Tag Archives: self-help

The Rut, & the Way Out from the Zen Habits Blog

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Post written by Leo Babauta.

You’re in a rut, and you can’t get unstuck.

Motivation is a resource that seems harder and harder to come by these days. You’re mired in malaise, you’re unexcited after a slump or a break, you’re in a dull 9-to-5 routine.

Any of these sound familiar?

If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been in these kinds of ruts, often, and sometimes for embarrassingly extended periods. While it doesn’t happen much these days, as I’m excited about everything I do, I’m no stranger to the rut. I was stuck in one for a couple years once, until I felt the rut wasn’t something I was in, but was me.

What is the way out? How do you start along this way if you don’t have motivation to start with?
I’ve found that the best way out of a rut is with the smallest step possible. But that step can result in more than you realize.

What if that smallest step is to announce a major challenge? In my recent past I’ve announced 30 days of yoga, writing a novel in 30 days, and some grueling physical challenges. In years past I’ve announced that I’m going to run a marathon, do a triathlon, start a blog, give up my car, give up meat, and so on.

Here’s the thing: the first step wasn’t to take on a major challenge. It was simply announcing it. And announcing something is really really easy. Doing it is much harder, but once you’ve announced it, you have some momentum, and you’re committed to a direction. Making the announcement only takes the moving of your lips and some hot air, or the typing of your fingers while your email program is open, and let’s face it, you do those things even when you’re in a rut.

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Killing the Internet

No-Internet

Why Kill the Internet?

Written by Joshua Millburne

Earlier this year I made the conscious decision to remove all internet service from my apartment. It ended up being the best decision I ever made with respect to productivity.

Why Kill the Internet?

Why did I get rid of the internet at home?

Well, there is one primary reason: I was not content with my productivity. I felt I could do more meaningful things than spend time on the internet—meaningful things like write, exercise, contribute to others, establish connections with new people, and strengthen existing relationships.

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The best goal is no goal…

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“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Post written by Leo Babauta

The idea of having concrete, achievable goals seem to be deeply ingrained in our culture. I know I lived with goals for many years, and in fact a big part of my writings here on Zen Habits are about how to set and achieve goals.

These days, however, I live without goals, for the most part. It’s absolutely liberating, and contrary to what you might have been taught, it absolutely doesn’t mean you stop achieving things.

It means you stop letting yourself be limited by goals.

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The Mirror Slave Dialectic

The Mirror Slave Dialectic

by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

You, like me, probably have a mirror face. It’s close to my “photo face,” but it’s a separate beast. My face contorts itself not because it will be recorded for Facebook posterity, but because I desperately need to believe certain things about my appearance. My mirror face is an attempt to correct things about my visage I don’t like: The pout makes my lips fuller. The tipped chin minimizes the broad planes of my face. The widened eyes and softened gaze call attention to my best feature. You may even find me ever so slightly sucking in my cheeks. A friend of mine—whose womanly charm lies in her mix of acerbic wit and casual grace—turns into a bright-eyed, prepubescent pixie when she looks in the mirror. Like me, she has no idea she’s doing it, and when she tries to stop, it only gets worse.

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How do I define living?

How do I define living?

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Ask yourself: How do I define living?

Do more of that. Start today.

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