Want to get your next thing out the door? Just follow these easy steps, and you too can do that thing you’ve been dying to get out of your head. Feel free to take at your own pace, add or subtract steps as necessary, etc. Welcome to the reality of creating things that scare you.
Be Totally Fried
“Nina, I may actually die if I don’t get out of here. I have Monday and Tuesday. You free?”
Send Yourself a Message
You’re overwhelmed with it all. From the daily things that have to be done, to your latest commitments, to attempting to fit in time for what you actually would like to do, you’re so bogged down that it feels like you’re walking through mud. Or maybe more like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders.
Psst. I have a question. What would happen if you just stopped?
What if, instead of trying to do it all, you only did what felt good?
Instead of pushing through to make a self-imposed deadline, go get inspired. Have a glass of wine with a friend. Rather than rush through another load of laundry, let it lie. Read a book. Chances are good it’ll be there when you get back.
Sometimes, your soul can’t wait for the weekend.
Go Up To The Mountain
Community matters. Relationships matter. Fuck the internet. The only reason it’s ever been cool is because it’s helped me meet people like you.
Come Down From The Mountain
Completely refreshed, inspired… and terrified of what you know you need to do next. Write a book to procrastinate.
Look For A Sign
You ever feel like the universe is bombarding you with signals you can’t quite understand? Lately, I’ve felt an eerie calm amidst the chaos in my life, and I have felt frozen with indecision. These helped me move forward today, and I hope they help you, too.
Have A Small Breakthrough
Simplicity is a vehicle for change. When the basics are, well, basic, money and time are freed up for you to pursue what you want. And that is a terrifying thought. What will you do when you can do whatever you want?
Do What You Want
And enjoy every damn minute.
Listen To Fear
Who the hell do you think you are, anyway?
After another wonderful play, some of the cast and a few friends came over for a party. We talked around the fire until late, enjoying each other’s company while we recounted tales of ill-fated love and nights of too much whisky and trying to avoid how soon we would all be split again in separate directions for who knows how many years.
Pray For Divine Guidance
I want perspective. I’m itching for an adventure.
Universe, I’m ready when you are.
Send me out, and I’ll promise to write it out straight from the veins. Let no detail be left amiss.
I wasn’t going to rewrite this book. I had chocked it all up to youthful folly and bad writing and all that. But then I was talking about it with my best friend who reminded me, “The only reason we met is because I bought and read that book.”
It’s easy to forget how hard it was to learn something when you first started – and how monumental to your development it was.
Have A Momentary Lapse Of Judgment – Err, Be Courageous – and Share Your Work
Years ago, I read The Four-Hour Work Week, and my life, like so many others, was changed for good. It’s a powerful idea, particularly for anyone who thinks the 9-5 is all there is. Keep your work time to a minimum and profits at a maximum in order to live the life you want. Think like a business person, reap the rewards.
In the book, Tim Ferriss coined the now ubiquitous term, “lifestyle design.” Define what your ideal life looks like and what it costs, then figure out how to earn that in the shortest amount of time possible. Makes sense. Earn enough to sustain your lifestyle instead of chasing the almighty dollar.
In America, it’s a revolutionary concept. Elsewhere, it’s understood as, “work to live, not live to work.” You only have to sit through one (rather long to an American) lunch in France to discover how much free time, good meals, and relationships matter when you’re focused on living well. Setting our inherited protestant work ethic aside is challenging enough, but the implications of refusing to embrace the well-trodden path of the status quo is deep reaching.
From the idea of lifestyle design came many followup movements, including minimalism. Now, let’s be clear. Living simply shouldn’t be such a huge deal. Most of the world does it because they have no other choice.
But in America? It goes against everything this country stands for. There is no more powerful vote than the dollar. And whoever has and spends or doesn’t spend those dollars controls the direction of this country. This intentional approach to spending is part of the power of minimalism.
Minimalism’s effect on parents – especially mothers – is profound. Think about it.
Imagine you are a pregnant woman for a moment. (Dudes, bear with me.)
You want to give your baby the best chance at a good life. And advertisers everywhere to help you, so they bombard you with all of the conflicting things a good mother is and isn’t, what you simply must have to be a good mom, what your baby needs if they have any hope of being the biggest, brightest babies they can be. And don’t forget about you! Moms deserve to be pampered, too, so make sure you buy loads of things to bring to the hospital with you, just in case.
Women already control most of the everyday decisions regarding household purchases, but they are about to become even more powerful. That’s because Millenial moms are quickly becoming the most powerful buying power in the world. Embracing all that digital has to offer them and bucking traditional societal norms regarding motherhood, traditional advertising doesn’t stand a chance at getting at these women.
But movements do.
And this movement? This is a movement so liberating, it’s irresistable. The possibilities of what you can do when you’ve stripped away all of the unnecessary, the excess, the pointless – well, they are endless. So tell me.
What will you do when you can do anything?
If you want to learn more about what living simply can do for you, you can order the book Simply Happy: A Manifesto For Simplicity and Reclaiming the Art of Living Well here.