Crazy talk

“But we’re never gonna survive, unless
We get a little crazy
No we’re never gonna survive, unless
We are a little crazy”

– SEAL

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.

 – ALICE IN WONDERLAND – LEWIS CARROLL

Compound Beauty Part 2 of 2

In the previous post I wrote about my neighbor and her beautiful garden. She’s always working on it. Her clippers are always in her right hand as she wanders through the garden. She’s a quick draw and will snip a dead shrub or feral branch in the blink of an eye. Her clippers are close at hand and she’s prepared.

Here’s lesson number two: Part of constant tweaking and improving is that you got to be prepared with the right tools. Make it easy to improve and tweak. Structure your day so that you have time to exercise, eat a good breakfast so you don’t snack on junk during the day, buy healthy food so that when you want to snack you have good food close by, set up filters on your email so that you give full attention to the right people.

Equip yourself with the right tools and it’s easier to improve day to day.

Compound Beauty Part 1 of 2

I have a neighbor with a green thumb. Her garden is wonderful. It’s like the one in the film The Secret Garden, but in California. It’s full of flowers and trees like roses, maples and nasturtiums. With the flowers come humming birds, dragon flies and bumbles bees. It’s a beautiful place to just sit and be. Here’s what I’ve learnt from her style of gardening: Always be improving. Whenever she’s out in the garden she does a little weeding, clips a branch here and there, tames an unwieldy mint patch or waters a thirsty lemon tree. Maintaining her garden isn’t done once a week, it’s an ongoing labor of love. The result is a wonderful living and breathing sacred place.

It’s a good lesson for work and relationships. Always be clipping and making small improvements. Small improvements accumulate like compound interest – it starts to gain it’s own momentum. Next time you are mindlessly checking Facebook, stop and ask yourself a question: Instead of infinitely scrolling to nowhere, where could you be clipping, weeding or watering in your own life?

Do a little and do it properly

A lot of people skip daily exercise because of unpredictable schedules, family responsibilities or long work hours. The thinking goes if you can’t get in a proper workout then it’s not worth it. I disagree. Try this instead:

If you’re feeling swamped and can see that exercising isn’t going to happen that day then shorten the exercise window and do one piece of exercise really well. Break your routine into parts like Lego blocks and pick one. Maybe it’s one good stretch or a one set of pushups or five sit ups. Just do that one thing, do it slowly and be present and focused.

Being all in on one thing is way more effective than rushing through a half-assed routine. Most of the time that one thing leads to two things which leads to three things that are all done well and not rushed.