Two things came together this weekend to get me thinking about direction. I’ll tell you the story, maybe it’ll work for you too.
Last week, my friend Justin and I suggested we trade books for a month, so that I could get him thinking with mine and he could get me thinking with what he reads. Second, I sawÂ Adam Gratrixï»¿ present at a conference this week about the podcaster as shaman, bringing up stuff about Ken Wilber and other writers. Basically he really impressed me and got me thinking about what I’m putting in my head.
So I get home from the conference yesterday and start looking through my bookcase, because I need to hand Justin 4 books on Thursday that will challenge him. I know he’s going to be handing me things like James Merrill, who writes 800-page epic poems that are about him talking to spirits through a Ouija board, and I’m looking for stuff that will challenge him, too. So I’m looking through my books.
I realized then, looking at my bookcase, that I had nothing great, nothing challenging, at all.
I see Ogilvy on Advertising and I think, huh, this is pretty good, but then I realize it’s all commerce and not worthy of being in my 4 books. I see Linchpin and I go “A smart person wouldn’t be challenged by this. They’re already doing cool stuff.”
“We are what we repeatedly do,” said Aristotle. When I looked at my bookshelf, I thought, “Is this what I repeatedly do?” I wasn’t challenging myself. I saw the things around me and realized my hurdles are too low.
Do one thing for me today. Look around your house. Look at every object you have there, and reflect on it. Ask yourself, “Is this what I’m about?” If it isn’t, then maybe it should go.
So last night I’m hanging out with some friends and Alistair hands me Ken Wilber’s A Brief Theory of Everything and I remembered that, 10 years ago, I had tried reading him but couldn’t bring myself to finish it. “Too hard,” I had thought. But then I thought about Adam’s session that morning at PAB and thought “If I loved this content so much, I should be about this.”
So I borrowed the book. I’m reading it now.
I haven’t thrown everything away, but I have started with something I’d be happy to put on the shelf– something I want to be about. So I’m trying.Â You should too.
Find one way to raise your hurdles today. It’ll be worth it. You’ll have challenged yourself, and you’ll have won. You’ll be better for it. Go.