Working a lot has its advantages. One such is that bad work habits become more apparent. Make the same mistake a couple of times a year and you might not see it as a big deal, but make it three times in a single month and you feel the burn. You best plug that hole in a hurry or the ship is going down. It’s stressful, but you learn fast what strong ships are made of.
I’ve never read much Shakespeare, but I came across this quote from Hamlet today, resonated with me: “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Being true to yourself means sharing thoughts and feelings freely, holding nothing back. Always a challenge for me in the moment.
Kindness has been lacking in my life. Not from other people; they treat me just fine. I mean from me. I’ve been very caught up in my own shit and working a lot and stressing about money. Sprinting head down, never mind the pregnant lady up ahead. My key habit today was to be kind and smile more. I haven’t been smiling very much of late.
Messed up today while proposing a solution to a client. I presented it as being as easy as turning a screw — which it is — but price-wise I forgot the value of knowing which screw to turn. They say true learning hasn’t happened until your behavior changes. I know lots of things about business, but on days like this I feel I’ve learned little.
I’m taking forró classes three times a week now. We had our first exam today, think I did pretty good. But I’m not just learning how to dance here. I’m learning how to lead, and how to feel at ease being up close and physical with the opposite sex. Three weeks in and I’m holding tighter, directing better, becoming more sure of myself.
Almost three years since I’ve stepped foot in an English-speaking country, and I believe it’s starting to wear on me. You exert yourself all day with the work stuff, then go out to unwind but find you have to exert yourself even more just to communicate. Takes its toll. I’m very much looking forward to being back in the US next year. The conversation will be mighty.
Yesterday sucked. One of the lowest days I’ve had in years. Home alone stressing about work, feeling like a failure, while everyone else was out having fun. I went to my room at one point to cry, but the tears wouldn’t quite come. I’m hesitant to write about the doldrums because I worry about being too negative, dragging you down with me. But today I’m feeling a little more honest, and brave.
The Brazilians are taking the beating better than expected. Down in Savassi after the match, the party continues on regardless, German shirts greeted with smiles more than sneers. Myself and a buddy get into the swing with some comfort zone challenges. Tapping shoulders, borrowing hats, requesting hugs, and getting down on one knee to propose.
Lessons well learned of late with the freelancing. #1 is that nobody is ever going to care as much about your time as you do, so you’d better track it appropriately and raise a flag as soon as original estimates threaten to become inaccurate. #2 is never expect to be compensated for time spent clarifying expectations and scope. That’s the price you pay for doing a piss-poor job at the outset.
John Wooden defined success as doing your utmost to reach your potential. He considered himself successful before he ever coached UCLA to a national championship, because he was doing his best day in and day out long before those big wins. He saw success in the effort, the hard trying. All the championships and accolades were nothing but a by-product.
Something I’ve started doing with every book I read and documentary I watch, is asking myself afterwards, “What’s my biggest takeaway from that? How is my life better for having read/watched it? How am I smarter?” Sometimes there’s no clear or obvious takeaway, and that’s fine. But more often there’s something valuable there. Recognize, crystallize.
At a friend’s birthday party. This girl seems to be digging me, my buddy reckons she’s the hottest here, and I know I’m capable of stringing together the words and actions required to make things happen. But man, I just can’t be arsed jumping through those hoops. A good book and an early night sounds more appealing.
Four years and a lifetime ago I was lying on a couch in New Orleans, nursing a hangover as Spain beat Holland. Now I’m watching Germany beat Argentina at a penthouse apartment in Brazil, surrounded by hearts warm and giving. No idea where I’ll be watching in 2016, but something tells me I’ll look back on today and feel like another lifetime has gone by.
My work life hasn’t been going great. I’m trying, and I keep John Wooden’s definition in mind, but it’s still a struggle. My love life is almost non-existent, too, but that I’m not so worried about. The one thing I could hang my hat on was my health. I’m in the best shape of my life right now. But last week came a mysterious headache, and today was nothing but diarrhea and nausea.
Jonny‘s in town, chatting about traveling on the cheap. He does a great job of scoring free or discounted tours and accommodation, blogging about his experiences in exchange. It’s a win-win-win, for him, his audience, and those businesses. No reason why I can’t do similar, but something gives me pause. Pretty sure it’s linked to my boundary issues.
In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?