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How to Have a Good Day: 4 Ways to Make the Most of a Morning

Strategies and goals

Some days can be one problem after another; on others, everything seems to be going out way. While there are steps we can take to troubleshoot a bad day while it’s happening (see “Having a Bad Day? Here’s Why” and “How to Stop Having a Bad Day“), we can also help encourage good days. In my last article (“How to Have a Good Day: The Night Before“), I offered some steps we can take at night to help make the next day as good as it can be. Today’s article continues the topic with steps we can take in the morning.

  • Set aside some time to think. It’s often inconvenient to try to make time in the morning, especially when it means getting up earlier, but doing so is powerful. When we don’t have time to think about what’s going on, we generally act on habit, so that bad habits–like being late, eating poorly, or avoiding stressful responsibilities–can often start a day off on the wrong foot. Our brains have developed to take cues from the world around us and interpret them to predict the future, so that a few bad habits first thing in the morning can set the stage for a downward spiral. By contrast, starting off with a few good choices provides encouragement, happiness, and self-confidence.
  • Remind yourself of your goals. Whenever we want to move forward with a goal, it’s worthwhile to keep that goal in mind as often as possible. If you’ve ever had the experience of making a strong resolution, keeping it for a little while, then forgetting for a few days or weeks when something else came up, you probably remember coming back to it later to feel completely derailed. Reminding ourselves clearly and explicitly of a current goal first thing in the morning helps keep our focus and mental efforts on that goal.
  • Remind yourself of immediate payoffs. Although major goals are by definition long-term, a good goal usually has short-term payoffs as well. Examples include things like feeling physically better when not eating junk food or finding things that are needed while organizing, but progress on any goal also can have the effect of increasing self-confidence, relieving stress, and generating a sense of accomplishment. Reminding ourselves of these immediate payoffs provides a reason to care about our goals even when the long-term results don’t feel important, as sometimes happens when we’re wrapped up or emotionally involved with other things.
  • Be willing to let go. Sometimes the first step in increasing happiness is being willing to surrender things we’re upset about–to stop focusing on upsetting incidents or self-defeating thoughts. As ridiculous as it sounds, I sometimes picture things like this floating away from me as helium balloons. Corny or not, an approach like this gives me a way to separate from what’s bothering me. Consciously committing to doing this when necessary through the day–and starting with any trouble that may already be brewing in the morning–can relieve stress and aid focus.

There’s more we can do in the mornings to encourage the day to go well: I’ll take up the other techniques in my next post.

Photo by OldOnliner

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Mindfulness and Deer Flies

States of mind

One early morning recently I went running with a friend. The sun shone out of a blue sky onto woods and meadows showing twenty shades of green, the air was mild, and the breeze was soft. We jogged up a hilly dirt road between open fields, counting our blessings and waiting for our bodies to wake up and provide the power that we’d need as the slope began to rise more steeply a little further into the run. Then the deer flies came, in little, hovering groups of six or eight or ten.

Stand or panic?
Now, I’m usually a pretty calm guy. While I have my better and worse days, usually my reaction to trouble, perhaps after an initial few seconds of cussing, is “OK, what do I need to do?” Sometimes I even skip the cussing. But where groups of biting insects are concerned, I tend to lose my cool. I don’t want to get bitten, so I hop around and slap at any least sensation on my skin (real or imagined) and turn in circles to try to catch the little beasts in the act. It’s difficult to get running done under these circumstances, and with the flies circling and dodging, it’s also difficult to swat them.

My friend has a different approach. When she realized that the flies weren’t going to leave her alone, she stopped and waited. If one came very close she would sometimes clap her hands together (sometimes getting it, often not), but most of the time she stood there and held up her arms. The deer flies buzzed around her, but after a moment or two one would alight on her arm, getting ready to bite, and then she would swat it–and hold up her arms for the next one. Using this approach, and helping each other by watching for the flies that landed on backs or ears, we could wipe out a whole group of deer flies in just a couple of minutes–even though the first few times we did this, I did more hopping around than effective swatting.

We probably had to stop four or five times during our run to take care of deer flies, but as my paranoia about being bitten gradually relaxed, I found I was able to enjoy the run despite the insects.

Swatting worries
Using mindfulness to settle annoyances and figure things out is a lot like swatting deer flies. If, like me with the deer flies, you’re so worried about being being bitten that you spend all of your time flailing at circling troubles, you’re not likely to actually get rid of many of them, even with an occasional lucky clap. But if when you first notice that problems are circling, you wait for them to settle and watch them–that is, if instead of getting carried away with the worry you allow yourself to relax and see what it really is–then as the problems settle, you can take care of each individual one, then let the next settle.

It’s easier with a friend to watch your back and ears, but even alone, you can catch more flies by watching than you can by flapping your arms and turning in circles. And when you’re done, you can turn back to the road and focus once again on ascending that hill.

Photo by net_efekt

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How Preparation Enables Stronger Willpower

Strategies and goals


While we often focus on how willpower operates at the moments when we need it, there are some aspects of willpower that function best if they’re prepared beforehand. A couple of examples might demonstrate what I mean.

Running up against no-win situations
1. A business owner plans a meeting with a prospective client. Knowing that she tends to be late, she resolves to pay extra attention to being on time. On the day of the meeting, she works on her marketing plan for much of the morning before remembering that she has to complete some important work for another client before she goes. She rushes through the task, but by the time it’s done she’s running behind, and she realized belatedly that she still needs to gather some papers before she leaves. She decides she can’t afford the time to find the papers, hurries to the meeting, arrives 20 minutes late, and is very anxious during her presentation–particularly since she doesn’t have the materials she was planning on bringing.

2. A man has recently started to eat more healthily and has resolved not to eat some of the foods that he used to love because his doctor has warned him of the danger of serious heart problems. He decides late in the afternoon to take his wife to dinner and lets her pick the restaurant. At the restaurant they have many of his old favorites that he has been trying to avoid and not much else that sounds appealing. He ends up ordering something that sounds a little healthier than his usual fare but turns out to be pretty much just as bad. His recent successes with healthy foods doesn’t feel so inspiring any more.

When no-win situations can be won in advance
In both of these examples, the individual is relying completely on acting well when the key decision–to leave on time, to choose something healthy–comes. The woman doesn’t consider making special plans to ensure she won’t be late, and the man assumes that eating right means just deciding well when he gets to the restaurant. Yet when the moment of truth comes along, the woman finds she is still busy with another priority, one she can’t set aside, and the man finds he has few good options.

Both of these situations show people who are trying to change habits using a “business as usual” approach. The problem with this is that changing habits by definition means not doing what we’re used to doing. Both the businesswoman and the man who is trying to protect his health are assuming that if they “just try harder” in some indefinable way, they will succeed. “Just trying harder” doesn’t work: what works is trying differently. In these examples, trying differently means preparing.

So how might the situations come out if the people involved prepare? Let’s take a look.

Using preparation to make willpower easier
1. A business owner plans a meeting with a prospective client. Knowing that she tends to be late, she decides to schedule the time she has before the meeting to ensure that she leaves not just on time, but 10 minutes early. She calculates how much time that will leave her in the morning and reviews her obligations. This shows her that she has to complete some important work for another client before she leaves, and that therefore she’ll need to start on that important work first thing in the morning. She would also like to work on her marketing plan, and thinks she might have time to complete that too, but she makes sure she schedules it second just in case. She completes the work for the other client in the morning and sends it out an hour and a half before it’s time to go. Then she sets an alarm clock for five minutes before departure time and begins work on the marketing plan. She’s not finished with the marketing plan when the alarm goes off, but she gets up and gathers her things. She realizes she needs to get some papers to bring with her and spends ten minutes getting them, but since she had built in a small buffer, she still arrives at her meeting a few minutes early, fully prepared.

2. A man has recently started to eat more healthily and has resolved not to eat some of the foods that he used to love because his doctor has warned him of the danger of serious heart problems. He decides late in the afternoon to take his wife to dinner, but realizes that unless they go to a place with something healthy he likes to eat, he might be in danger of ordering one of his old favorites. He talks with his wife and picks a restaurant that sells a lot of deep-fried foods but that also has a salad bar he likes. On the way to pick up his wife he realizes that he should do everything he can to prevent buying something fried, so he resolves to refuse a menu and preemptively order the salad bar. At the restaurant, the waitress tries to press the menu on him just so that he can see all the options, but he insists that he would like the salad bar even before they sit down. He has the salad bar and it’s pretty good, even if it’s not as good as the chicken fried steak and cheddar cheese soup he would usually have eaten. He even chooses to have the vinaigrette instead of his usual ranch dressing. He does eat some of his wife’s french fries, but not very many.

Perfection is optional
In the examples with preparation, both the business owner and the health-minded man still made mistakes. The business owner could clearly benefit from even more planning, and the health-minded man would do better to completely ignore his wife’s food–but both of them were essentially very successful, and their success was based not on somehow summoning up powerful reserves of self-control, but on steering their own behavior through preparation, and on recognizing their limitations.

All that effective preparation requires to aid willpower is a willingness to look into the future and think about the places where we’re vulnerable to fall into bad habits. In some cases, preparation can get us out of impossible situations (like needing to finish a project before leaving but also needing not to be late), and in others it can just make good choices easier (like providing an acceptable alternative to deep-fried food).

There is no substitute for a good choice
Preparation isn’t a substitute for making good decisions, though: the business owner could have chosen to work “just a little longer” on the marketing plan and ended up late after all, and the health-minded man could have taken the menu from the waitress just to avoid seeming unpleasant, then ended up ordering something he ultimately didn’t want to be eating. Good choices here means surrendering to our own priorities, giving up on the idea of finishing the marketing plan right away and being willing to seem a little unfriendly to the waitress if those things turn out to be  necessary for sticking to our goals.

What’s your greatest difficulty with willpower or self-motivation? Is there anything you could easily do ahead of time to tip those kinds of situations in your favor?

Photo by .imelda

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How To Do Something You Don’t Know How To Do

Strategies and goals


You would think a garage sale wouldn’t be difficult to figure out. You prepare a little, you advertise, you put things on card tables, you wait. I’ve been wanting to help my son set up a garage sale of a lot of things he’s outgrown, where he could be in charge and receive the profits, but I’ve been stopped by the idea that I can’t. I live in a fairly rural area, on a dirt road that doesn’t get any traffic. I’ve been held up by this idea that we should have a garage sale, but I don’t know how to set it up so that people will actually come.

I was thinking about the garage sale this morning and once I really turned my attention to it, I realized the idea that I didn’t know how to make it work was ridiculous. We will either have a garage sale or we won’t. If we do, we’ll either have it here or have it somewhere else. If we have it somewhere else, we just have to figure what lucky friend is going to get us taking over their porch or garage soon, and ask permission. The only reason I’ve been thinking “I don’t know how” is because I haven’t been wanting to face it. Garage sales take preparation, which I don’t feel like I have time for, and they last a whole day, which I definitely don’t have time for, and what if no one shows up and all of the effort is wasted and we still have the things left over? It’s not that I don’t know how to do it, it’s that the idea has been making me anxious. Dealing with anxiety has a lot to do with facing things and answering questions. A few simple answers sorted my situation out. We should have the sale, because my son will enjoy earning the money and will learn about money from it, and because we need the room the old things are taking up, and because it’s a waste to have them here if we can get them to someone who will actually use them. We should have it here so that he can mind the sale and I can do the other things I need to do, checking in with him regularly. And we’ll attract traffic as well as we can by putting signs out on the main road right near us, which will probably give us more custom than we would get in a suburban neighborhood.

Your something may not be as easy to figure out, but there are several useful ways to do something you don’t know how to do. So, what are they?

1. If you really can’t do it, move on
If you really have no way of accomplishing the task in front of you, even after reading the rest of this article,  then the problem isn’t doing the task: if you honestly can’t do it, then it’s not your responsibility. Instead, the problem is facing the inevitable consequences of not doing it. This requires a difficult but powerful tool: surrendering to reality.

The same situation applies if the only way you can do the thing in question is to not do something more important. For example, if the only weekend we could do the garage sale was the only opportunity we’d get for some time to see family members visiting the area, then we’d need to give up on the garage sale. Fortunately, there are often more options than there seem to be at first, which is what the rest of the article is about.

2. You don’t have to do it if it doesn’t need to be done
Sometimes we resist doing things because they really don’t make sense for us to do. If it were for me instead of my son, I probably wouldn’t have the garage sale at all, because the amount of money it brought in wouldn’t justify the time. Instead I’d donate everything to a local recycle shop, which would sell the items to lower-income people for very affordable prices. If you feel concerned about how you’re going to tackle a problem, make sure first that it makes sense for you to do it at all before you start worrying about how.

3. Do it differently if there’s a better way
Sometimes difficult problems become much easier if they’re approached in an unexpected way. If you have something you’re worried about doing, consider whether there are other approaches you could take that would simplify things. If my son had a few major items and otherwise mostly things that would sell for next to nothing, he could sell the major items on eBay or Craigslist, still learning about money and reaping the rewards, and we could give the rest away to the recycle shop.

4. If it can wait, improve your position and then do it
Some tasks need improved skills before they can be done well, in which case a combination of practice and patience will put you in a much better position to get the thing done, provided it can wait. Keep in mind that research overwhelmingly supports the idea that practically anyone of at least average intelligence can excel at almost anything if they get in enough deliberate practice. If I were worried my son wouldn’t do a good job of running the sale, we could spend some time doing pretend sales and finding educational computer games about buying and selling to help him learn. We’d have to decide whether the sale was worth the effort and whether we could wait that long to get the unneeded things out of the house, but it’s possible the effort spent learning about money would be more than worthwhile.

Other tasks benefit from a change in situation. If I were going to move in the near future to a location that’s better for a garage sale, I might store the sale items away and have the sale there once we’d moved.

5. If it would work better with help, get help
Sometimes a little advice or active assistance from a friend, family member, mentor, or even a hired professional can go a long way. This might be as simple as getting a better idea of the task from someone who’s done it already, or as involved as finding and hiring a business manager for your new venture if you’re great at the core activity of the business but not so great at marketing, accounting, and the other general business tasks. For example, I probably have friends who have things they’d want to sell too, and a two- or three-family garage sale might attract more people.

6. If it works best to do it now, just do it the best you can
If it needs to be done, if there aren’t good alternatives, if others can’t really help, and if it’s best to do it now (due to ongoing problems, limited opportunity, a deadline, etc.), then you’re in the same place I was: face things and provide answers. If you don’t know the answers to the questions, get the best information you can and answer them as well as you can. If you’re having trouble facing things, it’s probably due to broken ideas, which means it’s fixable.

7. If you know what to do but don’t feel motivated, get in touch with your reasons
Of course, it might be that when you think about it, you realize you really do know how to tackle this goal, and it really is an important one, but you don’t feel inspired to get in motion. If that’s the case, it can help a lot to get in touch with your real reasons for accomplishing the goal. If they’re someone else’s reasons, or if you’re just trying to fulfill expectations or fit some role, then it may be that it’s not such a good goal for you after all. But if the reasons are your own, get in touch with them: write down what made you decide to do the thing in the first place, or visualize what it will be like to do it–or to have gotten it done.

Regardless of what approach you take, remember that “I have to but I can’t” is a logical impossibility. If there’s really no way to do it, you’re off the hook: no one can make you do something you truly can’t do. If there is a way to do it, all you have to do is figure out whether you’re going to decide to, and if so what the best way is. There’s not always a good way, but there is always at least one best way. I hope you find yours. As for me, I have to help my son go sort through some old toys.

Photo by m.gifford

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Knowing Isn’t Enough: The 4 Steps Between Knowledge and Action

Strategies and goals

crossingKelly McGonigal recently Tweeted about a British Psychological Society post in which psychologists talk about things they still don’t understand about themselves. It’s really interesting reading, but the particular thing that I connected with was University of Texas psychologist David Buss saying “One nagging thing that I still don’t understand about myself is why I often succumb to well-documented psychological biases, even though I’m acutely aware of these biases … One would think that explicit knowledge of these well-documented psychological biases and years of experience with them would allow a person to cognitively override the biases. But they don’t.”

I know why Buss sometimes fails to act according to things he knows perfectly well, and yet I do the same thing myself, for instance a couple of weeks ago when I had a serious communication breakdown that I later saw wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d  used all of the communication skills I’d been learning for years (see Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High or Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life). Actually, that’s the whole point of this post: just knowing something about how our minds work is not the same thing as using that knowledge.

So what’s the gap between knowing and doing? There are actually four gaps. Lucky for us, none of them is very wide.

1. Noticing opportunities to use the knowledge
The first step is a kind of mindfulness: in order to use, say, a communication skill, I need to be thinking about my communication as I’m doing it so that I can notice, “Hey, here’s a great opportunity to summarize my friend’s concerns!” Mindfulness can be improved with tools like meditation, feedback loops, and decision logging.

2. Understanding how to apply the knowledge
It’s good for me to know that I should try to summarize a person’s concerns back to them, but I need to know more than that abstract idea: I need to know how I go about it, perhaps having a step-by-step method I can use to apply the information I have, or some test I can use on my intended behavior to see if it would fit the information.

3. Surrendering objections
By definition habits are hard to change, and if you’re trying to act a different way, you’re trying to change a habit. Changing habits usually means giving something up, for example pride, less-than-ideal strategies you’ve been using for years, or defensiveness. In my case, if I want to make sure the person I’m talking to knows they’ve been heard and understood, I have to give up the impulse to do a critique of what they just said and instead be willing to understand first, react second. People are much more comfortable hearing someone else’s ideas when they know for sure that their own ideas have already made it across.

4. Making the effort
Putting a piece of knowledge into play requires conscious effort: there’s usually nothing automatic about it. Effort means a decision to devote at least a little bit of time and attention at the right moments to using the knowledge.

In an article on learning and the brain, I talk about how acting on knowledge helps us learn it better. For this article or any piece of knowledge you gain that might be useful, it can make all the difference to use it as soon as possible, several times, both in order to get used to the specific skill and to fix it in your brain. If we don’t go out of our way to bridge the four gaps between information and action–noticing opportunities, understanding how, surrendering objections, and making the effort–then the knowledge isn’t any more useful in our heads than it is left on the page, unread.

Photo by magnusfranklin


Relaxing a Little and Focusing on Positive Interactions at Zen Habits


Leo Babuta at Zen Habits posted an article on parenting yesterday that’s well worth reading. It’s interesting, because he doesn’t have a lot of hard evidence to back up what he’s saying, yet his points resonate strongly with what I’ve learned by trial and error (and there has been a lot of error, I can tell you) in parenting.

Several of his points about parenting, interestingly enough, touch on important elements of motivation. Several of his points have to do with surrendering immediate inclinations (like being angry or saying no or insisting on your own point of view) in order to improve your relationship with your kid and get a better outcome, and these are excellent examples of the impressive powers of surrender that I talk about in this post.

He also talks indirectly about a point I’ll get to in future posts, which is the value of investing in the important relationships in our lives. Positivity, following natural inclinations, and using happiness as a sign post also come up. I’m curious what non-parents might think of the article, and whether you find much in it that you can use elsewhere in your life.

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Specific Steps We Can Take Toward Accepting and Moving On

Handling negative emotions


In a recent post, I talked about the importance of being able to resign ourselves to certain truths in our lives if we want to move forward. To put this another way, sometimes our ideas about how things “should be” holds us back, and accepting the world as it really is can free us of those ideas. Here are some specific areas where acceptance can help lighten the load. Probably none of these will be new to you, but learning to accept them better is the kind of thing that can benefit any of us.

There will always be a certain amount of suffering in the world, and some of it will come to each of us–but we can help alleviate the suffering of others and can work toward being able to take it in stride when suffering comes directly to us.

The world outside us won’t always be the way we want it to be: people will drive dangerously, decisions will be made that we don’t think are best, and sometimes people will be treated unfairly or unkindly. However, we ourselves can strive to do things as much as possible the way we would want others to do them.

There are limitations to how much we can change or fix in our lives at one time, and there’s no single, magic solution to all problems.

Striving to do something difficult will usually mean some failures along the way. Failing is a normal part of the process of reaching a goal. Major life changes rarely can be accomplished overnight and without a few setbacks.

In order to get to what’s really important in our lives, sometimes we have to let go of things that are less important, for instance plans we might have had or desires we meant to fulfill. Letting go of unimportant things pays off handsomely in giving us resources and attention to focus on the important ones.

A technique called “cognitive restructuring” or “idea repair” can aid constructive thinking in these areas. You can find more information about this process in my posts on broken ideas.

Photo of Brisbane traffic by neoporcupine


Why Self-Reliance Requires Surrender

States of mind


Terms like “resignation,” “surrender,” and “submission” are practically cuss words in Western culture–certainly in America, anyway. Americans are brought up to believe that we should never give in to anybody, never submit to anything, and always be in control. We’re led to believe that strength always requires this kind of control, and so we tend to think of things like drug trafficking, terrorism, and our own habits as things we need to wage war on rather than things we simply need to find solutions to. Drug trafficking and terrorism are way, way outside the scope of this site, but there’s a crucial lesson about habits here. That lesson is resignation: to truly conquer bad habits, we need to surrender to our own best choices.

The kind of surrender we’re talking about here isn’t the kind where you give up your will to another person, or another force, or someone else’s ideas: instead, it’s letting go of things that may feel comfortable or at least familiar but that are holding you back, like broken ideas, and being willing to make new choices. It’s giving up the things we think we want, when necessary, to achieve the goals that are actually most important to us.

One example that many of us struggle with on a daily basis is priorities. If a person honestly has more things to get done than they’re able to handle, as many of us do, really taking control of the situation requires, strangely enough, letting go of some control. To put it plainly, if I have more to do than I can accomplish, then I’ll be able to handle things best if I resign myself to the fact that certain of those things aren’t going to done–and use that new point of view to make sure the most important items will get done.

fallingFailing to resign ourselves in situations like that means that the things left undone are determined by whim and chance instead of by choice. If I “need” to practice some music, buy some new shoes for my son, exercise, answer some e-mails, and look up a new book I heard about, yet don’t have time for all of those things, then I run the danger of running out of time and (for instance) not getting the shoes and not exercising. As a matter of fact, I may naturally gravitate toward the least important and most immediately appealing of those things, like playing the music and surfing the Web reading reviews of the book. When I explain why I didn’t exercise or buy the shoes later, I may say “I just ran out of time.” Yet in actuality, not resigning myself to the time limitations in the first place meant that I really would have been choosing to do the less important things over the shoes and the exercise. If I resign myself to not having time to learn new music and buy new books, I might get done everything I actually need to get done, and while this may seem less appealing in the moment, over the long term I’m likely to experience more pleasure and more happiness because of having made these seemingly less appealing choices.

Which leads us to another important place for resignation: easy pleasure now versus happiness in future. For instance, I regularly do push-ups, building up my strength both for general health and as part of my Taekwondo training. In the moments I’m doing them, push-ups are hard to enjoy: they make me breathe hard and cause my muscles to strain in a way that feels suspiciously like mild pain. Yet if I don’t resign myself to experiencing this mild pain, then I’ll tend to avoid push-ups most of the time and won’t experience the pleasure of having that strength and being able to do the things push-ups allow me to do (even if that’s mainly just more push-ups).

Another kind of resignation that can make a world of difference in self-motivation is resigning ourselves to take responsibility rather than putting the blame outside ourselves. For instance, if a person has major financial problems but fails to take action because they feel those problems are mainly other people’s faults, they’ll most likely continue to have financial problems. It’s giving up that excuse of blaming outside conditions and resigning ourselves to take responsibility for our own lives that enables us to have some power over our situation.


There’s a surprising and wonderful side effect to resignation, too: it makes unenjoyable things more enjoyable. When I resign myself to doing push-ups, I’m no longer telling myself “These are hard. These are painful. I don’t want to do these.” Instead I’m saying “Time to do some push-ups. I can manage this.” This doesn’t make the exercise any more physically comfortable, but it frees up my attention to focus on things like the power I’m feeling in my muscles and the joy I can take in increasing my personal record, doing a few more push-ups than I’ve ever done in one go before. There are elements to enjoy in virtually any seemingly unenjoyable step to a worthwhile goal. Even hunger can bring a smile to your face if you resign yourself to a little of it (in a healthy context) and begin to experience it as the sensation that often goes with your body burning stored calories–and I say this from experience. But more on enjoying the unenjoyable in another post, because that’s a big subject.

So how do we know when to use resignation in our lives? Resignation is needed whenever we know what we need to do but are having trouble bringing ourselves to do it.

Resigning ourselves, as much as it sounds like knuckling under, is really much more like bravery than cowardice. We can go out and face the dangers that worry us and surrender ourselves to the possibility that we might be hurt, might have to go through something difficult, or might fail; or we can hide and hope that things will just somehow work out, often ensuring hurt and difficulty and failure. Surrender here means not giving up what’s important, but giving up what isn’t: more often than not we need to give up things we think we want in order to get the things we really want.

Chess photo by Some nutter called Mark Grimwood
Letting go picture by niko si
Diving picture by mcescobar1


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