It started out of spite.
A subtle act of defiance against my mom and sister.
They made me shave my mustache for my sister's wedding last Summer.
I forgave but did not forget.
In January of this year, I began rebuilding.
And after 8 months of flexing as hard as I can in front of the mirror...
The day has finally come.
My mustache has attained dad status.
It's the best mustache you've seen since your pops retired his after the summer of '69.
Don't deny it.
We both know it to be true.
What I'm learning/thinking about 🧠
Doing the opposite of what comes naturally.
Any "high-achiever" can relate to what I'm about to share.
Imagine you've had a long weekend with friends where you didn't get to any of the to-do list you had apportioned for Sunday.
As you begin to plan for the week ahead, you're filled with a sense of dread and anxiety.
There's simply too much to get done.
But instead of relaxing into the acceptance of this fact, you begin to do the math.
"If I work 15 hours every day, cancel social plans, and eat lunch while working, I may be able to get it all done."
This is the natural response, the one choreographed by our inner critic.
You might even get a (sick) sense of satisfaction as you prepare to bear down and enter monk mode.
But here's the thing:
This is the wrong response.
Instead of skipping the activities that give you life (i.e. exercise, social plans, time to think), you need to do the opposite.
Give yourself LESS time to get everything done, not more.
I could wax endlessly about the fact that you simply won't give a shit how much work you completed at the end of your life.
Or how your value as a human isn't based on your achievements.
But the most poignant argument lies within Parkinson's Law:
Work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion.
When I give myself 3 hours to write this newsletter, it takes 3 hours.
But if I only have 1 hour, it gets done and is often better.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with your to-do list, DO NOT start cutting out all of your life-giving activities (and people) like a madman running with scissors.
I've done this far too many times in my life to count.
Instead, lean into your time constraint.
Two things will happen that may surprise you:
1.) The world won't end (or care) if you don't check every box on your to-do list
2.) You will get MORE done in LESS time
P.S. Check out Oliver Burkeman's article to read a much more eloquent explanation of what I shared above.
Quote of the week 📜
"Reality - Expectations = Happiness"
- Shane Parrish
What I'm listening to 🎧
Nine minutes of pure wisdom on giving yourself permission to be creative.
Listen to Ethan Hawke's amazing Ted Talk here.
Here's my favorite quote from it:
Most people don't spend a lot of time thinking about poetry. They have a life to live, and they're not really that concerned with Allen Ginsberg's poems or anybody's poems, until their father dies, they go to a funeral, you lose a child, somebody breaks your heart, they don't love you anymore, and all of a sudden, you're desperate for making sense out of this life, and, "Has anybody ever felt this bad before? How did they come out of this cloud?"
Or the inverse -- something great. You meet somebody and your heart explodes. You love them so much, you can't even see straight. You know, you're dizzy. "Did anybody feel like this before? What is happening to me?" And that's when art's not a luxury, it's actually sustenance. We need it.
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Sent with lots of love,
Gregory Russell Benedikt
Talk to me: firstname.lastname@example.org