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Letter: New Year's Resolutions

Issue #7 of The Get Some Victory Newsletter went out on Sunday, on the topic of making smarter New Year's Resolutions.

Stefanie Zobus weighted in with a smart reply, and kindly agreed to let me share it here -

Hi Sebastian,

I’d like to add one more thing to what you said. Often times, the resolutions made for the next year are not thought through properly, are quickly and thoughtlessly made, for vague reasons one sometimes doesn’t care about that much, or isn’t aware one cares much. That’s a problem. If one doesn’t think very, very carefully about what really matters, what one wants (!!) to change, and –why- it’s easy to say.. oh well, it doesn’t matter that much anyway. So things aren’t followed through. One needs to know the reasons very concretely, and the consequences of not following through. Instant gratification (gotten by quitting the resolution) is much more powerful than a vague goal stored at some far-end corner of the mind, uttered out loud once or twice during New Years.

Regards,

Not Being a Robot

On Tynan

One of my overarching goals in how I present myself is to be consistent. Although the relationships I have with my family, friends, acquaintances, and random people on the internet is always going to be different, I try to be the same person with all of those groups. I think authenticity is important, and this consistency is a sign of authenticity.

Try as I might, though, people who read my stuff online and then meet me in person are consistently surprised that I'm actually a happy guy who jokes around a lot and is more human than robot. I see why people expect me to be different, though. My writing tends to be serious and I'm always talking about habits or rules or working hard.

Although all of this rigidity is a big part of my life, it's also just the foundation. From the rigid parts of my life I'm able to get a tremendous amount of work done, keep myself healthy, and move towards my goals. But there's also a lot that it can't do. Rigidity doesn't build relationships or spark creativity, two important parts of life.

I think you learn a lot about someone when you see what he does when there's nothing he has to do. And I think by changing what you do when you have nothing to do, you can change what sort of person you are. I design my life to have as few as possible externally-dictated things that I absolutely have to do, and I create systems to fill that void. Every day I have sixteen hours ahead of me, and no one to tell me what to do in that time except myself.

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