The dentist says you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, but two minutes feels like a long time when you’re just brushing and looking at yourself in the mirror. Start a website that curates submissions of exactly two minute long spoken stories to listen to while brushing teeth. Post two a day. If it takes off, maybe a separate selection for kids.
Change happens slowly. It’s easy to forget that and get frustrated.
You’ll never wake up tomorrow and be a new person, but you can wake up and realize that you’re a different person than you were a year ago. If you have to go back farther than a year to notice real growth, then you need to work harder to move, but if you can look back and see that you’ve changed something for the better in the last year, then that’s good.
Now make a plan for a year from now. Slowly bend your habits around. Add a new routine, or take away a bad one, and know you’re going to mess up. Keep at it. See if you can get it right within a year. Use what you learn from being conscious about that change to make the next one go quicker.
As you get older, change will get harder, or maybe it’ll get easier if you keep practicing, but if it stops you’re done.
You’ll never be the perfect version of you that you want to be, not least because that person will change constantly too. But you can always keep working towards it, and slowly, you’ll get close.
I’ve been listening to a lot of motivational speeches lately. A lot of answers from successful people on how to be successful, on what success is, on how they didn’t really feel successful until they were doing something they loved. They all love their work and they all want to make a difference and it’s all about being happy and making your mark and changing the world. Learning to rest and renew yourself, connect with nature and others and life is key. But also, you don’t get better unless you keep working. Don’t force things, but keep producing. Don’t be afraid to fail, but don’t stop til it’s awesome. All these ideas that seem to conflict and add complexity while saying they’ll make your life simple and beautiful and you’ll be one of the happy shiny people too. Do what you’re good at, eliminate the rest. Ok, but what if I’m not sure what I’m good at or I’m not that good at it, or so are tons of other people who are already doing it or no one wants to pay me for it? What if I feel blocked more often than I feel creative?
That blank page that I’ve been staring down has turned into a monster that has me hiding in the corner saying “maybe tomorrow” every time I get a flash of an idea. All those ideas are piling up in the corner, and they’ve been piling up, and now I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to dig one out or grab hold of a new one that could be the one that makes me make a run for it. And where would we go, me and my fragile little baby idea, once we’ve escaped from our monster? The world out there is big, and full of new monsters, and people saying no, and I don’t know my way through that labyrinth. I’ve seen some maps, but I think they were written for people who have the right gear, not me with my bare feet and empty hands and my helpless little baby idea clutching at my back. Maybe it’s better to keep them here. We’ll stay here where it’s safe as long as you don’t try to move too far from the shadows. Here where they’ll stay my babies, piled in the corner, softly gathering a blanket of dust.