Today dripped like molasses from an all but empty bottle. Having stayed out 'till 1am this morning (which I rarely do), I was slow to do just about anything. My head felt full of static, as if I was suffering from a low-grade hangover the entire day. (The Nutella cheesecake put me over the edge.) There were aches and pains I hadn’t felt before. I legitimately feared I had chalked one too many points on the board for early onset dementia due to lack of sleep.
So, I kept the day simple. I went to yoga, went for a long walk, got a haircut and then parked it on the couch to watch Total Recall (the 2012 edition) and Atomic Blonde. For whatever reason, my mind craved some double-, triple-agent action films. I think it’s because following the plots made me feel intelligent even though I was doing nothing more than letting my mind cling like a sloth to the tree of the screenwriters’ predictable twists and turns.
Meanwhile, my best laid plans … laid there, splayed out in front of me too tired to even taunt me. My mind and body resisted upping the resolution on my day. So, it remained hazy and devoid of momentum.
The weekends are increasingly becoming this way. It is the trap of a 9-5 job. I’ve done my work, the mind says, now, let me play and let me rest. The problem is you’ve done someone else’s work, not your work. My work is sorting out who my mentors are — building my personal boardroom. My work is writing a book proposal. My work is adding original art to the newsletter and getting ahead on topics and writing outlines for future, more cohesive curations. My work is the shepherding of my ideas and working with collaborators of my choosing to come together and create new ideas.
That’s my work. But that work is difficult to do when the brain wants nothing more than to be lazily fed the contents of a burrito bowl while watching choreographed fight scenes. The energy spent crinkling my brow as I watch Charlize Theron do a four-square step with a prop gun is energy that could go into Adobe Illustrator and the making of original art. And yet, that’s not where it goes.
So, it’s time for an accountability intervention. Here are three things I will do by next week:
- Next week (I can’t believe I am doing this), no matter how bad it is, I will bring some form of original artwork to this newsletter. Brace yourself.
- I will complete a book outline — a real one, and I will share the summary of the draft here. (Why am I doing this!?)
- I will get eight hours of sleep on Friday night. (We’ll ignore the red-eye to Boston on Thursday night.)
So, there it is. Three things I will deliver to you next week. Because, failing to do my work is failing to live my life, and, as far as I know, I only get one shot at it.
Now, here are the five:
If you have CEO aspirations, read this. I actually do have chief executive aspirations, the rare 1 am bedtime aside. This is a summary of 10 years of interviews conducted with CEOs for The New York Times's Corner Office column. It is the column’s final entry, and it is a lovely collection of distilled wisdom.
I know, I know, boredom can be good for you. As much as I am banging on myself for sliding like goo through my day, there’s most certainly value in being bored.
‘Want to be happy? Interact with other people (and apps don’t count!). This is a lovely piece that captures something that has been nagging me for a bit. As I’ve written before, I dread social engagements before they happen, but I rarely, if ever, regret them after the fact.
Why I don’t dream about retirement. Remember how I said I’d go back to school when I retire? Well, I’ll likely be going back part time, since the retirement age is going nowhere but up and we’re not getting healthier, at least not in the U.S.
I (can’t) quit. I’m like Darius. As soon as I start something, I look for every excuse to quit. But I can’t. When things get hard, that’s when they get interesting.