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Today's (Human) Lessons

David Sherry
2 min read

Ask “What do I like?” Not “What do I want?”

When it really comes down to lifestyle design, and designing your life. Inevitably you’re forced to answer the very difficult question “What do I want?”

I find this question to be very difficult to pin down. If you haven’t gone through life knowing what you want, or assuming you could get what you want, or pleasing others wants, then you likely don’t have too much skill in identifying what you want.

Consider instead: “What do I like?”

It’s much easier to know what we like or dislike, or what our hearts like or dislike than what we want.

Extra reading: Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life

Structure, and Serendipity

The external world (Clients, Customers, and Others) wants structure:  to know what to expect, when to expect it. They want deadlines, processes, and known formats.

Your internal world (emotions, awareness, insight, ideas) want freedom from structure. We seek serendipity and novelty. We want mystery, opportunity, change, growth, dynamism.

This tension is part of our human struggle.

Flaws are natural.

When you pay attention to nature, you notice a simple idea. Every organic life has a pristine blueprint as DNA. However, because of entropy, the expression of that blueprint is always imperfect.

Flowers, humans, whales, rocks, all have flaws built into them. A slightly imperfect symmetry, a missing leaf, a scratch.

Things are flowing and organic, not organized and perfectly neat.

Embracing your flaws is the key step in the Hero’s journey. It is the lesson of self-love, discovered in the depths of finally, fully experiencing the grief of previously giving up those shunned parts of yourself.

See: Walcott’s “Love After Love

Be the weirdest version of yourself.

Conformity is a large part what school was created for. Not only through peer pressure, but through “ironing out” students into “normalcy” and tested against averages.

This was done because when there was a particular view of intelligence that has been assumed.

If you open your lens wider to the other types of intelligence you’ll realize that genius is infinite in forms.

The trick is not to become a genius.

It’s to discover your particular form of genius.

Genius is just high sensitivity, developed.

High sensitivity can be very specific. There are people highly sensitive to coffee beans. To background music at hotels. To the organization of a spreadsheet. To learning exotic languages.

If you become more aware of your particular weird sensitivities, you get clues to your genius.

Shame tells cultural stories that feel like our own.

One of my favorite books of all time is “The Icarus Deception” by Seth Godin.

In the story, Seth notes that in the West, we are only told one half of the story. We are told, “Don’t fly too close to the sun.”

The original version also included, “Don’t fly too low toward the sea,” implying that we should be cautious not aim too low either.

Like a ventriloquist, fear is spoken to us through shaming stories we tell ourselves, that were not from ourselves, but created and crafted in the culture we are in.

Fear is the invisible boundary line at the edge of our challenges. Often this fear is not your own.

The trick of course is how we work with our fears.

The vast majority never materialize, and are self-imposed.

Read: The Icarus Deception


As always, our business-life, our productivity, our effort to create is all ultimately human game.

How can I help?

xx David