Get out of your head...
“I decided I’m going to have to take the risk here because nobody can accept and like me if they don’t know me..." - Mara
The five:
  1. I am fascinated by the ego, and here are 25 ways to kill the toxic ego that will ruin your life. Once you’ve gotten that pesky ego out of the way, you can adopt some new mental models and learn how to train your brain to think in new ways. Speaking of thinking in new ways, here’s Scott Galloway’s take on the equation for a life well lived. Oh, there are six new traits that researchers found to be linked to workplace success
  2. One of the benefits of making a lot of money is getting to buy back your time from things such as laundry, driving, booking meetings and travel, but maybe outsourcing everything isn’t the right thing to do.💰Also, it turns out folks are outsourcing quite a bit of their writing work (who said writing isn’t valuable? 💰 People who don’t communicate … so, no one.) Yet writing can pay so gosh darn little, so if you’re a writer like me and think you’re on the path to burnout, here’s how you can find out before you’re in its grasp. 💰If you’re not a writer and want to become a good storyteller, here’s a how-to
  3. Where black, female executives explore intersectional invisibility and strategies to overcome it. 💰That brings me to patience — so … much … patience — and the power of waiting. Also, if you’re waiting to become successful, first, you'll want to stop waiting around, also you'll probably appreciate knowing that success is not about free will, success is all about luck (speaking of luck, here’s how winners keep winning, apparently). Also, here’s the most efficient way to keep your resume up to date, and if answering email stresses you out, here’s why.  
  4. Family is everything for me, so this piece on how to maintain sibling relationships 💰is probably one of the most useful pieces I’ll be sharing this week. I’m also getting up there in years, so what happens when I stop being called mademoiselle (assuming it hasn’t happened already ... I don’t visit enough French cafes … clearly) and start being called madame? Welcome to 40, apparently.💰Also, I’m feeling those airplane sardine-can seats more and more as the years tick by, here’s how to actually have a good flight.💰Oh, and you know those outdoor fitness trails with the equipment on them? Well, here’s how to use that stuff
  5. Have you ever thought about where your glasses lenses come from? If you have, this piece is for you. Also, speaking of paying attention to the little things, when everyone’s nose-deep in their feeds, here’s the skill successful people double down on and the five habits that can add more than a decade to your life. Speaking of skills, here’s what happened when a journalist gave PR a try
💰 = Paywall, though please do consider paying to read what people write. Writers like to eat too.  

💖 ❤️ How to live in your heart 💖 ❤️
"What is the one thing you could do today that, if you did it, would make everything else easier -- if not irrelevant?” 

It took me a while to answer this question when I encountered it. I thought about it for at least a solid minute, and even then my answer was short of truly honest. I came up with surface level things, such as “having someone hand me a billion dollars, cash” or "a triple-jump promotion", or “owning my home outright”.  

Meh.  

When it comes to questions like these, the head is a terrible place to sort things out. The fact of the matter is, I have lived my entire life in my head and very little of it in my heart. If I were to diagnose everything that’s not quite right with my life, it would have everything to do with the fact that, when it comes to making key decisions about my life, my heart will want to go one way and my head will tell me to go the other.  

Now, I was a good little kid, a pretty good student and a great rule follower. I am also keenly aware that being black and female in America is to live in a perpetual state of risk, so I am generally risk avoidant as a rule. Unfortunately, the heart likes to go for the riskier options. That means, whenever my heart and head encounter a fork in the road, my head wins out. After all, I had always been taught that, the heart is fickle and doesn’t know what it wants, to be careful what I wish for with the understanding it will always be worse than what I have or what my head is telling me is the right decision. Be safe, goes the guidance -- follow your head. 

So, I started to get used to the tight, rigid, suffocating feeling of living in my head and avoid the spacious, giddy, awake feeling of living in my heart. I have been holding out hope for years that my head will lead me to a place where I can finally be fully safe and my heart will be able to be free. The older I get though, the more I’ve come to realize that the head will only lead you to a space to where it is comfortable — a space that is small, cramped and  full of the trappings of safety. 

The answer to that question -- "What is the one thing you could do today that, if you did it, would make everything else easier --  if not irrelevant?” — isn’t a head question. It’s a heart question. When I dropped out of my head, albeit reluctantly, and descended into my heart, I realized that the answer was pretty simple.  

Stop giving a sh*t.   

If I stopped caring about how things turned out, everything would get a lot easier and a lot of things would become irrelevant. If I didn’t care what people thought of me, everything would get a lot easier. If I didn’t care how much money I made, everything would get a lot easier. If I didn’t care about where I lived, everything would become a lot easier.  

Better yet, I could start really focusing on what matters. I could focus on my book and making future plans that focused on what I thought was best instead of spending my time caring about what everyone else thought was the best use of my time.  

Some people think that living in the heart means jumping around like a forest sprite doing whatever you want whenever you want. It’s not. 

Living in the heart is the difference between the feeling you have when you smile to make someone else feel comfortable and when you smile because you are genuinely happy. 

It’s the difference between saying what you think someone else wants to hear and saying exactly what’s on your mind. 

It’s the difference between getting dressed to impress others and getting dressed to impress yourself. 

It’s the difference between doing what you’re told and telling people what you’re going to do.  

One way feels confining but safe, but that’s how every cage works: you’re safe in the cage … but you’re also in a cage.  

People often tell me they see me doing wonderful, incredible things with my life and that I have incredible potential. I never quite knew what they meant. I’ve longed to see the path from the me that I know in my head to the person they see, believing I would need to change to realize that potential. The path was always hazy, I couldn’t quite make it out. So, the book continues to languish, I walked away from the beginnings of a career in television, fearing I’d never make enough to make ends meet. I don’t coach because I am too busy hunting for a certification program (and clearly have work of my own to do!).  

My real problem, however, is two fold:  

  1. I have been working to realize my potential for others' sake.
  2. I have been using my head to try and get there.  

Living in your heart doesn’t mean selfishly shoving everyone out of the way with a devil-may-care attitude. It means letting others go their way, but being honest with yourself about the path you need to take and owning the decision to follow it.  

Thank you a million times...
Thank you to my newest donor, Sascha Wiebenson, and to long-time donor Natalya Pemberton! Natalya is a culture and design enthusiast learning Sustainable Systems at the innovative Presidio Graduate School.

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...get into your ❤️.
Emi Kolawole · E is for Everything HQ · Palo Alto California 94306 · USA
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