Weekend Reading

March 23, 2013

WeekendReading

Lately, I’ve been exchanging lots of articles, books and posts with friends. They get my gears turning and it’s the stuff I want to be having conversations about. So, while the rest of the internet is a little more quiet, I’ve decided to start a weekend series here to share some of these thought-provoking posts. Grab a pot of coffee (or tea) and sit down with some of these articles. Close your email and turn your phone off. Really read these articles and let the words sink in. Maybe even read your favorite one again. Then share it with a friend and have a conversation about it (or feel free to report back here with your thoughts on the topic).

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Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed – My friend Rory sent me this article and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time since I’ve been thinking lots about work, life, time and money.

The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce. I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing. The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time.

All of America’s well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy. For the economy to be “healthy”, America has to remain unhealthy. Healthy, happy people don’t feel like they need much they don’t already have, and that means they don’t buy a lot of junk, don’t need to be entertained as much, and they don’t end up watching a lot of commercials.

I’ll be thinking about this one for a while. But I want to know – what’s more valuable to you: time or money? For me, the obvious answer is time but I maybe that’s only because I have enough money.

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This Column Will Change Your Life: Helsinki Bus Station Theory – A great read for creatives who always feel like they’re starting over – found via Sandra at Raincoast Cottage.

Sometimes it takes more guts to keep trudging down a pre-trodden path, to the originality beyond. “Stay on the fucking bus.”

Are you guilty of hopping off the bus? While you’re at it – go ahead and read Sandra’s post on putting your work out there and Never Enough Likes.

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The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – A Twitter friend sent me this one. I immediately sent it to Jeremy and Tara. Tara responded with, “Oh man, I want to read this like 20 times. I want to read it every day.” ME TOO.

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:  

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure. 

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The Not Knowing Path of Being An Entrepreneur – Zen Habits has been a favorite read of mine for a while. I just think Leo Babatua has it down. He’s all zen and goal-free but at the same time clearly ambitious and gets stuff done. I’m feeling especially anxious about launching our first Braid Workshop so this read was a good reminder to let go of the outcome.

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What have you been reading lately? Let me know your thoughts on some of these articles – or share with me something that has you thinking. 

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