autobiography)

Listening to David Gray while we made pancakes together I found myself wondering about some of the things he believes.

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/951615 by ilco http://www.sxc.hu/profile/ilcoWhich makes no sense because I know writers of all kinds have their characters or the voice of their song saying or doing things that aren’t necessarily aligned with their core beliefs. While Web Martin and Jake Calcutta are more like me than they ought to be, I know I’ve written things in my songs that aren’t beliefs I put into practice every day. In fact, the more I allow myself to put words in my character’s mouths or express opinions in my songs which aren’t my own, the more depth and breadth my writing will take on and possibly the more I will understand people who think and feel and say those things.

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Take Your Days Off

It’s easy to look around on a Sunday afternoon and think of all the stuff that needs done.

What’s hard is to look inside myself and see what needs done.

We’ve started scheduling alternating Fridays off. Best Beloved and her son and I rotate every third week. No work, no responsibilities other than what we choose. It’s a day to do what fills us, not others.

Weekends have been that way for quite a while. We don’t work weekends. Except, some things I do because they fill me, not others.

Don’t just plan days off. Take ’em. Decide what “off” means to you, and stick to it.

dayoff

Right and Wrong and Tolerance and Best

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/857772 by Jose Bernalte http://www.mrkstudios.com/Unprecedented tolerance. Personal freedoms. No idea left behind. DIY.

Everybody’s opinion is equal, and opinions are more important than facts.

I have seen people who can’t spell or punctuate properly, in the comments on Amazon, dismiss the writings of brilliant minds like Daniel Kahneman simply because they haven’t bothered to find out who he is and they happen to disagree with him.

It is popular to pretend that all ideas are equal. All roads lead to Rome. Every method has merits, and everyone should find their own path.

Tolerance is great. But there is still, often enough, a “best way” to accomplish something.
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Leveling Up: Thinking Less Like Poor Folk

Poverty changes how you act, in non-obvious ways.

It’s clear that the good quality screwdriver which will last a lifetime, for $6, is better than the junky screwdriver you’ll have to replace in a year for $3.

What slips past folks who’ve never lived in poverty is that if your choice includes “and the other $3 will buy flour so you can bake bread all week, otherwise, you get no bread” then you buy the cheap junk screwdriver.

And then again next year.

Multiply that by every single small purchase decision you make and you’ll quickly see that when there isn’t enough money, it can be almost impossible to escape.

image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1426350 by gvdvarst http://www.sxc.hu/profile/gvdvarst
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Shipwreck and Salvation

Consider this scenario:

Barton and 51 acquaintances share ownership and use of a gorgeous sailboat. One week a year, they each get to take this beautiful home with sails wherever they want to go. Sometimes a few of them join together and spend two weeks, three weeks, even a month out at sea.

One dark night when Barton is sailing, the boat starts to sink. He doesn’t know why. He does everything in his power to prevent it, but it’s beyond what he can do to keep it afloat. Reluctantly, he abandons ship and watches it go down. He survives unscathed, other than the deep-seated emotional trauma of his loss.

But that’s not the end of it.

shipwreck and salvation
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Make the Right Thing the Easy Thing

Last week we talked about why it’s so hard to save money, to lose weight, to do any of the things which require postponing present enjoyment to create benefits later. It’s easy to get lost in theory, in analysis of our biochemistry, in what is. What’s not so easy is doing something about it.

locks
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Why Doing the Right Thing is Hard

My column on why I’m losing weight struck an unpleasant chord with some folks when I first published it. It’s common to hear stories of people trying unsuccessfully, sometimes for years, to lose weight.

Another angle on the same issue: When your income gets an unexpected and temporary boost, through a bonus at work or a project you hadn’t expected, do you bank the money, or reward yourself with a new toy or dinner out?

We experience it every single day of our lives: even though we know what’s good for us, day after day we do what’s fun, what’s easy, instead of what’s healthy and rational and good for our future self.

Do you ever stop to wonder why?

red thoughts
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Time is . . . Memory?

Fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs was a prolific writer, publishing nearly 70 novels in his 75 years. Burroughs was the creator of Tarzan, a much better series of books than the video representations and popular culture would lead you to believe. He also wrote the story of John Carter of Mars which is finally coming out of the obscurity it never deserved. He wrote seven different science fiction adventure series besides numerous western and historical fictions. His work revels in experimentation, with the question, “What if things were very different from what we believe them to be?”

time is . . . memory? Continue reading “Time is . . . Memory?”