Arbitrary Goals

The “time” just provides a framework to allow you to get to a place where it’s going to be hard. If you just did it casually, it would be much more comfortable, and I don’t think it would be as transformative or profound, on a personal level.

So, I use the “time” as a beacon, or a motivator—whatever you want to call it—not to break a record, but more like if you challenge this time, it’s going to get you to a place where it’s going to be uncomfortable and hard and … you’re going to learn something.

Really loved that bit of Joe Grant’s Nolan’s 14 interview. It captured one reason a lot of my hikes turn out the way they do. I like being outdoors and have a few regular haunts. But sometimes I can’t talk myself into getting out until I have a “gimmick”, I call it. Some silly goal. Can I do 40 miles in a day? What’s it like to hike an all-nighter? Can I cover X distance in Y hours… with no running allowed? What if I hiked the same 3-mile loop until I lost my mind? So I put myself in these odd situations, and at times I’ve found myself 20 miles out from the trailhead, thinking, “Well, 20 miles to get back home. The only way home is to put the hours in… so might as well get on with it.” I go through all these emotional roller coasters and eventually there’s a certain peace that comes along, but only after I’ve really stretched.

Motivational advice risks making things worse, by surreptitiously strengthening your belief that you need to feel motivated before you can act. By encouraging an attachment to a particular emotional state, it actually inserts an additional hurdle between you and your goal.

Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote, the first 1/3 of which I can confirm is good. After the intro, he talks about Stoicism and the dangers of optimism; this came from a chapter on Buddhism, non-attachment, and mindfulness meditation.

The one time I got a bunch of prizes, I just assumed I’d win them all. […] I really saw something in myself and I thought, ‘Oh, my God. I really did want that thing!’ Some part of me was disappointed that I got tricked into thinking it was important. I told myself, if that happens again, I don’t want to do that. I’ve since realized that it was good I didn’t win, because I wasn’t ready.

Bill Murray on the zen of not winning the Academy Award for his role in Lost in Translation.

We had zero business plan or experience, but it’s amazing what desperation will do for you.

Ryan Peake, lead guitarist for Nickelback.

When people bypass simple solutions to write to someone like me, that tends to mean there’s an ulterior motive on board.

Caroyln Hax. Ha! Awesome.

The New World of William Carlos Williams by Adam Kirsch | The New York Review of Books

In his Autobiography, Williams makes clear that part of what inspired him to become a writer was anger: “To write, like Shakespeare! and besides I wanted to tell people, to tell ‘em off, plenty. There would be a bitter pleasure in that, bitter because I instinctively knew no one much would listen.”

The New World of William Carlos Williams by Adam Kirsch | The New York Review of Books

I was always somebody. I was famous at the Chevron. I’ve had some trials that would have made the average motherfucker jump out a window a long time ago, but if you wake up one morning and say, ‘I can’t do it no more,’ then it’s all over. That’s why I wake up every morning and say, let’s do this shit. Let’s get it.

Young Jeezy on staying optimistic. (via howtotalktogirlsatparties). And don’t forget:

I don’t give a fuck if you’re doin’ petty shit or big shit. […] Get your motherfuckin’ money and make other people’s lives better.

How do you talk yourself into something? | Psychology Today

It seems that when we talk to ourselves or others forcefully about the future, we create an expectation that we now feel that we have to live up to. If we fail to live up to our expectations, then we will feel guilty. So, the forceful “I will” statement motivates use out of guilt. When we ask ourselves a question about the future, “Will I,” then the activity itself becomes the focus. As we commit to this future activity, it becomes intrinsically interesting, and so we are more likely to want to do it.

How do you talk yourself into something? | Psychology Today