For the past couple weeks, I’ve felt by turns physically exhausted, emotionally burnt out, creatively stagnant, and psychologically depressed. - Some contributing factors include but are not limited to: - • The challenges of parenthood • Anxiety about the global pandemic • Trying to write a book that unifies the most important lessons I’ve learned into a cohesive framework - Then, a couple days ago, I had an insight that stabilized my mood and renewed my motivation. It was something I already knew but had forgotten: “This part of the story is supposed to be hard.” Let me elaborate. - In most situations, I’m able to see the big picture. But every now and then, I hit a rough patch and succumb to the delusion that what is happening now has always been and will always be. I forget a crucial fact: I am just passing through one stage in a predictable cycle. - It’s like the stock market. On the micro scale, it might appear volatile or low but on the macro scale the trend is upward, despite the dips. - More to the point, it’s like The Hero’s Journey. - The Hero’s Journey is not some arbitrary framework. On the contrary, it maps out a set of evolved patterns of behaviors that represent how to go from where you are now to somewhere better—a journey humans have been making in various forms since time immemorial. - In every hero’s journey, there’s a stage called The Road of Trials followed by The Ordeal, where The Hero must face great difficulties. These are necessary steps on the way to the achieving The Ultimate Reward. - Seen in this light, adversity is not something to avoid or bemoan but something to confront and accept. It’s an inevitable part of a grand and meaningful adventure. At least that’s how I’ve come to see it. - I’ve learned that when it comes to dealing with obstacles, half the battle is properly calibrating my expectations. Reminding myself that difficulties and discomfort are normal, predictable, and universal human experiences somehow makes them easier to bear. - [Full article at link in bio] —Ruben
11 hours ago
In times of uncertainty it’s even more important to incorporate play into our days. It improves our mental, emotional and physical well-being. It balances the weight of our worries with the levity of lightheartedness. Whether it’s painting a picture, spending time in nature, building something from scratch, or writing a poem, recreational activities literally help to RE-CREATE and renew us. When we feel better, we do better work. - The book in the photo is #BecomingBetterGrownUps by @bradmontague. It just came out yesterday but I’ve been reading an advance copy over the past week and I have to say, I’ve been finding it quite relevant and uplifting. Lots of great insights about reconnecting with the playful, childlike aspect of ourselves and integrating it with our adult selves.
01 Apr 2020
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I feel a responsibility to post helpful content during this time but honestly, I’ve been feeling pretty out of sorts myself. The current situation seems to have brought up some latent negative emotions in me. It probably didn’t help that I’ve watched one too many heavy-themed movies while in social isolation. Not a good idea for me during this time apparently. But I’ve been working through it. Feeling a bit better today actually. Just thought I’d check it. Hope you all are staying safe and healthy. —Ruben
27 Mar 2020
For the most part, my family and I have been adapting well to the current situation (apparently, our normal lifestyle is called “social distancing” 🤷🏻♂️). - However, a couple nights ago, I started to have some anxious thoughts: Will we have enough food? Did I sanitize that Amazon delivery well enough? Will my parents be okay? Why aren’t some people taking this more seriously? - Fortunately, I caught myself before I went too deep down that rabbit hole. I started journaling what I was thinking and feeling and this gave me some clarity and peace of mind (see my COVID-19 story highlight). - In times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to focus primarily on the things we can directly influence as opposed to those things outside our control. I know you’ve heard this before but it’s the truth. In fact, it’s the most useful and practical thing we can do. - If you want to change the world, first change yourself. This isn’t just a cliche, it’s a technical truth: “The world” is made up of individuals. Therefore, the only way it can change at scale is if the individuals that comprise it change. That means me. That means you. - In normal, non-pandemic life, when people talk about changing some aspect of society or the world, it’s often an abstract idea that seems to lie beyond their direct control. They tend to place responsibility outside themselves. On politicians. On the government. On another group. On “society.” - This situation is different. It is still complex but every single person can have a direct, immediate, and positive impact on his or her family, community, country and, ultimately, the world. We each just need to do our part. - Normally, a trip to the coffee shop or a dropping by a friend’s house are morally neutral activities. However, in the current environment, they are not. - I realize everyone’s situation is different and not everyone is able to isolate perfectly. But please, let’s all do our best and take as many precautions as we can. The world is counting on us. Stay safe out there. —Ruben - #coronavirus #istayhome #covid_19 #covid19 #corona
21 Mar 2020
Of course, if taken too far, constraints can become restrictive and oppressive. On the other hand, unbridled freedom leads to chaos and disorder. The balance point is in leveraging constraints to your advantage. As @jockowillink says, discipline equals freedom. - I published a podcast episode a few months ago where I discuss this concept in more detail and also walk you through my personal daily routine. It’s Episode 41 at the link in my bio @thinkgrowprosper. - What are some constraints you’ve benefited from?
13 Mar 2020
One of my goals this year is to memorize the entire Tao Te Ching—partly to improve my memory and partly to better absorb the teachings. The audio version from @audible is helping me do this. Before I go to bed, I read a verse out loud several times. Then I try to recall it without looking. I practice this until I can recall it accurately (usually about 15-20 mins). Then, as I brush my teeth, I listen to the verse several more times to really make it stick 🎧 🧠 - If you haven’t tried Audible yet, I highly recommend it. Get a free audiobook and two Audible originals by visiting the link in my bio @thinkgrowprosper - #Audible #TaoTeChing #Sponsored
27 Feb 2020
The primary purpose of having a goal is to engage you in a process you find intrinsically meaningful or worthwhile. This process will take up most of your time so it would be nice if you didn’t hate every moment of it. Or, even better, if you enjoyed it. - If your goal is to win a marathon, 99% of your time will be spent training for the marathon. That process will span weeks, months, and even years of your life, whereas crossing the finish line and winning is only a moment in time. - As Alan Watts pointed out, we dance to music not to get to the end of the song but to enjoy the song itself.
25 Feb 2020
#ad Trusting the process is easier said than done, especially when you’re building a business. @FedEx is helping by offering a chance to win a $50,000 grant to small businesses that are in the process of growing—and I’m partnering with them to help spread the word! - I know many of you are creative entrepreneurs so I wanted to let you know about this opportunity. As a small business owner myself, I know what a huge difference this could make. - If you have a unique business with a great story, enter The 2020 Small Business Grant Contest at http://fedex.com/grantcontest, or visit the link in my bio @thinkgrowprosper. Deadline to enter is March 2nd. - Tag a business owner who should apply to win this grant! 👇🏽
18 Feb 2020
Sometimes too much information can be counterproductive. What matters is not how many great truths you know but how many of them you’ve integrated into your life. All the knowledge in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t apply it. Wisdom is earned through experience, not bestowed on you because you read a book. Self-development is the process of turning information into wisdom. - P.S. As always, this is mostly a reminder to myself.
13 Feb 2020
There’s a pervasive idea that the path to lasting happiness and fulfillment is to attain the outcomes we want. This theory has been tested by humanity for centuries and more recently by psychologists. The results are in: It doesn’t work. - In my upcoming newsletter, I offer an alternative. Subscribe to receive next week’s email. Link in bio @thinkgrowprosper
01 Feb 2020
I recently watched @willsmith’s interview on @breakfastclubam and I was pleasantly surprised to hear him talk about this Jungian concept in the context of his own life. Of course, he did it in signature engaging and relatable style. If you haven’t seen the interview, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a big Will Smith fan, as I am. - I’ve made the mistake of overidentifying with a persona. In fact, I’ve done it with TGP. - I originally started this page back in 2014 as a way to keep me inspired and curate ideas that resonated with me. This gained me some success in the way of advertising revenue, professional connections, and a larger audience. - But eventually, I outgrew some of the ideas I had posted about in the past. Even though some of my intellectual interests had changed, I continued to post the same kind of content because it was “what the people wanted.” - It took me a couple of years to get the courage to integrate more of my true interests into this page. I still haven’t done it to the best of my abilities but it’s currently way more authentic than it was several years ago. - Do I post less often? Sure. Do I turn away more advertisers now? Yep. But am I a better writer, thinker and more aligned human being? Absolutely.
29 Jan 2020
#ad Especially if you win a $50,000 small business grant from @FedEx! I’m partnering with FedEx to help spread the word about their 2020 Small Business Grant Contest. I know many of you are creative entrepreneurs so I wanted to make you aware of this opportunity. As a small business owner myself, I know what a huge difference this could make. - If you have a unique business with a great story, entering this contest will help you get the word out about your business. It will also give you a chance to win one of 12 prizes, including a $50k business grant to help your business grow and prosper! - Learn more at http://fedex.com/grantcontest, or visit the link in my bio @thinkgrowprosper 👆🏼 - Tag a small business owner who should win this grant. How would you use a $50k business grant? 👇🏼
28 Jan 2020
Something I’ve been thinking and writing and talking about a lot lately (and also acting on, of course 😉) Just published a podcast episode about it. - The primary purpose of this process is not achieving goals but rather cultivating character. Goals are simply a vehicle to help us practice character-developing habits. It just so happens that accomplishing our goals is the byproduct of developing our character. - Check out the podcast and let me know what you think. Link in bio @thinkgrowprosper - P.S. Let’s try something new: To the degree that this post resonates with you or helps you in any way, leave me a 🧠🧠 down below. (More 🧠’s = more useful)
19 Jan 2020