Thoroughly Thursday - the God Save the Queen Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the God Save the Queen Edition. Later today, my family and I are ditching school, work, and normal big-people responsibilities and heading the UK for Spring Break. This will be my first Spring Break trip since... actually, I can't remember. Regardless, there is nothing like leaving the sun and warmth of SoCal to spend six days- seven nights in a cold, rainy locale where tweed is the official fashion statement. As a send-off, our dog Noodle got himself skunked last night (IKR?!), maybe because he thought I was spending too much time packing. For those of you counting, this is skunk-incident #4 in a year for our brave, but very-stupid, dog.
NOTE: I'll be making daily(ish) videos during our UK trip. Check out my Facebook page to stay up-to-date.
What I'm Reading (Article) - The Reason We Keep Putting Off the Hard Stuff
This last week, I read an excellent New York Times article by Charlotte Lieberman called "Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)." Lieberman interviewed a series of psychologists and brain specialists who posit that procrastination is less about the task that we're avoiding but our unwillingness to deal with the feelings that the task will create (i.e., boredom, anxiety, frustration, etc.). If you know that cleaning the garage will be both achingly dull and you'll be forced to figure out what to do with those chipped, puppy dog figurines from poor Aunt Sue, you're much likely to suddenly finding yourself re-organizing your vinyl record collection instead. The problem is the short-term "mood-repair" of avoiding a task runs into the guilt of knowing we still have to do it, which makes us feel worse (Ugh!). There is no easy solution to this, but a few suggestions to overcome those emotionally difficult projects:
Try to stay curious about whatever it is you're doing.
Do the "One foot in front of another" tactic. Just get moving, and it will get easier.
Figure out a way to make it easier to do (enlist a friend, play music, promise a night out if you finish).
Be nice to yourself. No one is perfect.
What I'm Watching - Sometimes You Need a Scoundrel
This weekend, we watched Going Postal, a short, British mini-series adapted from the Terry Pratchett's satire of the same name. In the Victorian-fantasy world of the Discworld, inveterate con-man Moist Von Lipwig (yep, the best name ever) is offered one chance to avoid the gallows in the city of Ankh-Morpork: become the Postmaster of the derelict post office. Richard Coyle is hilarious as Moist, with David Suchet as his (scenery-chewing) evil competitor, and Claire Foy as the chain-smoking equal he never knew he had. Definitely silly, but really charming.
What I'm Reading - K.I.S.S.
In the same vein as Greg McKweon's Essentialism, this last week I read Think Simple by Ken Segall. While many small start-ups can stay focused on a handful of core products or ideas, growth (via money, people, or attention) has a way of bringing complexity to any endeavor. The creative director behind some of Apple's best advertising campaigns of the recent decades, Segall interviewed dozens of leaders (including the ubiquitous Steve Jobs) on the elements of maintaining "simplicity" within successful organizations. Chatting with people like the founders of Ben & Jerry's, Whole Foods, and the Container Store, Segall found those companies that regularly emphasize a series of core beliefs could far more easily fight-off the encroaching minutiae. So, there you go. It's simple.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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P.P.S. The story of a man who dreamed for nearly three weeks.
P.P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.