I want to get back to one of my original intentions of this blog. My main one by the way is that I find it thoroughly cathartic and the act of writing creates creativity and by doing it in open forum keeps me accountable (as opposed to writing a diary or journal that can slip for days or weeks without anyone knowing). The idea of only the good stuff staying with us is fundamentally about agency. Priorities are entirely governed by us. What we choose to do everyday is what we choose to do. Sounds pretty straightforward but actually just let that sit in your mind for a second. We go through a lot of our lives on autopilot (if you don’t, well done, start a blog). How do we get away from that situation?
A while back I read a great book called The Happiest Man in the World about a pretty far-out dude called Poppa Neutrino. The book takes some fairly drastic turns but one thing that stayed with me is him saying something along the lines of “I don’t want to drift through life, I want to plan and act decisively to create the life I have envisioned.” Great sentiment I thought.
Then, the other day it came up again in this Casey Neistat video titled Make it Count on YouTube (actually it’s the video after this one called Do More but watch both, best 8 minutes of your day, I promise), where he talks (halfway through Do More) about always taking the stairs never the escalators. He was doing it for Nike and therefore had to stay active but actually it stuck with me as a great metaphor. Escalators are so passive and the stairs are so active. It’s that kernel of thinking that I believe we need to embrace in our everyday thinking that will add up to the bigger things in our lives.
It could be as simple as riding your bike instead of driving, taking the stairs not the escalator (obvs), or it could be something more nuanced like asking for a raise, having that difficult conversation with a loved one, or getting in touch with that friend you haven’t seen in ages. The main thing is, we decide, not ‘them’ but us. Give it a shot. Do something today with agency. Doesn’t have to be big but do it with forethought and intent.