Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Night Links 37

Much like 2016, my "goals" for 2017 aren't what most people would deem "SMART" - they're not so much a culmination of specific tasks I can cross off while on my way to a grand conclusion as they are feelings I want to feel this coming year (mostly healthy and content). I've essentially given up on goals, because (in their most popular and oft-advertised form) they don't work how they should.

Here's the evidence, and different ways of thinking about accomplishments:

First, this article on "staying happy" when things are not going well. I'll have more to say about Burkeman's book tomorrow, but this article is a nice intro to the idea of positivity in the face of negative news: "Paradoxically, it’s through taking action, despite not feeling happy about the situation, that a deeper kind of happiness can arise."

The above leads nicely into this manifesto, a re-imagining of the news from the stable and positive side and a reminder that most humans are good (normal, boring) people.

Same message, put a little more bluntly: "The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience." Pursuing things - goals, happiness, whatever - simply highlights the fact that you don't have those things. Sometimes you "get happy" by giving up and living with the struggle. [Warning: adult language ahead.]

This information is all great if you have a direction you want to struggle in, but for all of us with a "passionless unknown," here are three simple steps to keep going until we stumble upon it...

...and permission - encouragement even - to not love what you do.

Another echo of the same message: "I just worked at whatever I was working on and ended up wherever I am. I continue to approach work and life that same way today."

Followers of this blog know what's coming favorite Elizabeth Gilbert video, the final word on how to think about goals/passions/life choices (it's my top bookmark, y'all):

No comments:

Post a Comment