Category Archives: Motivation

Saying vs. Doing

Wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow your own advice.
— Sam Harris.

I struggle with writing essays that sound too much like advice, because I know inevitably as soon as I tell you the ten tricks for getting into bed early, I’ll suffer bouts of insomnia, wake up at odd hours, and suffer from erratic sleep patterns myself.

Knowing what to do and doing it are two separate things entirely.

Having knowledge and possessing wisdom are different: knowledge is knowing what to do; wisdom is being able to do it.

Most months I struggle just to put one practice into play. In March, it was staying in a consistent meditation practice. I completed ten meditation sessions of my thirty days, and that was enough.

In April, I focused on exercise again. I exercised four times per week, and meditation, my previously diligent practice, slipped quickly to the wayside; I completed three sessions in the entire month of April.

So it is.

The only thing I know how to do is to keep working on myself. I am the best place to apply what I know, and my ongoing experiments are the best teacher. I listen and learn from others, without taking their outside messages too seriously. We are all our own best teachers.

It is easy for me to know what to do. It would be easy for me to tell you what to do, as though that were the thing you needed most to make change.

What is hard is doing what we know we want to do.

With love,

Sarah

Go your own way.

“Squeezing your business (or career, or relationship, or lifestyle) into someone else’s plan hurts, and it denies your own self-leadership.” — Tara Gentile, Quiet Power Strategy There are a lot of plans and products out there that sell you a process or a formula. It seems so sexy, doesn’t it? A prescription-ready answer for buildingContinue Reading

Mediocrity is deadening. Be different, be daring, be unusual.

When the world asks you for typical, do one better. When you’re surrounded by people who do only as much as they have to, you’ll feel pulled to do the same. Mediocrity is a pull towards the middle. Averages pull brightness down. Standards might bring the lowest up to passing, but they’ll also be a strongContinue Reading

Why quitting is perfectly okay.

It’s always the same story for me: I start a project, a class, an idea, or a story. I eagerly rush in, align my pencils, lay out my notebooks, and make delirious plans in my calendar. That first day, ideas and dreams pour out of me. Then four days pass. I waver, tired. My calendarContinue Reading

When you fall down, break your routine, or stop writing: notes on re-starting.

The rhythm breaks. The routine falters. You write, so diligently, and then a week slips by. Getting back into the structure of things — writing — is even more challenging when traveling, moving, changing. I can make a million excuses; writing and making time for writing is and always seems so hard. It’s easier when I’mContinue Reading

Are you in love with the product? Or the process?

“My job is to do, not to judge.” — Dani Shapiro Sometimes, as writers or as makers, we become obsessed with the outcome. The work itself as object, as product — not as process. We judge, criticize, and refuse to do the work when we see the outcome as one great failure. Push publish anyways, IContinue Reading

When you’re tired, worn out, beleaguered, scared, underfed, miserable, alone: a reminder. #dosomething

I don’t care who you pretend you are. I don’t care so much who you pretend you are when you’re well fed, well dressed, well slept, put together, prepared, And so called ready… When the polish is fresh and the face newly painted, airbrushed layers covering freckles, pock-marked skin with storied layers hidden; the script lockedContinue Reading

The problem with thinking too big…

“Dream big. Reach for the stars. The only limit is in your mind.” How often do you hear these words? We’re filled with the power of positive mantras in motivational texts, books, and seminars. The problem with expansive thinking, however, is that too big can be just as much of a problem. The problem of thinkingContinue Reading

Words to fill your mind: the power of a mantra.

The words that fill our minds… We all have words that we cycle on repeat in our minds—from worries about being late to songs we sing or words we repeat. Don’t be late, don’t be late, don’t be late, we repeat to ourselves as we rush from subway to office to meeting to appointment. Gotta finish, gotta finish, gottaContinue Reading

Are you letting the numbers deflate you?

The thing about numbers is, we give them far too much power to make us feel bad. “Only” have 100 people reading your blog? That’s like speaking to a jam-packed coffee shop or on stage at a live speaking event. Alexandra Franzen reframes the expectations we have around blogging (and online writing) and I thinkContinue Reading