Small things

The small things we tend to overlook matter: sending just the right words, cleaning up the crumbs, staying for just a minute, saying thank you.

It might not look important at the moment, but doing it just because we can means we care enough to do better.

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We sometimes mistake passion for excitement. But inspiration and excitement often don’t last long enough to keep running a marathon.

It’s better then to build a momentum based on muscle: we can cultivate a constant motivation by relying on non-negotiable habits we can readily slip into without depleting our willpower. It is through this repetitive reflexes that we gain small wins, and automate things that would otherwise be difficult (and unsustainable) to surmount in a given moment.

Care

Genuine care. There’s nothing quite like it. We become better when we put ourselves in the shoes of others, even in just one of the pairs. Putting tremendous value in relationships, commensurate to short but quality conversations, goes a long way.

I realized this when I talked to my doctor. He always takes his time listening and explaining things to his patients. As it has always been casual, funny, anecdotal, informative, it never fell short on concern. He cared whether I was prepared or not. He cared what my decisions would bear in the future. He cared when I didn’t think it really mattered to anyone but me. I know doctors care—what I didn’t know, however, was to what extent this care magnifies to.

Scarcity and structure

I made a discovery last night: what makes people (including me) miserable is too much desire. Too much goals. Not much time, money, and energy to expend.

So at any specific period in our life, we ought to build a structure: zero in the few things we’d like to work in depth. Pursue one big thing and establish non-negotiable habits that will, in the process, advance one’s dream. And that’s it, no secrets—focus and run the marathon.

In-betweens

There’s this dreamy state where we see the end of all of our efforts, or at least a glimpse of it. And this is where we should head for.

There will be fuzzy days which may prevent or delay us from reaching the horizon—some things could get in the way. But we determine whether these circumstances will push or paralyze us. If we’re truly seeing and holding unto our dreams not with dreamy but clear eyes, we’ll realize that the journey, the process, is what we’ve always been here for.

What to do with the heat

There are days you’ll snap and there are days you just can’t keep the anger in. You’re bound to vent it out. And that’s okay. But move on and deal with what you can change—your mindset. We suffer mostly in mind. So knowing that we can re-align our perspective can help us vent the heat into substance, not into nothingness.