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Do Less, Think Longer, Do It Every Day, Stop Kicking Yourself

Question from a reader -- 

Off the bat I wanted to say you have a very useful website. Thank you for that. 

I want to change my life for the better, and I have put effort into it, and still am. My problem is I take on to much at once, and with all that clutter and confusion I feel I am back where I started. I could make a list of 1,000 things I want to learn, and 100 habits I want to have. But when it comes down to it, if its not an external change [Habits like flossing I've built] then I lose track. Confidence, better control of fear, productivity, knowing what I want, are all things that don't seem to build. 

I'm a bit off track. There's a lot I want to ask but I'll ask this. 

Being a huge hip-hop fan, what I love is being able to portray your mind, feelings, and topics onto a page with words, and too, words that rhyme. What advice do you have to help me with doing this? I know you're not a rapper, but when I do write, I look back at disgust or thing 'There's no way that came out right'.

A game of chess

On minimalift

At the time of writing, I'm playing a game of chess online. All I know about my opponent is gleaned from his profile; we have had no direct communication. He is an 84-year old man from Israel, and he wins more games than he loses. The game is almost over.

I am going to win, and we both know this, but it takes 4-5 moves for me to make a single step of progress. He threatens and obstructs me every step of the way and I know he won't submit. The man only makes one move a day. Given his age, I am hoping to beat him before he dies.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this man. The life he's lived, the things he's seen, and his approach to chess. He's captured my imagination. I can see him walking through the streets, stopping in a cafe for a coffee, conversing with the locals. Maybe he plays chess there too. He is stubborn and relentless, even now in his diminished strength. He contemplates every move and will not be hurried (not that I have tried to hurry him). Earlier, when the field of play was more level, I considered making small mistakes to give the elderly gent an upper hand. I figured he would enjoy the victory more than I. After talking it over (yes, I talk these crazy things over with others) it was decided that the best thing to do was to play my best. He didn't come here for allowances or special treatment, he came here for the challenge and a realistic measure of his ability. I hope youngsters will afford me the same treatment when I am older.

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