What I learned last week (#156): maximum enthusiasm

Sunrise in the morning over a field.

A weekly selection of what I was reading, drawing, writing, and doing.

“Whenever we don’t allow reality to be what it is, we are in opposition to life. This opposition is the cause of all suffering.” (Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Klemp, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership)

(That book 👆🏼is not just about leadership, applicable to all)

I’m in the middle of moving into temporary housing this week so it is hard to even remember what I did last week. Oh yeah, it was the last week of 2021 and I posted my top 10 albums of the year and favorite albums from December (not the same, but then again, December albums have time going against them don’t they?).

A lot of best-of lists went around last week. I enjoyed many of them, especially these New Yorker cartoons.

I wrote about finally getting to the top of the hill that is always staring at me on a clear day.

We’ve been doing a lot of Lego building in our house and this Lego engineering video is sparking ideas for me (and makes me want to get these servo Lego technic sets!!).

Moving again made me think about how much stuff I don’t need and how to apply that idea more thoughtfully this next year to all aspects of life.

In that spirit of packing a smaller suitcase in life, this post Make 2022 The Year Of Maximum Enthusiasm is just the right companion. Pack less, be enthusiastic, and joyful about what you do have.

As I was thinking about carrying less but doing more in 2022 (at least in terms of things that matter), Escaping the Trap of Efficiency struck at just the right moment. Here is the bit I’ll leave you with for the start of the year:

And so we get to the crux of our human predicament — the underbelly of our anxiety about every unanswered email, every unfinished project, and every unbegun dream: Our capacities are limited, our time is finite, and we have no control over how it will unfold or when it will run out. Beyond the lucky fact of being born, life is one great sweep of uncertainty, bookended by the only other lucky certainty we have. It is hardly any wonder that the sweep is dusted with so much worry and we respond with so much obsessive planning, compulsive productivity, and other touching illusions of control.

[…] none of this is an argument against long-term endeavors like marriage or parenting, building organizations or reforming political systems, and certainly not against tackling the climate crisis; these are among the things that matter most. But it’s an argument that even those things can only ever matter now, in each moment of the work involved, whether or not they’ve yet reached what the rest of the world defines as fruition. Because now is all you ever get.

[…] If you can face the truth about time in this way — if you can step more fully into the condition of being a limited human — you will reach the greatest heights of productivity, accomplishment, service, and fulfillment that were ever in the cards for you to begin with. And the life you will see incrementally taking shape, in the rearview mirror, will be one that meets the only definitive measure of what it means to have used your weeks well: not how many people you helped, or how much you got done; but that working within the limits of your moment in history, and your finite time and talents, you actually got around to doing — and made life more luminous for the rest of us by doing — whatever magnificent task or weird little thing it was that you came here for.

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

Comments welcome!

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